Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio is hearing plenty of chatter from around the league, and shares a lot of information in his latest dispatch. He identifies the player receiving the most attention as the deadline approaches, and dishes on several big names. We'll cover the highlights here:
- The Celtics are open to trading Kevin Garnett, but president of basketball ops Danny Ainge is looking for something to get "really, really excited" about, Amico writes. Garnett has a no-trade clause, and reportedly will only waive it if he's dealt to Los Angeles and the Celtics also trade Paul Pierce away.
- Josh Smith is the most-talked-about name on the rumor mill at present, and Amico reiterates that the Spurs, Nets and Bobcats are among the teams that have interest in the athletic forward. The Nets are anxious to deal Kris Humphries, and could be looking to get a third team involved in talks with Atlanta to faciliate a Smith-Humphries deal. Cavs GM Chris Grant spent time on the phone with Nets GM Billy King last week, and Amico notes the close ties Grant shares with King, as well as the connection between Hawks GM Danny Ferry and King.
- Grant wants more draft picks, and is apparently willing to rent some of the Cavs' ample cap space for a player whose deal expires after next season, as Humphries' does.
- If they can't land Smith, plan B for the Nets might be Paul Millsap. We heard about Brooklyn's interest in the Jazz power forward earlier today.
- Bulls GM Gar Forman also covets Smith and Millsap. Chicago has talked to the Nets about Carlos Boozer, but there's been no recent movement on that front.
- Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings are available, but only for a team that makes an overwhelming offer to Bucks GM John Hammond.
- The Mavs are publicly downplaying the chances of a trade before the deadline, but that's not the case behind the scenes, where basketball president Donnie Nelson is seeing what he can get for Shawn Marion.
- Eric Gordon would love to return to his Indiana roots and the Hornets have interest in Danny Granger, but the Pacers and New Orleans have not discussed a Gordon-Granger swap.