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