Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported early this morning that the Atlanta Hawks may potentially be looking to find a trade partner for Josh Smith and his body language. Smith is said to be open to a trade to the right team.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith and Smith isn’t averse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.
Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.
It should come as no surprise that Smith lists Orlando as a place he would like to play as he and Dwight are very close friends. Smith is very close with Howard’s family as well and even stayed late at the Amway Center after a loss last season to spend time with “Mama Howard”.
With Max Joe Johnson clogging up the payroll, the motivation here is clear. The Hawks need financial flexibility and know they have gone as far as they can with the current squad. While they are highly unlikely to just give away Josh Smith, he is realistically the most marketable trade asset. Despite having 2 years and $26M left on his contract, their is no doubt that any of the teams Smith lists above as preferred destinations would love to have him.
For the Magic though, it’s the same story as it has been all year. The Hawks want salary relief and guys with expiring contracts. There is little that the Magic could offer to Atlanta that would make them bite unless they are somehow in love with Hedo Turkoglu. Hedo would provide them with $3M in costs savings over the same time frame and is far from the caliber player of Josh Smith.
The Hawks also are in need of a PG (i.e. Jameer Nelson), but again, any trade assets that the Magic have would not allow the Hawks to achieve their goal of shedding payroll. Not to mention that neither team probably has a big desire to help the other out after the way the last two seasons have ended.
While Magic fans would no doubt really enjoy watching Josh Smith in a Magic uniform, don’t hold your breath. However, if you insist on torturing yourselves… plenty of trades are possible on the Trade Machine. (Like this!)