The NBA trade deadline is nearly a week away, and the rumors are flying high. Thus, fans should brace themselves for an epic day on February 21.
In Atlanta, star forward Josh Smith's future is no more certain than it was a week ago. There's the slight possibility that he could remain in Atlanta for the long term, but the growing number of teams interested in his services suggests otherwise.
Head north to Brooklyn, and the Nets are continuing to listen to offers for Kris Humphries. The man is a fine rebounder, but has not been effective at all this season. A fresh start is needed, but just where he'll get it, if at all, remains to be seen.
The craziest part is that in San Antonio, the league-leading Spurs have even discussed making a move.
The rumor mill is buzzing and will only get louder in the coming days, so let's have a look at some key rumors that could be ones to watch down the stretch.
San Antonio Could Make Move by Deadline
The San Antonio Spurs may own the NBA's best record, but that isn't stopping GM R.C. Buford from making a move to better the roster. In the Spurs' case, this really just means dumping dead weight.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, Buford and his front office team offered low-post specialist DeJuan Blair to the Detroit Pistons and are also discussing the former Pittsburgh Panther with the Toronto Raptors. Other teams are also reported to have interest.
It may seem odd for a team as deep and talented as the Spurs to be pursuing a trade, but the sad truth is that there really isn't any reason for them to hang onto Blair. He can play the low post well but is still undersized at 6'7", 270 pounds.
Throw in that his minutes have dipped to 13.7 per game on the season, plus the development of Tiago Splitter, and Blair's time in San Antonio is definitely running out.
Buford should not expect to get much in return for his 23-year-old defender, but cutting dead weight is cutting dead weight. There is no guarantee that Blair will be dealt, but he is a name to watch in the coming days just the same.
Nets Continue to Shop Kris Humphries and Then Some?
The Brooklyn Nets appeared to be on the verge of trading Kris Humphries to the Charlotte Bobcats for guard Ben Gordon, but according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, those talks have gained little ground and are at a "standstill."
However, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld reports that Humphries is not the key man Brooklyn wants to unload. Rather, GM Billy King really wants to unload second-year guard MarShon Brooks, and Humphries and a first-round pick are just added bonuses to the deal.
There is little development on this rumor, but it is definitely one to keep an eye on. Brooks' minutes have dipped from 29.4 per game last season to 11.3 this year, and the presence of Joe Johnson means that his time with the Nets was limited to begin with.
It's not just a matter of if a deal involving him and Humphries goes down, but when.
Josh Smith Sweepstakes Continues with No Conclusive Front-Runner
Over the weekend, ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that the Brooklyn Nets were "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Atlanta Hawks star forward Josh Smith. As of now this is just another chapter in the ongoing saga of Smith's future.
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the San Antonio Spurs are also interested in Smith, with Hawks GM Danny Ferry's history in San Antonio as both a player and executive potentially being a factor. However, to say that Smith is definitely going to be traded to the Spurs or any other team is pure speculation.
Speaking to Jeff Caplan of NBA.com, Smith talked about his commitment to Atlanta and that he would give the Hawks "full consideration" during his free agency summer if he remained with them this season.
Long story short, there is no way to tell just what is going to happen to Smith in the near future. The odds of him being traded are 50-50 and unless one team strongly engages the Hawks in trade talks, this is a rumor fans must treat with a wait-and-see approach.