Josh Smith: Trades the Atlanta Hawks Would Actually Want
Sure, we've already heard from both Josh Smith and Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry that neither are interested in a trade once Smith's contract expires in the summer. In fact, the Hawks have not engaged in any trade talk for quite some time.
But nothing is written in stone, especially with the trade deadline being less than two months away.
There's always room for some hypothesis. It is not unlikely for Smith to want out of Atlanta—after all, he has been there his entire life, including the eight seasons spent with the Hawks.
His shifty attitude has been a flaw for him since entering the league, but his game has matured and he has proven he can lead a basketball team to the playoffs each season. Other teams have noticed that, which could lead to Smith weighing his options.
There are four trades, simulated with ESPN.com's NBA Trade Machine, that could actually work out in Atlanta's favor, given that they focus mostly on landing a post player.
Hawks Trade Josh Smith and John Jenkins for Zach Randolph
This trade would work out for Atlanta because they would be filling a position they've been needing for a long time: a true power forward. In a perfect world, Zach Randolph would be a true center, something the Hawks have not had since the finger-wagging days of Dikembe Mutombo.
Regardless, Randolph still would bring the team more experience and leadership. He has matured into a very confident player at 31, which is a major contrast to when he was a hot-headed 19-year-old on the Portland Trailblazers. If anything, he has shown in Memphis that he can be the man to have the ball in the dwindling seconds of the game.
Hawks forward Al Horford is a stronghold in the paint, but he needs some help, and it certainly isn't coming from flop-happy center Zaza Pachulia.
Guards Jeff Teague and Lou Williams are doing a great job as scorers on the wing, and Randolph's 16.9 points and 12.4 rebounds per game, as of December 31, would bring a bigger game to the Hawks.
Hawks Trade Josh Smith and John Jenkins for Rudy Gay
There is another Memphis Grizzlies trade option: still send Josh Smith and John Jenkins in exchange for small forward Rudy Gay.
It would be a good trade considering that Gay's and Josh Smith's playing styles are similar, but Gay's scoring abilities stand out more than Smith's. As of December 31, Gay is posting 18 points, 2.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Although Gay has improved on his development as an all-around basketball player, it is clear that he is not thriving as well as he could be while Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol run the show in the frontcourt. He would fit in nicely on the Hawks while adding another facet of the wing offense with Teague and Williams.
Hawks Trade Josh Smith to Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge
That being said, having Aldridge on the team would would be a tremendous help to the Hawks. He is a true big man who can handle the ball and shoot outside jumpers.
He's been averaging 21.1 points, eight rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, as of December 31, which would complement Al Horford's 15.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Just imagine: The Hawks would have a complete team, with Teague and Williams holding it down on the wing while Horford, Aldridge and center Zaza Pachulia take care of the post.
It is imperative for the Hawks to shop for a LaMarcus Aldridge type because the organization has lacked a man of his size and agility for a very long time. It seems like each year the Hawks find a way to overstock on guards and forwards while leaving the 5-spot bare.
Getting Aldridge would certainly change that in a great way.
Hawks Trade Josh Smith to Mavericks for Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo
There are some trades that just seem too good to be true, and this would definitely be filed under that category. That is why it was saved for last.
Chris Kaman has voiced his frustrations for playing limited minutes in clutch time after healing from an ankle injury.
He seems to be overcoming that now and is finding his groove again.
Throw in shooting guard O.J. Mayo and their contracts combined (Kaman earns $8 million and Mayo a little over $4 million) still wouldn't match Josh Smith's current $13.2 million for this year.
And Mayo is putting up 18.3 points per game, not to mention he has a player option on his two-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks—which means he could leave the Mavericks if he chooses.
Kaman would finally fill that void at the center position and help dominate the paint with Horford. Mayo would blend in nicely with the hot hands of Teague and Williams.
In short, this trade would be a win-win: It'd be a great transaction to get Smith to join a fast-paced offense in Dallas, while Atlanta would get a great two-for-one deal.