Several teams have been rumored to be seriously interested in acquiring Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith, and the Dallas Mavericks are the newest potential suitor.
The news comes from CBS Sports' Ken Berger (via CBS' Eye on Basketball Twitter account):
CBS Sports NBA @CBSSportsNBA
.@KBergCBS reports that Dallas has had "internal discussions" about Josh Smith. http://t.co/eH28RioA Not clear on talks between DAL, ATL2013-2-14 19:20:06
Of course, we are approaching the trad deadline, and that process wouldn't be complete without some conflicting information. In this instance, it is provided by ESPN's Marc Stein:
Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine
Mavs NOT after Josh Smith but PG clearly been big worry in Big D. Trade targets, Cuban said Monday, must be worthy of "top three" on roster2013-2-13 05:21:55
In case this trade is still a possibility, let's do some dissecting.
What it Means
Smith is an explosive, unique player.
While he has always been a major force on the defensive end, his offensive efficiency has taken a hit over the past few years as a result of too many jump shots.
However, after a slow start to this season, Smith has begun to heat up at a torrid pace with his name being mentioned more and more in trade rumors. In the month of February, the athletic big man is averaging 21.0 points (on 54.7 percent shooting from the floor and 66.7 percent from deep), 10.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.7 blocks over six games.
Even if you go back to the start of January, his numbers are far more efficient than his overall season totals suggest.
Moreover, if the Mavericks are able to acquire the talented power forward, it could potentially serve as a first step in pairing friends Smith and future free agent Dwight Howard, in whom the Mavericks have long been interested.
We are still in the early stages.
The Mavericks have yet to even have discussions with Atlanta, and it's unclear whom they would give up to acquire the red-hot Smith.
Still, Mark Cuban hasn't been shy about his desire to make moves before the up-coming deadline, and it wouldn't be surprising if talks seriously heated up over the next week.
This is certainly an intriguing new rumor surrounding Smith as the trade deadline approaches.