NBA Atlanta HawksLos Angeles Lakers

NBA Rumors: Atlanta Hawks Targeting Pau Gasol for Josh Smith?

One of the more interesting NBA rumors of the day is that the Atlanta Hawks are aggressively shopping talented combo guard Josh Smith to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for Pau Gasol, who the team is not-so-secretly trying to get off of their books after a rough 2012.

This trade rumor makes sense on several levels and could easily take place around the draft if the Hawks or Lakers have packaging picks in mind for the trade as an ancillary benefit.

Josh Smith has evidently been upset with what he deems to be unfair treatment by local fans and media members in Atlanta and has been looking for a way out since prior to the 2011 season, without avail, at least to this point.

The Lakers need a dynamic young scorer to take some of the pressure off of Kobe Bryant on the offensive end of the floor, and with the emergence of Andrew Bynum no longer need whatever presence Gasol may have previously provided in the paint.

The Lakers stayed competitive during the 2012 campaign in large part due to their overall length throughout the lineup, and giving up Gasol sacrifices this somewhat, but in return, Los Angeles gets athleticism in Smith and a player who is five years younger.

Longevity, and the ability to play in a fast-paced, dynamic offense are huge positives.

While Smith isn’t necessarily always the most consistent performer, he won’t have to worry about being the No. 1 scorer in Los Angeles and can accordingly let the flow of the game come to him. Gasol can add some much needed paint presence to a Hawks team that has always struggled to find it.

The contractual situation on both sides is similar enough that nothing great would be lost on either side in the process.

Seems like a win-win to me.

Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

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Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.