Josh Smith will almost certainly be traded today. Numerous sources have reported that Danny Ferry does not want to give his talented 27-year-old big man a max deal this summer, and seeing as Smith’s representatives have made it abundantly clear that they are looking for the biggest deal possible, the Atlanta Hawks’ position is understandable.
After eight seasons, it’s safe to say that what you see is what you get with Smith. He is an ultra-talented, sort of skilled enigma and has a very obvious growth ceiling. His career averages of 15 points and eight rebounds per game are about what all his suitors are expecting to get from him. Is that worthy of a maximum deal? In theory: probably not. In reality: you’re worth what people are willing to pay you.
To date, the Hawks have reportedly received offers from the Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. There have also been murmurs that Ferry reached out to both the Clippers and Lakers looking to see if either wanted to talk shop, but he seemingly got very little interest from both.
Here is the most recent update on where all of Smith’s possible destinations stand:
“The Nets, sources say, will continue Thursday to search for a third team to help facilitate a deal for Smith, since Atlanta has made it clear that it wants no part of Kris Humphries.” [ESPN]
“Milwaukee would appear to be the most likely destination for Smith entering deadline day, but it remains to seen whether the Bucks will ultimately be willing to part with guard Monta Ellis, whom Atlanta has targeted as the primary player it wants from them.” [ESPN]
“As for Boston: Including Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo in any deal with the Hawks is presumed to be the only way for the Celtics to land Smith, which is problematic for the Celts for a number of reasons. Focusing on just two of them: 1) Trading Pierce somewhere he doesn't want to go isn't nearly as easy as it sounds given what PP's stature is in his city and with that franchise; 2) Boston's chances of getting Atlanta's unrestricted free agent-to-be to sign for the long term there would almost certainly be damaged if Rondo, one of Smith's best friends, wasn't still there to team up with him.” [ESPN]
“The Wizards had been rumored as a possible destination for Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, but three league sources all denied that the team was a serious contender for his services.” [Washington Post]
“The Jefferson rumor never had substance to it because it would've put San Antonio into a difficult salary-cap position. The Smith interest apparently died upon discovering that Josh simply didn't have the requisite Spurs' DNA. Former NBA coach Sam Mitchell told me today that playing for the Spurs would be a great benefit to Smith and I agree; he's never struck me as a malcontent or bad guy or purposely undisciplined. He might not have Spurs' DNA now, but I believe he wouldn't reject a transfusion and it would make the most of the raw talent he clearly has” [Ric Bucher]
Suns seem to be bowing out of Josh Smith... Houston stepping in... Milwaukee time to up the price.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) February 21, 2013
“Josh Smith is not opposed to Milwaukee -- the city or the weather -- and likes the Bucks' roster enough to re-sign there if traded, a league source told CBSSports.com Wednesday.” [CBS]
One way or another, Smith will likely be wearing a different uniform this time next week.