Hawks, Bucks, Suns Expected To Be Active

League executives tell Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that the Hawks, Bucks, and Suns are the teams most determined to make a deal by Thursday's trade deadline (Twitter link). All three clubs have been involved in various trade rumors already today, including all being linked in one way or another to Josh Smith.

It's no surprise that any of the three clubs are expected to be active on the trade market this week. We've long heard that no one on the Suns is untouchable, except for Luis Scola, who is ineligible to be dealt. The Bucks, meanwhile, face the possibility of their top two scorers, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, hitting free agency this summer, so they could make a deal to avoid losing one or both of those players for nothing.

The Hawks also have a star heading for free agency in Smith, and according to Berger (via Twitter), there's a belief around the NBA that Atlanta will make a serious run at Dwight Howard, despite the Lakers' insistence that D12 won't be moved. Assuming the Hawks don't land Howard by Thursday's deadline, which seems like a fairly safe bet, the team is expected to be one of his primary suitors in free agency in July.

In addition to holding a number of moveable trade chips, the Hawks, Bucks, and Suns figure to have a good amount of cap room this summer, so all three teams have the flexibility to take on some long-term salary without any real luxury-tax concerns.

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