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NBA Trade Deadline Buzz 3.12.12: Josh Smith not denying trade request

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

It's the Monday before the trade deadline. Last year's Monday before trade deadline netted us a trade for Carmelo Anthony, followed by an out-of-the-blue trade of Deron Williams to New Jersey on Tuesday.

The forecast for this trade deadline is considerably cooler. But the talk will be the same as ever. Constant. Keep it right here throughout Monday for all the latest on NBA chatter as the deadline nears.

5 p.m.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has posted a big ol' update with several key components including:
  • Luke Ridnour is unlikely to be moved.
  • Emeka Okafor, same deal.
  • The Hawks appear to be standing pat, contrary to all reason and logic, per usual. Both Kirk Hinrich and Josh Smith, despite clearly not wanting to be there anymore, will likely be Hawks on Friday.
  • The Magic are "priming the pump" on Howard deals as the deadline approaches.

Elsewhere around the web:

2:00 p.m.

  • The Trail Blazers are in the market for a point guard and have been shopping Jamal Crawford to get one. According to NBA.com, a swap involving Crawford and D.J. Augustin could be on the horizon. "So, now, according to a source, there's a chance Crawford winds up with the Bobcats in a potential deal for guard D.J. Augustin. Augustin has played just fine this season, but he's expendable now that Kemba Walker is there."

12:30 p.m.

  • A report says the Lakers and Celtics have talked a Rajon Rondo deal. Chew on that bad boy for a second. The feeling is that the Celtics want Pau Gasol, but the Lakers are unwilling to give up Gasol for Rondo.
  • Ramon Sessions has seen his name in a number of deadline rumors, but he says he prefers to stay with the Cavs. "Yeah, I like what we have going on," Sessions told The Plain Dealer. "I like working with the Young Fella [Kyrie Irving]. The guys in here respect me a lot. I definitely like what we have going on."
  • The Lakers, among a few teams, are hot after a point guard and besides Sessions, Kirk Hinrich is a name that's out there. But he says he'd like to stay with the Hawks. "I like our team," Hinrich told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I feel like we can be a dangerous team come playoff time. I want to be a part of that."
  • Josh Smith isn't exactly denying that he asked to be dealt by the Hawks. "I'm here. I have one more left on my deal. We have to see what happens," Smith told reporters. "I just have to keep playing the way I'm capable of playing and keep doing what I'm doing and not worry about any outside distractions."
  • The Cavs also talked to the Bobcats about an Antawn Jamison trade, though that sounds unlikely to happen, reports FoxSports.com.

10:30 a.m.

  • ESPN LA reports that the Clippers are unlikely to make a move due to the price tag on the available shooting guards:

    "We're willing to do anything we can to move needle this year," Olshey said. "But unless it's piece for the future that also gives us to win a championship this year, we're not going to give up our longterm flexibility and assets to do that."

    The price for the top shooting guards being mentioned in trade talks this spring -- Boston's Ray Allen, Portland's Jamal Crawford and Washington's Nick Young -- has so far been too high for the Clippers.

    viaClippers still looking for the right move - Los Angeles Clippers Blog - ESPN Los Angeles.

    That pretty much assures those guys are out. Young and Allen, particularly, have high values on the market. Crawford, though, might be available if the Clippers can reach in and steal him in the event of a Portland firesale that catches the other suitors for Crawford napping. Indiana has also been mentioned in connection with Crawford.

  • HoopsWorld reports that the Nets are lowballing the Magic with a pretty absurd offer for Dwight based on his contention that he'll opt-out regardless.

    One source said that the way this has played out and with the adamant stance from Howard's camp that he'll shop his situation in July has all but killed the trade offers the Magic are getting. That is likely why Magic ownership is standing the line on keeping Howard because there simply isn't much out there worth doing, according to sources.

    If you are a Magic fan and you're dreaming of a MarShon Brooks deal with tons of draft picks, that day has passed. Sources say the best offer from the Nets involved the ending contract of Memhet Okur and Jordan Farmar and a conditional draft pick.

    It seems clear the Nets know they can get Howard in July, why give away all of their assets for him now?

    viaNBA AM: No Chance Of Howard In Chicago | HOOPSWORLD | Basketball News & NBA Rumors.

    Is that really a risk the Nets want to take? With Mark Cuban and the Mavericks along with Dirk Nowitzki waiting out there, ready to dump salary after the season to clear space at a run for both Deron Williams and Howard? That seems like a pretty big gamble for a team that has struck out every major acquisition that required wooing (Williams was not a voluntary trade).

    It's not that the Net aren't the frontrunners. They are. But they're also the team who if they don't get Howard, are pretty much done. Forever. (HT: IAmAGM.com)

Ken Berger starts us off with a post from Sunday night outlining the one team that Orlando would be willing to deal Howard to, but who Howard continues to resist:

TheOrlando Magicwould like to seriously engage the Bulls in trade talks for Dwight Howard, but the All-Star center's apparent reluctance to make a long-term commitment to Chicago has all but killed the discussions, league sources told CBSSports.com.

The feeling among rival executives remains that the Magic seem intent on rolling the dice and keeping Howard for the rest of the season, hoping a long playoff run, emotional ties to Orlando and an extra year and $29 million they could offer would persuade him to stay beyond this season. But the move would be highly risky, given that Howard has refused to publicly commit to the Magic -- a stance that sources view as a strong sign that he'd leave as a free agent if he isn't traded.

"He's telling everyone he's leaving," one league source said Sunday.

viaKen Berger - CBSSports.com Keep Dwight? Not if the Magic could trade him to Chicago.

Why is Howard reluctant to join Chicago? I'm trying really hard to not say "because he's out of his mind." But then again, didn't LeBron James get hammered for joining up with another superstar? Maybe Howard's thing of wanting to be "the man" in Chicago is valid. If this is about the weather, though, seriously, that's just stupid.

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