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NBA Trade Rumors: Phoenix Suns' Package Will Help Land Josh Smith at Deadline

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 20:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a basket by the Miami Heat at Philips Arena on February 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Mike MoraitisAnalyst IFebruary 21, 2013

The Josh Smith sweepstakes continue to heat up as the Phoenix Suns have put together a potential package that could help them pry away the Atlanta Hawks stars.

According to Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times, the Suns and Hawks are discussing a trade that could involve center Marcin Gortat, shooting guard Jared Dudley and a possible first-round pick:

Suns, some NBA officials contend, are top cinders for Smith. Gortat, Dudley and 1st rounder being discussed.

— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) February 21, 2013

Gortat's value comes as a solid all-around big man who can score, rebound and play some defense. The Suns center is averaging 11.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Dudley can also contribute in multiple facets of the game. The 27-year-old is averaging 11.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest. Not only can he drive to the basket with success, but Dudley is also a threat from long distance.

Both players are also under contract through at least next season, so the Hawks won't have to worry about either flying the coop right away.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this deal is the first-round pick the Suns may be willing to give up. Phoenix isn't exactly ready to become an elite team any time soon even if they do land Smith, and that makes their draft picks much more valuable to a team that will be rebuilding like the Hawks.

It remains to be seen if the Suns would want that pick protected, but if not, that will only increase their chances at acquiring Smith.

Now, the only problem for the Suns will be enticing Smith to stay beyond this season, as the forward will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

However, the Suns are building a solid nucleus of players to surround Smith. Players such as point guard Goran Dragic, forward Michael Beasley and big men like Luis Scola and newly acquired Marcus Morris could be the necessary pieces that help Smith decide to stay in Phoenix down the road.

Granted, that group isn't exactly elite, but Smith's presence on the roster as a potent scorer and strong interior presence could change that immediately.

The Suns haven't been discussed as a favorite to land Smith before the trade deadline, but with this package, they have become big players in the running for the 27-year-old.

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