Odds & Ends: Smith, Sixers, Noel, Exceptions

As we've seen, the Josh Smith rumors have been frequent and plentiful.  While Smith is aware of the buzz, the veteran forward seems unaffected, reports Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld via a series of tweets.  Per Kyler, Smith has asked his family to refrain from bringing up media reports to him since he attempts to block that stuff out.  While he is flattered to hear how many teams are interested, Smith's mind is on the present and he says the Hawks have yet to discuss the situation with him.  While it certainly looks like there is a solid chance he will be traded, Smith reminds us that his name has been mentioned in rumors before to no avail. (Kyler tweets are listed here)

Smith's Hawks are in Orlando tonight – one of 12 games on the NBA schedule on Wednesday.  Let's round up all the odds and ends from around the league here for the night:

  • The Sixers are not interested in trading Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner for Josh Smith, tweets the Philadelphia Inquirer's John Mitchell, citing two league sources.  Philly has reportedly been dangling that duo and may be considered sleepers in the Smith sweepstakes.  
  • Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times tweets that he keeps hearing Smith will end up as a member of the Celtics
  • In light of the news that Nerlens Noel suffered a torn ACL on Tuesday, Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld drops the Kentucky freshman to No. 4 in his mock draft.  Similar to what we heard from Jeff Goodman earlier, Koutroupis suspects that Noel will remain in this year's draft despite the injury, referencing the strength of next year's field.  To me, since Noel will likely miss a sizeable chunk of next year with the Wildcats if he were to stay in school, it makes more sense to leave and rehabilitate his knee under NBA trainers if he can go anywhere in the top 10. 
  • Several general managers still consider Noel a top-5 pick, while one has him slipping to between 10-12 if he comes out, tweets SI's Chris Mannix.  Ben Roberts of the Lexington Herald-Leader, quoting Draft Express' Jonathan Givony, writes that the prevailing wisdom is that Noel is still a lock for the top-5.  Givony believes Noel could still go No. 1 overall.  Roberts adds that young NBA players that have suffered similar injuries have not had long term effects. 
  • In an Insider piece for ESPN.com, Bradford Doolittle points to the Nuggets ($13MM), Magic ($17.8MM), Grizzlies ($7.5MM) and Bulls ($5MM) as teams with Traded Player Exceptions worth $5MM or more.  The Nuggets may just have the urgency (their exception expires March 15) and the ability (it's large enough to acquire a significant piece) to make utilizing their exception worth it, Doolittle says.  While Memphis is likely to use their modest exception, Orlando and Chicago will likely refrain.

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