The 2013 NBA trade deadline is still weeks away, but the rumors are starting to leak out in full force.
Most intriguingly, many of these rumors involve some of the best players and more popular teams in the league. This year’s deadline promises to be action packed and the buzz leading up to it will only continue to build over the next month.
Let’s take a look at the most recent rumblings around the league in Friday’s rumor roundup.
The Atlanta Hawks recently suspended Smith for one game due to “conduct detrimental to the team,” which may have coincided with the organization shopping its star forward.
According to CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, the 27-year-old didn’t request a trade following his suspension, but GM Danny Ferry is apparently shopping him regardless:
Multiple rival executives confirmed that the Hawks have participated in trade conversations with several teams regarding Smith, a 27-year-old game-changing defender when engaged.
Smith’s agent, Wallace Prather, confirmed that there are “teams interested” in his client, as Smith would likely become the No. 1 target for a number of contenders looking to bring in a talented piece for a playoff run.
The Hawks' star is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2012-13 campaign, so monitor his status closely over the next couple of weeks.
The Portland Trail Blazers' big man has been on numerous teams and subject to plenty of trade rumors during his short career. He knows the nature of the business better than most, so it shouldn’t surprise him or cause any hurt feelings when he finds out that his name has been put back onto the bargaining table.
According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com:
Hickson has been receiving exploratory interest from a handful of teams looking to potentially swap for his services… However, these teams have not made contact with Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey, just yet. The inquiring phone calls are going to Hickson's agent Andy Miller, first, the source said.
Haynes goes on to mention that Hickson is a Bird rights player on a one-year deal, meaning he has automatic veto power over any trade. For a guy who has moved around as often as the 6’9” F/C, this is a deserved luxury and it will take an ideal team in the right situation to convince the 24-year-old to uproot himself for the fourth time in three years.
There will certainly be a ton of calls coming in, as Hickson is averaging 12.2 points and 11.0 rebounds.
After dominating the news cycle over the past week or so with Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph trade chatter, the Griz have decided to enter a “holding pattern” for any potential deals.
According to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal, they weren’t getting any great offers for these star players and are now going to wait until the deadline approaches for a contending franchise to get desperate.
Griz now in a "holding pattern" re: possible trades. No serious talks;nothing imminent. Team expects serious offers closer to Feb21 deadline— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBlog) January 16, 2013
We imagine the stakes will certainly be raised over the next month and the price for the Memphis studs will be high.