Nets going hard after Josh Smith, sources say. While they've discussed a trade for Ben Gordon, getting Josh is a bigger priority.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 11, 2013
Let's take a closer look at this intriguing development.
What It Means
Adding a dynamic player like Smith—no matter his struggles this season—is obviously something the Nets are interested in. With the Hawks so open with their desire to trade the 27-year-old star, several teams are sure to at least inquire about his asking price.
Is Smith a potential fit with Brooklyn?
Smith is in the midst of arguably the worst offensive season of his career. He's settling for an inordinate amount of jumpers and, as a result, is shooting just 45.1 percent from the field and has a career-low offensive rating of 94 (via Basketball-Reference.com).
Still, though, at 6'9" and 225 lbs, Smith's defense is unrivaled. He is averaging 1.3 steals and 2.2 blocks per contest on the year and has an impressive defensive rating of 100. Last year, he led the NBA in defensive win shares (via Basketball-Reference.com).
Adding Smith to a frontcourt featuring Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace would immediately make the Nets, who are currently 16th in the league in defensive rating (via Basketball-Reference.com) very tough to score on from the inside.
What Is Next?
Despite all of this talk, it's time to cool the jets.
Smith will be involved in many more trade rumors, and it's still unclear if the Nets will have enough resources to wrangle him away.
Kris Humphries has been hot in trade talks lately, and Wallace could also be an option, but it's unlikely the Hawks want to take on the latter's big contract through the 2015-16 season.
For now, we will just have to wait and see if anything more develops on this situation.