Atlanta forward Josh Smith is reportedly on the move by 3 p.m. tomorrow’s deadline. After telling him that they would not offer him a maximum contract, Atlanta’s front office is looking to take a page out of Orlando’s book from Dwight Howard, and bring back valuable pieces for their star rather than losing him to free agency. Smith has had a superb year averaging 17.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, potentially raising ATL’s asking price, as a deal has yet to be done. As a caveat on the deal, teams interested will want Smith to confirm that he will re-sign when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July.
As we get closer to Smith’s departure in the next 24 hours, here are the top 5 realistic scenarios in which Smith is dealt, from both a financial and team chemistry standpoint upon his arrival.
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5. PHILADELPHIA FOR EVAN TURNER AND SPENCER HAWES
Just think of a young core made of Jrue Holiday, Josh Smith and Andrew Bynum. Philly would have a new Big 3 in town for years to come. Smith would electrify the Wells Fargo Center with his high-flying dunks and defensive ability. While Smith and Bynum are both looking for max contracts, Philly could offer Smith the max, while keeping Bynum’s knees at a cheaper rate, after not playing a single game this season. I would have to think that Doug Collins is somewhere champing at the bit that this trade goes down.
4. BOSTON FOR JEFF GREEN AND BRANDON BASS
This is a realistic move for Celtics GM Danny Ainge if he decides to give KG and The Truth one last go-round. While Doc has been getting great production out of Green as of late, now may be the right time to move him and his four-year, $36-million dollar contract, if ever. At this point, Danny says that a trade is “unlikely”, according to the Boston Globe, but the thought of Rondo throwing alley-oops to his former Oak Hill Academy teammate has certainly crossed his mind. Bringing Smith to Beantown would be beneficial for both Boston and Smith. It has also been rumored that the to-be free agent has his sites set on Boston as his “primary destination”, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times. This would also take the pressure off of KG in the front court, as Smith transitions to be The Big Ticket’s successor. Don’t be surprised to see Smith wearing green after 3 p.m. Thursday.