Josh Smith trade rumors are reaching a fever pitch now. A Smith trade is very likely, with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Milwaukee Bucks among the teams having conversations with the Atlanta Hawks. According to a report from CBS on Wednesday (Feb. 20), Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is not interested in taking back future salary from any of these teams. That makes a deal tougher, but not impossible as the NBA trade deadline looms.
The struggle for the Hawk here is that the team doesn't want to give up a great asset like Smith without getting something of value in return. Ferry wants multiple draft picks in a deal as well as a young player who can play heavy minutes for the Hawks. That isn't a package that every team can meet, but if a contending team is committed to getting better in the short-term, Smith could become the perfect acquisition.
The Nets reportedly offered up Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and a first-round pick and the Phoenix Suns offered a package that included Marcin Gortat. Its unclear how close either of those deals actually was to taking place, though, as there are differing reports about what else might have been included to entice the Hawks. Another mystery is what the Celtics would offer if the team is intent on keeping Kevin Garnett.
A Josh Smith trade is almost guaranteed to take place before the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline, simply because it appears that he will walk away from the team in free agency during the offseason. This could make him an expensive rental for a franchise or possibly a long-term investment if a new team is willing to give Smith that max contract extension that he craves.
With the right team, Smith is a player who can easily average 18 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks per game. The question now is what team is going to offer Ferry the package of players and picks that entices him the most. For fantasy basketball owners it doesn't matter much, as he will either continue putting up great numbers for the Hawks or with his new team. No team is going to trade for Smith and then not give him the minutes to succeed.
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