INSIDER: Josh Smith

Josh Smith has been a seemingly hot topic on the forum lately - with a lot of people thinking he has completely worn out his welcome in Atlanta (I tend to agree). I found this little piece about likely trade scenarios where Josh could end up.

I am not seeing any of these deals as slam dunks for the Hawks, however if they could change up that Boston deal to include Rondo - I could see that as a done deal.

What are your thoughts? Here is the article;

This looks like the end of the line for Josh Smith in Atlanta. The Hawks forward, who is in the final season of his contract, was suspended for Wednesday's win over the Brooklyn Nets due to the euphemistic "conduct detrimental to the team."

While a meeting between Smith's agent and GM Danny Ferry did not result in a trade request, it still looks like a divorce would be best for both player and team, which snapped a stretch of six losses in seven games by beating Brooklyn without Smith. And that means an opportunity for the rest of the league.

The downside of trading Smith now is that he's at the floor of his value. Instead of making a push in his contract year, Smith has seen his numbers drop across the board this season, which is shaping up as his worst since at least 2008-09. In part, the issues might stem from coach Larry Drew using Smith at small forward more than he has in years. While Smith's athleticism may lend itself to a perimeter role, and shows Atlanta playing better as a team with him at small forward, the position takes Smith away from his strengths. His rebounding naturally declines from the perimeter.

Beyond that, Smith has suffered through a bit of a shooting slump. This shows up in his accuracy on long 2-pointers (down from 37 percent to 27 percent, per and at the free throw line, where Smith is inexplicably shooting a career-worst 51.4 percent. If Smith were making free throws at his career rate (66.2 percent), he would have scored another 20 points -- enough to add 0.6 points per game to his scoring average.

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There's no reason to believe that Smith's game is truly in decline. Besides rebounding, he remains strong in the other stats that demonstrate athleticism, including steals, blocks (swatting shots at his best rate in five seasons) and shot attempts at the rim. Beyond that, Smith is just 27, an age at which players should be peaking.

He entered the NBA out of high school, so Smith will be exceptionally young for a star-caliber player reaching the market as an unrestricted free agent. As a result, he should be able to hold his value over the life of his next contract. Over the next three seasons, the players my SCHOENE projection system found most similar to Smith produced more than 24 wins above replacement player, a figure that would sneak him into the league's 20 projected most valuable players over that span.

The opportunity to trade for a player with Smith's talent, potentially at a reduced rate, is a unique one. So too are the challenges to the deal, and that's without even getting into Smith's troubled reputation in the locker room. After trading Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams last summer to clear up the Hawks' books, Ferry is unlikely to blow the cap space -- more than enough to make a max offer -- on middling players. Atlanta either has to get real value for Smith or expiring contracts that won't affect the team going forward.

At the same time, any team that deals for Smith takes the chance of him walking in free agency this summer, so rival GMs must weigh how much they're willing to give up for a player who might be a rental. Whoever deals for Smith should have the upper hand in re-signing him because they can offer an additional year and larger raises on his next contract, but that would take them out of the running for other free agents.

Ultimately, the best fit looks like a team that is in contention now, could stand to upgrade by adding Smith, has cap space coming next summer and might not be able to sign anyone better than Smith. Let's take a look at a few candidates and possible trades.

Boston Celtics

Jeff Green and Courtney Lee to Atlanta; Smith to Boston.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

Celtics fans would love to add Smith to their lineup, but it's difficult to see the Hawks front office being equally excited unless Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo is involved. Boston doesn't have a true expiring contract on the roster (Pierce's partially guaranteed deal comes closest), and Atlanta likely isn't interested in Green's exorbitant deal.


Dallas Mavericks

Rodrigue Beaubois, Chris Kaman and picks to Atlanta; Smith to Dallas.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

Dallas has the requisite expiring contracts to make a run at Smith and could add some young talent and draft picks to sweeten the pot for the Hawks. Still, the Mavericks don't feel like a match for Smith, who would have to play small forward in Dallas as long as Dirk Nowitzki is around. Besides, Mark Cuban may still be holding out hope of signing Dwight Howard in free agency, so the Bank of Cuban would probably turn down this offer.


Houston Rockets

Cole Aldrich, Carlos Delfino, Marcus Morris and picks to Atlanta; Smith to Houston.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

Put my money on Houston as Smith's eventual destination. The Rockets could save Atlanta money by using their $6.7 million in cap space to take on more salary than they send back, and they have plenty of intriguing young pieces. For cap purposes, the Hawks would probably have to choose between Morris and Patrick Patterson as a Smith replacement, with the possibility of adding in draft picks.

From Houston's perspective, Smith would be a good fit for a team that is missing only an athletic power forward in its starting lineup of the future. The Rockets can offer him a chance to play with a talented frontcourt and potentially contend in the Western Conference as their young talent develops. This just makes too much sense for both sides.


Los Angeles Lakers/Minnesota Timberwolves

Nikola Pekovic, Brandon Roy and Derrick Williams to Atlanta; Pau Gasol to Minnesota; Smith to L.A.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

Smith would also fit nicely in the Lakers' starting five as a more athletic option alongside Dwight Howard. The problem is Gasol's high salary would eat up Atlanta's cap space, and adding a 32-year-old player on the decline doesn't fit with the Hawks' timetable. So the only way Atlanta and L.A. could make a deal is with a third partner. The Timberwolves make the most sense, though they probably would not be willing to get older in the middle and add salary during what looks like a lost season due to injuries. Minnesota probably says no to a deal Ferry might make.


New Orleans Hornets

Al-Farouq Aminu and Ryan Anderson to Atlanta; Smith to New Orleans.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

The Hornets don't really fit any of the ideal criteria; they are going nowhere, have few expiring contracts and are building around youngsters Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. So why make this trade? Because Smith can play small forward next to Davis at times, which is more difficult for the slow-footed Anderson. Meanwhile, the Hawks might be willing to use their cap space on Anderson, who has demonstrated this season he can thrive without Howard. Consider New Orleans an intriguing long shot.


Orlando Magic

Josh McRoberts and J.J. Redick to Atlanta; Smith to Orlando.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

Orlando is another rebuilding team that might be tempted by the opportunity to add a talent like Smith. The Magic could make a deal work with the expiring contracts of McRoberts and Redick, who could be valuable to Atlanta in a larger deal that flips him to another team. How about Denver for Jordan Hamilton and Timofey Mozgov (Trade Machine)? The Hawks would need to get some picks or another young player (Andrew Nicholson, perhaps?), but that could prove workable for all sides.


Toronto Raptors

Jose Calderon and Ed Davis to Atlanta; Smith to Toronto.

(View the deal in's Trade Machine.)

If the Raptors were willing to offer a package of Calderon (expiring) and Davis for Rudy Gay, as our Marc Stein reported last week, would they do the same for Smith? That would have to tempt the Hawks, who would get a young power forward coming into his own without affecting their cap situation much going forward. But Toronto would probably consider that too much to give up for a player who might bolt for a warmer locale.

Lebron's Hairline
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The three team trade with LA

The three team trade with LA and minny is the only one which gives the hawks back some kind of foundation as the hawks need a legit center and a youn player with alot of potential in Derrick Williams.

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@LeBron's Hairline

If I were the Hawks I would definitely want those players from Minnesota.

Meditated States
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Why would Boston

Get rid of Rondo for Josh Smith? Not going to happen. Who runs the PG for them? They currently don't have an adequate back up at PG now. Not logical despite how the money would work. The goal would be to put him with his HS teamate Rondo, not swap them.

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I definitely see your point - and I agree with you, from Boston's perspective.

I was looking at the trades from the perspective of the Hawks. Why would they take on Jeff Green's contract without getting something of value in return (Coutney Lee is not enough).

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Hawks fan here

For the love of god, can anyone explain to me why the Hawks would want Green and his contract from HELL.

I would rather Hawks see Josh walk and have cap room than be stuck with Jeff Green and his horrid contract
My head about to explode.

Only slightly worse is the Minni Deal.... Is Williams really that old????? How could he have that few years in League and bethat old????

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Sorry I screwed up

I assumed this was involving the guy Wolves selected. From Syracuse.... Like 25 as second year guy. Still Horridtradefor Hawks

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Why do people assume that the

Why do people assume that the Wolves want Pau Gasol? He simply doesn't make sense.. An aging player at a position where they already have a number of higher quality younger players... As a wolves fan I would be extremely disappointed if a deal like the one described above goes down... Meanwhile if they could move some combination of Pek, Williams, Roy and the first round pick they have this year for Josh Smith that would make a lot more sense..

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I have a feeling the hawks

I have a feeling the hawks may settle for a rushed deal at the deadline just so they don't lose him for nothing

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Does anyone remember in 2011

Does anyone remember in 2011 when D-Will was surpisingly traded after the Sloan fallout? The deal was made for Favors, Harris and two first round picks. I say that to say this, the Hawks COULD potentially offer a deal similar to what was dangled for Dwight Howard prior to his journey to LA. That being Horford, Teague and our two first round picks those being ours and Houstons for Rondo + filler.

I don't know Danny Ainge's mentality towards his current team, but he said in the past he would NOT overcommit to the core which he clearly has at this point. The package ATL could offer for Rondo it would be hard for Ainge to find a better deal as far as for a rebuilding standpoint. Horford is 26 and Teague is 24 along with two future solid picks.

Danny Ferry is in WIN-now mode. I highly doubt he will trade Josh Smith simply for the pull he could have on certain players that are available next FA. Worst come to worst Josh leaves then the team goes into full rebuild. But the deal above is one I think Danny Ferry will use to try and bring in some type of player to relinquish some of the negative things the team has faced lately.

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That trade with the Magic is

That trade with the Magic is an absolute joke. Redick and McRoberts? If they included their first rounder this year and Moe Harkless I'd consider it but straight up for those two guys would be worse than the Grizz-Lakers Pau Gasol deal. The Hawks could get way more assets than Redick and McRoberts for J-Smooth.

I hope that he ends up trying to bring D12 to Atlanta in the offseason via sign and trade with the Lakers for Horford, Teague and John Jenkins. We would still be able to resign Josh, pair him with Howard and make a run at Chris Paul.

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Id love the Sixers to get

Id love the Sixers to get into these talks but we traded all our assetts for Bynum. Could of probably traded Iggy for Smith straight up tho better deals were on the table. I also believe a package of Vucevic and Harkless which would of paired Horf.ord and Vooch underneath

Im not sure what Thads value is but Thad is playing great this year tho I might trade him and Hawes for Smith. The Hawks get two solid contracts and could start Thad, Horford and Hawes which is a nice frontcourt in the East.

The Sixers would then have the chance to build around Jrue, Evan, Bynum and Smith if not then trio hey have a ton of cap room to build around Jrue and Evan.

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Why is Utah not in the mix ? They have 4 talented guys playing two positions. Kanter, Al Jeff, Millsap, Favors. If Josh Smith can play the 3, why not deal one of those 4 guys ?

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How does this look? Atlanta gets 2 positions of need, C and SF, a potential star in Evan Turner, and on pretty good contracts. Philly gets Smith who would secure the SF spot and truly give them a real big 3 with Jrue, Smoove, and Bynum

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