Josh Smith: Latest Buzz Surrounding Atlanta Hawks Star

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 12, 2013

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 11:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Center on February 11, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It seems like the Atlanta Hawks have been looking to deal star Josh Smith the entire season, and with suitors beginning to express interest in the 27-year-old forward, a deal could be on the horizon.

Smith is the leading scorer for the Hawks, averaging 17.1 PPG to go with 8.6 RPG and more than two blocks per contest, but the Atlanta organization seems set on dealing the veteran in hopes of acquiring a young center, per ESPN.

With the NBA trade deadline just nine days away, here are the latest rumors swirling around Josh Smith and a potential move.


The Brooklyn Deal

ESPN's Chris Broussard originally broke the news that the Brooklyn Nets were interested in dealing for Smith, but those negotiations have yet to take the next step.

Broussard reported that the Nets are willing to offer Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks but that it will likely take more pieces to acquire the 6'9" forward.

Broussard suggested Brooklyn may need to get a third team involved, but a third team hasn't surfaced yet.

On Tuesday, Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reported that the Nets don't have high hopes of acquiring Smith from Atlanta.

According to league sources familiar with the Nets thinking, they're still searching to add a big man, but don't believe that they are going to wind up with Smith or Gordon, despite having recent trade talks with Atlanta and Charlotte.

The Nets surely could use Smith in their lineup.

Brooklyn has lost six of its last 10 games, highlighted by ugly losses to the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and most recently, the San Antonio Spurs.


The Spurs Enter the Picture

San Antonio came out of left field on this one, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports included this gem in his most recent NBA power rankings:

The Spurs are among the teams with interest in Hawks forward Josh Smith, a source told Yahoo! Sports. Keep in mind, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was previously with the Spurs.

While there has been no word as to whom the Spurs would offer in exchange, you have to like the idea of Smith in San Antonio.

The addition of Smith would seemingly make the Spurs the ultimate favorites to win the West, and more importantly, an NBA championship.

San Antonio likely recognizes its franchise needs to begin rebuilding soon, and what better way to do it than with one of the best small forwards in the game?

It isn't like the Spurs to target a guy who wants big money, but anything is possible.


Is It Possible Atlanta Keeps Smith?


In fact, ESPN's Marc Stein fills us in on the mindset of the Atlanta organization.

Unless there's a bona fide star player to be had in exchange, indications persist that the Hawks don't want to do anything that cuts into the considerable cap-space haul they're headed for in July. Because they're going to be right alongside the Dallas Mavericks, sources say, in trying to steal Howard from the Lakers.

Another factor: Josh Smith's recent declarations that he sees himself as a max player don't make it any easier to find a trade partner ready to take on the enigmatic swingman in fear of not being able to meet Smith's demands in free agency come July.

Clearly, there's a lot to wrap your head around with the Smith situation.

My guess is that the Hawks hang on to Smith and attempt to land a big fish like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum this summer in free agency.

Then again, stranger things have happened.


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