Atlanta Hawks Looking To Deal Josh Smith, Memphis Grizzlies Interested?

Bhavik DarjiCorrespondent IJune 17, 2009

ATLANTA - MAY 03:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after being called for a foule while taking on the Miami Heat during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Philips Arena on May 3, 2009 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 Doug Benc/Getty Images)

There has been numerous rumors flying around the league since the Los Angeles Lakers won their 15th NBA Championship in Orlando a couple of nights ago. Rumors that involve Shaq to Cleveland, and Hedo Turkoglu leaving the Magic with the added bonus of Lakers choosing between Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza.

Now we have this one.

The Atlanta Hawks are looking to ship off Josh Smith for financial reasons, that and he is supposedly hard to coach. The Hawks have key free agents this year in Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams as well as Zaza, Josh Childress and Ronald Murry. Childress is playing in Europe right now though.

Its going to be hard to keep them when you have Josh smith being owed $10 million per year.

Keeping Smith around might not necessarily be good. Like I've stated above, Smith has been hard to coach. Also, if Josh Childress comes back, the Hawks would have Johnson, Al Horford, Smith and Childress all scoring mentality type players. Having four of them won't work out.

The thing with Smith though is he has a $6 million trade kicker in his contract. What this means that the team that he gets traded to has to pay him $6 million right away. In the state that the economy is it seems unlikely that this would happen.

"You are going to see very few owners willing to do things like that anymore," one GM said. "I'm not saying he's impossible to trade. There are a few owners like Paul Allen, James Dolan, Mark Cuban and maybe Daniel Gilbert who would pay the money. But there aren't many."

The Grizzlies might.

Memphis is currently lacking a player at the four position. Darrel Arthur isn't cutting it out for them.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

As you can see from the first chart , Smith is not injury prone which is an upside for the Grizzlies. He also has shot a high percentage this season and his points are down this year because of Mike Bibby.

He is a great inside presence, as he attempts 53 percent of his shots in the paint and gets 8.4 Pts out of it.

Here is what could be offered:

Grizzlies Get

Josh Smith

Hawks get

Hakim Warrick

Chris Mihm

Darko Milicic

Grizzlies 2nd pick.

This trade would have to take place during the draft, or before July the 1st as that is when their contracts are up.

This brings Warricks and Mihms expiring contract to the Hawks worth about $4.6 million in total. They get $7 million off the cap in 2010 from Milicic. That pretty much solves their financal problems, but like the Suns, the Hawks would want actual value for their team. They do get the 2nd pick though.

With that pick they could select Rubio and afford losing Bibby. They could also go for Thabeet which would then move Horford to the four spot.

Possible starting five would look like this.

Thabeet, Horford, Johnson, SG, Mike Bibby

The Grizzlies get an athletic PF, who can shoot up close fairly well, as well as rebounds and overall scoring.

The Grizzlies could have a starting five of Gasol, Smith, Gay, Mayo and Conley. That's pretty much a good starting five right there and you don't have to wait and see if Thabeet is going to be a bust or not.

Nothing is set in stone, but this is just the start of what should be a very exciting off-season.


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