Just when it looked as though the NBA trade rumors reached a simmer, the temperature is rising once again today. The next few days are about to get crazy, and Thursday's deadline could bring a flurry of moves that shake the league's foundation.
Another team has entered the Josh Smith sweepstakes, and the speculation as to where the dynamic forward could end up is off the charts. He could end up remaining in Atlanta, for all we know, but the fact that he is set to hit free agency this summer gives the Hawks more incentive to trade him and at least try and get something in return.
The Washington Wizards are also looking to make a move, with GM Ernie Grunfeld finally starting to see a solid rotation come together. It's a perfect opportunity to weed out those who won't be playing a key role in the franchise's future but can still be effective elsewhere.
Oh, and let's not forget that a future Hall of Famer might be on the move.
There's a lot to cover, so let's jump right in and get to the latest buzz around the hardwood.
Wizards Shopping Jordan Crawford
Now that John Wall and Bradley Beal are helping form a solid backcourt tandem, the Washington Wizards have little use for shooting guard Jordan Crawford. According to Ric Bucher of CSN Bay Area, the team has made the third-year guard out of Xavier "eminently available."
This season, Crawford has posted 13.2 points per game while shooting 34.5 percent from long range. He is a solid scorer but tends to be a bit of a ball hog when he has a hot hand.
That's definitely something to be concerned about, but teams in need of scoring should definitely consider Crawford. He is only set to make about $1.2 million this season and has a team option for 2013-14 worth $2.1 million. More importantly, he should come fairly cheap.
Keep in mind that in his sole year at Xavier, Crawford averaged 20.5 points per game and posted 19.1 points and 6.1 assists in December. He has the potential to be great but just needs to be in the right environment. Combine that with the cheap price tag, and it should be fairly easy to move him.
New Team in Mix for Josh Smith
Josh Smith has been linked to a few different teams over the past couple of weeks, but the latest one to enter the mix may be the most interesting of all.
According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal-Times, the Milwaukee Bucks have contacted the Atlanta Hawks about a deal for Smith. Woelfel speculates that if GM John Hammond is willing to part with Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis, plus Ersan Ilyasova, a deal can be reached.
Needless to say, Smith could be a decent fit in Milwaukee. The Bucks' issues at power forward are well-documented, and Smith would be a grand improvement over Ilyasova and non-factor Drew Gooden.
This season, Smith has been as dynamic as ever in posting 17.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. His going to Milwaukee would provide the Bucks with the electrifying frontcourt presence they have lacked the past few years, and his well-rounded game could help them stay in the thick of the playoff race.
Seeing as how Milwaukee ranks 17th in points allowed, this is definitely a rumor to keep an eye on in the coming days.
Celtics Discussing Kevin Garnett Trade
Remember how the Boston Celtics were considering dealing veteran big man Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers, but the deal appeared dead? Well, it appears to be back on.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Boston and Los Angeles have been in "consistent contact" about a deal that would send Garnett west in exchange for dynamic point man Eric Bledsoe and center DeAndre Jordan. In the deal, Boston would dump what is remaining on the three-year, $34 million deal he signed over the summer.
Boston would benefit greatly from the trade for reasons other than money, as Jordan would be a strong low-post presence and provide the interior defense the team has lacked all season long. His offense would not be as strong, but defense is the name of the game in the Eastern Conference.
Bledsoe, on the other hand, could give Boston some much-needed help at the point, not to mention strong scoring abilities and great athleticism.
However, though Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro is on board with the idea of the trade, ESPN's Chris Broussard has reported that the team's front office is "totally against" the move. Rather than give up Jordan and Bledsoe for the aging Garnett, they would rather trade Willie Green, Ronny Turiaf and Caron Butler.
Chances are that Celtics GM Danny Ainge would reject that package, as none of those players really fills Boston's needs. However, anything can happen at this point in trade talks, so fans should definitely be ready for further development on both ends.
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