Who will be traded next? NBA A-Z
by Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Each Friday, NBA A-Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt will take on a topic or topics from around the league to discuss. This week, they take on questions about the multi-team trade and look ahead to who might next be traded.
1. There was a big trade made this week that we’ll get to in a minute, but first, what is the next big move to be made?
Amick: There’s already smoke surrounding Josh Smith in Atlanta, and there may very well be fire in the form of a trade by the time the Feb. 21 deadline rolls around. It’s been that way for quite some time for Smith, the nine-year veteran/lifelong Hawk/free-agent-to-be who reportedly requested a trade as the deadline neared a year ago.
Smith came under fire two weeks ago, as he was suspended one game by the team for conduct detrimental to the team because of an undisclosed incident in practice. Still, he’s an All-Star caliber talent who will attract even more interest in the coming weeks (although I’m told the report of Phoenix pursuing Smith is not accurate at this time). Smith let it be known recently that he sees himself as a max player, and that sort of plan isn’t likely to mesh with the more economically efficient ways of the new Hawks management under general manager Danny Ferry.
Zillgitt: Several names will continue to pop up – Josh Smith, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, J.J. Redick, Monta Ellis, Al Jefferson, Richard Hamilton.
Even before the Hawks suspended Josh Smith on Jan. 16, word had leaked that Smith had become unhappy in Atlanta and began considering playing elsewhere. He’s the top candidate.
But don’t rule out Pau Gasol. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak knows how to execute a big deal, and the season-ending back injury to Celtics rookie forward Jared Sullinger makes the Boston an even more active in trade talks.
2. What’s your assessment of the deal this week that featured Rudy Gay going to the Toronto Raptors, Jose Calderon going to the Detroit Pistons and Tayshaun Prince going to the Memphis Grizzlies?
Amick:I gave my assessment of the Memphis side … [For more on Who will be traded next? NBA A-Z, click here.]