4 Teams That Could Deal for Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith
J-Smoove's future in Atlanta is cloudy.
But it's becoming increasingly clear his days in the "Highlight Factory" at Philips Arena are numbered.
But with the Feb. 16 trade deadline getting closer and the threat of losing Smith for nothing, Atlanta appears to be more and more willing to listen to offers for him. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard via Twitter:
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
It has also come out that the Hawks would be looking for a quality young center (via ESPN) if they were to move Smith.
Knowing that, who else besides Brooklyn would be able to do a deal with Atlanta?
Here are four possibilities.
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Lets start with the most obvious team: the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn has let it be known they want superstar players. There's no secret about that.
But Josh Smith as a Net would actually be a good fit, not just a ploy to sell tickets.
Small forward is one of the only positions on the roster that needs to be addressed. After Gerald Wallace, Brooklyn's options are Keith Bogans, Jerry Stackhouse, Damion James and Tornike Shengelia, who has appeared in just 13 games this season.
No wonder the Nets want Smith.
A starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Smith, Reggie Evans and Brook Lopez would definitely be impressive. Wallace would be the sixth man.
But the problem here is simple: The Nets don't have a young center to give the Hawks, as Lopez is the only true center on the roster.
They could consider taking Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks in return. Perhaps Mirza Teletovic, the promising power forward?
If there's one thing for sure, a deal between the Nets and the Hawks would be difficult to form because the lack of a center.
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The Houston Rockets could be another option, considering general manager Daryl Morey has been known to make blockbuster trades for big names. The most notable of which was the deal for James Harden before the season started.
Josh Smith could fit in well in Houston, because after Chandler Parsons, the only other small forward on the roster is Carlos Delfino.
Smith wouldn't have to be the focal point in Houston, as that's Harden's job.
But similarly to the Nets, the Rockets don't have a "promising young center" to give to the Hawks. There's Cole Aldrich, but he's not exactly a franchise player. And the Hawks wouldn't take Omer Asik's contract.
But that doesn't mean Houston has nothing to offer.
Atlanta could take whatever it wanted out of the treasure chest that contains Terrence Jones, Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Morris or maybe even Royce White. But White would most likely not go to another team considering his issues with anxiety.
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The Denver Nuggets could be an interesting option.
It would be a challenge to see how Josh Smith would fit in, as Andre Iguodala is already there, but hear me out.
The system the Nuggets run is a great fit for Smith.
He's the kind of player who likes to get out on the fast break and make amazing plays. His athleticism would blend right in with an athletic team like Denver.
The Nuggets have a few centers to play around with: Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee.
They could package McGee along with Danilo Gallinari—who make almost $20 million combined—to get back Smith and another player or two that would match the salary cap demands.
Just imagine Ty Lawson and Andre Miller throwing lobs to Smith.
It's an exciting idea but a difficult one to actually pull off.
San Antonio Spurs
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Of all the teams mentioned, the Spurs have arguably the best pieces to offer the Hawks.
Tiago Splitter would almost certainly convince Atlanta to part with Josh Smith. Splitter would allow Al Horford to move over to his natural position at power forward.
The best thing about this prospect is the fact a trade would be so easy to pull off.
This would be a simple two-for-one trade, as Splitter and Stephen Jackson go to Atlanta while Smith comes to San Antonio. Their salaries match almost perfectly.
My only concern is this: Josh Smith just doesn't seem like a Spur.
He's flashy and has a big personality.
That wouldn't mesh well with a team that simply takes care of its business like San Antonio does.
It's certainly an interesting idea, though.
What other teams could trade for Smith? Tell me on Twitter @Lingberg2000.