As some expected, the Houston Rockets have pulled out of the running to land Josh Smith before the trade deadline and are instead going to move forward with the team they have. Earlier Thursday morning it was reported that the Rockets had interest in trading for Smith but Sam Amick from USA Today tweeted that Houston will not continue to deal with Atlanta and will take their chances of landing him in the offseason.
As the trade deadline turns, I’m told Houston is no longer in the mix for Atlanta’s Josh Smith – with 109 minutes to go anyways.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) February 21, 2013
Not trading for Smith is beyond a good idea for the Rockets as not only would they have to overpay for him but there is the possibility that they wouldn’t be able to resign him in the offseason. This way if the Rockets don’t get Smith via free agency they’ll have lost nothing in the process except their time.
Houston pulling out of trade talks also narrows the field as the Bucks remain the front runners to land Smith. Atlanta is going to wait until right before the deadline to strike a deal but it’s clear that we’re down to the finalist stage in the sweepstakes for Smith.