Josh Smith Trade Rumors: Washington Wizards Need to Get Power Forward

Max MeyerCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2013

Trading for Josh Smith would send a message around the NBA that the Wizards are no longer in rebuilding mode.
Trading for Josh Smith would send a message around the NBA that the Wizards are no longer in rebuilding mode.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards are in the Josh Smith sweepstakes, according to NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski. Smith is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. After being suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team" earlier this season, the Hawks may not be as interested in re-signing Smith, especially if he commands a max contract.

The Wizards should look to acquire and re-sign Smith over the offseason, because they would then have a core of Smith, John Wall and Bradley Beal. Smith provides a frontcourt player who can make an impact on both ends of the floor. 

Smith is averaging 17.4 points per game this season to go along with 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He's shooting 46 percent from the field. He's also averaging over a steal and two blocks per game. Smith was on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2010, and can certainly improve the Wizards' defense down low. 

A trade that would work between the two teams would be the Wizards sending away Emeka Okafor, Jan Vesely and Kevin Seraphin to the Hawks for Josh Smith and DeShawn Stevenson. 

This trade would give the Hawks two young players that they can attempt to groom within the organization. With Vesely signed for three more years and Seraphin for two, they would at least be getting some value for a guy that might not want to come back after this season.

For the Wizards, a Josh Smith-Nene combination down low would be a huge upgrade. Those two with Wall, Beal and Jordan Crawford are certainly a playoff-caliber starting lineup. Stevenson is a nice rotation player who's signed to a friendly contract over the next three seasons. 

The Wizards have been in rebuilding mode for several seasons. It's time to make a splash at the trade deadline by trading for a marquee player. Also, if they are able to re-sign Smith in the offseason, they would be setting their team up nicely for the next several years.