Josh Smith talks trade rumors, Rondo

Josh Smith talks trade rumors, Rondo
March 9, 2013, 1:30 pm
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BOSTON -- Perhaps no one was linked in more trade rumors this season than Josh Smith.

There were times when it seemed he would be wearing a new uniform, and one of the teams buzzed about was the Boston Celtics.

The Atlanta Hawks forward was named in numerous potential deals, including a Yahoo! Sports report on Friday regarding the Hawks, Boston Celtics, and Dallas Mavericks:

"Before the trade deadline passed, the Boston Celtics had one final choice to make on the franchise's future: In a three-way deal that would've secured Josh Smith and surrendered Paul Pierce to Dallas, Atlanta wanted Boston's first-round draft pick, too.

As much as any of the proposed deals discussed in February, perhaps this had been the closest Pierce had come to parting with the Celtics, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Dallas had constructed a package that included Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright and Dahntay Jones to Atlanta, with the Mavericks and Hawks exchanging positions in the 2013 NBA draft.

Nevertheless, Boston wouldn't relent on the pick and the deal died on meeting-room grease boards in three cities."

The trade never happened. Both Smith and Pierce remained on their teams and played key roles in Friday's overtime battle. Smith posted 32 points (game-high), nine assists, and eight rebounds in 46 minutes while Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists over 39 minutes during the C's 107-102 win.

"I don't know," Smith said of the possibility of being traded to the Celtics. "I mean, there was a possibility of be going a lot of places. But I'm here and focusing what's at stake right now and trying to get a higher playoff position. I'm not worrying anything else but winning games for this organization and this team."

One facet that fueled trade rumors was Smith's close friendship with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. The two have been best friends since their teenage years at Oak Hill Academy.

Rondo tore his ACL last month playing against the Hawks and underwent season-ending surgery. Smith and Rondo keep in touch on a regular basis, but topics such as injuries and trade rumors don't come up in their casual conversations."We don't talk about the surgery," said Smith.

"We just talk about friendship stuff, off the court stuff. That's the least of both of our concerns. It's a far-fetched injury, so right now just focusing on staying positive."

That means leaving the outside chatter behind.