The Atlanta Hawks don't need to trade Josh Smith.
With the star forward set to explore free agency after the season, there seems to be an increasing urge for the Hawks to move him before he moves himself over the summer.
Chris Broussard of ESPN.com even reports that there is a "60 percent" chance Atlanta deals him prior to the trade deadline.
Our question then must be: Why?
For the Hawks to trade Smith, it's going to have to be a package that blows them away. They're set to have nearly $40 million in cap space this summer, and they're not about to jeopardize that type of flexibility just because.
They'll need some significant talent in return.
Remember, this isn't a Dwightmare-esque fiasco Atlanta is dealing with. Should Smith leave, it has the financial means to rebuild immediately. It won't have to suffer through as grueling a process as the Orlando Magic.
And with leverage like that, the Hawks don't have to sell Smith on the cheap. Teams are going to have to pony up some serious assets.
Which factions are equipped enough to make such an offer, knowing they'll have a legitimate opportunity at retaining Smith beyond this season?
And which teams present the best fits possible for the tumultuous forward?
Atlanta doesn't need to deal Smith, but if the right deal comes along, that changes everything.
*All stats used in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference, Synergy Sports and 82games.com unless otherwise noted.