Will the Atlanta Hawks Deal Josh Smith Before the NBA Trade Deadline?
Smith, who has been with Atlanta for all eight and a half years of his career, could be dealt to a contender in the last year of his contract. The Hawks are currently sitting six games above .500 and are sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, which is why it is hard to imagine Atlanta actually trading the fan favorite. However, considering the Hawks have had several significant injuries this season, including a season-ending one to guard Lou Williams, it might be worth seeing what the organization can get for Smith.
Not to mention, since the 27-year-old is in the last year of his contract and seems interested in testing out free agency it would be wise for Atlanta to explore all options regarding him, especially if they can get something good for him in return. Smith’s 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and the fact he is shooting 45 percent from the field will certainly get the attention of several front office employees across the league.
Three teams that have shown interest in Smith are the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Bobcats. Phoenix and Charlotte would more or less be acquiring Smith in hope of re-signing him this off-season while also putting fans in the stands. There is also the outside chance one of these two teams could still make the playoffs but it highly unlikely. Meanwhile, the Rockets would be trading for Smith to give them a decent second half push into the playoffs after the All-Star break.
Since Smith wants to see what is available to him in free agency it is very unlikely he will agree to an extension with one of the three mentioned teams. This alone could be reason enough for no team to trade for him, especially if they are not in playoff contention.
On the flip side, the Hawks may not trade the Georgia native because they believe they can re-sign him before he ever hits the open market. Not to mention, trading Smith could be good for the future of the organization if they get a solid piece to the puzzle in return but it could cost them the postseason this year.
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