Josh Smith: Should the Toronto Raptors Make a Move for J-Smoove?

Raju ByfieldAnalyst IIIJanuary 23, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 16:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Ed Davis #32 of the Toronto Raptors at Philips Arena on January 16, 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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ESPN has recently suggested that the Toronto Raptors could be players for impending free agent Josh Smith, if they were willing to give up Jose Calderon and Ed Davis as part of a package.

Any deal would have to involve Smith agreeing to an extension prior to the deal, as the Raptors would run the risk of losing him for nothing this summer otherwise.

Smith and his athleticism and defense would be godsends to a Raptors team in need of an injection of those exact ingredients.


Is Smith a good fit?

On paper, Smith would be a tremendous fit as he could step right in as a No. 1a or No. 1b option beside DeMar DeRozan and would provide defense the likes the team has not seen since Antonio Davis and Keon Clark.

Smith has the length and athleticism to thrive at the three or the four, giving them a tremendously versatile piece. Smith would also allow Andrea Bargnani’s ineptitude to be masked somewhat as he is a terrific rebounder at the small forward position and could rotate to power forward on defense.

Smith, DeRozan and Terrence Ross, along with Kyle Lowry would be a very exciting tandem to watch and would provide nightly highlights for SportsCentre.

Smith and his defensive prowess would fit perfectly with Dwane Casey’s system and the organizational culture that has been implemented in Toronto.


Other destinations more likely?

Yes, other teams seem much more likely as teams such as the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets should both be major players and seem to have more enticing pieces than Calderon and Davis.


Does a deal make sense for both teams?

This deal makes minimal sense for the Atlanta Hawks and if ESPN did not suggest this scenario, I would not buy it. Smith is a borderline all-star and Davis does not seem like fair compensation, despite his upside and recent play. With that said, his 14.2 points and 8.2 rebounds closely mirrors Smith’s 16.1 and 8.7 over that same timespan. The big difference comes in the peripherals where Smith averaged 2.2 blocks and 1.1 steals while Ed only managed 0.8 and 0.4, respectively.

This deal makes a ton of sense for the Raptors, as long as he agrees to an extension prior to the deal.


Should the Raptors make the move?

Yes, the Raptors should put the offer on the table. I do not want to see Davis go, but Smith is a superior option on both ends of the court and can man the three and the four which makes him a little more valuable than Easy E.