Josh Smith is the biggest name on the block as the NBA’s trading deadline draws nearer, so it’s not surprising that the Atlanta Hawks are fielding offers that include players as talented as Monta Ellis and more.
There’s a great chance that “J-Smoove” elects to take his talents elsewhere in July if he’s not moved from the ATL, an issue the organization certainly realizes.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential landing destinations for Smith and other rumors about the Hawks superstar in today’s rumor roundup.
Monta Ellis for Smith in the Works?
The Milwaukee Bucks are less than enamored with the volume shooting guard they acquired at the 2012 trade deadline, which is why it’s not surprising to find the franchise has dangled him in exchange for Smith.
ESPN’s Marc Stein noted that the Hawks brass would like to pair Jeff Teague and Ellis in the backcourt, giving a new dynamic to a unit that has been stagnant and ravaged by injury.
Marc Stein @ESPNSteinLine
On Bucks/Josh Smith talk: Hawks' interest believed to start w/Monta Ellis, since Monta could play next to Jeff Teague, whom Hawks still like2/19/2013, 3:25:03 PM
The Bucks star may not be a capable defender or great three-point shooter, but he averages 18.4 points, 5.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds playing next to Brandon Jennings, another lead guard that shares many of the same skills.
Ellis clearly needs a change of scenery and Atlanta may just be the perfect destination to jump-start his career, giving the Hawks a bona fide superstar in return for Smith.
Boston Celtics Interested
While the Boston Celtics may have lost star point guard Rajon Rondo for the season (plus impact role players Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa), they haven’t given up on their quest to win a title.
Because of that determination, GM Danny Ainge has thrown his hat into the ring and is reportedly (as per Stein) intrigued by the possibility of adding J-Smoove to the roster.
However, any potential swap would likely have to involve either Kevin Garnett (who is going to be hard-pressed to waive his no-trade clause) or Paul Pierce (the face of the franchise for years and a fan favorite.)
Unless Hawks GM Danny Ferry is willing to take on a number of inconsequential pieces for a legitimate star, there isn’t much of a chance a deal between these two parties gets done.
While Smith isn’t likely to don the C’s green anytime soon, he is likely to be spotted in a new uniform over the next few days.
Hawks Definitely Moving Smith
Because of all the rumors, it appears that the Atlanta team brass has given up on keeping its versatile forward.
ESPN’s Marc Stein has gone a step further and is reporting the organization feels Smith is a “virtual lock” to leave via free agency, and that is the main reason why it is determined to deal him at the deadline.
CBS Sports’ Ken Berger found that the franchise is seeking a combination of expiring contracts, young players and draft picks in exchange for Smith’s services, which could cost upwards of $90 million over five years if he is signed to a long-term, max contract.
With such a high price tag expected for a notoriously inefficient shot-taker who has never advanced past the second round of the postseason, it makes sense that the Hawks are ready to give up on J-Smoove.