NBA Rumors: Josh Smith Staying in Atlanta Would Be Key to Their Future Success

Scott CarasikContributor IIJuly 21, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08:  Forward Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks retrieves an errant pass during Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Philips Arena on May 8, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

After years of wanting to be traded, Josh Smith has done a complete 180-degree turnaround. It's good that he did that, as Smith is key for any sort of success that the Atlanta Hawks could have. 

Smith is one of the best forwards in the NBA today and has been a fringe All-Star.

However, the Hawks hired a new general manager in Danny Ferry to take control of the team. Smith recently sat for an interview with Sports Illustrated and talked about his thoughts on the new GM (SI.com's Sam Amick):

It's interesting...I think we have a great GM in Danny Ferry, and he has a plan that he's putting together. It looks good. I really am just trying to get to know these guys, to build a relationship and see where the team is going to end up closer to veterans' camp. I'm just excited. We have a lot of elite shooters, and I can see us being a run-and-gun shooting team.

It's hard to disagree with Smith on the direction that the team is heading. They have a good young core in John Jenkins, Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague. Should they go out and get Dwight Howard or even Chris Paul on next year's free-agent market, they would wind up with one of the best starting lineups in the NBA. 

Smith would have a huge hand in Howard heading to Atlanta, as they are great friends.

For the Hawks to have their best success, Smith will have to lead them to it, especially since they just lost Joe Johnson as part of a trade with the Brooklyn Nets.

Smith's best ability is that he is versatile and an all-around threat. He can post a line of 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in any game. 

Smith and Horford will team together for the future of the Hawks. Horford is also one of the best young, athletic centers in the league, and if they wound up with Howard, Horford and Smith, the Hawks would have the best young team in the NBA.

 

Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist and Trends and Traffic Writer for Bleacher Report. As a Featured Columnist, he covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He also is the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and is the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.