The Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Hawks are both going in interesting directions at the moment. Both are going to have the salary cap room to go after the off-season’s biggest free agent, Dwight Howard, but both have to make sure that they don’t make the wrong move here at the trade deadline. Stars on both teams are clearly on the trading block right now, and with the trade deadline just a week away, there is plenty to discuss with both teams.
It is clear that Dallas needs to make a move, as Dirk Nowitzki just needs more help than he is getting at the moment. Head Coach Rick Carlisle says that neither Vince Carter nor Shawn Marion are going to get moved before the trade deadline. We’re not sure that we totally believe him at this point, knowing that owner Mark Cuban badly wants to make this team a winner, but we have a hard time thinking that these two are going to be moved at this point with the eye really already on next season.
Atlanta’s Josh Smith is clearly a different story. Smith is a free agent at the end of the year, and if the Hawks don’t trade him, he is probably going to end up walking. The Hawks would love to commit to Smith, but he figures to want right around a max contract, the same max contract that Howard is going to command in free agency. Moving Smith to get some draft picks and younger pieces to build around might be just what the Hawks need. They’ll make the playoffs this year regardless, but with or without their best player, they aren’t winning an NBA title.
Our NBA predictions? Carter and Marion are going to stay. Smith is going to go.