Per Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the Josh Smith rumors are “totally legit.”
A source also said discussions between Atlanta and Orlando with Josh Smith going to the Magic are “totally legit.” Executives say the Hawks have expressed an eagerness to move Smith and would like to shed salary in the process.
I’m not sure what kind of package the Magic could offer because Smith is due $12.5 million next season. I’m sure the Hawks would love to get their hands on Jameer Nelson, but the salaries just wouldn’t match up. Atlanta would probably be taking back one of Orlando’s power forwards, either Brandon Bass or Ryan Anderson, in the deal. Getting Kirk Hinrich back would make sense for the Magic, but that doesn’t seem plausible – he’s due $8.1 million next season.
Update: Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk has similar questions.
The problem is, what does Orlando have to give back that Atlanta really wants? The Hawks would like both talent and to save money. The only guys with straight up salaries that match are Hedo Turkoglu or Gilbert Arenas, and those are not happening because it’s an added expense for less talent. A combination of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick would do it, but that would not save Atlanta any money. And it decimates the Orlando back court — unless you love the Gilbert Arenas/Chris Duhon combo. If I were the Hawks, I would demand Ryan Anderson in any deal.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).