Ken Berger of CBS Sports described the difficulty for the Hawks to find the type of assets they want in exchange for Josh Smith, and GM Danny Ferry has been firm in telling other teams that he's not willing to take back future salary. Atlanta has prioritized draft picks and young players in exchange for their star forward, though other teams have been insistent on including some long-term deals as part of their offers.
The Nets are one interested team that would be hard-pressed to complete a trade before Thursday, as the current CBA would prohibit a luxury taxpayer to complete a sign-and-trade in the offseason. With Brooklyn set to be around $4MM above the tax line this summer, the only way they could acquire Smith after this season would be to significantly shed salary first. Here's more out of Berger's column tonight:
- Ferry realizes that the number of potential trading partners will decrease this summer, and while Phoenix had originally been seen as an ideal destination for Smith, the Suns appear to have their reservations about whether or not the assets they'd be sending out would be worth it.
- The Bucks have been "definitely active" in Smith talks considering the uncertain future of Brandon Jennings, who is said to have been intrigued by bigger markets and had recently switched agents (from Bill Duffy to Jeff Schwartz, known for being a strong advocate for the opportunities that a bigger market can provide).
- Luc Mbah a Moute could be a key component of a Smith-to-Milwaukee deal, factoring in his production and manageable contract.
- It is widely believed that the Hawks will try to make a strong push to acquire Dwight Howard before the trade deadline.
- The Trail Blazers continue to shop J.J. Hickson in exchange for a first-round pick.
- Wizards guard Jordan Crawford has drawn interest from some teams, but the team isn't willing to take back any long-term contracts.
- 76ers guard Nick Young has been part of many discussions, but there isn't a deal to be made as of now.
- The Nets know that a Kris Humphries-for-Ben Gordon trade with the Bobcats is still on the table, but are waiting to see what happens with Josh Smith before returning to that avenue.