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NBA trade rumors: Pistons, Kings not close to Josh Smith deal

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From Ken Berger of CBS Sports:

But ... at least they're still talking? That's a start. As Vincent Goodwill points out at the Detroit News, the difference between the current talks and the ones from several weeks ago is the fact that the Kings now have another bargaining chip: a trade exception:

When the Pistons and Kings engaged in talks a few weeks ago, negotiations centered around trading Smith for Jason Thompson and possibly Derrick Williams or Jason Terry. But according to sources, Pistons president Stan Van Gundy balked at dealing Smith for what essentially came down to spare parts.

However, the Kings have a trade exception they acquired when point guard Isaiah Thomas signed with the Phoenix Suns for $7 million last week, and although it can't be used to absorb Smith’s remaining three years and $40 million, perhaps it can be a chip to entice a third team.

The Kings also are looking for a third team to help facilitate a deal, from a talent standpoint or a money standpoint.

I think a third team is an absolute necessity if the Kings are determined to unload Terry -- the Pistons simply have no need for yet another point guard after signing D.J. Augustin, and in fact are probably looking for a way to dump Will Bynum, either in this deal or a separate down the road.

The Detroit Free Press, for what it's worth, is denying that talks are even happening:

A source with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press this morning that there are "no legs" to the report ...

I'm going to pretend I didn't just read that, not just for my own sanity but also because other local and national outlets are stating the opposite.

Update: The original Free Press report didn't have Vince Ellis' byline -- now it does. Read more here.

Last but not least, this was funny: