NBA Trade Rumors: What Team Is the Best Fit to Trade for Josh Smith?
Now that Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson have been traded out to different teams it's apparent that the Atlanta Hawks have committed to rebuilding if they aren't able to woo Dwight Howard.
Don't assume the Hawks trading away Johnson and Williams makes Smith any less expendable. In fact, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Smith could still be dealt:
(A person with knowledge) said the Hawks also have been open to moving forward Josh Smith. Before Ferry was hired, Smith told the Hawks he wants to be traded to a franchise he considers to be more committed to winning a championship.
So let's postulate where the Hawks might send Smith if they don't land Howard and decide to go wholesale into rebuilding mode.
One destination could be the Los Angeles Lakers, as they have already entered into talks concerning Pau Gasol and Smith. The problem here, though, is that the Lakers wanted another major player to go along with Smith, and it's hard to say who that might be.
Will Josh Smith be a Hawk next year or playing elsewhere?
The only other players who could even remotely fit that description are Jeff Teague and Al Horford, and pairing up either of them with Smith in return for a 32-year-old in decline would be to overpay. This is the issue that the Lakers have with dealing Gasol. They seem to want someone to overpay to take him.
Another possibility could be the Orlando Magic, according to ESPN.com.
Teams have been calling the Atlanta Hawks all week to register trade interest in swingman Josh Smith, according to sources close to the situation. And one of those teams, sources said, is the Orlando Magic, who know that Smith ranks as one of Dwight Howard's closest friends.
The same article suggests that Boston and Houston could be potential landing spots, but moves they have made since then make both spots unlikely to happen. At this point, the only other realistic trading partner that has shown interest in Smith is Orlando, and that's going to be rough.
Are the Hawks really going to send Smith to Orlando, their division rival, when it will help keep Howard there? Barring the Lakers changing on their excessive demands for Gasol, don't expect Smith to be moved.
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