The Brooklyn Hawks?
Joe Johnson was first, but Josh Smith may be the latest Atlanta Hawks star to be shipped to Brooklyn by general manager Danny Ferry.
Smith is reportedly on the trade block after the team refused to give the forward a maximum contract, according to TNT analyst David Aldridge (via NBA.com):
The Atlanta Hawks are entertaining trade offers around the league for forward Josh Smith, but have yet to decide whether they will deal the ninth-year forward, according to league sources.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard listed several teams that are reportedly interested in Smith (via Twitter):
Source close to situation says "60 percent" chance ATL trades Josh Smith b4 deadline. Brooklyn one of several teams interested.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 8, 2013
In 2011, Smith listed Boston, New Jersey, Houston and Orlando as his most desired destinations in the event the team traded him. Obviously things have changed since: Dwight Howard is no longer in Orlando, and the Nets are now based in Brooklyn.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best potential landing spots for Smith before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
The Nets are being linked to both Paul Millsap and Smith due to their need for a bruising big man to pair with center Brook Lopez. A line-up consisting of Lopez, Deron Williams, Smith and Joe Johnson would certainly give Brooklyn the star-studded roster it has been searching for.
But can they pull it off? If they dealt forward Kris Humphries and some draft picks they would make it work financially. Despite Humphries’ struggles this season and diminished role in Brooklyn, anything Atlanta gets in return is an added bonus as Smith is likely to walk during the offseason for nothing.
In January, when Smith’s agent voiced displeasure about his client’s situation, sources told CBS Sports the Rockets were among the teams that interested him. It takes a two-way street for a trade of this magnitude, though. The real question is, is Houston among the teams interested in him?
In mid-January, Rockets GM Daryl Morey said the team would “likely be more stable than in the past” when it comes to making trade-deadline deals (h/t CBS Sports).
A move like this would certainly not fit in the “stable” category. But after acquiring James Harden during the offseason, the Rockets have shown a willingness to go out and get players they covet. Could Morey’s statements have been smoke, or was he sincere?
Either way, the Rockets should at least explore the Hawks’ demands and see what it would take to bring Smith to Texas.
Dallas is another destination, according to the CBS report.
The Mavs could offer up the expiring contract of Rodrigue Beaubois and the hefty deal of Shawn Marion along with some cash and draft picks to bring in Smith.
It doesn’t seem like too far-fetched of an idea, too, as Atlanta is freeing up cap space everywhere and would easily be able to accommodate the salaries necessary to make this happen.