The Brooklyn Nets are doing all they can to put together a team that can compete with the New York Knicks and be a top team in the Eastern Conference, luxury tax be damned. Now it seems they're looking at adding Josh Smith to their expensive lineup.
Nets going hard after Josh Smith, sources say. While they've discussed a trade for Ben Gordon, getting Josh is a bigger priority.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 11, 2013
News of a Smith trade has been a long time coming, it's just a bit surprising that it's the Nets that are the ones pushing to get him on board, especially after hearing Smith's demands.
Atlanta had previously offered Smith a three-year, $37 million contract, meaning it doesn't want to go overboard and mortgage its future on the back of a 27-year-old small forward who is incredibly physically gifted but constantly settles for jumpers.
Smith instead wants a maximum contract, which would amount to five years for nearly $90 million.
That obviously led to Atlanta realizing that it can either get a bit of value from him now, or get a few pennies through a sign-and-trade after the season ends.
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
To the Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov and everyone involved with the organization I say, "Stop! Seriously, don't do that."
Brooklyn has looked at putting together a trade of Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon in order to get a bit more scoring pop, but now Smith seems to be its big prize.
A package for Smith is really what I'm hung up on right now. If Brooklyn would be trading Brook Lopez on down the Atlantic for Smith, then it seems like a reckless swap, especially given Lopez's improvement this season.
If it doesn't, then it would have to include Humphries, draft picks, a third team and their bench, as no team in their right mind is going to want to pay Gerald Wallace $10 million a year through 2016.
Just imagine it somehow works out. You're throwing roughly $16 million in for Smith into Brooklyn's lineup along with $76 million to account for Deron Williams, Lopez, Wallace and Joe Johnson.
That means $92 million is wrapped up in five players, and they're done picking up free agents at that point.
With their team so far over the salary cap, they won't be able to use the taxpayer mid-level exception, giving them just over $3 million to spend on free agents. The rest will have to be filled out with a half-dozen Jerry Stackhouses.
Let's say this somehow does go through, the team ignores everything regarding the deep trouble they're in salary cap-wise and trades for Smith. What then?
Is Smith suddenly going to become something he's not and pair up to be a tandem of slashers with Johnson? That's incredibly unlikely.
What you have now is another player who needs the ball in his hands to play effectively, which would be the fourth one of those that Brooklyn employs.
Suddenly, you've got another player taking the ball out of Williams' hands, the flow of its offense grinds to a halt and they're just a group of extremely good basketball players trying to figure out how to play their game alongside each other.
I cannot see any chemistry developing among this group of guys, especially when somebody starts to get disgruntled because he's playing off the ball too often.