Here is the latest buzz around the NBA with two days remaining before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline:
Josh Smith Sweepstakes
• Marc Stein, ESPN.com: The Atlanta Hawks have convinced numerous teams that they're definitely trading Josh Smith this week. ... One team close to the situation consulted Monday night predicted that the Nets would ultimately land Smith via a three-way trade. ... Another team pinpointed the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks as the strongest contenders to win the Smith sweepstakes. ... NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Monday that the Boston Celtics have, indeed, registered their interest on the Smith front, with the caveat that they also remain highly interested in the Clippers' Eric Bledsoe. Yet a Boston deal for Smith, sources said, would almost certainly have to be built around Paul Pierce, because Kevin Garnett isn't waiving his no-trade clause to go to the Atlanta Hawks if he's not willing to waive it to go to the Clipperland.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: The Hawks are believed to be seeking a combination of expiring contracts, young players and draft picks in exchange for Smith, whose expressed desire for a five-year, approximately $90 million max contract has cooled the market for him. Rival executives continue to believe that the Suns have been aggressive in their pursuit of Smith and other trades, but even with a potential lottery pick from the Lakers in the Steve Nash deal, execs are skeptical that Phoenix has enough attractive young players to complete the deal. The Nets and Celtics have inquired about Smith, but it's too early to say where those talks are going.
• Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: Boston's active on several fronts, including discussions on Josh Smith. Brooklyn is solely focused on making a Smith deal. ... In Josh Smith derby, several teams believe Suns are determined for deal after missing on Eric Gordon and Rudy Gay in past months.
• Michael Lee, Washington Post: The Wizards have been linked to trade discussions with Atlanta for forward Josh Smith, a borderline all-star talent who is seeking a maximum contract this summer in free agency. [Bradley] Beal and [John] Wall are off limits, but the Wizards may look to move one of their recent selections from the past three drafts by Thursday’s 3 p.m. deadline, with Trevor Booker and Jan Vesely also receiving limited playing time and Chris Singleton only recently escaping Coach Randy Wittman’s doghouse.
• Chris Broussard, ESPN.com: In talks with ATL for Josh Smith, Wizards have said all but 3 players available: J Wall, B Beal & Nene.
• Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald: According to one opposing team executive, the Celtics “are one of the more active teams out there talking, but they really don’t have a lot of great options. They don’t have a lot to trade.” It seems, too, that reports of some of the bigger Celtics names being “discussed” is more a matter of semantics than actual deep negotiation. Another source with knowledge of the two clubs told the Herald the Clippers have yet to make an actual and formal offer for Kevin Garnett. He added that the sides haven’t spoken in days. ... It is also interesting to note that someone close to Garnett said the Celts have yet to approach him about any of the talk, let alone to ask if he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause.
• Ken Berger, CBSSports.com: Rival execs believe Celtics president Danny Ainge understands that if he trades [Kevin] Garnett, he must also trade Paul Pierce, and vice versa. It's not clear yet in league circles whether the Celtics are ready for such a sudden and irreversible cultural change. Short of a full-blown purge of the Big Three era, rival execs believe the Celtics would consider moving a contract (such as Jason Terry's $5 million) to get under the luxury-tax in what essentially is a lost season due to injuries.
More Eastern Conference Buzz
• Stefan Bondy, New York Daily News: The Nets have been shopping [MarShon] Brooks -- a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie second team last season -- and [Kris] Humphries -- whose minutes have dipped after he averaged a double-double last season. Even packaged with draft picks, it is not a proposal expected to bring back much — although GM Billy King is certainly trying. Among the targets: Atlanta’s Josh Smith and Utah’s Paul Millsap. The Nets also have an offer from the Bobcats of Ben Gordon for Humphries.
• Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel: Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick realizes that Tuesday night’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Amway Center could be his final home game as a Magic player. But Redick said on Monday afternoon that he hasn’t received any indication that a trade is going to happen. In fact, Redick said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has told him that the team is "open" to re-signing him when he becomes a free agent this summer.
• Frank Isola, New York Daily News: With the Knicks having lost three of their last four plus [Jason] Kidd and [Iman] Shumpert both struggling, they are in the market for guard help. If the Knicks are to add a player of any significance, Shumpert is the player most likely to be on the move. Forgotten Ronnie Brewer is also available. The Knicks believe that [Rasheed] Wallace will return, which is why they have been patient with the veteran forward. If it looks as if Wallace isn’t fit, the Knicks may reach out to free agent Kenyon Martin.
• John N. Mitchell, Philadelphia Inquirer: The NBA's trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. Don't be surprised if the 76ers stand pat. "I don't see anything for us right now," Sixers coach Doug Collins said Monday. "If something happens for us right now, I think it would be something that would be very small. Tony [DiLeo, the general manager,] is on the phone, but I don't think there is anything major that is going to turn our season around. What would be major for us would be to get our guys healthy."
More Western Conference Buzz
• Jimmy Smith, New Orleans Times-Picayune: New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon said Monday night he understands his name likely will surface in rampant trade scenarios before Thursday afternoon's trading deadline, but concedes it's the nature of the business and he's comfortable in New Orleans. ... After he couldn't agree to a contract extension last year, Gordon became a restricted free agent and agreed to a four-year, $58 million offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns, which the Hornets matched even though Gordon said at the time he hopes New Orleans would not match the offer because his "heart was in Phoenix." Gordon's contract gives him veto power over any trade.
• Chris Broussard, ESPN.com: OKC aggressively shopping PG Eric Maynor. Asking price is high. Phoenix looking to move Sebastian Telfair to clear PT for Kendall Marshall. • Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports: Minnesota has been aggressive in offering multiple first-round picks for established talent, league sources tell Y!