NBA Trade Rumors: Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich to the LA Lakers?

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 08:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after a basket against the Chicago Bulls in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 8, 2011 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)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has suggested that it may be time for the Hawks to move Josh Smith in an attempt to finally land a legitimate center.

The Los Angeles Lakers are one team that is reportedly thinking about a roster shakeup; many have speculated whether Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum may be available this offseason.

A trade of Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich in exchange for Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest works financially and could be mutually beneficial in a basketball sense as well.

If this deal happened, the Lakers' two biggest needs would actually be taken care of.

Derek Fisher has been repeatedly beaten like a drum on defense over the last two or three years. He simply cannot stay in front of point guards with even mediocre speed.

Kirk Hinrich is no young gun either, but he's one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. His defensive mechanics and competitiveness would instantly improve the Lakers defense.

Another glaring weakness that was exposed this year (especially when they were swept in the first round) was a lack of athleticism on the wing.

Once upon a time, Ron Artest was considered a premier defender.  That's simply not the case anymore. He's still solid, but nowhere near the Defensive Player of the Year form he once displayed.

Josh Smith plays power forward for the Hawks, but may be more naturally suited for the other forward position.

With his length and athleticism, he can certainly stay in front wings and rotate out to shooters more effectively than Artest can at this point.

A starting five of Hinrich, Kobe Bryant, Smith, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol would be much more dynamic than the one we've seen over the last couple years.

The deal makes a ton of sense for the Hawks as well.

Moving Hinrich isn't too big a deal since the emergence of Jeff Teague. The young point guard played great against the Bulls this postseason, and finally looks ready to assume a starting role.

Adding Ron Artest would be a bit of a downgrade from Josh Smith, but Atlanta would have to make some concession to land Andrew Bynum.

He would be a great addition to the Hawks and could help them finally reach a new level.

Bynum is a great defender inside and features a solid repertoire of post moves on offense. He has as much (or more) potential than any other young center in the league. Bynum would displace Al Horford at the center position by moving him over to power forward (his natural position).

The Hawks starting five would be Teague, Joe Johnson, Artest, Horford and Bynum.  

Again, it looks like an upgrade over last season's starting five.

Both of these teams need to change things up a bit. This deal would accomplish that and most likely improve both sides in the process.


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