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Celtics Are Still Interested in Josh Smith

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:

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.


  • Brandon

    I honestly love Josh Smith, but something about the way Green has been playing makes me nervous. Also who would back up pierce?

    • FaceMask134

      I get what you're saying, since our small forward depth would become extremely thin without Jeff, but getting a talent like Josh Smith in exchange for Bass and Green is too good to pass up.

      This is a double-edged sword though. On one hand, you get rid of Green's unfavorable contract. However, Smith will be commanding a LOT of money in an extension – maybe more than he's really worth – so its really a toss up. Not to mention, what kind of effect would this have on team chemistry after stringing together an 8-1 run?

    • Josh Smith Hater

      NO Josh Smith NO. I cant stand this guy he would help this year but after that It would be down hill.

    • Myself

      Josh smith is better, get rid of Bass and Green is good but he is overpaid right now, Josh will be worth the money. Besides Green is inconsistent, why do you think OKC agreed to trade him for Perk?

  • Sean

    Probably Kris Joseph, he re-signed with the Maine Red Claws after being released so my guess is that they’d recall him to add depth behind Pierce unless they got a depth body in trade as well

  • Michael

    I would rather send RR and Bass(maybe a draft pick too, we have a lot for 2nd rounds) to atlanta for Jeff Teague and Horford
    That will make us a much better team.
    RR and JS are two of the best stats brushers, sorry to say(along with Love etc.)
    Also, so we don't want to sign JS's max contract do we? That will be the worst trash contract 3 years later

    • dslack

      Come on, Atlanta's not trading away Horford, certainly not for an injured Rondo.

  • Banner18HereWeCome

    How do you know that Josh Smith is not intentionally asking for a max contract so he can get out of atlanta?

    If he wants to come to Boston so much, I refuse to believe that he will ask for a max contract and look for his own money despite knowing the team’s status and the need for money to sign enough talent for banner 18.

    I don’t see him demanding a max contract from a team he loves and who is in need of money.

    • dslack

      What makes you certain that Boston is "a team he loves:?

  • Phil725

    I like how the one piece says that the Celtics would 'be receptive' to moving Bass and Green. Would they be willing to throw in a second round pick too, or is that giving up too much? I'd give Bass and Green away to anyone who would take them, and so would the Celtics (any takers?… didn't think so.) The Cs aren't getting someone of value for that package, sorry to crush everyone's dreams, they have no value – contracts count. To further bury this, the Hawks just managed to clear their cap in an attempt to get out of 4 seed purgatory. The last thing they want is to take on long term deals of players that won't help them get over that hump. Danny Ferry's not dumb enough to fall on the 50m still owed to those two. Maybe Otis Smith will get a job somewhere soon.

    If this was a video game where you could force any unrealistic trade through, I'm still not big on Smith long term. I'd love him this year along KG and Pierce. I'd also dislike him a lot as a max player with no KG and Pierce. You're not going anywhere with Rondo and an aging Smith taking up your entire cap. Letting him walk would clear a lot of money long term though. I wouldn't be willing to throw Bradley and a 1st or something like that in to do it though, and that's what it would take.

  • Sophomore

    I really don't understand the appeal of Smith, especially for the Celtics.

    He's a below average offensive player. That's not his rep, because he occasionally makes highlight drives to the bucket, but look at his stats. This year his true shooting percentage is lower than any starting Celtic, including Brandon Bass! His offensive game consists mostly of ill-advised jump shots, he hits a low percentage, and he doesn't get to the line enough to make up for it. This is not the guy to add to a team that already has trouble scoring.

    If you really want a migraine, have a look at his playoff stats. He has disappeared, again and again, in big games. This is NOT the guy you want if you're looking for a banner.

    • Jermichael

      Don't mean to be a stickler but his shooting % is higher than every celtic starter besides KG

      • Sophomore

        True shooting is what you should look at, because it takes into account points per attempt. If a player shoots 40% from beyond the 3 point line, he's a solid scorer; if he shoot 40% from the lane, he's not. And if someone like Paul Pierce gets fouled a lot and converts, that doesn't help his shooting percentage but it sure does make him a scorer. Raw %age is misleading.

        Here's J Smith's TS% for the past two years: .495, .499. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/smi
        That's not impressive, but what he's done in the playoffs the past two years is hideous:.432, 451..

        Here's Brandon Bass over this year and last: .501, 524. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bas
        What does this mean? Give Bass and Smith 100 shot attempts and you'll get more points from Bass.

        For comparison, here are the Cs' scorers:

        Pierce: 567, 536. (These are falloffs for Pierce, by the way. He's at .567 career, and his best seasons were around .62). http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/pie

        Garnett: 544, 550. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gar

        Hell, Rondo was at .516 this year when he went down, and you don't expect a PG to post a higher % than a 4.

    • The Cardinal

      Amen brother, amen.

    • celtic-in-exile

      Thank you very much. I've never liked Josh Smith's mediocre jump shot and poor judgment.

  • Jordan

    Don’t trade Jeff green! He’s our spark off the bench! He’s our backup for Paul pierce and look what he’s done for us. For example, the nuggets game, Jeff hit 2 clutch threes that led us overtime three times. If we have to trade two people it has to be leandro Barbosa and Brandon bass for josh smith.. Nobody else

    • Tyakack

      Barbosa and bass for smith? Stop talking. If you're going to get someone like smith you're not gonna do it by unloading your garbage to atlanta.

  • Smith-Celtics, Hawks-Millsap, and Jazz-Bass and 2nd roun pick from Hawks.

  • Kelte


    Celtics could also throw in their 2013 #1 pick instead of Fab Melo. They would also send money to ATL so that they can waive Barbosa. This gets ATL Bass on a decent contract as well as a veteran presence and shooter in Terry. Celtics take on Stevensons contract (but get a decent , if aging, 3 & D guy) and Josh Smith.

    If the deal were doable with Green and without taking on Stevenson: Great, but I doubt the Hawks are interested in Green's contract (and I sort of like him as a mismatch player).

  • Portceltic

    Smith immediately makes us much more dangerous this year, especially with Sully out, and with RR next year especially if KG doesn't retire.

    Always worry about his shot selection, but there's no denying he's one of the elite PF defenders in the league and there's no debate he's a better rebounder than Green or Bass, so you absolutely try to execute.

    Would likely need a third wheel to get it done, and Cleveland has some attributes to make things interesting. What helps our cause is Green's consistency is on an uptick. But Ferry is too smart to overpay for Green. On the other hand Cleveland has cap space and needs a starting SF.

    I think Bass alongside Horford would be palatable as Ferry stockpiles #1's. So a combination of Boston/Cleveland (protected) first rounders, Bass, Walton (expiring), and possibly Melo may hit Ferry's sweet spot. Would love somehow to get Korver for spacing, but that's asking a little too much.

  • KillerGymRat

    I personally don't see it as that impossible of a deal to make. And while I agree with a lot of what people said as far as Smith's downside offensively, and his tendency to shrink in big games. His addition would be for a win-now push with KG and PP and his undeniable upside is his rebounding and defense and athleticism.

    The assets offered by other teams aren't that spectacular. Humphries? Marshon Brooks? Are those two really that much better than Green and Bass? Brooks could develop to be a nice player, but Humphries is what he is which is a one-dimensional rebounder who isn't really a strong defender and is very much Bass-like in how he disappears for long stretches. Milwaulkee would be stupid to trade either Ellis or Jennings.

    The biggest factor not mentioned is Josh Smith has huge control over his destiny. He doesn't have to sign an extension when he is traded. So he can force the trade. Is Brooklyn going to sign him if he has made it clear he will test free agency anyway?

    Smith is great friends with Rondo, so that's a huge advantage we have.

    Atlanta is looking for a center so adding Fab Melo to Bass and Green while taking back a player like Stevenson could make it work. Atlanta is trading under the gun. They need to get the best assets possible because J-Smooth is walking for sure.

    I personally would love to see this deal go through. Shooting percentage is always a misleading number as it really depends on the offense being run, the players role in that offense, and the people they are surrounded by. Smith is the go-to guy and has very little offensive help with Lou Williams down. He wouldn't be forced to take as many bad shots in Boston. I mean look at James Harden's numbers this year. His points are way up (largely due to his minutes) but his shooting percentages are the worst of his career. You can expect that when you're paired up with Parsons and Lin and Asik. It really makes you look great when you get wide open looks off of the leagues best scorer and Westbrook.

    Come playoff time having KG, PP, and JS along with Bradley, Lee and Terry…we are definitely a role player or two away from tearing through the east. And the way Miami exposed OKC's offensive flaws the other day, we come out of the East, I really like our chances.

    Next year add Rondo to that mix and it's one of the best staring line-ups in the league. I agree that a Rondo/Smith lead team post KG and PP isn't really the dynamic duo to keep it going, but that's not what we need to be thinking about. KG and PP are giving us the rest of this season, and maybe one more. It's win-now time.

    • Morpheus

      Yeah, i think Smith's stats/TS% can be a bit misleading in the way they run their offense in ATL. He's not a go to guy on offense either as 1st or 2nd option, but he could really be a much more efficient scorer here in Boston, especially with Rondo.

      • Morpheus

        Although, his FT shooting is horrific.

    • embellishthelawnmower

      this entire comment was extremely well-written & i agree w/ every point you make. thank you.

    • Sophomore

      Interesting POV. The first-line defense could be very strong, and maybe – maybe – Smith would show up for big games if he felt less pressure (though it's like he was playing with chopped liver – Al Horford and Joe Johnson come to mind). But KG and PP can't run 40 every night, and wow, would we be thin on the bench.

      • KillerGymRat

        Good points Sophomore. As much as I like Horford and Johnson…you have to wonder if it's the culture at Altanta. By that I mean great players learn to be great and step up in big games by facing (and typically losing) to other great players, and also being surrounded by a winning culture.

        Atlanta never developed a winning culture. The point being that Smith could learn how to elevate his game from KG and PP (theoretically) and learn from Doc the level of play it takes to be a winner.

        Sadly, our bench is already thin. It's possible that we'd be trading 3 for 2. But since Melo won't play this season (or possibly much next year as well) it wouldn't really be that big a deal even if it was 3 for 1. If Smith puts up his typical numbers he's a huge plus over both Bass and Green combined totals in rebounding, blocks and steals, and just a slight bit lower in total offense and he's capable of playing 38 or more minutes a night and with his ball handling and passing he could spell both Pierce and KG playing the 3 through 5.

        Playoff time the rotations always shrink down to 8 or 9 players so we would be in pretty much the same position we are now…looking for 2 or 3 solid role players to slot in and give our core some breathers. If someone like Stevenson was added to the deal we would be in solid shape and IMO in better position then we are right now to attract guys for minimum contracts.

  • KillerGymRat

    Wow, just looked at Humphries contract. Yikes. He's making $12 million while putting up 6ppg and 6 rpg. And he's got another full year left.

    No way Atlanta is making that deal. And I thought Green had a bad contract.

    • Phil725

      It's all about years in the NBA. A team would rather have a guy making 12m over a year and a half over a guy making 5m over three and a half years, let alone 9m. Expiring contracts are a trade chip with any team that wants to dump salary like Jose Calderon's expiring for Rudy Gay this year. They also help complete other trades; part of the reason the Cs haven't been able to add anyone this year is that they don't have any big expirings. Teams like Washington will give you semi useful players like Okafor if you save them a year of money. The Cs can offer young pieces, but to get a proven player, you have to add salary to make the trade work. No team wants to give up a good player 'and' take back 3 years of Brandon Bass.

      The biggest problem is long term deals just cripple flexibility. The Cs can't do anything in free agency for 3 years at least. Humphries may already be an albatross, but he's semi valuable as a trade chip next year, and gone after that.

      • KillerGymRat

        I totally see your points, and that could be their thinking, but things are different with the new CBA and the luxury tax. And there really is no such thing as being crippled. Even teams with the worst contracts (Joe Johnson for example) have found a way to make moves.

        A contract like Humphries, while it does expire in a year, ties up a ton of cap space and he provides nothing of value anywhere close to that amount. Worst of all it could push you into the luxury tax. If his only value is an expiring contract why not just keep Smith and let him walk. You free up $13 M at the end of the season instead of having to wait a full season to dump Humphries. In that trade it would wind up just being for Brooks who isn't at all worth the downside of Humphries.

        I don't agree the 3 year deals are that toxic. Bass' is overpaid, but it's nowhere near as ridiculously as Humphries. You can put him on the floor and at least expect some decent production. While Green who is definitely overpaid, is actually a decent player. If Atlanta is looking to trade, they want assets, not immediate cap freedom (which again they would have by letting Smith walk).

        I personally think you add Bass, Green and Melo and/or a draft pick and you've at least gotten some pieces of value. Then they can try and flip Bass or even buy him out. It's easy to forget there are teams with such a lack of talent that Bass and Green would be the 2nd or third best players.

  • Sean

    If Josh Smith has made it clear he intends to test free agency and has already shown a strong interest in Boston, why would you trade away young assets now for him that we could keep? The only way a trade now makes sense is strictly to dump salary to support a high contract for Smith and perhaps some added cap space for additional flexibility in the future.

    • KillerGymRat

      Unfortunately, without a trade, the Celtics don't have any money to land a free agent. They would actually be over the cap so the only way to add to the roster would be through veteran minimum deals or mid-level exemptions

      Aka Smith might like Boston, but we couldn't pay him.

  • KillerGymRat

    Worth noting Green's contract is now listed at $8.4 million. Still overpaid, but apparently that rebound incentive is no longer being counted.

  • Trevor

    DO NOT trade Jeff Green! Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee and Fab Melo for Josh Smith

  • Jbrown

    See now why not trade “jet” and bass and possible second round pick for smith you know he will resign with the celts because of friendship with rondo seems like a great way to make a great young team rather than trading you young star rondo for an injury prone Howard that would just leave when free agent any way

  • James Patrick

    PLEASE!!!! make the trade!. Dump both those overpriced players. You'd probably be doing Green a favor. He was never a sub to begin with.

  • Noah

    I don't like Josh Smith. Trade for Milwaukees Ersan Llyasova, or for Jazz's Al Jefferson. He said in the offseason he would think about returning to Boston. That will give a great developing center and if we could tade for Ersan to we have a great sixth man, or piece could move to sg, Ersan at sf, Garnett at pf, and Jefferson at c and he will finally have some good bigs to go along with a good backcourt. This will give us security for when pierce and Garnett retire and giveaway a deep championship run right now.

    • Noah

      Al Jefferson for Jeff Green and the jet(that will be appealing because the jazz have trouble keeping guards)
      Ersan Llyasova for Brandon Bass and Collins, if we could find a way to get Dalembert here as backup center that would be good to

  • Fawad

    i don't get it! why does Danny want to add ANOTHER mercurial player to the team? Smith could be a 2nd LeBron if he worked on his game & brought the energy & effort on a nightly basis! he's got a LOT of potential but it's becoming more & more apparent that he's NOT gonna reach that level where his Bball-IQ matches his athleticism! his game is even more up-and-down than Rondo's & he not only seems moodier to me but also is not as locked in as Rondo come crunch-time! i'd rather stick w/ Green! Bass should've been shipped out for a bigger PF/C in the off-season!

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