With less than an hour to go, the Milwaukee Bucks are the front runners in the Josh Smith sweepstakes and it is expected that they will be the team that ends up landing the coveted trade chip when all os said and done. The Buck emerged as a possible destination in the last couple of days and talks have only intensified from there. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bucks and Hawks remain “seriously engaged” in trade talks to swap Smith for a plethora of assets.
Atlanta and Milwaukee still seriously engaged on Josh Smith, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 21, 2013
The Bucks would like to hang onto Monta Ellis, but it’s becoming more and more likely that they’ll have to part with him in order to land Smith in a trade. The Hawks don’t want to take on any contracts that will complicate their financial situation in the future but they seemed willing to take on Ellis and possibly re-sign him at the end of the season.
Ellis’ contract is up at the end of the year and he’s expected to opt-out and sign with a contender but if Atlanta makes a run at Dwight Howard, Ellis might be intrigued enough to stay.
There is also the possibility that Smith doesn’t get traded but if that were to happen, the whole build up to a trade that ultimately never happened will be remembered forever when it comes to deadline trades. However, all indications are that Smith will be moved and Milwaukee is the most likely destination.