A look at possible moves that could be made before the NBA’s trade deadline at 3 p.m. Thursday:
The third-year guard’s playing time (and production) has plummeted since he returned from a bone bruise in his left ankle last month. He’s still the Wizards’ third-leading scorer, but with John Wall back and Bradley Beal emerging, would Washington be better off trading him before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2014?
Josh Smith , Hawks
The Atlanta forward, an unrestricted free agent after this season, is probably the biggest name circulating on the NBA’s trade rumor mill. Despite not being named an all-star in nine seasons, Smith has said he wants max money for his next contract, so any team that trades for him likely will be back at the negotiating table after this season. Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Phoenix are among the teams that have expressed interest.
Utah has one of the league’s most talented front lines in Millsap and Jefferson, but both players are in contract years and Utah needs to move at least one of them to free up minutes for Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, two recent draft picks who have been patiently waiting in the wings.
Monta Ellis→, Bucks
A seventh-year shooting guard, Ellis has been unable to develop much chemistry in the back court in less than one season with Brandon Jennings, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Ellis has the potential to opt out of a deal that would pay him $11 million after the season, which would leave Milwaukee empty-handed after trading Andrew Bogut to get him.
J.J. Redick , Magic
Redick will be a free agent this summer and his price tag might be too high for an Orlando team that has been transparent about its rebuilding efforts since trading Dwight Howard to the Lakers. Teams looking for perimeter shooting and offensive punch off the bench are interested in taking a gamble on his services.
Will President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge break up the Celtics? Point guard Rajon Rondo suffered a season-ending ACL tear late last month, but that hasn’t stopped teams from calling Ainge about his availability. Or, is Ainge willing to part with either Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett (who must approve any trade) to build for the future around Rondo and Jared Sullinger?