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Teams in need of a defensive stopper at the forward spot will covet Smith's services.
Prediction for Final Landing Spot: Phoenix Suns
Josh Smith has been linked to several NBA teams, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
But which team actually stands the best chance?
He's sure to command a nice package, but he's also seeking a max-contract this summer, which makes acquiring the combo forward a risky proposition for any team. There's no guarantee that they can retain him this summer.
Of the three teams in on the Smith sweepstakes, the Houston Rockets may have the most to offer, but that doesn't mean they are willing to relinquish those assets. They may be hesitant to include either Omer Asik or Chandler Parsons, who have been performing well this season.
The reasoning behind keeping Parsons and Asik is that the Rockets could just sign Smith outright this summer.
They're going to be under the cap and in the hunt for a big name free agent. Giving up on Parsons and Asik may not be in their best interest. Both start and have been developing well on a high scoring Rockets team led by the NBA's fifth leading scorer James Harden.
Harden may be an attractive selling point for Smith or any other free agent this summer; superstars like playing with other superstars.
The Suns were also reported to be among the frontrunners for Smith, and are offering a package centered around the underachieving Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and a first-round pick according to Gary Woelfel of the Journal Times.
The interest by the Rockets and Suns fits with what general manager Danny Ferry wants: send Smith to the Western Conference and avoid helping out any team the Hawks could face in the playoffs this season or next.
But the Milwaukee Bucks have also shown interest. Smith likes the idea of playing with high scoring 2-guard Monta Ellis, but indicated he would play for the Bucks with or without the combo guard, according to Woelfel.
The Bucks have been hesitant to include players in deals, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. They've reportedly made 2012 draft pick John Henson, Brandon Jennings and the league-leading shot blocker Larry Sanders unavailable to teams.
But with Smith being the coveted forward he is, general manager John Hammond may have no choice but to include one of his "untouchables."
If the Bucks aren't willing to meet the asking price for Smith, expect him to end up in a Rockets or Suns uniform.
The Rockets seem hesitant to give up major assets, though, making Phoenix's offer likely the best on the table and the one that Ferry will ultimately end up accepting.