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Report: Atlanta Hawks Expected to Trade Josh Smith

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 21:  Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after drawing a foul against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Philips Arena on January 21, 2013 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)
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Andy HuSenior Writer IIJanuary 30, 2013

Oh boy, the trade talks are heating up as we get closer and closer to the NBA trade deadline.

Although Josh Smith has experienced his share of rumors, it didn't seem like he would be gone after the Atlanta Hawks started the season on a high note.

However, the Hawks are currently 5-5 in their last ten games and recently suffered one of their worst losses in history at the hands of the Chicago Bulls

As a result, the Smith trade talks have emerged once again.

Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution stated that Danny Ferry probably won't be willing to spend all his money on one player, as the Hawks continue their rebuilding phase.

In a recent NBA Power Rankings article from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Spears hinted that Smith could very well be traded:

"Expectations are growing that the Hawks will trade forward Josh Smith, a source said. Smith has averaged 17 points, 8.6 rebounds. 4.7 assists and 2.1 blocks this month despite the trade speculation."

This is nothing new, however, as Smith has been living under trade speculation for the past two seasons, though various attempts at uniting him with Dwight Howard all fell apart (per Ken Berger of CBS Sports).

Except this is the last season where the Hawks decide whether or not to pull the trigger on a trade involving Smith or potentially risk losing him to free agency in the offseason. 

For a guy of Smith's value, there is no logical way the Hawks can risk letting their disgruntled star leave for nothing in return during this summer's free agency.

Even if management is willing to pony up a max-salary contract for the versatile forward, it is not a guarantee that Smith will stay in the place he has called home for his entire life.

It is unsurprising the Hawks are expected to trade him. Smith's value has only increased during the month of January, so maybe one team is willing to take a gamble by offering him the contract he desires.

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