Tradewatch – Marc Stein (ESPN) gives this assessment of the Rockets at the deadline:
The consistent word out of Houston, incidentally, is that the Rockets — long known to be Smith fans — are far more likely to pursue J-Smoove in free agency than to try to trade for him this week.
The Rockets are expected to use their leftover salary-cap space from last summer to extract an extra draft pick from teams looking to shed salary for luxury-tax reasons right before the trade buzzer.
Meanwhile Bradford Doolittle (ESPN Insider) examines whether Josh Smith is a max player (conclusion: his 4-year WARP is around the levels of Pau, Manu, Nash, Pierce and Nowitzki, so maybe probably yeah) and also eyes some trade possibilities. How ’bout Houston?
On the court, no team in the league would be a better fit for Smith. Can you imagine his elite athleticism fitting into an offensive lineup alongside James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons, not to mention a defensive lineup with Smith backed up by Omer Asik’s elite rim protection?
Dwightwatch – Now Sam Amico at FOXSports.com is reporting that Kobe is fine with trading away Dwight Howard:
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has strongly nixed the notion that Howard could be moved prior to Thursday’s trading deadline. But if Kupchak changes his mind, he’d have Bryant’s full support, according to sources.
You know, really, I’ve been looking at Kobe wrong for all these years. I’ve resented him for winning 5 championships for my least favorite team in the world. But I really should be thanking him for doing so much to chase the two most dominant centers of the past 15 years out of L.A. If Dwight signs with Houston in the summer, we really need to all chip in to buy Kobe a fruit basket.
The Best Defense Is A Good… – Clearly, the close proximity to the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant and our own James Harden over All-Star weekend has left an impression on Chandler Parsons–in particular with his approach to defense. Parsons shares his thoughts on defending Kevin Durant with the Chronicle:
“He’s tall. He’s long. He can get his shot off from pretty much anywhere on the floor. When you play a guy like him, you try to make it hard for him. You try to be physical with him and just try to make him work, especially on the defensive end. He has to guard me, too.”
That last sentence is truly a next-level Melo impersonation by Chandler Bang. Honestly, I don’t doubt that Parsons will put in effort on both ends of the floor tonight. Still, guarding a man who could probably hang 40 points on Bill Russell has to get a little demoralizing.
State Of The Rockets – If you’d like a very thorough fan’s take on the current state of the team, the Dream Shake has you covered in this article.
Tweet That – Jeremy Lin has a very pose-y entourage.
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