Today's installment of Better Know An Opponent focuses on the Detroit Pistons. Let's take a look.... MORE →
The Nets will likely not make any deal at all if they're unable to swing a major trade for Smith, which appears more and more likely as the 3 P.M. trade deadline inches closer.
The Brooklyn Nets' offer of Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and a first-round draft pick or Bojan Bogdanovic does not appear to have the enticing flavor that Hawks GM Danny Ferry is looking for in rebuilding his team without Smith. If anything, it appears the Hawks used the Nets deal as leverage to get other teams to up their offers for the forward. (The leverage with a deal like that can only go so far.)
Humphries' contract - $12 million per year -- is the Nets' biggest trade asset at this point, but its value is severely tempered, as it expires next year rather than this year.
Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
The Nets are trying to make a deal for (Josh) Smith, too, and have offered Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and either a future first-round pick or the draft rights to Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic, sources said.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports later followed up the report, noting that the Nets would almost assuredly have to acquire Smith before this year's trade deadline, as they'd have to move significant salary to fit under the luxury tax apron required to complete a sign-and-trade under the new collective bargaining agreement. Berger added that the "deadlock" between what the Hawks want (youth, draft picks) and what teams are offering (long-term salary) may push the odds slightly in Brooklyn's favor.
As I noted earlier, it'll be increasingly difficult for the Nets to pull off a deal for Smith, especially considering their lack of assets.
The Atlanta Hawks have made it no secret that forward Josh Smith is available, and the Brooklyn Nets, with a dearth of starting-level talent at the power forward position and a GM that's no stranger to making moves, have either entered themselves or been entered by default into the conversation of teams looking to acquire him.
Nets fans have been through this before... MORE →
Move over, Melodrama! Sit down, Dwightmare! Here comes the... Smoovement? The Smoove Move? Smoove Takeoff? Josh Kibosh? J-Moove? Okay, maybe this needs work.
After earlier reports from ESPN's Chris Broussard that the Brooklyn Nets were interested in acquiring Josh Smith, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and ESPN's Marc Stein both confirm the Nets' interest hasn't waned. Wojnarowski calls the Nets "solely focused" on completing a deal for the Hawks forward. Stein reports that one team "close to the situation" (please help me figure out what that means) predicts Smith will end up in a Brooklyn Nets uniform before Thursday's 3 P.M. trade deadline.
It's still not clear just what the Nets would deal to acquire Smith -- a third team would most likely have to get involved, and Nets GM Billy King has only completed one multi-team trade since joining the franchise, netting the Nets Troy Murphy in a four-team deal at the beginning of his tenure. Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks remain the Nets' strongest trade pieces, which isn't the type of package you'd expect Atlanta to jump for. Along with draft picks, the Nets could sweeten the pot with the rights to Eurostashes Bojan Bogdanovic & Ilkan Karaman, but that still doesn't seem like enough. "Interest" and "hard push" are just buzzwords unless the Nets can find assets appealing enough to interest Atlanta.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst adds that the Hawks are not interested in Kris Humphries, nor are multiple teams the Nets are trying to rope into a multi-team trade.
There are 52 hours until the trade deadline.
The Brooklyn Nets offered forward Kris Humphries and guard MarShon Brooks to the Atlanta Hawks for power forward Josh Smith, according to a report from the New York Daily News. The Hawks rejected the offer. The Nets, seeing that they likely don't have the assets to acquire Josh Smith, have instead re-focused on Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap in an effort to fill their power forward hole.
The 6'8" Millsap has averaged 14.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 30.3 minutes per game this season, shooting 48.6% from the field. His PER of 20.6 ranks third among qualified power forwards, behind just Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin.
Utah Jazz Vice President of Basketball Operations & former G.M. Kevin O'Connor and Nets G.M. Billy King are no strangers to a deal -- they orchestrated the deal in February 2011 that brought Deron Williams to the then-New Jersey Nets after King had struck out in his quest to acquire Carmelo Anthony.
Read More: New York Daily News -- Josh Smith, Ben Gordon unlikely to end up with Brooklyn Nets, who shift focus on Utah Jazz forward Paul Millsap
Or; Giving You An Idea Of How Ridiculous The Josh Smith Nets Trade Ideas Are
I'm notoriously bad with ESPN's Trade Machine. Or maybe I'm really good. I honestly don't know because I have a tendency to think that every potential rumored trade is ridiculous, lopsided, or just never going to happen. I second-guess everything constantly because I never believe it's actually going down. That's why when I heard the rumor that the Brooklyn Nets were making a hard push" for Josh Smith, I poo-poo'd it; how in the hell are they going to make that happen? They don't have nearly the assets necessary, I argued. It's just not possible.
But, this is the NBA. Weird trades and stupid signings happen all the time for reasons that remain unclear. I thought that Joe Johnson's contract was untradable. I thought Rashard Lewis was untradable. I thought the Knicks would match up to a billion dollars for Jeremy Lin. I thought the Nets would never end up getting Dwight Howard... Okay, so I was right once. Point being, I always err on the side of trade caution, and so rarely come up with deals I'm comfortable with.
So in lieu of sitting at the Trade Machine for four hours trying to concoct a perfectly balanced three-team trade where everyone can go home ecstatic (I've done this before far more times than I care to admit), I decided to call on you, the amateur Mozarts, to put together your best Josh Smith trade proposals that end with Smith on the Brooklyn Nets. And you guys delivered: about fifty trade proposals in my twitter mentions in 15 minutes. I've highlighted a few that I think deserve comment in the following sections.
Now, I'd like to preface this by saying I personally think all of these are mildly ridiculous -- especially the Wall of Shame, which I saved for last. But given my track record, that's probably a good sign that Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry considers at least one of them mildly plausible. This is where amazing happens, right?
Smith, one of the more athletic players in the league, would fill an immediate need for Brooklyn -- its serious dearth of athleticism and lack of a starting-quality power forward. Nonetheless, Smith is in the midst of a down season, averaging 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on 45.1% shooting from the field. He is producing 94 points per 100 possessions, easily a career-worst, has his highest turnover rate in five years, and shooting more three-pointers than at any point in his career despite a pedestrian 32.4% rate from outside.
Still, there's no question that Smith has the potential to be one of the league's best power forwards, which is what makes him such an attractive option. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, though any team that signs him will have the ability to give him one extra year and roughly $25 million more than any other suitor.
It's unclear what assets the Nets could possibly give up for Smith -- Kris Humphries makes roughly the same amount, but has a contract one year longer and is hardly an asset strong enough that you'd imagine the Hawks would pull the trigger, even with draft picks and prospects attached. Broussard did not mention any potential assets the Nets could use to acquire Smith.
Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry and Nets GM Billy King, both Duke graduates, are friends, and orchestrated the trade over the summer that brought Joe Johnson to the Atlanta Hawks for Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, Jordan Farmar, DeShawn Stevenson, and draft picks.
UPDATE: From Broussard's story on ESPN.com:
The Nets are willing to give up Humphries and second-year shooting guard MarShon Brooks for Smith. But it almost certainly will take more than a Humphries-Brooks combination to pry Smith away from Atlanta, and one source said the Hawks want Brooklyn's first-round pick.
Some scenarios that have been discussed include the Hawks' Anthony Morrow, who played the past two seasons with the Nets, returning to the club.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported Saturday that the Hawks want a young center in return for Smith.
The Nets may have to get a third team involved to pull off a trade for Smith.
Regardless of what the ESPN story says, the Nets could not take Morrow back in any deal, due to a clause in the CBA that states a player cannot be traded back to a team within one year of that team trading him away.
Read More: ESPN -- Sources: Nets covet Josh Smith
Recently, Brooklyn Nets fans have clamored to fill what seems like the team's #1 weakness: the need for a power forward/big man that can defend and score. As endearing as Reggie Evans' beard is, his lack of an offensive game has begun to wear on some folks, and it's clear he's best suited coming off the bench to provide energy in the second unit. Mirza Teletovic & Kris Humphries both have had hot & cold stretches all season.
But it isn't that easy. Nets GM Billy King can't just pick a great power forward off the Great Power Forward Tree, and boom, all the problems are fixed and the Nets cruise their way to championship behind their big man tandem of Brook Lopez and Great Power Forward. But similarly, there's no question that there are big men out there that the Nets can at least make a phone call about.
So we're going roundtable-style at The Brooklyn Game: our writers & analysts look at five potentially available power forwards (and the one center that we have to look at, because, well, we have to), how they fit with Brooklyn, and how realistic an acquisition is.
Thankfully, Brook Lopez and the Brooklyn Nets won the war. But Josh Smith won this battle. Ouch.
This is a big break for Brooklyn, as the athletic Smith poses a significant problem for the Nets inside. Smith is averaging 16.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 34.8 minutes per game, second on the team in PER. He is, however, posting one of the most inefficient years of his career shooting the ball, with a career-low in true shooting percentage and free throws made and attempted per game.
It is unclear who will start in Smith's place, though it will likely be backup center Zaza Pachulia.