Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith says he’s not eager for trade

Josh Smith is aware of the trade speculation swirling around him. He knows much of that speculation is fueled by the belief that he desperately wants out of Atlanta.

But Smith said today he’s not eager to be traded, though he’s bracing for the possibility.

“I’m not saying I want [a trade] to happen but if it does I will just have to deal with it,” he said.

Smith said the Hawks haven’t told him anything about a trade. But he noted that players aren’t usually privy to the team’s internal deliberations until a deal is going down.

“Right now I’m with the Hawks,” he said. “I think we have a special group. I just want to win.”

There’s no doubt Smith is frustrated about the flak he took from fans, media and Larry Drew over his shot selection. But it still doesn’t seem as if he’s pushing the Hawks to get him out of town.

Meanwhile, the latest rumors have the Magic acquiring Andre Miller and his non-guaranteed 2011-12 deal from Portland and then using that as part of a bigger deal. And since Dwight Howard apparently wants to play with Smith, that naturally leads to speculation that the Magic would use Miller as part of a package to acquire Smith.

UPDATE: Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports the Miller-to-Orlando speculation is “overblown.”

UPDATE II: Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Hawks are trying to trade Smith to Minnesota for the No. 2 pick so they can select Turkish center Enes Kanter.

Kanter was ruled ineligible to play for Kentucky last season after the NCAA determined he played professionally in Europe. According to NBADraft.net, Kanter has a history of knee problems.

Hawks assistant GM Dave Pendergraft was asked last week about Kanter’s lack of competition for a year and lack of high-level competition at all.

“He played so well at the Hoop Summit against the best young players,” Pendergraft. “And then [scouts] saw him practice at Kentucky later in the year. With that body and that kind of physical maturity, when you weigh that in and rank your players, the teams in that mix are comfortable with the decision that they are going to make.”

NBA co-director of scouting Ryan Blake on Kanter:

“He missed a year of game experience, development in game situations. He’s a very unique player. He could have made a lot of money playing pro [overseas], but he wanted to come over here, learn the language and improve his skills. He felt that was the best way to develop. He is gifted fundamentally with all the skills he possesses. Another thing is you can look at a a guy’s work ethic and heart and desire. Here is a guy that doesn’t back down. He wants to play against anybody and wants to prove what he can do. He is highly skilled.”

Trading Smith as a salary dump makes little sense (and is complicated by the $4 million trade kicker his new team would have to pay). Smith is still only 25. He’s productive, versatile, and valuable. The two years and $26 million left on his contract runs neck-and-neck with Al Horford’s new deal as the best bargain on the team.

If the Hawks somehow managed to unload Marvin Williams’ contract in the process of trading Smith, then the salary dump angle would make more sense. It still wouldn’t be palatable from a basketball standpoint unless they could also replace Smith’s production in the deal but clearly Williams has the kind of deal they would gladly send away.

If the Hawks also were to work a trade that included Smith and brought them back a superior player (or at least a comparable player at center or small forward) for even a one-season run then it would make some sense from a basketball standpoint. If the Hawks were able to get productive young players and draft picks in a deal, and then turn those assets into something down the line, then that might be a successful path, too.

Of course, looming in the background (or maybe the foreground) of all this speculation about salary shedding: The Hawks gave the richest contract in the league to a player that even their GM doesn’t believe is an MVP candidate.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

242 comments Add your comment

James on Pharr Rd

June 23rd, 2011
2:00 pm

So, who is leaking all the rumors that Josh wants out?

Rod from College Park

June 23rd, 2011
2:02 pm

Trade Al not Josh. Give Marvin away for a bag of chips. First!!!!

James on Pharr Rd

June 23rd, 2011
2:03 pm

MC-great idea with hanging Marvin’s contract on the neck of any trade proposal involving Josh. Are we involved with Golden State or Cleveland in any trade proposals revolving around Joe?

Mike

June 23rd, 2011
2:03 pm

Ya Moms is leaking it

Gary

June 23rd, 2011
2:03 pm

probably the Hawks, just to see who has interest in Smith.

Michael Cunningham

June 23rd, 2011
2:04 pm

@James on Pharr: “So, who is leaking all the rumors that Josh wants out?”

well, if you notice no one has reported that he’s asked for a trade. they just say he’s frustrated and would “welcome” a trade and likes specific teams. i’ve never understood that, though. Josh (or any player without a no-trade) has no control over whether he gets traded or to where.

Michael Cunningham

June 23rd, 2011
2:05 pm

@Rod: ouch . . . failed firstie.

UGA

June 23rd, 2011
2:08 pm

MC: Are we in the market to purchase or trade for a late first round pick or move up to the early second? thanks

Would we have any interest in Iguodala from the Sixers?

Sweet Lou from Utah

June 23rd, 2011
2:08 pm

Rod, trade Al instead of Josh? Really? Al is one of the top 5 or 6 centers in the NBA
and if playing at 4, would undoubtedly be one of the top two or three there. Smoove is not one of the top 6 or 8 pf’s in the league and can’s play anywhere else. Way too inconsistent.

UGA

June 23rd, 2011
2:10 pm

Another thing for anyone………how STUPID would it be to trade Smith to Orlando, our division rival???!!

James on Pharr Rd

June 23rd, 2011
2:10 pm

There is a lot of desperation this off season and a lot more teams with cap that it would not shock me to see Joe Johnson in another uniform next year….At least, that is what all of us can hope for. But if Joe leaves, how bad will we regret losing Josh Smith down the road? Imagine Josh playing for a better coach….

Jesse

June 23rd, 2011
2:11 pm

They should be trading him the Philly for Iggy. Put JJ at the 3 and Iggy at the two. Let Al move to four and then find a center for Kirk’s expiring contract, with a back up PG.

Sherewshevsky

June 23rd, 2011
2:12 pm

Sure would be interesting to see Josh and Dwight playing in Atlanta.

ryan

June 23rd, 2011
2:12 pm

That would be dumb to send Smith to Orlando to play with Howard it should be the other way around have Howard come to his home town to play with Smith it would terrible trade were not getting any value in that deal .

Trojan

June 23rd, 2011
2:14 pm

Brilliance. ATL’s management is brilliant!

Michael Cunningham

June 23rd, 2011
2:17 pm

@UGA: “MC: Are we in the market to purchase or trade for a late first round pick or move up to the early second? thanks

Would we have any interest in Iguodala from the Sixers?”

not that i know of on either count. that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. as you might expect, things get chaotic and it’s hard to tell what’s true or not.

Michael Cunningham

June 23rd, 2011
2:19 pm

blog updates with Orlando Sentinel downplaying Miller to Orlando scenario.

ga peach

June 23rd, 2011
2:20 pm

I swear if they trade Josh for Andre Miller I’m going to uggghhhhhhhhhhh I’m so frustrated

ryan

June 23rd, 2011
2:25 pm

I think that would be good idea to go and get Andre Iguodala but i hear the Lakers are very interested .

Astro Joe

June 23rd, 2011
2:27 pm

Only way you change the culture that enables this team to disappoint more often than not is to trade either Joe or Josh. I personally don’t view trading any other player as a cultural change to the team.

ryan

June 23rd, 2011
2:29 pm

It seem like its pointing in the direction that trade will happen my opinion if they trade Josh Smith get something with equal value don’t make the same mistake we did with Josh Childress .

hmmmm.......

June 23rd, 2011
2:31 pm

Trade him to portland for odens contract and their first round pick

KBP

June 23rd, 2011
2:31 pm

Hawks get Ryan Anderson, Marcus Camby(expiring contract), Andre Miller(expiring contract).

Magic get Josh and Kirk.

Denver gets Jameer Nelson.

In this 3 team deal, Hawks clearly win. Do it, Sund!

Does everyone think Marvin is worst offensively than he was in 2008-2009? Look at his career numbers and you will see far fewer shot attempts in 2009-2010, 2010-2011. He skill and talent is not the problem. The way he is being used is the problem

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
2:34 pm

Bret LaGree at Hoopinion has a perfect take on the whole Smoove trading scenario.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
2:40 pm

From Hoopinion:

Let’s ask the above questions with regard to Joe Johnson.

Good production? If you completely ignore defense.
Room for plausible improvement? He could shoot better next season.
Reasonable contract? No.

Result: the Atlanta Hawks are, reportedly, considering trade Josh Smith.

Trading Josh Smith is a defensible idea. It’s at least as plausible that he’s going to continue to be stubborn and undermine his talents as it is that he’ll improve one more time. But one can’t ignore that the consideration as to whether or not to trade Smith is influenced by the indefensible decision to give Joe Johnson $123 million. Trading Smith could improve the team but it’s more likely just to change the team. Smith’s trade value is at a two-year low and Johnson’s contract will continue to limit the organization’s flexibility.

Furthermore, a defensible idea does not guarantee competent execution. It was perfectly reasonable both for the Hawks decide they could keep just one of Marvin Williams and Josh Childress and to choose Williams. However, giving Williams $35 million to remain the team’s fifth- or sixth-option and getting a lone second-round pick four years later in exchange for Childress are both terrible allocations of resources.

Trading Josh Smith for a superior player or for a collection of young players and draft picks could help the Atlanta Hawks. Trading Josh Smith for a lesser player and using any leftover money to re-sign Jamal Crawford will almost certainly not.

Like LaGree, I can’t shake the feeling that a Smoove trade will be a) a direct result of giving Joe that contract, b) result in the Hawks acquiring lesser players, and c) will be yet another mistake made by Hawks management in an attempt to rectify previous mistakes, which has pretty much been the M.O. for them for the last six years.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 23rd, 2011
2:43 pm

the hardest pill for any long-suffering hawks fan to swallow is any trade that doesn’t improve the team for the long-term. i’m not saying josh smith is d. wilkins, but this just feels it could end up like wilkins for manning all over again.

Astro Joe

June 23rd, 2011
2:46 pm

I guess fans need to read (ad nauseum) that the Hawks are offering Joe and Marvin before there could be any consideration given to trading Josh. Just because you want to trade someone, doesn’t mean it happens. All reports suggest that they wanted to trade Zaza last February (they even held him out of a game) but it didn’t happen. The leading argument against trading Josh seems to be “trade someone else instead”, as if that is as easy to do as make a layup. If they traded Marvin for a Diet Coke, that wouldn’t give us any immediate cap relief and we wouldn’t be a better team. But (seemingly) many fans would be content.

jason

June 23rd, 2011
2:46 pm

@Najeh

Those were some good points.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
2:47 pm

FTPB

“Folks are saying we’ve seen all we can see from Horford after observing his 4th year in the League.

But some of the same folks are still seeing such potential in Josh Smith after 7 years?

Very interesting.”

I don’t at all agree with the people who think Al has reached his potential. But in regards to comparing Al and Smoove, I think the fact that Smoove is only six months older than Al is more relevant than the number of years of NBA experience. I think each player’s potential to improve is roughly equal.

nba-stinks

June 23rd, 2011
2:49 pm

PLEASE MOVE WORTHLESS TEAM TO SEATTLE, NO NEED FOR THIS BORING LEAGUE TO BE IN ATLANTA, WHO CARES, SEATTLE IS A GREAT PLACE FOR THIS WORTHLESS TEAM,
EVERYONE SHOULD BOYCOTT EVERY GAME, SO THEY WILL LOSE MILLIONS AGAIN !!!!

nba STINKS !!! SO DOES RACIST MAYOR OF ATLANTA, !!!

decriz

June 23rd, 2011
2:52 pm

idiot move to ship Josh away.

best move would be to get Rick Adelman as head coach. (naturally, you have to fire Drew)

this team already has enough talent and pieces.

the right coach will do wonders.

and draft GREG SMITH in the second round!!!

Astro Joe

June 23rd, 2011
2:52 pm

Najeh, Lagree is almost saying “until you can find a way to trade either Joe or Marvin… or better yet go back in time and fix those contract signings… let’s do nothing substantial with the roster”.

If Joe signed a contract last summer of 3/$42M, I would still think the team would need to make a trade to improve their performance in the ‘11-12 season.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 23rd, 2011
2:54 pm

frankly, if the hawks are looking to make a basketball move, packaging marvin and josh makes perfect sense. a workable trade could be made might be able to be made with a team holding its own tough-to-deal contract (say, the spurs.) who are willing to give up good pieces to get someone whose age and talent make it worthwhile.

i think joe johnson can be traded. the hawks could even end up with a good player out of the deal. but they’d have to be willing to take on a contract (or contracts) to do so. portland, golden state, cleveland, the a fore mentioned spurs all have at least one bad contact they’d like to get rid of … but there is no way the hawks will be able to salary dump jj.

my name should be capt. obvious.

it’s back to the old adage of spending wisely. something the hawks haven’t done in recent years.

KBP

June 23rd, 2011
2:55 pm

JJ’s contract is an ASG problem. Not a bash JJ for taking the money problem. I am a JJ fan but he is not a max deal player. If the Bulls were so infatuated with him last summer, then why not offer him on a sign and trade for Noah and Gibson. Scoring is clearly the Bulls weakness and say what you want, JJ can score. I would have let him walk and get nothing rather than cripple the franchise with that contract. We would have won 44 games this year without him and again I am a JJ fan.

hmmmm.......

June 23rd, 2011
2:55 pm

Id rather the hawks move jj

mountain_jim

June 23rd, 2011
2:56 pm

That Hoopinion article made great points about wasting resources concerning Marvin’s contract and Childress trade for a 2nd. And about overpaying Joe so badly. I hate Sund’s management and trades, and am sure that any trade of Josh would be another terrible waste, as his above decisions were.

drmaryb (*_*)

June 23rd, 2011
2:56 pm

FTPB

Remember The Alamo!

vava74! What’s up baby boy? How’s everything in Brazil?
______________

While you’re on the topic of Big-Al? Don’t forget about Coach Drew.
IDK how you feel about his body of work? But, running Jamal out there at PG and for buckets, when what we really needed was defensive stops, was a monumental and ongoing issue. Especially, while Teague was not getting any burn whatsoever!

And, remember the first 13 or so games, when the motion offense was a thing of beauty?

Rick “Bones” Barry and all the NBA TV guys were raving about the new look Hawks offense?

I was disgusted to see Big – Al and Josh standing outside of the paint raining jumpers? I said, “The farther my bigs play away from the basket, the smaller they appear!”

I ranted until I got a migraine about The Boss – Al becoming the equivalent of “The Boss Hog” a (Fat White Guy, wearing a white suit, a white cowboy hat and driving a white cadillac with steer horns as the hood ornament)! For those too young to know:

The Dukes of Hazard was a country-bumpkins TV show that gave
“Red Necks” new life. In other words, The Boss Hog was a damned JOKE! That’s what The Boss Al became to me then and now, when Coach Drew parked his big azz outside of the paint.

Oh yeah! And Josh was in tow. In closing, I blame the Coach for not putting ALL of his assets in their proper schemes, sets and for not running the right plays at the right time!

FIRE DREW

Neki Ecko

June 23rd, 2011
3:05 pm

@nba-stinks

and its past your bedtime, there buddy

NBA wouldnt want that to happen at all. Atlanta brings in alot of money to the NBA and lose them will seriously hurt them, that including business, companys and job could be lost if they leave.

So think about it before you post trash like that.

Back to the subject, Josh is not going to get trade if that happens, ASG will need sell the Hawks ASAP because they will lose money faster than the Trashers.

doc

June 23rd, 2011
3:08 pm

loser rod :-)

kind of reminds me of marvin always finishing second. heh heh

mountain_jim

June 23rd, 2011
3:09 pm

FIRE DREW and SUND and SELL THE TEAM to someone with a CLUE!

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
3:16 pm

The latest rumor is Smoove for the #2 from Minnesota. You’re thinking “Yes! Derrick Williams!”, right? Nope. Apparently Sund loves Enes Kanter. I swear to God this organization invents new ways to screw things up.

Najeh Davenpoop

June 23rd, 2011
3:17 pm

Kanter is not a bad player, but he is no potential superstar, and he is no more of a center than Al. Billy Knight > Rick Sund.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 23rd, 2011
3:18 pm

najeh –

and we all know najeh’s track record on drafting big-men. bust, bust, bust …

Sleepy

June 23rd, 2011
3:18 pm

We are screwed the pieces dont fit and our only hope is that the gm can somehow pull off perfect trades for scarce pieces that do. We believe our best players to be top 15-30 players in the league and yet over the past year there have been 5 top 15 players who have changed teams and weve simply watched holding onto our “core” . Its flat out madness .

They are talented but the pieces simply dont fit and while it worked for a while based on talent alone as the East has gained in talent our team is being exposed . Over the past year weve added 4 all- nba caliber players to the East including the new MVP .

Nate D

June 23rd, 2011
3:18 pm

Smith i hope we do trade he does not play to his game and is lazy and is also not a 3. I would be fine to move smith to the lakers and hinrich for bynum and odom but that not going to happen. I hear new J and boston and houston wants him but they have nothing to trade for him. Unless you want a Jeff,allen,joe,garnett,and horford lineup which is not that bad. Orlando does intrigue me though i would be fine with a smith, and marvin for Turkgolu and 1st round pick from them and reddick that way we dont have to have jamal resign and we keep hinrich and teague and use the first round pick on the southern cal guy that play C and jason collins and zaza can teach him. We can have a Teague joe turk, horford The 1st round guy and still a enoough money to stack the bench.

Dozer

June 23rd, 2011
3:18 pm

“I just want to win” – leaves out “as long as I can do whatever I want on the court when I want to do it”……he is not the kind of player that you can expect a winning effort from night-in, night-out. He’s a perennial high-maintenance head case that has always been and always will be more of a tease than the real deal./

Jt

June 23rd, 2011
3:24 pm

I know that Josh Smith is an enigma. He is frustrating for the true Hawk fan. Cause sometimes he is the best player on the floor (of either team) and at other times he can make you cuss out loud. But, you know, I blame the Hawks franchise as much as I blame Josh. They have mishandled him. Here is a guy who has as much talent as any Hawk since Dominique- and in many ways mirrors him. He grew up in ATL and grew up a Hawks fan. Won the slam dunk championship in his 2nd year (I think it was 2nd yr) and did it in Nique’s jersey( which demostrated a sense of Hawks history and respect). Yet the franchise failed to embrace him and market him and he knows it. I know he doesn’t have Nique’s personality but they are similar in so many ways and yet Hawks fans love DW. He grew as a player and Josh is able to do so as well. I do not question Josh’s commitment to winning- I think someone like Woodson was needed to bring a perspective to him. But now what? Who failed? He has gotten better every year. Who would you rather keep right now if you could choose- Horford and Josh and get rid of JJ? Or keep Horford and JJ and trade Josh? I say keep Josh and Horford. I think he has held up his end of expectations based upon where he was drafted and future potential- I am not sure the Hawks have done so.

Wabe

June 23rd, 2011
3:24 pm

That article that Najeh posted in his 2:40 post is super on point.

O'Brien

June 23rd, 2011
3:24 pm

I disagree that JJ is not a good defensive player. But Lagree made a valid point;

Furthermore, a defensible idea does not guarantee competent execution. It was perfectly reasonable both for the Hawks decide they could keep just one of Marvin Williams and Josh Childress and to choose Williams.

However, giving Williams $35 million to remain the team’s fifth- or sixth-option and getting a lone second-round pick four years later in exchange for Childress are both terrible allocations of resources..

O'Brien

June 23rd, 2011
3:27 pm

Najeh,

Maybe Rick would pass on Derrick Williams because he has been talking to “it was not a bad pick”, and the last thing we need is somebody else to come in and take more shots way from Marvin.

That being said, we’ve seen Sund draft Petro, Sene, and Swift in the first round, in consecutive years. So I would not be surprised if he drafts Katner.

I would be very disappointed though.