Atlanta Hawks Reportedly Listening to Trade Offers for Josh Smith

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 30:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks against the Toronto Raptors at Philips Arena on January 30, 2013 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

Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has pouted and groaned about his situation for quite some time, and now, according to reports, he might finally be on his way out of town (per TNT analyst David Aldridge via

The Atlanta Hawks are entertaining trade offers around the league for forward Josh Smith, but have yet to decide whether they will deal the ninth-year forward, according to league sources.

The Hawks met with Smith's representatives this week, at which point the team indicated it was not willing to give Smith a max contract after this season, according to a source.


UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 8, at 6:49 p.m. ET by Brian Leigh's Chris Broussard relayed a "60-percent" chance that Smith gets traded this season. He also teased the Brooklyn Nets as a possible suitor:

Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also further substantiated the Hawks' refusal to pay Smith max dollars:

---End of update---

It's that last part (of Aldridge's quote) that's causing the rift. Smith believes he's a max-contract player, but the Hawks—who plan to be spenders in the 2013 offseason—don't think he warrants that kind of sum.

At his best, it's hard to argue a case against Smith. The 27-year-old, do-it-all forward has shown flashes of greatness in his nine-year career, and as of late, even hints of consistency. Coming off a career year in 2011-12, he's averaging 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.2 blocks per game this season.

But his on-court prowess oftentimes comes with a price.

Earlier this season, Smith was suspended one game for "conduct detrimental to the team," a move that hardly surprised anybody. He has long been frustrated with his spot in Atlanta and his name has been floated in trade rumors for over a year.

This news seems a little more inevitable than previous reports, though. This is the Hawks flat-out telling Smith that they don't value him the way he values himself.

Even if they don't trade him, Smith is highly unlikely to be wearing a Hawks uniform next season. Why not see what you can get in return right now?

Atlanta is currently 27-22, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference and safely among the group of eight playoff teams. However, its play has been shoddy of late, and following Lou Williams' season-ending ACL injury, it's hard to see the Hawks as serious contenders this season.

Could now be the time to make moves for the future?