As rumors fly long past the NBA's trade deadline, Marc Stein of ESPN.com checks in with a Weekend Dime that's heavy on items about Josh Smith, as well as plenty of news about the Rockets. There's even a link between Smith and Houston, so let's dig in.
Although the Celtics stood relatively pat at last month's trade deadline, the team very nearly agreed to a blockbuster deal that would have sent Paul Pierce to Dallas, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Wojnarowski reports that the Celtics, Mavericks, and Hawks discussed a three-way trade that would have seen Boston acquire Josh Smith. However, the Hawks wanted a first-round pick in the deal, which the C's were unwilling to include.
According to Wojnarowski, the package that would have gone to the Hawks from the Mavericks featured Dahntay Jones, Jae Crowder, and Brandan Wright, along with the ability to swap picks in the 2013 draft. Based on Wojnarowski's report, it appears Atlanta was on board with the pieces coming from Dallas, but required one more sweetener from Boston, and the C's didn't relent.
The failed deal makes sense from Atlanta's perspective, since the club was looking to acquire some combination of young talent, expiring contracts, and draft picks in exchange for Smith. From the Celtics' perspective, Danny Ainge presumably felt that Smith was a player in his prime that the team could attempt to re-sign and keep for the long-term, though the GM wasn't willing to pay an exorbitant price to land him.
As for the Mavericks, they would have received another All-Star caliber veteran to pair with Dirk Nowitzki, but both players are in their mid-30s, and keeping Pierce next season would have eaten up the majority of the club's 2013/14 cap space. I feel like there must be a detail missing from the package that would have gone to Atlanta, since the Jones/Crowder/Wright trio earns significantly less than Pierce this season, meaning more salary would have to be included to make the deal work under CBA rules. Perhaps Shawn Marion, who has a $9.07MM player option for '13/14, was also in the proposal, which would have allowed Dallas to retain some financial flexibility in the summer. That's just my speculation though. Including Chris Kaman's expiring contract would also have worked for salary-matching purposes.
After being unable to finalize this deal, all three involved teams made smaller moves. The Celtics acquired Jordan Crawford from the Wizards, the Hawks acquired Jeremy Tyler from the Warriors, and the Mavericks and Hawks swapped Jones and Anthony Morrow.
A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:
The Hawks have sent Anthony Morrow to the Mavericks for Dahntay Jones, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jones was reportedly going to be part of a deal for Beno Udrih, but apparently that one didn't materialize for Dallas. Both swingmen are on expiring contracts, though Morrow makes $4MM while Jones is earning $2.9MM this year. The salaries are still close enough for salary-matching purposes, and neither team is close enough to the tax for the difference to have an effect.
Morrow, 27, is seeing a career low 12.5 minutes per game this year with Atlanta after coming over during the summer in the Joe Johnson trade. He led the league in three-point percentage in 2o08/09 for the Warriors, making 46.7% of his long-range attempts as a rookie. He's a career 42.5% three-point shooter.
Jones, 32, saw about the same amount of floor time for Dallas (12.7 MPG), but doesn't provide the outside shooting presence that Morrow does. Instead, he's seen as a defensive presence, and started 71 games in front of J.R. Smith for the 2008/09 Nuggets, who advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
8:49am: The Bucks are one of the league's most active teams leading up to today's deadline, and figure to explore larger deals right up until 2:00pm. However, if the club doesn't move Beno Udrih and his expiring contract in one of those larger trades, Milwaukee could send him to the Mavericks, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter).
Udrih, who is averaging just 18.4 minutes per game for the Bucks, is overpaid at $7.37MM, but that salary could make him an attractive chip for a team like the Mavs, who are looking to clear cap room for the coming summer. It's not clear if Dallas would send out lesser expiring deals in the hypothetical trade, or whether they'd move a player like Shawn Marion, who is under contract beyond this season.
Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW engaged in a chat with fans about the Mavericks' offseason. Among his more notable thoughts were that the team's interest in Steve Nash was never that serious, Mark Cuban deserves to be applauded for their attempt to land Deron Williams despite falling short, and that he gives the team a grade of "B" for their work this summer. Here are some more of the highlights:
As summer league kicks off tonight in Las Vegas, here's some more news from around the league.
THURSDAY, 4:51pm: Indiana announced the deal through an official press release.
WEDNESDAY: The Pacers have traded Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to the Mavs for Ian Mahinmi, who will sign a four-year, $16MM contract as part of the deal, reports Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com (Twitter links). Jones is due $2.9MM next season and Collison about $2.3MM, so, as John Hollinger of ESPN.com points out, that eats into the amnesty bid the team could make for Elton Brand (Twitter link). Presumably, this also takes Dallas out of the running for Aaron Brooks.
The Pacers are expected to either match Roy Hibbert's offer sheet from the Blazers or sign him outright, so Mahinmi will likely be the backup center for the team. Indiana also has 7'0" Miles Plumlee, the team's first-round draft pick.
Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida reported that guard Dahntay Jones picked up his $2.9MM player option to remain with the Pacers next season, according to Jones' agent Mark Bartelstein (Sulia link). Jones appeared in 65 games this year, averaging 5.3 PPG in 16.2 MPG while shooting 42.3% from three.