Tag:Josh Smith
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:56 pm
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Report: Josh Smith requests trade from Hawks

Is Josh Smith headed out of Atlanta? (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has only known one home during his NBA career. And he's sick of it.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Smith has requested a trade from the Hawks.
Even as Josh Smith is having a strong season for the Hawks he has let the team know he wants to be traded as the March 15 deadline approaches, according to people with knowledge of Smith’s thinking.

And the reasons for Smith’s dissatisfaction with the team now have to make the Hawks wonder if they will be able to sign him to a contract extension next season.
The paper reports that Smith's grievances include being under a microscope, not getting enough organizational support for his All-Star bid and a belief that Atlanta doesn't have what it takes to compete for a championship. Smith would not comment on the report when offered the opportunity.

Smith, 26, is averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals per game this season. He was an obvious All-Star snub this year. According to StoryTellersContracts.com, Smith is on the books for $12.4 million this season and $13.2 million next season.

That Smith is making noise with the trade deadline coming up next week is absolutely no surprise. He's been a regular on the rumor mill for years. Contract-wise, it's never made more sense for Smith to move. A team trading for him gets to add a versatile, hyper-talented 2-way player to their rotation in time for the playoffs with a test season next year to see if he acclimates to the new situation. There's no immediate pressure on the team side to keep him happy and there's no risk that he leaves for somewhere else in free agency this summer with the extra year on his deal. What's more, teams aren't trading into a contract they could come to regret. Smith is every bit of his cap number and we're talking about 1.5 years of paying him big money, rather than 3.5 or 4.5.

This all boils down to whether Atlanta has finally had enough and/or if they are able to find a way to offload him in a way that saves sufficient money to justify the loss. Even a disgruntled Smith is a major asset for the Hawks and there's a strong argument that he's Atlanta's best player, especially with Al Horford sidelined due to injury. You can understand why they would proceed with caution or delay the move as long as possible.

On balance, this just doesn't seem like an urgent situation from Atlanta's viewpoint, even if Smith really is itching to get out of town.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:59 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 1:04 pm
 

Celtics eyeing Josh Smith?

Could Smith be shipping up to Boston soon? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Any day now. Any day, we're going to all be talking about the big trade the Celtics just made. Because there's just too much smoke for there not to be a fire.

There's the Rajon Rondo stuff, which is complicated. But there's also been chatter about the Celtics shopping their other core members. Including this from the New York Daily News:
"Ainge is trying to land Atlanta's Josh Smith and other young studs, while offering up Kevin Garnett. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can also be had, for young players and draft picks. Rajon Rondo might be leaving, too, with the Lakers and Utah seen as possible destinations."
Two deals there are interesting: 1) Rondo for Smith straight up. The Celtics get a younger player to be a cornerstone for the future inside, while the Hawks get what they desperately need, a point guard to orchestrate the offense.

And 2) Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen for Smith, Kirk Hinrich and Zaza Pachulia.  The Celtics cut ties with their core and bring in a completely capable power forward to replace Garnett, while the Hawks, a team stuck in neutral, get Garnett and Allen giving them the chance to maybe make an actual run for once. While at the same time opening up some cap flexibility in the future.

Did I just spend 20 minutes playing with the Trade Machine to come up with those? Yes, yes I did.

Point is, the Celtics are looking at maybe shaking everything up. It's hard to see them moving Paul Pierce as he's been a part of that organization for so long as still appears to have good years left, but it might be time to finally break away from Ubuntu and start making moves. Because this Celtics team isn't winning anything any time soon. Heck, it's a question as to if they're making the playoffs right now.

Ainge tried to get younger in acquiring Jeff Green lasts season, but obviously that backfired. And he's certainly looking at doing the same this year too. He doesn't want to go through a total rebuild, not after all these good years. He wants to restock and retool the team by grabbing some young talent. And the only way to do that is to rip the bandaid right off and make a tough call on your key players.

Posted on: February 11, 2012 2:51 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 2:17 pm
 

Hawks F Josh Smith miffed by All-Star snub

Josh Smith is upset by his All-Star snubbing. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

No matter how many times NBA players, coaches and analysts remind the world that the All-Star voting process is "all politics," snubbed players with legit candidacies still get bent out of shape over not being selected.

This year's prime example: Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, who is averaging 15.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.4 steals while shooting 46.7 percent from the field in 34.4 minutes a night. The Hawks are currently 18-9, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference. That's a strong, strong resume, but Smith was left off the final Eastern Conference All-Star team in favor of guys like teammate Joe Johnson, Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala and Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce.  

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution captured Smith's predictable explosion here and here.
"I guess I don't know the right people or kiss enough [butt]."

“You’ve got to factor in there is a lot of politics involved in the All-Star selection,” Smith said Friday. “Once you get that it’s really about politics, then nothing really surprises you. I call it ‘Nothing But Associates,’ NBA. It’s all who you know.”

“I can’t really point a finger and blame anybody because, at the end of the day, when you leave it up to certain people that still have ties to their agents, [and] players in this game today probably [are] just putting in a bid over the phone, or however they do it,” he said. “You have to factor that in.”
Smith finds himself at a familiar crossroads, one that faced Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge when he got snubbed last season. Both players stand no chance of being selected as starters by the fans, and are thus at the mercy of the league's coaches to select them. Players in that situation can continue to rage against the system and hope that at some point their play is so sensational that the coaches will be forced to vote them in on merit, or they can increase their odds by making small concessions to the system, getting their hands a little bit dirty in the political game.

For the private Aldridge, that meant opening a Twitter account, doing far more interviews -- national and local -- than he had done before, opening up about his mother's battle with cancer, and being supported by his coach (who lobbied for him) and organization (who produced Beats By Dre Headphones and sent them out to the other coaches and national media members). A little bribery goes a long way in political situations, obviously. 

Smith is entering his prime after getting slapped with the "immature" tag early in his career. He's absolutely right: On talent, he is an All-Star. But he plays on a balanced, good-but-not-great, off-the-radar team and that makes it difficult for him to be selected because he's battling his own fan-friendlier teammates, like Johnson and center Al Horford, for selection year after year. He's also constantly going to be in a dogfight with the second best player on the East's elite teams for one of those finals spots. 

Put it together, and Smith is facing a stacked deck. But a political consultant would look at this situation and see nothing but opportunity, given the high level and consistency of Smith's play over the last five years. Smith's story starts with winning, as he is one of the league's top 2-way players and the Hawks are headed for their fifth straight playoff appearance. It continues with his evolution and maturity as a player, a story he could tell -- through gritted teeth, surely -- in a few well-placed media interviews, where Smith could give the credit to his coach(es) and offer a candid personal vignette about the turning point when life in the NBA world "clicked" for him. That stuff sounds corny, and it is, but it also works, and it would be more than enough to build some buzz these days.

The question facing Smith is whether going down that road is an acceptable compromise or whether he would prefer to be totally annexed from the "Nothing But Associates" culture. All-Star Weekend is a giant circus seeking performers to help sell the story. Note the words "circus," "performers" and "sell," none of which jives particularly well with Smith's brash, take-me-as-I-am style. Again, this is up to Smith. The snubbing can be avoided in the future, but it will take some higher-level campaigning.
Posted on: November 21, 2011 10:14 am
 

Rajon Rondo involved in 'scuffle'

By Matt Moore 

Rajon Rondo held a charity basketball game on Saturday night, the first time he and Kendrick Perkins had shared a floor since Perkins' trade. Then that night, they went out to have a good time. But the night ended with someone taking a swing at Rondo. From the Lowell Sun:
Officers working details and patrolmen assigned downtown were already at Brian's Ivy Hall, 74 Merrimack St., yesterday about 1:45 a.m., as a packed event featuring Rondo began to empty out.

Officer Michael Kandrotas noticed a scuffle, and learned that someone "took a fighting stance and threw a punch" at the Celtics all-star and his entourage, which included fellow NBA players Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, former Celtic Nate Robinson and Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Police and Kevin Hayhurst, co-owner of Brian's Ivy Hall, said members of Rondo's entourage wrestled Valarezo to the ground.

A police report indicates Valarezo continued to resist when officers arrived, but was soon arrested and led from the building.

Hayhurst was unsure what prompted the scuffle. But he said Rondo was "unpersonable" and "disrespectful toward patrons."
via Man arrested after scuffle with C's star - Lowell Sun Online.

Rondo? Unpersonable? Surely you jest! He's such a happy-go-lucky guy! He's like a rainbow of marshmallows whenever you see him! It couldn't have been him that unpersonable. 

Maybe the best part about this story is that the man who was charged with misdemeanor assault for the thrown punch said he didn't even know who Rondo was, that he's "not an NBA fan." So some random dude just threw a punch at some guy he felt disrespected him, and it turned out to be Rajon Rondo. 

Small world. 

Also, speaking of small, please tell me it was Nate Robinson that wrestled him to the ground. Please, please, please. 

Luckily no one was seriously injured in the incident.

(HT: SI.com)
Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:00 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:55 pm
 

The EOB Elite 100, 50-41: Hawks, beards and Bulls

Posted by Royce Young



This is the sixth segment of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Elite 100, counting down the top-100 players in the NBA. 

Check out the earlier installments: 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51

Once you break the top 50, you start getting good players. Former All-Stars, solid veterans and some up-and-comers. But the top 40, that's when you start breaking into some legit talent. The all-time 3-point king. A superbeard. An overpaid "star." A blossoming star point guard and a scoring savant. There are frustrating talents, disappointing stars, aging vets and a couple young studs that could jump 20 spots by next year.

As such, we march on towards No. 1 with 50-41.

50. Tyreke Evans, SG, age 21, Sacramento Kings
2011 stats: 17.8 ppg, 5.6 apg, 4.8 rpg, 40.9 FG%, 14.46 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 69, 49, 45

After winning Rookie of the Year in 2009-10, big things were expected from Tyreke Evans. Sure, he didn't quite have a position and the Kings weren't exactly committing either way in that regard, but he was a super-talented player that could score, pass and create.

One problem for him though in 2010-11: his foot. Evans suffered through plantar fasciitis for most of the season which caused him to miss a bundle of games -- 25, in fact -- while hampering him in the 57 he did play. He was never entirely totally himself. He'd have nights where he looked like the guy that tore teams up as he walked to the Rookie of the Year, but then you could just see how the injury nagged him. A good 2010-11 and Evans is probably in our top 40, maybe even top 30. Next season will be a big chance to bounce back for him. He's likely locked into a position as Jimmer Fredette will take over point guard duties and if he gets healthy, he'll settle right back in to a scorer/creator role for the Kings. And maybe a top 40 spot.

49. Ray Allen, SG, age 36, Boston Celtics

2011 stats: 16.5 ppg, 2.7 apg, 3.4 rpg, 49.1 FG%, 44.4 3P%, 16.42 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 49, 41, 63

It feels a little funny to have the NBA's all-time 3-point shooter sitting on the back end of the top 50. But that's what tends to happen when you get to the twilight of your career.

Funny thing about Ray Allen though: He might've had one of his best seasons last year at the age of 36. He shot a career-high 44 percent from 3, averaged an extremely efficient 16.5 points a game and did his usual thing of nailing big shots and backbreaking 3s. His game changed when he went to Boston. He wasn't the gunning shooting guard going for 25 a night anymore. But that was by design. He fits into a role and a system and he's reaped the rewards of that. He doesn't have a ton of time left, but if last season was any indication, he's going to put some serious distance between himself and No. 2 on the all-time 3s list before he's done.

48. Luis Scola, PF, age 31, Houston Rockets
2011 stats: 18.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 50.4 FG%, 18.43 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 44, 51, 57

Did you know Luis Scola has finished in the top 12 in scoring for power forward each of the last two seasons? I realize that's kind of a specific measure, but here's my point: Scola is really a pretty solid power forward.

He's easy to forget because he doesn't do a lot of anything that's flashy. He scores with tremendous touch and footwork. Nothing is really above the rim and nothing is really that eye-catching. It's a simple game, but it's ridiculously difficult to defend. He is a routine threat to go for 20 and when that soft little midrange jumper is happening, he's a serious problem.

47. Luol Deng, SF, age 26, Chicago Bulls
2011 stats: 17.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 46.0 FG%, 34.5 3P%, 15.58 PER
Composite rankings (random order):
42, 64, 44

The second best player on a team that just finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference should be higher than 48th, right? Seems so, but really, this is exactly where Deng fits. He scores just enough, is a premier defender, rebounds well and just kind of fills his spot.

But the Bulls needed more from him to advance past Miami in the Eastern Finals last year. Derrick Rose was often forced into being The Option for Chicago and it was always expected of Deng to do a bit more than just wait for an open look. On some nights, he would. Others, it was a quiet 14 points on 10 shots. It's probably not fair to expect more from him because that's not who he is. Instead, he's a quality role player that can give you points on a given night, but isn't that second option. Or at least he shouldn't be.

46. James Harden, SG, age 21, Oklahoma City Thunder
2011 stats: 12.2 ppg, 2.1 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.1 spg, 43.6 FG%, 34.9 3P%, 16.42 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 45, 63, 41

If only these were beard power rankings. Because Harden would be the cream of the crop.

But 47th isn't a bad spot for him. He just wrapped up his second season and to some, he's was a disappointment for about three-fourths of his two years, mainly because he was selected third overall. But you've got to realize what Harden walked into. He was an All-American scorer from Arizona State that stepped on to a team that went on to win 50 games in his first season. He has come off the bench virtually every game for these two seasons. He has had to figure out where he stands alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

And as he showcased after Jeff Green was dealt to Boston and in the postseason, he's definitely Oklahoma City's third member of a potentially evolving new Big 3. The idea of him is that he's a Manu Ginobili type player and really, that's pretty accurate. He passes, handles and can score. He fits into a role instead of trying to force his way into every offensive conversation. He's a wonderful compliment to Westbrook in the backcourt and with Durant on the wing. Next season he should start from day one, which could mean Harden rockets up this board 10 or 15 spots. He's trending upward and catching attention and it finally has a lot more to do with his game than the outstanding beard.

45. Josh Smith, PF, age 25, Atlanta Hawks
2011 stats: 16.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 bpg, 1.3 spg, 47.7 FG%, 19.31 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 32, 37, 69


Talk about an infuriating talent. Josh Smith is 6-11. He runs the floor like a guard. He leaps like he's LeBron. He has long arms, a great build and by all appearances, should be one of the most uniquely gifted players in the league.

And yet as we saw last playoffs, he loves to hover outside and launch jumpers. The audible noise from Philips Arena every time he did said it all. It was one giant collective sigh as Smith pulled the ball up to fire from 20.

Thing is, he got it under control to some degree during the 2009-10 season. He went from shooting over a 3 a game to just 0.1. The official tally was 87 attempts to seven. That's a real effort to get shot selection under control. But then last season, he took 154 3s. So much for that.

In terms of straight numbers, he had a good 2010-11, because he really did. But it's about operating efficiently and in a way that helps your team win. I'm not sure Smith did that consistently last year. He's a top 20 talent that plays like a top 60 guy. Hence the 46th overall ranking I suppose.

Here's something that might blow your mind though: Smith is still just 25.

44. Joe Johnson, SG, age 30, Atlanta Hawks
2011 stats: 18.2 ppg, 4.7 apg, 4.0 rpg, 44.3 FG%, 29.7 3P%, 16.46 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 43, 39, 54

Not too many guys making $120 million a year -- more than Dwyane Wade or LeBron James got last summer -- should find themselves on the fringes of the top 50. And I can't decide whose fault that really is. It isn't Joe Johnson's fault the Hawks overpaid drastically for him. What was he supposed to say? No thanks, I'm not worth that much?

But it's also not the Hawks fault that Johnson has never really realized his talent. Johnson seems to play his way or the highway. When he wants to isolate in the post, he's doing it. When he wants to launch a questionable 3, he's doing it. When he wants to stand harmlessly on the wing and fade into oblivion for an entire second half, he's doing it. It's a reason Johnson has always frustrated fans which led him to being booed by Hawk fans during the 2010 playoffs. Some worried if that would scare him away from Atlanta as he was to be a free agent that summer.

Nope. Because the Hawks offered him $120 million. Not too hard to endure a few boos when you're making that kind of paper.

43. Stephen Curry, G, age 23, Golden State Warriors
2011 stats: 18.6 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.9 rpg, 48.0 FG%, 44.2 3P%, 19.46 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 38, 46, 46


I want to see Curry play a season without Monta Ellis in the backcourt next to him. I really want to see what Curry's completely capable of as a featured player. Because right now in Golden State, it's hard to figure where he fits or what his job is. I think he's the team's point guard, but I'm not really sure. Some nights he plays like he is, other nights he's the go-to scorer. Maybe that's by design or maybe it's a flaw within the roster structure.

Regardless, Curry has one of the most seamless strokes in basketball. It's just so very, very pure. When he lets a jumper fly, he's one of those guys you're convinced it's dropping through. It feels like he doesn't miss. He's undersized, sure, but that's never held him back in terms of ripping up defenses.

He's pretty overwhelmed defensively, which is one big reason he's not higher up. But in terms of offense, he's a borderline savant. He was born to score and that's exactly what he does.

42. David West, PF, age 30, New Orleans Hornets
2011 stats: 18.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 50.8 FG%, 20.51 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 37, 42, 51

I don't know if West's seemingly low ranking even has as much to do with last season's injury as you might be guessing. Yes, he suffered a devastating knee injury that could affect his career going forward. But that probably only dropped him 7-10 spots or so. West's a very good player, no doubt. But really when you start getting into the top 40 players, it's hard to really justify West being in front of a lot of those guys. Is he better than Lamar Odom? Better than Marc Gasol? Better than Rudy Gay?

I've always kind of had to wonder too if West simply rode the good fortune of having Chris Paul get him the ball too. How much better did Paul make West? All those 18-footers West has drilled -- how many came as a result of Paul drawing the defense and making it happen for him? Not to take anything away from West because he's a top power forward for sure, but I get the feeling people will say, "Forty-three!?! That's WAY too low!" Maybe it's the injury stuff or maybe it's just that West isn't a truly elite player.

41. John Wall, PG, age 20, Washington Wizards
2011 stats: 16.4 ppg, 8.3 apg, 4.6 rpg, 40.9 FG%, 15.85 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 50, 45, 34

I don't get the sense Wall will be staying anywhere near the 40s for long. His rookie season would've grabbed a lot more attention if it weren't for that mammoth dunking over cars out in Los Angeles. Looking at his year -- 16.4 points and 8.3 assists per game -- that's pretty darn good for a rookie point guard. Especially considering he was dealing with a mostly dysfunctional roster and teammates that may or may not have been told they were playing in the NBA.

Wall's place is temporary so really, it's more of a question of where he's going to eventually end up rather than where he sits currently. Is he going to be on the level of Rose and Westbrook? I absolutely think so. And if that's the case, in another year or two Wall will likely have carved out a spot at the table in the top 15. Point guards are making big jumps in their third seasons nowadays. And that's still another to go for Wall. Somehow he found himself overlooked a bit last year but as he progresses and trends more toward the top 20 and maybe top 10, he'll have plenty of attention.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 3:53 pm
 

NBA Trade Rumor: Josh Smith for No. 2 pick?

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly targeting Enes Kanter and want to trade Josh Smith to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 2 pick. Posted by Benjosh-smith Golliver.

Earlier this week, we noted that the Atlanta Hawks and forward Josh Smith could be on a path to parting ways.

On Thursday, hours before the 2011 NBA Draft, Yahoo! Sports reports that the Hawks are pushing Smith on the Minnesota Timberwolves, in hopes of landing the No. 2 overall selection.
In a lust to draft center Enes Kanter, the Atlanta Hawks are trying to engage the Minnesota Timberwolves in discussions to trade Josh Smith for the No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

Hawks GM Rick Sund has been hugely interested in Kanter throughout the pre-draft process, sources said, and has clearly been looking to find a deal for Smith. Under the salary cap, the Wolves could absorb the $13 million-plus owed him next season without sending back corresponding contracts.
The presence of power forward Kevin Love in Minnesota makes a straight-up Smith trade questionable, however the Timberwolves could always send him elsewhere or turn this into a three- team deal, using their cap space to facilitate player movement. If he was there to stay, he'd swing to a wing position, prompting mismatches with his size and length but causing headaches any time he attempted a shot from the perimeter.

The Hawks' pursuit of Kanter also comes with questions, as Arizona forward Derrick Williams has been the consensus No. 2 overall pick in the lead up to the draft. Most analysts have Kanter going No. 3 overall to the Utah Jazz, but the Jazz don't have much room in a crowded frontcourt to add Smith. Meanwhile, the Hawks already have a franchise center in place in Al Horford. At 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, Kanter is generally projected as a five but could possibly be shifted to the four. 

The primary motivation for any Smith trade is financial. From Atlanta's perspective, being able to dump his contract outright on a team with cap space, like the Timberwolves, would be ideal.

Posted on: June 22, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:14 pm
 

What kind of fit is Josh Smith for Orlando?

Posted by Matt Moore

From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
A source also said discussions between Atlanta and Orlando with Josh Smith going to the Magic are "totally legit." Executives say the Hawks have expressed an eagerness to move Smith and would like to shed salary in the process.
via Draft buzz: Nash, Smoove, and more - CBSSports.com.

You tell me that discussions with Otis Smith, one of the biggest traders in the GM market, are "totally legit" and you have my attention. 

Smith's at once a perfect and terrible fit in Orlando. Let's examine:

Perfect Fit

Smith provides an athletic wing who can create opportunities by driving and slashing. The death of the Orlando offense is predicated by ball stoppage and useless perimeter passing to whoever can find an inch to launch a 3-pointer vs. working to collapse the defense and initiate the perimeter rotation to a wide-open shooter. Smith brings a weapon the defense has to commit to stopping, which will free more opportunities. He's also a willing passer, which could be extremely dangerous if he could work to find opportunities for the other Magic players, or in lobbing to Dwight Howard. Smith would also help considerably with rebounding both when Howard is on the floor and off. When on, the Magic would unquestionably have the best rebounding combination in the league. Defensively, they'd be even more of a nightmare. Smith is able to corral perimeter wings and has incredible instincts for weak-side block situations. The Magic might double up the next team in offensive rebounds and blocks with that pair. 

Terrible Fit

The worst part of Smith's game is his preference for 3-point shooting when he doesn't have a 3-point shot. A hilarious memory from the playoffs was listening to the Atlanta crowd scream "No!" whenever Smith found himself open on the perimeter debating a heave. So to give him more chances at that in a system that so often allows for both those shots and mid-range jumpers is a terrible plan. Additionally, Smith's good at driving and capitalizing on opportunities, but he's definitely not a "pull-up jumper" kind of scorer. He's not going to work well in the pick and roll with Howard. If the defense cuts off his path to the basket by help or positioning, the offense has to reset. His passing is solid, but he's not going to be a creator in an offensive set. He's an end point or near end point, not a playmaker. And defensively, were he assigned to cover the faster forward with Hedo Turkoglu covering the other, Smith would perform ably but wouldn't be best suited.

It's a good fit should the trade go down, but not perfect. The question will be what more salary the Magic can take on, if any, to get a deal done. They've already got what seems like billions wrapped up in Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas, neither of whom is a player the Hawks will want to take on.

We'll keep you updated on the Hawks' efforts to move Smith.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:38 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 9:53 am
 

Report: Atlanta Hawks consider Josh Smith trade?

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly considering trading forward Josh Smith. Posted by Ben Golliver. josh-smith

Finally, someone other than Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala is involved in a trade rumor!

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Atlanta Hawks and forward Josh Smith might be headed for a break-up.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith, and Smith isn’t averse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.

Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.

“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic.
Smith is on the books for $12.4 million next season and $13.2 million in 2012-2013. Those are hefty numbers but his versatile game is probably worth it.

At 25, Smith has flirted with figuring it out over the course of his NBA career, but always seems to revert back to his bad habits: poor shot selection and moody behavior. An exceptional athlete and game-changing defender, Smith is at his best when fully motivated and engaged, attacking the basket and using his leaping ability to play above defenders.

He stuffs the stat sheet, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes per game in 2010-2011. Smith has never been selected as an NBA All-Star, but he's been on the fringes of the discussion in recent years.

Smith should be able to produce those numbers, or similar, for at least the next three to five seasons. One factor for teams interested in trading for him: He will likely command a sizable contract when his current deal is up, as he will be hitting free agency at the age of 27.

Of the teams listed, the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic jump out of the group in terms of having a specific positional need. In Orlando, Smith would be paired with childhood pal Dwight Howard to make the best four-five combination in the league. Houston would be an intriguing option too, and the Rockets, with two first round picks and lots of young talent, might very well be able to present the Hawks with the best offer.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com