Best Case: Phoenix steals Josh Smith from Atlanta.
Worst Case: Suns lose Smith sweepstakes.
The Phoenix suns are one of a handful of teams known to be interested in Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.
According to Hoopsworld, the Suns are in pursuit of Smith and have a collection of players who could be appealing to the Hawks in a potential trade package:
Phoenix has attractive assets, particularly Marcin Gortat, who could play alongside Al Horford and give the Hawks one of the best frontcourts in the Eastern Conference. They also have Jared Dudley and Michael Beasley as well as the expiring contracts of Wes Johnson, Shannon Brown (whose 2013-14 salary is non-guaranteed), Sebastian Telfair and Jermaine O’Neal. Phoenix also has several first-round picks – their own pick and two additional first-round picks that they acquired in the Nash trade with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Johnson trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It should also be noted that the Suns aren't afraid to throw big money at big-time ballers, as they signed Eric Gordon to a max offer sheet this past summer before he re-signed with the New Orleans Hornets.
Given the team's track record of looking to secure big names with even bigger dollars, perhaps Phoenix is one of the few spots where Smith could receive the max contract he desires.
An encouraging sign for the Suns comes in the form of a report from NBA.com's David Aldridge, who notes that Smith may walk this summer if he doesn't get the max contract he feels he deserves:
Smith, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution late last month that he believes he's a max player, which would mean he'd be in line for a five-year deal worth around $93.5 million from Atlanta.
But the Hawks, which expect to be major players next summer in free agency or through trades, do not want to tie up that kind of money going forward.
Smith, according to a source, is prepared to move on, outside of the contract discussions.
If the Hawks are in the business of getting the most for Smith while they still have him, they could do worse than dealing him to Phoenix.