We warned you this could be a slow trade deadline — with the new CBA kicking in fully next summer teams are concerned about both the more regressive tax and the repeater taxes for going over the luxury tax line. Meaning teams that might normally take on more salary simply are hesitant now.
Here is a roundup of where things stand as of late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning:
• Josh Smith remains the biggest name on the market and the Hawks have been aggressive and have talked to a lot of teams. They are trying to create leverage (good luck). They want pieces that can help them rebuild — first round picks, good younger players — and not expensive veterans (although they have to take on something to make the numbers match up), reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com. The teams at the front of the line are the Suns, Bucks, Celtics and Nets. A number of other teams are hesitant because Smith is a free agent and wants a max contract this summer — five years, $90 million. Teams are balking at that. Understandably.
If the Hawks don’t get a deal they like they may well keep him, but they are aggressive in shopping him.
• The Clippers have stopped talks with the Celtics regarding Kevin Garnett, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. Maybe that has something to do with Kevin Garnett saying at All-Star break he would kill any deal with his no-trade clause. The only deal Boston would consider would send Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan back to Boston, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
What I’ve heard is that coach Vinny Del Negro wants the deal but the rest of the front office doesn’t — it is a win now move that would have the Clippers with a roster of guys over 30 and Blake Griffin. As the Yahoo report says the one thing that could tip the scales is Chris Paul — the free agent to be who wields a lot of power — saying he wants it.
• If Boston were to move Garnett they would almost certainly move Paul Pierce as well. Wojnarowski said there have been some talks with the Hawks about a Pierce for Smith trade. That really doesn’t work for Atlanta, which wants to both save money and get younger, not take on Pierce for a year. But if Boston blows it up, they will blow it all up.
• The Hornets have shopped guard Eric Gordon around but because he has a max contact and hasn’t been his old self after knee surgeries there’s not a lot of interest reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.
• No deal for J.J. Redick yet but you can expect one, the Magic know contending teams are going to bid more than they are willing to pay for him this summer when he’s a free agent. Orlando has wanted a first round pick. Indiana, Milwaukee, Chicago and Minnesota are interested according to Wojnarowski but are not willing to part with that pick. Yet. I could see him doing a lot of damage as a Bull or Pacer.
• The list of guys being shopped but without a deal yet is long — Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap in Utah, Eric Maynor in Oklahoma City, Timofey Mozgov from Denver, Monta Ellis in Milwaukee, and of course Andrea Bargnani in Toronto (he may be the least likely of the group to be moved).
• The Knicks wants some size off the bench and have talked to the Suns about Jermaine O’Neal, according to ESPN’s Broussard.
• The Nets continue to shop Kris Humphries. But in a salary cap conscious world nobody wants to pay him $12 million next season.
• The Bobcats continue to try to find a home for Ben Gordon, who has issues with the coach in Charlotte. But again, he makes $13 million next year and teams are balking.
• There is this line from Wojnarowski:
The Minnesota Timberwolves were turned down on an offer of Brandon Roy and a first-round pick to Denver for center Timofey Mozgov, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
My only question is how much Masai Ujiri laughed before saying no.
• The Spurs will move DeJuan Blair before the deadline, they are just trying to get the best deal for him.