We’ve had about three years of Josh Smith rumors lingering around the Boston Celtics and despite a lack of assets for Boston at this trade deadline, they are showing no signs of slowing down this year. The latest report comes from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Still many involved for Atlanta’s Josh Smith, including Bucks, Nets, Celtics, 76ers, Wizards, others, sources say. Strong belief he’s moved.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 17, 2013
This tidbit comes as a follow up to yesterday’s report in which Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times mentioned many of the same suitors of Smith, including the C’s:
I’ve heard for a few weeks now that Boston is salivating over Atlanta forward Josh Smith and would be receptive to unloading Brandon Bass and Jeff Green to obtain him.
It’s no secret Brooklyn wouldn’t mind Smith, either. The Nets, some league officials insist, apparently are offering forward Kris Humphries and swingman MarShon Brooks.
One team that hasn’t been publicly mentioned in the Smith Sweepstakes is Milwaukee, although there are whispers the Bucks are interested. The Bucks are in position to offer the Hawks as good of a deal as anyone for Smith, especially if Jennings or Ellis is involved. Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, whom the Nets seriously courted during free agency last summer and are still interested in, could also come into play.
While just weeks ago, any offer of Jeff Green and Brandon Bass may have seemed to be a laughable offer for Smith, things have changed just a bit in the last month.Green has started to round into form, showing the kind of offensive spark that made Danny Ainge so convinced he needed to throw big money at the hybrid forward this past offseason. Bass has started to shake out of his shooting slump as well, proving his three-year contract to be not exactly an asset, but not a major hindrance to any deal either.
With that said, there’s probably no way the Hawks accept that rumored offer of both players for Smith. The other reported teams involved in talks have better assets, plain and simple. If Ainge were to sweeten the deal, say with a first round pick, that might get Danny Ferry’s attention, but even that might not be enough. The C’s could also try to be a facilitator in a deal for Smith for deal as well, trying to poach a useful body from Atlanta or another team while including a player like Bass to help get Smith to his final destination.
Ultimately, given the pieces Boston has to work with and their salary cap limitations, it’s much more likely than not that Boston will be sitting any major deal like this out when all is said and done. For the time being though, Ainge will continue to work the phones though, exploring any and every potential possibility to improve this C’s squad in the short and long term.