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.
Shortly after the trade deadline passed at 3pm ET on Thursday, it was revealed that the Hawks pulled out of discussions with the Bucks on a deal for Josh Smith. This would-be blockbuster was not the only deal that was discussed but never came to fruition. Here is a roundup of other deals that were discussed but never came to pass:
Just as we crossed into the final month before the trade deadline, the first deal of the new year went down today, and the action will no doubt pick up going forward. Here are a few more notes from a busy evening.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com discussed the Mavericks in a radio interview with a Dallas station and touched on a number of topics concerning the Mavs' present and future rosters. SportsDayDFW.com has the transcript. Here are the highlights:
Stein suggested the Mavericks should think about tanking to position themselves for the draft lottery:
“The playoffs are out of reach. … There’s just too much ground to make up, and to me, what’s the point anyway? To me, it’s going to come to a point where it’s time to play the young guys, it’s time to focus on development and the reality is, even if this isn’t a good draft, the highest possible lottery pick will benefit this team the most.”
“It’s time to play James. it’s time to play Cunningham. it’s time to feature Crowder more. I mean, nobody wants to hear that but that’s the reality.”
Stein also dismisses talk that the Mavs may look to trade Dirk Nowitzki:
“It’s just so hard to get players at Dirk’s level that I just don’t see any way the Mavs want to give up their one known, and especially because of the relationship he and Cuban have, what he’s meant to this community. Dirk’s frustrated right now. That’s clear with the stuff he’s been saying all week, but he does not want to go anywhere. He wants to finish his career here. He’s saying all this stuff clearly because he wants to see a fix. He wants the team fixed. It’s not because he wants to leave."
Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News frequently dips into his mailbag to answer reader questions, and today's responses are especially full of relevant info. He looks ahead to trades and free agent signings the Mavs could pursue over the next 12 months, and sizes up the return on some of the moves the team made this past summer. We'll round up the highlights here:
On Friday morning, the Dallas Mavericks announced that Dirk Nowitzki had undergone arthroscopic knee surgery, which will sideline him for up to six weeks. Gerry Fraley of SportsDayDFW.com has posted several new articles outlining various aspects of this Mavs season, including how the team will move forward after Nowitzki's injury and various new members of the roster.
Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.com tots up the off-court endorsement earnings for Team USA, noting that everyone on the team except Kevin Love has a deal with Nike. The absences of Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard leave Adidas without a representative, notes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). Before USA Basketball takes on Argentina later this afternoon, let's catch up on the latest news and notes out of the Southwest Division...
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:
The Mavericks have officially signed second-round pick Jae Crowder, according to a team release. Crowder was the third of three Dallas picks in June's draft, taken 34th overall with one of the selections acquired from Cleveland in the trade for 17th overall pick Tyler Zeller.
Crowder, a 6'7" forward, averaged 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game in his final season at Marquette. Terms of his contract weren't disclosed, but he'll likely earn something close to the rookie minimum this year, with at least some guaranteed money included in the deal.