For days and weeks heading into the Thursday, Feb. 21, trade deadline, the one name that was seemingly always out there, headed to some NBA city or another was Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.
At the end of the day—or, at the very least, the 3 p.m. Eastern Time deadline—Smith remained a Hawk. According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the Hawks had spent several weeks investigating the market for Smith, Atlanta’s leading scorer and longest-tenured player, and opted to keep him for another run at the playoffs this spring.
In the final hours leading up to the deadline, speculation increased that Smith would be moved and that guard J.J. Redick would be staying with the Orlando Magic.
As it turns out, the opposite happened—Redick was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks and Smith went nowhere.
Smith, 27, was Atlanta’s first-round pick in the 2004 draft out of College Park, Ga., a member one of the last draft classes before the NBA instituted its rule that a player must be one year removed from high school before entering the draft.
Now in his ninth season with the Hawks, Smith is averaging 17.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 blocks in 49 games this year. Renowned as a top-flight defender, Smith sometimes can forget who he at the offensive end. Though he shoots just 34.2 percent from 3-point range, he still hoists more than two bombs a game and is shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and just 50 percent from the free-throw line.
That isn’t to say the Hawks were silent at the deadline.
Atlanta dealt guard Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for forward Dahntay Jones. This is little more than an exchange of spare parts—Morrow missed 17 games with hip and back injuries and had only begun to work his way back over the last couple of weeks. For the year, Morrow has played 24 games and averaged 5.2 points in 12.5 minutes a night.
Jones, who was in his first year with the Mavericks after spending three seasons with the Indiana Pacers, is in his 10th season and was averaging 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 50 games, 15 of them starts, for Dallas, averaging 12.7 minutes.
On the surface, it seems a bit strange that Atlanta would give up backcourt depth considering Lou Williams is out for the year with a knee injury, but rookie John Jenkins has been playing more since Morrow was hurt.
The deadline festivities actually began Wednesday night when the Houston Rockets made a pair of deals. Here is a recap of all of the deadline activity:
Wednesday: Phoenix Suns get Marcus Morris
The Phoenix Suns reunited (per ESPN.com) the Morris twins on Thursday night, sending a second-round pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for forward Marcus Morris, who will join his brother, Markieff Morris, with the Suns.
Marcus Morris was the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Rockets and was averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21.4 minutes a game. He was also serving as a solid stretch 4 for Houston, shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point range while taking 3.6 bombs a night.
Wednesday: Houston Rockets get Thomas Robinson
The head-scratcher of the near-deadline deals was the Sacramento Kings opting to dump forward Thomas Robinson—the fifth overall pick last June—to the Rockets along with forwards Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt in exchange for forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and guard Toney Douglas, according to ESPN.com.
Robinson has struggled as a rookie, averaging 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16 minutes a game for the Kings. Patterson, on the other hand, is a much more polished player right now. However, he is a minus rebounder, getting just 4.7 boards in 26 minutes of playing time for the Rockets while averaging 11.6 points a game. He is a solid shooter from deep, averaging 36.5 percent from 3-point range, and shoots 51.9 percent overall.
Sacramento appears to have been caught up in the money end of things, as this trade will save them $1.3 million in payroll the rest of the season, along with $1 million in cash, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick.
Garcia’s playing time had slipped to 17.8 minutes a game and his contract expires at the end of the season. Honeycutt, in his second year, had played in just nine games this year for Sacramento.
Aldrich was playing more as a backup center for the Rockets of late, averaging 8.7 minutes in six February games, marginally up from his season average of 7.1 minutes. He is averaging 1.7 points and 1.9 rebounds. Douglas, in his first year with the Rockets, was averaging 8.1 points and 1.9 assists in 18.6 minutes a game.
Thursday: Dexter Pittman to Memphis Grizzlies
The Miami Heat shipped center Dexter Pittman and a second-round draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies on deadline day for the rights to center Ricky Sanchez.
According to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, Pittman had fallen behind midseason acquisitions Chris Andersen and Jarvis Varnado and moving Pittman frees up a roster spot for the Heat should they try to acquire a player who gets bought out after the deadline.
Memphis had only 12 players and was facing a deadline next week to avoid being penalized for being under the league’s minimum roster size of 13.
Sanchez was a 2005 draft pick by the Portland Trail Blazers and his rights have been traded three times, including a second straight year at the deadline. He is playing in Argentina and is not likely to ever play in the NBA.
Thursday: Toronto Raptors add Sebastian Telfair
Former Brooklyn prep legend Sebastian Telfair can add a seventh team logo to his suitcase after he was dealt to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for center Hamed Haddadi and a second-round draft pick, according to ESPN.com.
Telfair was averaging six points and 2.5 assists for the Suns while backing up Goran Dragic. Toronto was looking for point guard depth after dealing Jose Calderon to the Detroit Pistons late last month.
Haddadi has played in only 13 games this season, all with the Memphis Grizzlies. The 7’2” Iranian is averaging 1.2 points and 1.8 rebounds and went to Toronto as part of the three-team deal that sent Rudy Gay north of the border.
Thursday: Boston Celtics steal Jordan Crawford
The Boston Celtics pulled off one of the steals of the trade deadline on Thursday. According to ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg, the Celtics sent injured guard Leandro Barbosa and seldom-used center Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for third-year shooting guard Jordan Crawford.
Barbosa is out for the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL earlier this month. Collins is averaging 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10 minutes a game this year.
Crawford was the 27th overall pick in the 2010 draft and is averaging 13.2 points and 3.7 assists a game in 52 games, including 12 starts.
However, since John Wall returned from injury, Crawford’s playing time had diminished. In fairness to Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld, Crawford wanted out of D.C., a desire that was punctuated Tuesday, Feb. 19, when he threw his jersey into the stands after a loss to Toronto.
Washington gets out from under the $2.2 million due Crawford in the final year of his rookie deal next season, but the Wizards are still unlikely to have much cap room available this summer.
Crawford will fill the role Barbosa had been playing for the Celtics. He is a solid 3-point shooter with a gunner’s reputation, even though his assist rate of 26.1 percent is solidly in the top 40 in the NBA.
Thursday: Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic swap reserve 4s
McRoberts was averaging 3.9 points and 3.7 points in 41 games for the Magic while Warrick has averaged 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Bobcats since he was acquired earlier this season from the New Orleans Hornets.
However, Warrick’s playing time had been reduced in recent weeks.
Thursday: Ronnie Brewer headed to Oklahoma City Thunder
Brewer began the year starting at the 3 for the Knicks. However, he had fallen completely out of the rotation due to his poor shooting this year. Brewer, a career 49.3 percent shooter, was shooting just 36.6 percent in 46 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds while averaging 15.5 minutes a game.
Thursday: Portland Trail Blazers pick up Eric Maynor
Maynor is coming off major knee surgery and had fallen out of Oklahoma City’s rotation. The 2009 first-round draft pick averaged 2.8 points in 37 games this season and will back up rookie Damian Lillard in Portland.
Thursday: Milwaukee Bucks get J.J. Redick in six-player swap
The Milwaukee Bucks added shooting guard J.J. Redick in a six-player trade with the Orlando Magic on Thursday, according to ESPN.com.
Redick is having the best year of his seven-year career this season, averaging a career-high 15.1 points on career-best 45 percent shooting. He will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
Orlando adds a pair of young players. Lamb is a rookie and Harris is in just his second year. Udrih, meanwhile, gives the Magic a veteran backup to point guard Jameer Nelson.