Atlanta doesn’t have to rush with Josh Smith. Well, sure, there is the trade deadline at 3 ET on Thursday. But they have the biggest name and best player available on the trade block right now and a lot of teams calling them. Atlanta GM Danny Ferry is not taking the first offer he sees.
But the Nets still want Smith and they may be in a better position to keep him than anyone else in the trading mix.
The Nets offer remains what it has from the start, reports Sam Amick at USA Today.
Brooklyn’s offer: MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and a first-rounder for Smith, a person familiar with the proposed deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fluid negotiations.
This has always seemed the fallback for the Hawks for me. The Hawks don’t love it. They don’t want Humphries and the $12 million he is owed next season, but the pick and Brooks are more like what they are interested in. They might be able to flip him this summer or next season, but it’s not ideal.
But the Nets are the one team that might give Smith the five year, $90 million extension he wants. And he certainly is a big upgrade
The Bucks are still active in the Smith conversations, with Monta Ellis possibly in the mix. The Clippers, Spurs and Suns have all had some level of conversation about Smith. The Wizards were in the mix for a bit, too, but they have pulled out because the Hawks want young assets back and the Wizards are trying to build with them, Amick reported.
More and more it is clear Josh Smith should have a bag packed by the door. He’s on the move. The question is where will the plane ticket take him?
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.