Latest News, NBA / Jun 21, 2011 / 12:00 pm

NBA Trade Rumor: Atlanta Looking Into Trading Josh Smith

Josh Smith

Josh Smith (photo. Blake Peterson)

Atlanta always seems like they’re running in circles. That’s what happens when you get capped out and max out as a second round team. After spending last summer trying to convince everyone they were going all in to take the next step toward actual contender status, it looks like they’re going in the opposite direction.

The Hawks are beginning to get a feel for trade interest around the league in forward Josh Smith. Money, and a divorce after seven up-and-down years are the reasons.

Smith hasn’t asked to be traded, but apparently wouldn’t mind it, according to Yahoo! Sports:

“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic.

There’s been growing acrimony between Smith and the organization, sources said, largely because of the feeling that Smith has been too convenient of a scapegoat. Smith had one of his most complete seasons for the Hawks, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Payroll is an issue for the Hawks, too, and Smith’s contract – which has two years and $25.6 million remaining – is an attractive target for management to unload, if, for no other reason, than the five years, $110 million left on Joe Johnson’s(notes) deal is far more difficult to move.

The Hawks have looked to identify veteran players near the end of their contracts, sources said, but have had no serious discussions on trading Smith.

“They’re looking for a change,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “They would die to be rid of Joe Johnson’s contract or move Smith, but they won’t give [Smith] away. They want something in return.”

If a move is made, Smith’s preferred homes are Boston, New Jersey, Houston and Orlando.

For the majority of his career, Smith has been an athletic player who didn’t know how to utilize his talents. While his versatility helped make the Hawks a playoff team, his distinction as an overpaid, good player also hurt them.

But on a veteran team where he might be just the third most important player, he could be the difference. The question is: what championship contender would trade some of its core for Smith?

Where does Smith best fit in?

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  • north

    say it ain`t so Hawks… my team and my player divorcing hurts. Smoove calls the plays on the floor, is the heart of the defense and is one of the best passing forwards in the game. I hope the Hawks find a way to build around him, Al and Teague for the future.

  • oneLove

    Welcome to Milwaukee?

  • beiber newz

    smith is good but inconsistent. and inconsistency always breeds trade possibilities. sorry smith. but you gotta go. maybe for bogut. both teams will benefit. i think.

  • Celts Fan

    How would going from being the 3rd most important player (Joe and Horford) on a perennially underachieving/maxed out team to being the 3rd most important player on a contender make that team any better?

  • Bondzai

    He played AAU ball with Dwight, how about a reunion in Orlando?

  • Jackson

    Come on, Lakers, what are you waiting for? Let’s offer L.Odom + R.Artest/S.Brown for Smooves…

  • Ian

    spurs need him

  • ctkennedy

    if im the celtics i would trade rando for smith n teague….i rather have smith,green,n teague then rando n green after the big 3 leave …the hawks r stuck cuz Smith is a top 20 player in the league n what the hawks need(center) aint none out there worth tradin for….i might do it for Bogut he atleast bring me the D back

  • Curtis G

    Anyone ever notice how Houston always seems to make the list of preferred destinations for players being traded but they never seem to land any of those players?

  • D-NICE

    If we were a veteran team I would say the raptors because he would bring exactly what this team needs in terms of defense and getting a legit small forward insted of a bunch of stop gaps at the position….my boy has been saying for the longest time his lakers should pick up smoove….and even though I haven’t really liked them since Shaq, that would actually be a damn good pick up for L A

  • bookkwormmaster

    beiber newz says:

    smith is good but inconsistent

    ^^^ J-Smoove is not inconsistent. Just his JUMPSHOT. Marvin Williams is inconsistent.

    This is sad news to hear but this also goes to show how incompetent our front office continues to be. They wanna trade him for financial reasons yet instill they resigned Joe Johnson for $125 Million Dollars (the FULL MAX!) when NO OTHER PLAYER in the league this past summer was even offered the full max. They handicapped the entire team going forward with this one albatrosss contract alone and now you wanna trade Smith because you all of a sudden woke up and realized Joe Johnson is NOT a max money player and NOW you can’t trade him!

    Anyway as my fellow Atlantian North posted earlier Smith is the heart of our defense and also one of the best passing forwards in the league. It’s not his fault the team (moreso the coaches) don’t understand how best to utilize him. Smoove is NOT A SCORER! He’s a swish army knife type player (geared more stronger defensively than offensively) in the mold of Shawn Marion with the athletic ability of a Lebron James. His only strongpoint from the offensive side of the ball is his ability to dish the rock. He’s shown strong flashes of being able to handle the ball as a facilitator but no coach up to this point has had the brains/guts to give it a real shot.

    Also theyre trying to trade the wrong player. Ship Marvin bum ass outta there before anybody else.

  • heckler

    Hawks management is STUPID!
    we all knew damn well Joe Johnson was NOT worth $120mil.
    how the hell could NOBODY in their front office figure that shit out. I hope they dont trade Joe Johnson out of their pure stupidity. they should be stuck with him forever. serves them right. i HATE when teams sign players to large contracts and then 1/2yrs later wanna trade him to get the contract off their books. dumb fucks, YOU gave him the big contract…

    as for Josh Smith, its doubtful he gets traded. he is actually on the best team for his talents. and i might be crazy, but i think he might actually be the Hawks most important player. sorry joe (even though I am a Joe johnson fan). Josh Smith can anchor a defense. and THAT is the most difficult intangible quality in an NBA player.

    and for the record Dime, at what point do you start to consider the Atlanta Hawks as a veteran team? 4 straight years of the core beinig together in the playoffs I think qualifies — sheeit, we cant call them “young and up n coming” anymore.

  • beiber newz

    bookwormaster: trust me…smith is inconsistent..

    the definition of a guy who is consistent is zach randolph. you don’t have to check the box score to know dude has a double double.

    answer me this. is josh smith a 20 point scorer or a 15 point scorer? he is both. is he a 5 rebound per game guy or a 10 rebound per game. he is the ultimate jack in the box. you never know what you’ll get. many games he gets 3/4/5 rebounds and other he get 8/9/10. he has games where he surprises you with 15 rebounds or more and that’s what brought his rebound average to around 8. his scoring average is 16 or so. mainly because he falls asleep when plays don’t go his way and sulks. this leads to games where he get 12 points or 15. most nights, where u say his jumpshot is on, he’ll get 20 or more points.

    i’m sorry, i don’t know what to expect from josh smith on any given night. is he a double double guy? he is the triple double capable guy where you are still shocked when he gets it.

    he’s inconsistent. think what you want but smith is inconsistent.

    that’s not to say he is a bad player. it just says he has different mentalities every game. and that is a testament to his focus. which is why he’ll get traded one way or another. the stats don’t lie.

  • iCARNACKi

    I came on here thinking I’d be seeing a lot of hate for Josh Smith but you guys seem to feel the same way as me.

    I personally don’t think he is overpaid at all, I don’t want to reiterate what people have been saying but THE only thing he lacks is a jump shot… he is literally excellent at every other aspect of the game of basketball. You also gotta take into account he is pretty much constantly playing out of position.

    I agree that he became a convenient scapegoat for Atlanta’s failures. Guarantee there are plenty of teams lining up for him.

  • beiber newz

    listen…i like josh smith. i don’t necessarily enjoy watching his game (but his highlights are SICK) but i like what he brings to the table. he is a versatile forward. he can run point (not well but can for minutes at a time), he would be defensive player of the year if dwight died tomorrow (GOD FORBID) and he is a mismatch like hell.

    my only problem like i stated before, is his inconsistency to the point where i’m not surprised to the point where he scores just 10 points. NOW, I’M NOT COMPARING ANY OF THESE PLAYERS but i feel his inconsistency is likened to lebron, where we don’t know if he gonna score 20 or go go for 30. smith isn’t on the inconsistent level of a j.r smith or jamal crawford. those guys are bad inconsistents.

  • bookkwormmaster

    @ Beiber News

    I agree with you on Zach Randolph. You KNOW if Z-Bo is on the floor you’re gonna get a double-double no doubt.

    You never said he was a bad player so I’m not arguing that because I believe we both can agree that he is on the cusp of being a all-star.

    Not since his first two years in the league has he averaged under 15 PPG (at 9.7 and 11.3 respectively). Not since his first two years has he averaged under 7 RPG (at 6.2 and 6.6 respectively). Those 3/4/5 rebound games you mentioned I bet if you went back and looked at the games in particular more than likely he was in foul trouble. He’s only shot under 43% from the field ONCE in his career (his second year in the league). I’d argue that is pretty consistent for a guy who isn’t really a gifted scorer and is at best considered the fourth option on offense behind the likes of Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford, and Al Horford. He’s the Shawn Marion of our team (back in the Phoenix Suns days when it was Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson/Quentin Richardson, then Matrix).

  • beiber newz

    true. i completely understand your argument about his field goal percentage. but that stat can be VERY misleading.

    for instance…if i told you one layer shot 60% from the field and another player shot 40% from the field your mind will tell you that the 60% player is the better shooter. however, i didn’t tell you that guy only takes 5 shots a game.

    josh smith is that kind of player. some nights he takes around 8/9/10 shots and others he take around 18/19/20.

    whether it is because he is exploiting a matchup or he is just looking to pass more or his shot just isn’t falling, who knows why the changes occur. but it does.

    shooting over 43% like you mention doesn’t necessarily mean he made an impact in the scoring column that night.

    but i would have him on my team any night for sure.

  • bookkwormmaster

    LOL! Good points there. Valid and true I can’t dispute those.

    I just feel like he’s been made the scapegoat for our team’s failures way too many times whereas the idiots in the front office get off with a clean slate year after year. I feel like he’s been as much apart of Atlanta’s resurrection as Joe Johnson has but gets more blame than he does credit.

    Good debating with you though

  • Diego

    ^^^ nailed it. Josh Smith is not all that inconsistent. 3/4/5 rebound games–huh? Josh rarely ever has such games re. boards. The swiss army knife Marion comparison was nice. You want inconsistent, check out JJ.

    Smith also really is NOT overpaid. The guy usually brings it; as he showed in last year’s playoffs. And actually his outside shooting was not that bad last year; he just had a big slump in the playoffs from outside. Players have slumps sometimes. I may be mistaken (but I doubt it), but I believe Smoove shot a better percentage from 3 than JJ did last year.

    Rick Sund is starting to really screw up basically what Billy Knight built. (Unfortunately, best trade Knight pulled off involving the Hawks though was his taking Pau Gasol from the Hawks upon draft when Knight was Memphis GM.) First, way overpaying JJ. Second, trading Jordan Crawford and a 1st round pick (and Mo Evans) for Hinrich. (Crawford can really score the rock and is athletic as hell–could have replaced Jamal Crawford next year. I would not have made the Hinrich/Jordan Crawford trade straight up.) Now trading perhaps the best player on the team–Smoove?

    Bibby was first player scapegoat; now Smoove is next.

  • AgentK

    Hawks and Raptors are two of the most idiotic franchises.
    Hawks were horrible with draft picks. they used the second overall pick on Marvin Williams?

    They had a serious problem at point guard position in the past, but they finally figure out now.

    Highly Overpay Joe Johnson

    They need a true Center not jason collins. a center like Gortat or something.

    Josh smoth better look to go to Nets to run the floor with D-will

  • AgentK

    Hawks and Raptors are two of the most idiotic franchises.
    Hawks were horrible with draft picks. they used the second overall pick on Marvin Williams?

    They had a serious problem at point guard position in the past, but they finally figure out now.

    Highly Overpay Joe Johnson

    They need a true Center not jason collins. a center like Gortat or something.

    Josh smoth better look to go to Nets to run the floor with D-will

  • AgentK

    *Smith

  • Chaos

    Where could he go? maybe pheonix? how bout orlando?shit send him to denver. he is a finisher around the rim and a great defender but his jumper needs serious work

  • Hot Fiyah

    Will be interesting to see what happens to J-Smoove.

  • wakakaka

    how about boozer for josh smith?

  • robzilla

    We’ll take him in SA!! You can have RJ’s ghost and our 3 point shooting traffic cone that we lovingly refer to as Matt Bonner.