The NBA trade deadline is less than 24 hours away, and the rumors are starting to pickup. Of the hundreds of rumors that have hit the rumor mill over the past couple weeks, only a select few will actually be completed.
Here are three trades that are likely to go down before Thursday’s deadline:
Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith finishes the shot during the Hawks game against the San Antonio Spurs on January 19, 2013 at the Philips Arena. (Photo Credit: Mark Runyon, Basketball Schedule)
The Bucks seem more than willing to trade Monta Ellis, who can use his early termination clause this offseason to opt out of his current contract. The Bucks presumed thinking is to get something for him while they can, as Ellis is likely to use his termination clause into effect, reports Gery Woelfel of the Racine-Jounal Times.
About a week ago, Chris Broussard of ESPN reported that the Hawks want a young center in exchange for Smith. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute isn’t a center, but perhaps Atlanta’s increased interest in Ellis, a guard, implies that they lowered their demands, meaning Mbah a Moute would probably suffice.
The offensive gap between Smith and Mbah a Moute is substantial, yes. And since Louis Williams went down in late January with a torn ACL, scoring has been a struggle, especially from the two-guard position (just 15.3 points per game from their shooting guards which is 27th in the NBA)
But Ellis, who’s 15th in the NBA in scoring) would replenish these shortcomings. His scoring habits do include some ill-advised shot attempts, but if he can supply the Hawks with 25 points nightly, they will gladly look away at his deficiencies.
The fact that the Hawks desperately want to jettison Smith from their roster, may force them to settle for a less appealing offer as the clock winds down.
J.J. Redick, wearing the Orlando Magic’s alternate black uniform in a game against the San Antonio Spurs. (Photo Credit: Mike, Flicker.Com)
All this jibber-jabber about Iman Shumpert being “untouchable” is preposterous. We’re talking about a player that averages 5.3 points in less than 20 minutes per game, and has a true shooting percentage of 43.5 percent.
Case in point: He’s not untouchable, and is far from that level. He might have the tools to become a star in the future, but the Knicks are looking to win now.
The fact that about half a dozen squads are overly-obsessed with Shumpert’s tools, give the Knicks all the more leverage in trade discussions. In turn, they could sell him off for a price higher than he’s actually worth, which could land them a piece that bolsters their championship hopes–J.J. Redick.
Redick is having a career-year, averaging 15.2 points per game and shooting 45.4 percent from downtown on six attempts per game. These stats can be misleading because Redick isn’t your traditional one-dimensional spot-up shooter. He can move without the ball, work off screens and take a couple dribbles to create space. Shooters are cheap, but hybrid shooters like Redick are rare.
In a system where three-point shooting is the underlining theme, Redick would feel right at home. The Knicks lead the NBA with 29 three-point attempts per game, and they shoot 38.1 percent on those attempts.
The Magic would net Shumpert, a piece they can build around, in return for Redick. Considering that Redick wants a 4-year, $40 million contract in free agency this offseason, the Magic probably aren’t willing to pay him that type of money, anyway.
Marcus Camby is a throw-in to make the financial matters work.
Andrea Bargnani dunk Toronto Raptors Miami Heat (Photo Credit: chensiyuan)
Blair is a free-agent this summer and his role in the Spurs’ rotation has decreased dramatically. In just 13.6 minutes per game, he’s averaging 5.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. His future in San Antonio looked bright after a solid 2010-11 season, but the Spurs appear ready to unload him while they can.
The Raptors also have a guy they want to move in Bargnani. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star reported that Toronto could wait until the summer to move Bargnani. Still, if an appealing offer comes along, it would be hard to imagine them passing it up.
Blair isn’t the type of addition that will put the Raptors over the top. He is a role player at best, but he showed in his first few years with the Spurs that he can be a very valuable role player. Perhaps a change of scenery would put him back on that path.
By acquiring Blair, Toronto wouldn’t be tied up in a long-term deal, as he’s a free-agent this summer. In other words, this trade would give the Raptors some financial relief.
Bargnani, like Blair, could thrive with a change of scenery. The Spurs do have a few players of his type–shooters—but there’s always room for more. Plus, Bargnani still has the tools to be a very capable offensive and defensive player in the NBA. It’s just that Toronto hasn’t been a good fit over the past couple years.
Like Marcus Camby, Stephen Jackson will make the money match up. Worse for him, he would join a crowded Raptors backcourt.