According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Hawks have tired to trade forward Josh Smith for Lakers forward Pau Gasol.
Bresnahan tweeted that no deal is imminent. And a big caveat is that his report says the Hawks first expressed interest in Gasol after Los Angeles was eliminated from the playoffs by the Thunder, back when Rick Sund was still Hawks GM.
The Hawks have since hired GM Danny Ferry, who says he’s focused on building long term. Gasol turns 32 next week and is owed more than $38 million over the next two seasons.
Also, Bresnahan and ESPN’s Chad Ford reported the Lakers are open to trading Gasol for a high lottery pick and players, a price the Hawks can’t match.
The Rockets, who have been accumulating draft picks, could meet the Lakers’ price. Houston already tried to trade for Gasol as part of the infamous Chris Paul deal that was eventually nixed by NBA commissioner David Stern.
Update: Ford now says the Rockets aren’t pursuing Gasol.
Smith, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, first told the Hawks he wanted to be traded after last season and reiterated that desire prior to this season’s deadline. Smith wants to join a franchise he feels is more committed to winning and play in a market with better fan support.
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat