They are off to a solid 6-4 start after many thought they would be simply an afterthought this season. They are playing well on both ends of the floor, ranked 5th offensively and 11th defensively.
While there has been no shortage of offense from the perimeter with guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings leading the charge and some extra help coming from Mike Dunleavy, Tobias Harris and Ersan Ilyasova, the team lacks a true scoring option down low.
Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders, John Henson and Samuel Dalembert have been very good on the defensive side of the ball, but none are known for offensive production. The Bucks will need to find a consistent post scorer in order to balance out their offensive attack.
Enter Josh Smith.
Smith has been most successful when working the the post, being able to post up smaller forwards and driving around bigger ones. While his shot selection is poor at times, he can be dominant when he is focused and making smart decisions with the ball. His upside is huge, and he will continue to get better as he matures as a player.
The Hawks have been reluctant to part ways with Smith, refusing to deal him to the Lakers for the likes of Pau Gasol. Smith had a career year last season, averaging career highs with 18.8 PPG and 9.6 RPG, as well as adding 3.9 APG. He would effectively fill the Bucks' need for a scorer down low, as well provide the offense with another electrifying presence from the perimeter and on fast breaks.
A potential deal would be John Henson, Samuel Dalembert, Tobias Harris and a first rounder to Atlanta in exchange for Smith.
Would trading for Josh Smith make the Bucks a contender in the East?
Henson would be a very solid backup to Al Horford at the four, and Dalembert would finally fulfill the Hawks' need for a true starting center.
The Hawks would also get additional depth at the wing position with Harris, who is off to a solid start to the season and is still young, and the first rounder would help the Hawks continue to build for the future.
The Bucks would get an extremely talented frontcourt player in Smith, who, though he is entering his 9th season in the league, is only 27 and is in the prime of his career.
Acquiring Smith would also give the Bucks their own version of a Big 3 with Smith joining Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings as an explosive trio on the offensive end.
Smith has also proven to be a very good defender when motivated—he averaged 1.4 SPG and 1.7 BPG last season. He also provides them with a shot blocking presence in the paint when opposing players drive to the basket.
This trade would be a win-win for both teams, with the Hawks acquiring solid assets for Smith (as opposed to losing him at the end of this season for nothing), and the Bucks acquire a long-needed post presence.