Moves Atlanta Hawks Could, Should Have Made at the NBA Trade Deadline

Amber North@NoDensityContributor IIFebruary 25, 2013

Surprisingly, Josh Smith is still a Hawk.
Surprisingly, Josh Smith is still a Hawk.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Josh Smith is still with the Atlanta Hawks.

After all the hoopla surrounding the veteran forward before the trade deadline, the Hawks ended up keeping Smith.

Instead, they traded guard Anthony Morrow to Dallas for Mavericks small forward Dahntay Jones. Both players have expiring contracts this offseason.

Hawks general manager Danny Ferry missed out on some opportunities to make some diligent moves before deadline.

It is unclear whether Ferry plans on keeping Smith to match his max contract demands or to simply let Smith walk for nothing once free agency starts in the summer.

There is no telling, but the Hawks have Smith for now. These are some deals Ferry should've looked into prior to the deadline.

Hawks Trade Josh Smith to Milwaukee for Ekpe Udoh, Luc Mbah a Moute and Protected No. 1 pick

According to ESPN’s Ric Bucher, the Hawks turned down a deal at the last minute that would have sent Josh Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ekpe Udo, Luc Mbah a Moute and a protected No. 1 pick.

That’s a completely different deal that was reported last week: sending Smith to the Bucks for their guard Monta Ellis.

The latter trade would have worked better short-term. But getting Udo, Mbah a Moute and a first-round draft pick is an obvious move for rebuilding.

The two players average a combined 11.6 points a game, which is five points less than Smith’s average alone.

Mbah a Moute would have been a great asset for the Hawks defense, with his long arms making it tough for any player shooting from the perimeter.

Udo, on the other hand, could be headed to “bust” territory. He was selected sixth overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors but has failed to prove why he was worth the lotto pick.

But like Mbah a Moute, his defensive presence would have been beneficial for the Hawks.

No matter, though. Maybe the players’ lack of offensive prowess and the uncertainty of what the protected No. 1 pick are reasons why Ferry decided to balk at a Bucks deal.

Hawks Trade Josh Smith to Phoenix for Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley and First-Round Draft Pick

This trade actually could have worked out nicely for the Hawks. Marcin Gortat is a big man who can play solid D and has shooting range. And his numbers aren’t so bad, either: 11.2 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.

Jared Dudley is also an effective player. He is a reliable shooter from long distance (39 percent from behind the arc) and is one of the toughest small forwards in the league when it comes to rebounding (ranked 16th among shooting guards).

The best part about this trade is that both players’ contracts are good until at least the 2013-14 season, so the Hawks would not have to worry about scrambling to make more moves come summertime.

The big glaring problem with this and the trade above is Josh Smith’s expiring contract.

Sub .500 teams like the Bucks and Phoenix Suns are trying to patch their teams into true contenders. Getting Smith would only be half of it—trying to convince Smith to stay once he becomes an unrestricted agent is the real stinker.

That is a lot of effort for one man who expects to get paid maximum.

Hawks Trade Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia to Minnesota for Derrick Williams, Brandon Roy and Nikola Pekovic

The Minnesota Timberwolves could certainly gain from a Josh Smith-Zaza Pachulia trade. Smith’s versatility and explosiveness would mesh well with point guard Ricky Rubio’s fast-paced offense.

Pachulia’s size would be enough to replace Nikola Pekovic’s absence. And even though he has an expiring contract, Pachulia would be an easier player to re-sign in July than Smith.

The Atlanta Hawks would receive the T’Wolves' lottery pick Derrick Williams, Brandon Roy and Pekovic, who is the only player of the three with an expiring contract this season.

Roy is a concern because he is injury-prone and has only played five games, but when he’s healthy, he is one tough wingman to guard.

Williams is still adjusting to NBA play but has improved from his rookie season. Still, acquiring him would still be an upgrade from getting a mid-first round draft pick in the summer.

Pekovic, who has stepped up tremendously for the ailing Kevin Love, would be a huge asset to the Hawks post. Al Horford would finally get to play his true position at power forward while Pekovic plays the 5.

Both teams risk losing a player to free agency with Smith and Pekovic’s contracts expiring in the summer, so this would have been a pretty fair trade.

Hawks Trade Devin Harris and DeShawn Stevenson to Dallas for Shawn Marion and Brandan Wright

Devin Harris and DeShawn Stevenson both admitted recently that they would love to end their NBA careers on the Dallas Mavericks.

Meanwhile, Shawn Marion has expressed his disdain on the idea of being traded to a losing team.

He would be in luck with the Hawks, though. They at least are looking playoff-bound, while the 2011 defending champions are four and a half games behind No. 8 seed Houston Rockets.

Marion is a 14-year veteran who was one of the most explosive small forwards in the league, but he is now a very reliable role player.

Brandan Wright is definitely a long-range shooting center with no real post game and has yet to play a full NBA season due to injuries. His contract expires this summer and Marion still has until the 2013-14 season.

Harris has struggled to find his way into the Hawks offense, but going back to Dallas would be a better fit for him. He would likely be the starting point guard and have a better opportunity to score more.

Stevenson was a hero in Dallas after shutting down LeBron James in the 2011 NBA Finals. Since then, he has suffered from back injury. If anything, his loyalty to the Mavericks could be enough for Dallas to re-acquire him.

Hawks Trade Kyle Korver to Denver for Andre Miller

Kyle Korver is known to be one of the sharpest shooters in the league. In fact, he currently leads the NBA with his .458 three-point field goal percentage.

Even though his contract expires in the summer, the Denver Nuggets would benefit extremely well with Korver’s fearless scoring.

The Atlanta Hawks are in need of a reliable backup point guard, and Andre Miller fits the bill. Atlanta probably benefits more because Miller has two more years on his contract.

Denver would be dealing with Korver’s expiring contract in the summer, but Korver’s shooting accuracy could be convincing enough for the Nuggets to match any offer he asks for.


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