NBA Trade Rumor: Exploring Josh Smith to His "Preferred" Trade Destinations

Hayden CoombsCorrespondent IIIJune 22, 2011

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    NBA Trade Rumor: Exploring Josh Smith to His "Preferred" Trade Destinations

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      After months of having his name tossed around the trade blocks, Josh Smith and the Atlanta Hawks finally appear ready to part ways.

      While Josh Smith has yet to publicly request a trade, a source close to the situation has said that that the relationship has run its course.

      Smith has reportedly told family and friends that his preferred destinations are the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic.

      It remains unclear if there are additional teams involved in a possible trade for the defensive specialist, but in this slideshow we will be exploring trades strictly involving the four teams mentioned above.

    Boston Celtics

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      While a trade sending Smith to Boston seemed unlikely to begin with, reports coming in this morning say that Boston has no plans whatsoever to acquire Smith.

      That being said, if Boston was to make a move for Smith, it's hard to imagine one of the "Big Four" not being included.

    New Jersey Nets

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      Acquiring help for franchise point guard Deron Williams is an absolute must for New Jersey's front office. If they don't put some pieces around D-Will, they could lose him.

      While D-Will had great things to say about shooting guard Anthony Morrow and center Brook Lopez, small forward was a glaring weakness for the Nets last year.

      Josh Smith could come in and be a huge contributor at both small and power forward. Playing with an elite point guard like Deron Williams would also help with Smith's questionable shot selection, as Williams could get the ball to Smith in the right places.

      For New Jersey to make this trade happen, they would probably have to send their first-round pick (No. 27) and work a sign-and-trade involving Kris Humphries. Depending on the price they signed Humphries for, a role player like Jordan Farmar and/or a young piece like Damion James may also have to be included.

    Houston Rockets

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      The Rockets are desperately looking to trade up in the draft to acquire a center. With so much uncertainty surrounding their franchise center, Yao Ming, one can hardly blame them if Josh Smith isn't their top priority right now.

      Due to having almost $9 million built up in trade exemptions, however, you can't count out the Rockets.

      Atlanta would not be getting back fair value in this trade. They would essentially be dumping Smith's $11.7 million a year contract for their choice of Luis Scola, Jordan Hill or Patrick Patterson. Hasheem Thabeet could also be tossed into the mix.

      If Atlanta can't (or won't) re-sign Jamal Crawford, Courtney Lee would be an attractive commodity they could pursue.

    Orlando Magic

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      This is by far the most intriguing potential destination for Josh Smith.

      Dwight Howard has come out and said that he will leave Orlando if they aren't serious contenders for the NBA Championship. 

      According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Orlando and Atlanta are in serious discussions to make a reunion of good friends and AAU teammates, Howard and Smith, happen.

      It's hard to say who would be involved in this trade because Orlando is bogged down with so many large contracts. The Hawks are interested in Ryan Anderson, when paired with Jameer Nelson, to soften the blow of losing Smith quite a bit.

      Nelson is a proven NBA starter and would provide plenty of competition for Jeff Teague. Anderson is nowhere near the level of Josh Smith, but he does possess great fundamentals and a very solid jump shot.

      This trade would also mean that Orlando is committed to Gilbert Arenas at the point. Orlando also does not have a first-round draft pick or any cap room, which would mean Chris Duhon would be Arenas' primary backup.