Just because a team shows interest doesn’t mean they’ll have the necessary parts to complete a deal. Such seems to be the case with the Brooklyn Nets and their pursuit of Atlanta Hawks combo forward Josh Smith.
Smith is a free agent at season’s end and recently said he feels he deserves a max contract. That’s coming from a guy who has never made an All-Star team or led his team past the second round of the playoffs. Irrespective of those two facts, and the demand for such a contract, the Nets remain interested in acquiring Smith’s services before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
So what would the Nets offer Atlanta GM Danny Ferry that could entice him to make the deal?
Dan Talintyer of Bleacher Report doesn’t feel they have much at all that would work in a deal.
Smith is a hot commodity due to his ability block shots and defensively alter games. At times, his offense is equally on point but raging inconsistency limits his value as a max-contract kind of guy. He’s ideal as a third or fourth option offensively on a good team, but can’t flourish as a go-to guy. Again, that limits his value.
Still, the limitations on Smith’s game in no way mean the Nets have anything to offer the Hawks.Brook Lopez would be ideal and work within the limitations of the salary cap, but Lopez is a key piece on a Nets team that has pretty decent chemistry and is quickly evolving into one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.
As Talintyer points out in his piece, trading Lopez for Smith would be at best a lateral move. Improvement, however small, would be mitigated by the fact that the Nets were left with a gaping hole at the 5-spot, and in today’s era that is the most difficult position to fill with a quality player.
Atlanta Hawks beat writer Chris Viviamore reports that the Hawks have had no contact nor negotiations with Smith regarding his salary demands this summer.
Multiple sources: There have been no contract talks between Hawks and Josh Smith, including team refusal to give him a max deal.#ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) February 8, 2013
Smith’s assessment of his talents is way off according to a number of GMs, and he’s going to find this summer that few—if any—teams are willing to drop a max contract on a guy whose talents have likely already been maximized.
The Nets would like to acquire Smith to plug the athletic forward into their lineup, but without a key subtraction it’s just not going to happen.