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Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith could be moved before Thursday's 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline. / Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

After eight-plus seasons, almost All-Star forward Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks have decided it's time for a change.

So the Hawks are trying to trade Smith before Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, and like that awkward Facebook friend page you come across, it's complicated.

Several teams have expressed varying degrees of interest in Smith, among them the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, and the Phoenix Suns. But despite the fact that officials from several involved teams are under the impression that Smith will definitely be traded, a person with knowledge of the Hawks' strategy said it's not inconceivable that they hold onto him past the deadline. The person requested anonymity because of the private nature of the plan.

Teams all have the same questions about Smith.

1. Will Smith re-sign with the team that acquires him? No team wants to give up key assets for the remaining two months of the season and get nothing long term.

2. Do teams want to sign Smith, who will makes $13.2 million this season, to a five-year deal for maximum money? That's a lot to invest in a quality player who has never been a first-, second- or third-team All-NBA selection or an All-Star.

There's also a third issue that concerns league executives: How will Smith impact the locker room? The Hawks suspended and fined Smith earlier this season for "conduct detrimental to the team."

The Hawks would be well within their right to assume they won't land Lakers center Dwight Howard or Clippers point guard Chris Paul as free agents this summer, meaning the notion of re-signing Smith could be appealing as a way to utilize the $38 million in salary cap space this summer. And while Smith has made it widely known that he wants a max deal, there's no clear indication that he will be offered one this summer and the Hawks could find themselves cutting the sort of compromise deal they envision. If the Hawks had their way before Thursday, they would find a deal that included a young center (because they see Al Horford as a power forward), expiring contracts, desirable players on rookie contracts and/or draft picks.

Brooklyn's offer, which doesn't appear to be enticing to the Hawks, is MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and a first-rounder for Smith, a person familiar with the proposed deal told USA TODAY Sports. The Nets are unwilling to include a second first-round pick at this time. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fluid negotiations.

The Boston Celtics are also known to be pushing for Smith, with a deal presumably involving small forward Paul Pierce.

Whatever interest the Wizards had in Smith has disappeared, and Washington is not willing to give up any of the players Atlanta seeks for Smith, a person familiar with talks between the two teams told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak public about trade talks.

If the Hawks are seeking a center, rookies and draft picks, the Wizards aren't trading Nene, Bradley Beal and draft picks for Smith. The Wizards might end up making a small move, but since this team just got healthy with the return of John Wall, the front office wants to see how this group plays together before making a major trade.

The Bucks are considering putting Monta Ellis in a deal for Smith. There is some concern that Ellis will opt out of the final year of his $11 million deal and go where he wants in free agency. But, that's serious money to walk away from, and it's unlikely Ellis walks away from that for a long term deal. Ellis, 27, can collect $11 million next season, and still get the similar long-term deal starting with the 2014-15 season.

One rival executive said fourth-year point guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilyasova are not expected to be traded. But center Samuel Dalembert (expiring deal worth $6.7 million) and fourth-year forward Ekpe Udoh could help get the deal done.

CELTICS TAKE SURPRISE APPROACH

Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge is a good listener, and league executives continue to call Ainge about point guard Rajon Rondo's availability even though Rondo is out for the season with a torn ACL, an NBA executive told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about ongoing negotiations.

Yet according to Rondo's agent, Bill Duffy, Ainge said on Wednesday that Rondo will not be traded.

Ainge also said on Tuesday that the Celtics aren't in the market for a major deal.

BUCKS BEING AGGRESSIVE

The Bucks are active. General manager John Hammond plays the laid-back, gee-shucks Midwesterner. But he likes the trade game. He has shown an interest in Orlando Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick, but the Magic are not enamored yet with anything the Bucks have offered.

Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is one option, but Orlando does not like his contract. But the Magic aren't interested in the remainder of Mbah a Moute's contract - two years, $8.97 million. There is also interest around the league in Bucks center Ekpe Udoh, who is still on his rookie deal.

The Magic have wanted to know Redick's future price. Hoping for a hometown discount, Orlando is not willing to pay much above what he makes now ($6.19 million this season), and Redick wants a significant raise - close to $10 million a season. Orlando continues to take calls on Redick's availability, and the Magic are looking for at least a first-round pick.

WIZARDS GUARD ON HIS WAY OUT?

Washington Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford is not pleased with his reduced role, and the Wizards are looking to move him, a person familiar with Washington's thinking told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about trade talks.

On Sunday, Crawford tweeted his December stats: 19 points, six assists, five rebounds per game. But Since Jan. 1, Crawford is averaging just 20 minutes, 8.6 points, 1.9 assists and 1.5 rebounds. Crawford did not play in Washington's 96-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, the fourth consecutive game he received a "Did Not Play ?? Coach's Decision."

GORDON ON THE MARKET?

According to the New Orleans Times Picayune, the Hornets are interested in doing a deal in which Eric Gordon would go to the Golden State Warriors and second-year guard Klay Thompson would be part of New Orleans' package. But while it' s known that Gordon would love to play for the Warriors, they have shown no interest in acquiring him for quite some time. As we wrote last week, however, Gordon's situation is fluid.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: NBA trade scenarios as we close in on deadline

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