It looks like J-Smoove is on the move, and Brooklyn might be his destination.
With the NBA trade deadline approaching, the Atlanta Hawks are going to have to make a tough decision regarding Josh Smith and the future of their franchise. It looks like they are starting to lean toward trading their star forward.
According to NBA.com, the Hawks are unwilling to give Smith the five-year max contract, and they will be taking trade offers for him. Smith also apparently turned down a three-year deal for around $47 million.
So now we have to wonder, which teams are going to start making offers to the Hawks?
The Celtics and Lakers could potentially make a push for a trade. With Rajon Rondo out for the season, Smith would give the Celtics another star player to keep them in contention. For the Lakers, a little shake-up in their current roster may be what they need to ensure they get into the playoffs.
However, according to Chris Broussard, the Brooklyn Nets are also interested in the forward. And they should be. The Nets are in the middle of the Eastern Conference and need something else to push them to the top.
Source close to situation says "60 percent" chance ATL trades Josh Smith b4 deadline. Brooklyn one of several teams interested.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 8, 2013
One glaring issue for the Nets is consistent scoring, especially from the power forward position. Reggie Evans has done a nice job, but is incompetent offensively, and Kris Humphries hasn't been able to get back to the player he was the past two seasons.
Smith is averaging 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.2 blocks a game. He is also shooting 45 percent from the field this season and 46 percent in his career.
Something else that is very interesting for the Nets is the rejoining of Joe Johnson and Smith. The two played together for seven seasons in Atlanta. The Nets acquired Johnson in a trade with the Hawks this past offseason. This shows the Hawks and Nets are willing to do business together.
Now the question is, what would it take for the Nets to reach another deal with the Hawks? Do the Nets have enough to trade for another star player from Atlanta?
The Nets could give up whatever draft picks they have left. However, they don't have much talent that they would be willing to give up to get Smith. Two players that would most certainly have to be included in the trade are MarShon Brooks and Kris Humphries.
Are Brooks, Humphries and draft picks enough to get Smith calling the Barclays Center his home? The answer to that question might depend on the other offers that the Hawks get from teams. If that is the best offer on the table, the Hawks might just accept it instead of losing Smith to free agency.
Nets GM Billy King has been known to get other teams involved and form three- or four-team trades. That might be necessary if the Nets are truly interested in acquiring Smith.
It is going to be a very interesting couple of weeks because a Smith trade could change the balance in either the East or the West.