The other day I wrote that it might be time for the Hawks to part ways with Josh Smith– not just because he’s the most likely trade candidate in their core, but because it’s becoming clear that he’s getting tired of being blamed for everything when something goes wrong.
The Smith-bashers in town favored the column. The Smith fans hated it, some taking it as another media assault on Smith. Fact is, as I wrote, I agree with Smith that he takes more blame for the team’s shortcoming than he deserves.
But that column sparked immediate trade rumors, including this one: Smith and Kirk Hinrich to Los Angeles Lakers for Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest. Barring other moves, that would leave the Hawks with a starting five of Bynum (center), Ron Artest (small forward), Al Horford (power forward), Joe Johnson (shooting guard) and Jeff Teague (point guard).
That trade is nowhere close to reality right now — it was concocted by media members for the sake of discussion, and because it seems plausible. The Lakers could be looking to move Bynum after his postseason meltdown, and they also may pursue a deal for Orlando’s Dwight Howard, which would make Bynum expendable. (One outlet, Hoopsworld, also is speculating whether the Clippers will pursue Smith.)
Bynum obviously has had his issues. But he would give the Hawks their first legitimate center in years and allow Horford to move to his more natural position of power forward. If the way Teague played against Chicago in the playoffs was not an aberration, suddenly the Hawks could be set at point guard and center, and when is the last time we could say that?
So I’m not saying this trade is going to happen. But since there seems to be so much interest in this topic, I figured I’d turn it over to you. What would you think about a Smith-Hinrich for Bynum-Artest deal? We’ll also put up a poll and see how the voting goes.
By Jeff Schultz