Around the Atlantic: Trade winds swirling

Around the Atlantic: Trade winds swirling
February 20, 2013, 10:30 pm
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Despite the Sixers' struggles this season, don't expect the team to make a splash at the trade deadline (see story).

As the league's trade deadline looms, let's take a look at how the other Atlantic Division teams are analyzing their talent.

Teams "lukewarm" on acquiring Pierce
What could a team looking for that missing presence in its lineup give up for a Celtic icon?

GMs are asking themselves that very question about Paul Pierce.

But don't look for the team to move the former Finals MVP or the $15.3 million he is due to make next season, says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com (via ProBasketballTalk).

The lifelong Celtic is enduring the worst shooting percentage of his career as his contract is less than two years away from expiring.

But look for the Celtics to make some smaller moves and aim for a strong push in 2014 with Kevin Garnett, a healthy Rajon Rondo and, what they hope is a revived Pierce.

Celtics say Melo is available
One of those small moves the Celtics may be looking to make could involve former Syracuse big man Fab Melo.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via ProBasketballTalk), Boston has made teams aware that Melo could be had in return for a guard.

A project player, Melo still has plenty of raw skills that need to be ironed out before he can make an impact as a pro. However, you can't teach size, and the Celtics are hoping that's enough to convince teams to take a shot on Melo.

Nets shopping Humphries to Atlanta?
In a mostly wide open Eastern Conference outside of the champion Heat, the Nets hope Kris Humphries will be enough of a trading chip to bring Atlanta's Josh Smith to Brooklyn for a playoff push.

According to Sam Amick of USA Today (via ProBasketballTalk), Humphries is reportedly part of a package that includes MarShon Brooks and a future first-round pick, which the Nets hope will be enough to nab the services of Smith.

The Nets are the one team that might be capable of giving Smith the $90 million extension he's been seeking, and the combination of Smith and All-Star Brook Lopez up front would be a powerful one-two punch in the East.

The Bucks, Spurs and Suns are also reported to have interest in acquiring Smith.

Knicks content to remain quiet at deadline
Mike Woodson thinks the Knicks are a contender as assembled, which is probably why the second-year Knicks coach told reporters he expects the team to sit tight as Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline approaches.

According to Newsday's Al Innazzone (via ProBasketballTalk), Woodson reiterated that the Knicks plan to hold onto Iman Shumpert and are doubtful to make any moves.

“I think we’ll sit tight and try to make this final run with what we have,” Woodson told Newsday before Wednesday morning’s shootaround.

The Knicks currently hold the second seed in the Eastern Conference and sit just four games behind the Miami Heat.

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