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Tag:Atlanta Hawks
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Trade Deadline: Teams looking to make a move

Dwight Howard faces the most uncertain trade deadline of his career. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The winds are filled with whispers and disinformation. Fans are rattling trade machines and scouring salary lists. And most of the players in the league have a heightened anxiety while telling everyone they're oblivious to what's going on.

It's trade season.

With the deadline a week away, talks are ramping up, and while this is the most difficult trade deadline in years to predict in the way of volume of deals, the chatter is going to be the same as ever. Teams are at the point in the season where it's time to either head in a different direction, try and get over the hump, move towards the future, add that final piece, blow the whole thing up, or try and stay the course.

Some teams are above the fray. The rest will be on the phone. And some desperately need to get a deal done in the next seven days. With that, we present the Deadline Urgent Care Report, for teams that need to make a move now. It's time to trade or get off the block.


1. Orlando Magic: There's so much going on with this situation that no one really wants to talk about. It gets boiled down to a handful of narratives. "You have to rebuild if you're going to lose Dwight Howard." "You don't trade Dwight Howard until you absolutely have to." "You can't make decisions based on emotions." "Who really wants to rebuild around Brook Lopez?"

There's so much more going on. The health of their owner. Dwight's complex relationship with the city, with ownership, with Otis Smith, with Stan Van Gundy. To be sure, there's an impression given that Howard thinks he's beyond all of them at this stage in his career. But there's part of him that knows Smith took a chance on him. He knows Stan Van Gundy helped make him into the Defensive Player of the Year that he is. He knows Orlando has embraced him. This isn't an easy scenario in back and white lines.

But the reality remains. The Magic have to trade Howard if he is unable to give them a solid indication he wants to stay. Yes, Cleveland has rebuilt well without trading LeBron James. But it's less about what you get in return than it is about clearing space. Letting Howard go in free agency means you have a terrible team that's expensive. Trading him means the possibility of moving Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, or Glen Davis to alleviate the contract situation.

The Magic need to be looking to the future, trying to pull in as many young viable could-be-stars as possible, not bringing in veterans with large contracts or injury issues. They need to scrap it and start over. It's the quickest and most logical way back to title contention. Currently the odds are a pick 'em for if they'll trade him or not. At some point, despite how complicated the situation is, you have to move forward. Otherwise you're not saving yourself, you're just waiting to die.

Targets: Distributing wing creator, point guard upgrade.
Movable assets: Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson


2. Los Angeles Lakers
: It's pretty simple stuff, really. This team, as constructed, will most likey win a title. They can, but they probably will not. And that is not how the Los Angeles Lakers operate. They have movable stars, are willing to take on salary, and are in need of a face-saving move to try and redeem the decisions of the front office.

The trick for the Lakers is determining trade value. Pau Gasol was thought of as the best big man in basketball a year and a half ago. Now, he's a sidekick delicate shooter who fell apart in the playoffs. Andrew Bynum was a project with upside who you could still rationalize moving for something less than elite return. Now he's an All-Star who finally looks healthy. Do you see the problem? Gasol is better than his current value will allow in return and Bynum's current value is so high as to make it difficult to net equal return.

Furthermore, they need a star to put next to Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard is there, but that situation has been temperamental. And it doesn't address their issues. A trade for Howard means they still have weaknesses at point guard and small forward. If the Lakers are going to do a deal, they need to pull in other teams to get some auxiliary talent back.

Targets: Dominant superstar option B, point guard upgrade, small forward who can hit water falling out of a boat.
Movable assets: Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (?), Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes.


3. Boston Celtics:
It's. Over.

The run was good. It wasn't great, just one championship, two Finals, and for a collection of Hall of Famers, it's disappointing. But the reality remains, it's time for Boston to move on. Every indication is that Danny Ainge isn't looking to try and win a title this year through trade. He's aiming for down the line. The idea is to be in a position to make a big move should one come available, not try an force one with the older players currently on roster.

And still, a change is needed. They can definitely re-stock in free agency when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett's deals come off the books. But considering the value of both players, it would make sense to shop either or both in an attempt to get something of value now. Again, the idea is not to find players to win a title now, since they're not in that position. But to get players that will have value later to then move for those big pieces.

And then there's Rondo.

The enigmatic, temperamental shrouded in mystery and a faint air of disgust who drops triple-doubles to boggle the mind continues to be at the center of the Celtics' uncertainty. The Celtics took to the offensive last week to shoot down rumors they were looking at moving Rondo. But he's been discussed as a potential trade target for far longer than the past two weeks. Rondo has trouble scoring efficiently. He also possesses arguably the best vision of any point guard in the league, including Chris Paul. Can you build around him? Is his success a product of playing with three Hall of Famers? Is he limited by the Celtics' pace and lack of speed? The questions about Rondo have implications beyond whether to trade him or not. They also deal with how to build a team around him going forward if they don't trade him.

Targets: Versatile wings, on-ball creators, anything resembling a legitimate center.
Movable assets: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (?), Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal (expiring contract).


4. Atlanta Hawks:
Josh Smith still wants out. The roster is stale. Marvin Williams is movable, finally. Jeff Teague makes Kirk Hinrich expendable. There's every reason for the Hawks to be big players at the deadline, but as always, their ownership situation makes things complicated. Still, the Hawks have repeatedly made moves at the deadline over the years and Smith should get a high amount of offers.

Targets: Clearing salary, legitimate center, back-up scoring guard.
Movable assets: Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson.


5. Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors' new ownership has made big noise about change and bringing in stars, changing the culture. Instead they're largely the same team they have been for the past few years. They want to make a big splash. They have all the components to do so, it just matters how desperate they are. Expiring contracts, young stars on good contracts, versatility and depth. They have everything but a good roster. Fixing it will take more than a quick fix, but if they want to make a splash, the time is now.

Targets: Legitimate star, legitimate center, defensive backcourt and frontcourt upgrades.
Movable assets: Literally every player on roster.


6. Milwaukee Bucks:
Stephen Jackson has a huge contract, a bad attitude and a declining skill set. So clearly the market should be strong for him. The Bucks have wandered into no-man's land, not bad enough to land a star in the lottery, not good enough to make progress. But how do you remake a roster like this with a very specific outline for a blueprint? Brandon Jenning is the franchise player... is that a good thing? If Andrew Bogut can stay healthy they're a force... can he? They have depth that plays exceptionally well, is it worth selling high on them? It's a complex situation in Milwaukee.

Targets: Scoring, versatility, multi-dimensional impact.
Movable assets: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Brandon Jennings (?), Andrew Bogut (?), Stephen Jackson.


7. New Jersey Nets:
They can wait on Dwight. But that's the kind of gamble that puts the fear of God in you. It's like telling your spouse, "Don't worry, honey. I've lost our car, our couch, our refrigerator, our bed and our life savings the last five times I've tried this gamble, but this time it's going to be different!" Nets supporters often point out that Billy King has made a number of four and five team trades. What they do not mention is how seldom his teams have gotten the better end of those deals. Not that his teams come out worse. But it's not like we're dealing with a stellar record.

The Nets have young players, but they're not very good. It's unlikely they'll panic should Howard stay put in Orlando, but it's going to make them break out the scotch. Expect their phone lines to be busy for the next week.

Targets: Dwight Howard. Pieces necessary to get Dwight Howard.
Movable assets: Anyone but Deron Williams.


8. Houston Rockets:
The Rockets are where they always are. Trying to get a star and building up assets to get a star they can never seem to land which makes them build up more assets to try and get a star. It's like an M.C. Escher painting.

Targets: Superstar to build around, low-post scorer.
Movable assets: Anyone for the right price.
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:56 pm
 

Report: Josh Smith requests trade from Hawks

Is Josh Smith headed out of Atlanta? (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has only known one home during his NBA career. And he's sick of it.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Smith has requested a trade from the Hawks.
Even as Josh Smith is having a strong season for the Hawks he has let the team know he wants to be traded as the March 15 deadline approaches, according to people with knowledge of Smith’s thinking.

And the reasons for Smith’s dissatisfaction with the team now have to make the Hawks wonder if they will be able to sign him to a contract extension next season.
The paper reports that Smith's grievances include being under a microscope, not getting enough organizational support for his All-Star bid and a belief that Atlanta doesn't have what it takes to compete for a championship. Smith would not comment on the report when offered the opportunity.

Smith, 26, is averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals per game this season. He was an obvious All-Star snub this year. According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Smith is on the books for $12.4 million this season and $13.2 million next season.

That Smith is making noise with the trade deadline coming up next week is absolutely no surprise. He's been a regular on the rumor mill for years. Contract-wise, it's never made more sense for Smith to move. A team trading for him gets to add a versatile, hyper-talented 2-way player to their rotation in time for the playoffs with a test season next year to see if he acclimates to the new situation. There's no immediate pressure on the team side to keep him happy and there's no risk that he leaves for somewhere else in free agency this summer with the extra year on his deal. What's more, teams aren't trading into a contract they could come to regret. Smith is every bit of his cap number and we're talking about 1.5 years of paying him big money, rather than 3.5 or 4.5.

This all boils down to whether Atlanta has finally had enough and/or if they are able to find a way to offload him in a way that saves sufficient money to justify the loss. Even a disgruntled Smith is a major asset for the Hawks and there's a strong argument that he's Atlanta's best player, especially with Al Horford sidelined due to injury. You can understand why they would proceed with caution or delay the move as long as possible.

On balance, this just doesn't seem like an urgent situation from Atlanta's viewpoint, even if Smith really is itching to get out of town.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Report: The Warriors have spoken to everyone

By Matt Moore

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Warriors have spoken with about half the league regarding trades to be made at the deadline. It's a pretty leaky faucet the Warriors have somewhere. Among the remarks, the Chronicle reports the Warriors spoke with the Hawks about trading for their All-Star, Joe Johnson
Atlanta: The Warriors think they could get Joe Johnson but feel he's a more expensive and possibly inferior player to Monta Ellis. They'd like Josh Smith, but they haven't found the Hawks willing to part with the forward.
via Considering the Warriors' trade possibilities.

This is the first time a substnative rumor regarding the Hawks being open to Johnson has surfaced. Johnson is in the second year of a six-year max deal which was panned by essentially everyone at the time. Johnson is a six-time All-Star, but his field goal percentage has dropped to 42 percent this season along with his assists and asssist rates, as well as his rebound rates.

But there's a hitch here. While Ellis is only shooting a better and is a much better assist creator, Johnson is a far superior defensive player. With Mark Jackson's committment to improving defense on the Warriors, Johnson might be a better fit as the primary scoring weapon for the Warriors in a volume shooting capacity. The Hawks, on the other hand would be be getting a gift if the Warriors took Johnson. It clears their books, gives them an offensive threat to respond with and possibly move again. 

Johnson is the star of the franchise, but Al Horford was also given a huge extension last year and something has to be figured out with Josh Smith as well as Jeff Teague

The Hawks will likely make the asking price too high, but it's interesting the Warriors have gone down that path at all.  
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:59 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:04 pm
 

Celtics eyeing Josh Smith?

Could Smith be shipping up to Boston soon? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Any day now. Any day, we're going to all be talking about the big trade the Celtics just made. Because there's just too much smoke for there not to be a fire.

There's the Rajon Rondo stuff, which is complicated. But there's also been chatter about the Celtics shopping their other core members. Including this from the New York Daily News:
"Ainge is trying to land Atlanta's Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. Rajon Rondo might be leaving, too, with the Lakers and Utah seen as possible destinations."
Two deals there are interesting: 1) Rondo for Smith straight up. The Celtics get a younger player to be a cornerstone for the future inside, while the Hawks get what they desperately need, a point guard to orchestrate the offense.

And 2) Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen for Smith, Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia.  The Celtics cut ties with their core and bring in a completely capable power forward to replace Garnett, while the Hawks, a team stuck in neutral, get Garnett and Allen giving them the chance to maybe make an actual run for once. While at the same time opening up some cap flexibility in the future.

Did I just spend 20 minutes playing with the Trade Machine to come up with those? Yes, yes I did.

Point is, the Celtics are looking at maybe shaking everything up. It's hard to see them moving Paul Pierce as he's been a part of that organization for so long as still appears to have good years left, but it might be time to finally break away from Ubuntu and start making moves. Because this Celtics team isn't winning anything any time soon. Heck, it's a question as to if they're making the playoffs right now.

Ainge tried to get younger in acquiring Jeff Green lasts season, but obviously that backfired. And he's certainly looking at doing the same this year too. He doesn't want to go through a total rebuild, not after all these good years. He wants to restock and retool the team by grabbing some young talent. And the only way to do that is to rip the bandaid right off and make a tough call on your key players.

Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:20 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Rajon Rondo named East All-Star replacement

Rajon Rondo is headed to Orlando. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been named as an injury replacement for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, according to the Boston Globe and Celtics Radio. The NBA confirmed the selection on Wednesday afternoon. 

Rondo will replace Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson, who was diagnosed with tendinitis in his left knee and is sitting out two games this week, in this Sunday's All-Star Game at Amway Center in Orlando.

He will join an Eastern Conference roster that includes starters Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, plus reserves Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Luol Deng and Andre Iguodala.

Johnson is the game's first and only injury scratch so far.

Rondo, 26, is averaging 14.8 points, 9.5 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 37.0 minutes per game. He's played in just 22 games this season though, which is what led to his snubbing in the first place. This will be Rondo's third consecutive All-Star appearance.

Earlier this week, Rondo was suspended two games for throwing a basketball at an official, which earned him an ejection.

According to the Associated Press, Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked: "When you get named to the All-star, you should take one game of suspension away."
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:25 pm
 

Marvin Williams 'vehemently' denies trade rumor

Posted by Royce Young

Through the team's PR person, Atlanta Hawks forward Marvin Williams had denied making a trade request from the team. That's in reference to an ESPN.com report that said he was wanting to get away from the team because of playing time issues and a lack of participation in the offense.

Via Hawks PR guy Arthur Triche's Twitter:
The #Hawks just landed in NYC and had a convo with a very disappointed Marvin Williams, who while attending the funeral of a family friend, had to hear about his “reported” trade request. He vehemently denies ever asking for a trade and said, “you know that’s not me”.
There's obviously a difference between formally asking for a trade -- which the report did not say -- and just being frustrated with your role and indicating that you'd prefer a bigger role or a way out. Williams could've communicated his frustration to his agent or someone else which was then communicated along as "he wants out."

I don't think Williams would vehemently deny being frustrated with his position and participation in the team's offense though. He's averaging career-low minutes and the lowest point per game average since his rookie season. And this is with the Hawks being extremely banged up.

Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 12:32 pm
 

Joe Johnson to miss All-Star Game with tendinitis

Joe Johnson will undergo an MRI on his knee. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver 

UPDATE: Johnson's MRI revealed left knee tendinitis and he will miss Atlanta's next two games and will also sit out the All-Star Game.

---

It looks like Joe Johnson's All-Star break will be a little bit longer than expected.

The Atlanta Hawks announced that Johnson will miss his team's remaining games this week to return to Atlanta to undergo an MRI on his left knee. Johnson left a Monday loss to the Chicago Bulls in the third quarter after injuring the knee.

Johnson, selected to his sixth straight All-Star Game this year, will not play as the Hawks travel to New York to play the Knicks on Wednesday and then a home game against the Orlando Magic on Thursday.

His status for Sunday's All-Star Game in Orlando is currently unknown. Most players in this situation would play it "better safe than sorry." He is Atlanta's only All-Star representative.

Johnson, 30, is averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 35.8 minutes per game this season. He had appeared in every game for the Hawks this season. 

The Hawks are currently sitting in third place in the Southeast Division and sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 19-13.

Johnson signed a 6-year, $123 million contract with the Hawks in July 2010, a deal that runs through the 2015-2016 season.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:55 pm
 

Report: Marvin Williams wants out of Atlanta

 Time could be running out for Marvin Williams in Atlanta. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Marvin Williams' fate in Atlanta was pretty much doomed from the start. After the Hawks picked him ahead of Chris Paul (and Deron Williams) in 2005, he had the uphill battle to fight in justifying that pick. Unfortunately, he never really has been able to.

And his time with the Hawks might finally be coming to an end. Via ESPN.com:
Frustration abounds in Atlanta right now, and sources say Marvin Williams wants out because he wants to play somewhere where he'll have an increased role offensively. Williams is averaging just 9.6 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season.
Williams has never been a true "bust" or even anything close to that. But he's the guy Atlanta took ahead of CP3 and he's always had to deal with that disappointment. He's been a good rotation player on a perennial Eastern playoff team and with his versaility, has filled multiple roles at one time.

But even with Al Horford out with an injury, Williams hasn't been able to truly find his place. He's a classic tweener -- too small for the 4, but not quite a true 3 -- and because of that hasn't been able to produce at the level most expected him to out of North Carolina.

Williams minutes are down to just 24.2 a game (the lowest in his career) and he's slowly getting squeezed out of the rotation with the Hawks. He's taking fewer shots, scoring less and doesn't playing a prominant role despite starting all 28 games he's played in.

The Hawks could use some more interior help and with Josh Smith having a terrific season, maybe there's a little bit of space to shop Williams. Tracy McGrady wants more playing time too so maybe there's a common ground to be found. Ship out Williams and hand over a bigger role to McGrady.

Williams is signed through 2014 with the Hawks paying him $7.5 million a year. That's not a horrible contract and it would be something the Hawks wouldn't mind clearing off the books either.

Nobody's happy in Atlanta right now, it seems. McGrady just got finished saying he wants more time and now Marvin Williams wants to be traded. Good times, Hawks. Good times.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com