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Josh Smith rumors: Sixers out, Rockets maybe, Mavericks down the road?

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The NBA's trade deadline is drawing near and the rumors around Josh Smith continue to intensify.

USA TODAY Sports

The NBA trade deadline is getting closer and the rumors surrounding Josh Smith are getting louder. While some teams are declaring themselves not interested the media is scrambling to connect the dots. One thing is for sure, Smith's name is out there and although I presented a scenario where the Hawks could keep him, rumors persist that he could be shipped out before the February 21 deadline.

One such rumor that seems to have been a case of the media connecting the dots involved Smith and the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers denied any interest in the tradethat had Philly potentially sending Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes to Atlanta in exchange for Smith.

The Houston Rockets are thought of as another potential Smith suitor but GM Daryl Morey told USA Today's Sam Amick that Houston is unlikely to make a significant trade at the deadline. The Rockets will look to add an All-Star caliber player this offseason through free agency.

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger continues to try and connect the dots as well and thinks that the Dallas Mavericks will eventually get involved with Smith. Berger says that he doesn't see Danny Ferry starting Atlanta's rebuilding effort by giving Smith a max contract. Berger goes on to say that year 3 and year 4 of Smith's contract would be problematic when his salary would scale to about $20 million per season.

Berger has the same reasoning for the Dallas Mavericks being interested in Smith as I had for keeping him. The Hawks would need Smith if they had any chance at all to lure Howard. However, slim that chance is Smith could still possibly be the best player available for the Hawks although their could be cheaper alternatives like Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and others.

There probably isn't a lot to any rumors that we hear about prior to the deadline but we can take from this that Ferry and the Hawks are apparently looking at every option when it comes to Smith. That should help when the time comes to assess his value this offseason if he isn't shipped out by the trade deadline.