It's a light five-game schedule in the NBA tonight, with no clashes of two teams that appear to be headed for the playoffs. So, it may be time for a few executives around the league to take their eyes off the court and delve into trade talks, with the deadline just a dozen days away. We'll be keeping tabs on all the latest, with a few afternoon items right here:
- Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News expects the Suns and Mavs to be players for Josh Smith before the deadline (Twitter link). Yesterday we heard there's a 60% chance the Hawks deal Smith away, and that they're seeking a "quality young center" in return — the sort of asset neither Phoenix nor Dallas appears to possess, which could necessitate a three-way swap.
- Shaun Powell of Sports on Earth praises Tony Allen's defense, and passes along comments from the Grizzlies swingman about hitting free agency this summer. "I'd like to stay but whatever happens I'm cool with it," Allen said. "I'll get what's coming to me. At least I hope. They say defense wins games, right? They say it's all about how you play defense, right?"
- Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game is surprised that Brandon Jennings has changed agents, arguing that Excel's Jeff Schwartz is likely to use the same leverage BDA's Bill Duffy would have when Jennings becomes a restricted free agent in the offseason (Sulia link).
- Brad Rock of the Deseret News believes the Jazz should stand pat at the trade deadline and preserve their flexibility for the summer.
- Chris Dortch of NBA.com looks at how potential No. 1 overall pick Nerlens Noel sizes up against Anthony Davis and other shot-blocking savants.
- Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com examines the top power forwards available in the 2013 draft.