The Josh Smith rumors could be taking a toll on the Atlanta Hawks. The trade rumors about Smith don't seem to be slowing down and with the Feb. 21 deadline approaching, the pressure is on to do something. According to a report from Monday morning (Feb. 11), the Hawks' star player is trying to dismiss all of the talk surrounding him.
Speaking about whether the situation has been difficult on him, Smith replied "No." He later went on to say, "This is like the third year. I just have to keep playing and not worry about the business side of basketball.” What he refers to is this being the third straight year that he has had to deal with incessant suggestions about getting shipped out of Atlanta.
The biggest issue here might be that Smith feels he is a player who deserves a max contract and the front office in Atlanta is not so sure. At the end of the season he becomes a free agent and if he gets unhappy about how he is being addressed, Smith could simply choose to walk away and sign with another team. That would be the worst case scenario for the Hawks, because they would get nothing in return for him.
There are several teams lined up to offer the Atlanta hawks significant trades in order to acquire Smith. One of those teams is the Brooklyn Nets, which could use him as the starting power forward right away. The team could also be willing to extend his contract and give him that max money. The Houston Rockets, Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns are other teams wrapped up in the Josh Smith rumors right now.
With a lot of time left before the NBA trade deadline, the Hawks don't have to rush into a decision either. The fact is, the team is good enough to get a top four seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, but the talent might be gone at the end of the season if Smith heads out as a free agent. It's a difficult spot for the franchise to be in.
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