The Josh Smith trade rumors: I’m not buying any of them – yet

Once and future teammates? Not so fast, my friend. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Once and future teammates? Not so fast, my friend. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

The volume on the Josh Smith trade rumors has been cranked up to 11 — “Spinal Tap” joke — and somebody needs to dial it down. I nominate … myself.

It has been reported that the Hawks are gauging interest in Smith ahead of tonight’s NBA draft, which only makes sense. It has also been reported that Smith wants out of Atlanta, which I’m not sure is the case, and has even submitted a list of teams he wouldn’t mind joining. (The list, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, includes Boston, Houston, Orlando and New Jersey.)

Smoove-related speculation has been running the highest in Orlando, where Smith’s best friend (meaning Dwight Howard) plays, and Boston. Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that discussions between the Hawks and the Magic are “totally legit.” But now we ask: Other than Howard himself, who among Magic men would the Hawks want?

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel notes that, not counting Howard, Orlando really has only “four tradable assets” — Jameer Nelson, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick. If the Hawks trade Smith for any combination of those, Rick Sund is nuts. And whatever else you might think of the Hawks’ general manager, he gives the impression of being a pillar of sanity.

And there’s no way the Magic are trying to deal Howard for Smith. It’s way too early for that. At this stage Orlando GM Otis Smith is seeking to assuage his big man’s doubts that his team is serious about winning a title, and what better way to placate Howard than to add his old Atlanta Celtics wingman?

As for Boston: A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE reports that the Celtics have had “no discussions” with the Hawks. Again, it’s hard to find a trade match for Smith on that roster. Kevin Garnett is scheduled to make $21 million next season, or roughly $9 million more than Smith will. As Blakely writes, Ray Allen is only under contract for one more year at $10 million and might be seen as a replacement for Jamal Crawford, who’s apt to leave as a free agent. But do you want to swap a 25-year-old power forward for a 35-year-old shooting guard?

The belief here is that the Hawks will have a tougher time than many think finding a trade match for Smith. He’s far too gifted to give away, but his excesses have become so well known that a good team isn’t apt to disrupt its rotation to make room for him.

This isn’t to say a trade can’t happen. It very well could. (It has been suggested that a third team might be needed to make a deal with the Magic work.) I’d be surprised if it happens today or this month, though.

By Mark Bradley

160 comments Add your comment

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

Josh Smith is a loser. Pure loser. Can’t win with guys like him.

CO_Braves

June 23rd, 2011
9:24 am

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:25 am

@CO_Braves, first loser

Mark Bradley

June 23rd, 2011
9:26 am

Be gracious, me. There’s no call for smack talk over the coveted kudos.

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:30 am

Lets talk Josh Smith Mark. He came to Atlanta and was labeled as “the biggest bust of the draft” according to Jay Bilas when he was selected. Ok, we all knew Josh wasn’t very mature coming out of Oak Hill. He had been told how great he was since the 8th grade. Work ethic = zero. Then he comes to the NBA and he is given a pass since he came straight from high school. He were are, how many years removed from high school and he still isn’t mature and is mentally weak. Walking down the floor, complaining to the refs, and lord knows the problems he was for Woody. I think the Hawks gave him a chance with Drew and Drew can’t get through to him either. Josh Smith is a sad, sad story, IMO.

CO_Braves

June 23rd, 2011
9:32 am

I’ll have to settle for silver today. Anyways, if the Hawks trade Smith they better get something worth of value and not do it just as a cost cutting measure. Actually what am I thinking, they will do the shrewd thing and probably do just that.

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:34 am

What about Marvin “I can hardly walk because my butt is so big” Williams? He doesn’t help this team.

Mark Bradley

June 23rd, 2011
9:34 am

Actually, what Jay Bilas said was that Josh Smith had the potential to be the biggest bust of the 2004 draft — which made no sense. It wasn’t as if he’d been taken in the lottery. He went 17th overall.

Sportsfan

June 23rd, 2011
9:34 am

A man should know his limitations. And Stevie Wonder can see that Josh Smith can’t shoot.

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:36 am

@Bradley I think Bilas saw the arrogance and lack of maturity in Josh Smith and voiced his frustration through his opinion.

Jamaaliver

June 23rd, 2011
9:37 am

I agree it’s time for j-Smoove to move on, but I acknowledge that under a more seasoned coach he’ll probably be extremely successful.

I just hope we get someone who can get us to the next level.

Pau Gasol anyone?

Chpatt

June 23rd, 2011
9:39 am

This CRAZY rumor was called in to an Orlando radio station. And they actually believed it to be a real deal without any confirmation. A fan called in this wannabe trade.

Hawks, Magic, TrailBlazers:

Magic get Josh Smith and Kirk Hinrich

Hawks get Ryan Anderson, Andre Miller and Marcus Camby

Portland gets Jameer Nelson

Big Ray

June 23rd, 2011
9:39 am

Mark ,

I agree completely. There could be a three team trade, but we’ll see. It’s really not about Sund. It’s about Gearon. He is covetous of the talent he has, too much so in many cases (Joe Johnson contract), and doesn’t understand addition by subtraction, or that the Hawks really need some culture tweaking.

Again, we shall see. The only trade I’d guarantee any Hawks fan is a trade of a draft pick if the Hawks see a way to make some cash out of it, LOL….

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:39 am

@Jamaaliver Do you honestly think the Lakers would trade Pau Gasol for Josh Smith? I mean really!? I think trading Josh Smith for 12 brand new basketballs would be sufficient.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 23rd, 2011
9:41 am

Sund has the dangerous job of shopping a guy who probably has as much pure talent as anyone in the NBA. Smith can essentially do it all. The problem is he just cant put it all together consistently. Sund cannot move Smith and simply get back parts. He can only move him for elite talent because no matter what we as fans think, Smith is an elite player.

slydog

June 23rd, 2011
9:42 am

Bottom line: Josh Smith was a hometown experiment that did not work. In some cases it does (Derrick Rose). But at least Rose left home for a year and had a chance to mature some on his own. Furthermore, when dealing with maturity issues, strong personalities rule. Woodson and Drew do not possess these qualities; maybe towards their own children but not professional players. Even Van Gundy sits Dwight Howard if he does not fit in certain scenarios. Not here. He will do better either with a franchise with a history of winning, (Spurs, Celtics, Lakers, Bulls) or a strong willed coach (the same coaches from those teams). This whole mess is Billy Knight’s fault by the way for putting together a street ball team

coloradobulldog

June 23rd, 2011
9:43 am

I think they would be stupid to trade J-Smove. He’s still young and just needs someone to show him tape of the Bulls game where we dominated in the paint. Instead I wish we could move the albatross contact of Johnson and get rid of Marvin.

dap01

June 23rd, 2011
9:43 am

In Josh’s defense, his only coaches since high school has been Woody and LD. Now that is sad. If we had decent coaching, non of this conversation would be happening. If we had even decent GM leadership, non of this conversation would be happening.

This whole rebuilding has been worse than horrible. If every draft pick had worked out and been great, we still would have an unbalance and disfuntional team. Think about that.

Right now, the Hawks are destined to be average until we pay JJ and start ALL over.

me

June 23rd, 2011
9:43 am

Elite player? Who are you kidding? Elite players show up night in and night out. Elite players make All-Star teams, not the dunk contest. Elite players play for Conference championships and NBA championships, not just make the playoffs. The 76ers made the playoffs and they are trash. Elite player, COME ON MAN <Monday Night Countdown Voice

slydog

June 23rd, 2011
9:44 am

after a change of scenery or environment, everyone, including a lazy bum, has a moment of reflection.

Bill

June 23rd, 2011
9:45 am

Maybe if the Hawks had drafted Chris Paul when the had the chance,Mark’s blog would have been about the Braves or the lockout.

Sanjeev

June 23rd, 2011
9:47 am

@coloradobulldog: the problem is Josh is incredible in the paint yet continues to chuck up bricks from the 3 point line.

slydog

June 23rd, 2011
9:48 am

he will do better with franchises with a history of winning and strong coaching personalities (Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls). Woodson and Drew were rookie coaches trying to teach a high schooler about being a professional basketball player. That is not a good recipe. Say what you want aout one and done’s, it gives the young men a chance to get away from home, mature some, learn how to take critical coaching / teaching, and practice dealing with chicks and the media BEFORE you get the money.

slydog

June 23rd, 2011
9:49 am

This is not J Smooth’s fault. This is all on Billy Knight for trying to put together a Street Ball team instead of a professional basket ball team.

nash

June 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

People that man is the best player on the team. We can all say that it comes in spurts or that he is inconsistent but what player on the team is the exception to that label Al Horford (hardly), Joe Johnson(see Al), Jamal(streak shooter) or, maybe Zaza who plays in a cement suit. The point is that Kobe is labelled as a head case while Lebron is also called a mental midget. Every player in this league has one issue or another and, I honestly believe that Josh Smith is not the problem with this team but, the embodiment of what this team is collectively.

gooch

June 23rd, 2011
9:51 am

im not buying what you are selling NBA blows

ATL born and raised

June 23rd, 2011
9:51 am

Either the Hawks need to move him or we as fans/media need to embrace him. If Smith is an elite player, then we need to treat him with more respect. Sure, we can be upset with him at times, but a lot of his image has to do with how Bradley and the media talk about him. Let’s face it, beating the Heat, Bulls, Mavs, or Thunder is a very difficult challenge. The Hawks have a great team, but to be at the top tier of the league is likely not attainable. Expect more wins than losses and go have fun at the highlight factory, especially when Smooth throws one down!

BobWeiss

June 23rd, 2011
9:54 am

The Hawks shouldn’t mess with this team. This team is at the stage that the Hawks team of Steve Smith, Blaylock, Mutumbo, Laetner, etc were at in the early 90’s. We had a very respectable team that would win 50 games and make the the playoffs. The GM at the time decided to break that team up in hopes of assembling something better. It resulted in a decade of misery.

My fear is Mr. Sund might do the same with this team. Sure, this team isn’t complete and doesn’t necessarily look capable of ever reaching the NBA finals. However, people thought the same about the Dallas Mavericks the past 3 years. If nothing else, keep this team together and let the fans enjoy a few more years of playoff basketball. Being a losing team in the playoffs is far more entertaining than being a losing team in the regular season. Hopefully, Mr. Sund won’t trade any of the core players.

Jack McKeon

June 23rd, 2011
9:54 am

Holy smokes! I’m now 80 years old, should be fishing, so why am I back coaching? Am I going senile or have I gone nuts? This team is 14 back and bad, real bad—worse that the Mets and even the Nats. Manley’s a pain in the rear. The owner’s a head case.
Now where are my pills?

Jamaaliver

June 23rd, 2011
9:55 am

Me, as poorly as Pau played in the playoffs. And with all the behind the scenes drama with Pau and the Kobe family (check the rumor mill if you’re out of the loop) I think the Lakers would JUMP at the tought of trading for a 25 y/o defensive minded PF.Josh playing next to their 7-foot center (Bynum) and their defensive minded SF (Artest) would fit in with their new emphasis on defense that Mike Brown will be bringing to LA.
Plus, Odom, Bynum, Artest and Smith still gives you the most diverse front line in all of basketball.

They get younger, tougher (always a mark against Pau) and get more salary cap room since we can expect a hard cap after the NBA lockout.

And Kobe will keep Josh under thumb. No taking plays off on HIS team.

And we get an actual 7-footer with a post game.

chuckw/deadjournalist

June 23rd, 2011
9:55 am

Of the “preferred” teams on the purported Smoove trade list, the only one would fill an obvious need would be a deal with the Nets for Lopez. The problem is their salaries come nowhere near matching up. Unless a third team was involved, NJ doesn’t have the expiring contracts needed to make it work. Because we all know ATL isn’t taking on dollars ..

Matty Ice

June 23rd, 2011
9:56 am

I say we trade Josh Smith for LeBron James. They don’t want him in South Beach anymore.

Ga_Native

June 23rd, 2011
9:58 am

SHAME ON THIS CITY FOR MAKING JOSH SMITH THE SCAPEGOAT! Joe Johnson is the reason this team can only go so far. We are handicapped by his ASTROGANTIC contract and even further by his inferior play in the postseason.

Secondly, we bought further mediocrity by hiring a coach who was on the former mediocre coach’s staff.

Further, we refuse to get a real point guard. When Bibby gave us glimpses of real point guard play a few years ago, we started making the playoffs. Unfortunately, our team goal doesn’t extend far beyond making the playoffs.

Lastly, JOSH SMITH IS ONE OF THE FEW REAL BALLERS on this Hawks squad. By trading him what would we accomplish? Sure his 3 pointers drive you insane but they are more than made up for in DEFENSIVE INTENSITY!

Where’s a real solution? I’m about thisclose to abandoning the Hawks!

Reggie

June 23rd, 2011
9:58 am

IF THE HAWKS TRADE JOSH AND DNT GET DWIGHT IN RETURN, IM NOT GETN ANYMORE SEASON TICKETS! HOW MANY PLAYERS CAN DOMINATE A GAME W/O SCORING? FANS HAVE BECOME WAY TOO OBSESSED WITH OFFENSIVE STATS. I MEAN JOSH HASN’T HAD A GREAT COACH NOR POINT GUARD, NOT TO MENTION PLAYING OUTTA POSITION! HE DOES NEED TO WRK ON HIS HANDLE AND SHOOTING! HE CARES MORE THAN THE OTHER HAWKS! WHERE WAS AL AND JOE DC DURING THE CLUTCH? ALLSTARS????? GET OFF SMOOVE!!!

me

June 23rd, 2011
10:01 am

@Reggie its not message board friendly to use all caps, thanks.

Dan

June 23rd, 2011
10:05 am

I like your post yesterday with Howard coming here and Al Horford going to Orlando. Reason being Howard would sell tickets here and Horford since he played for the Gators would still have ties to the state of FLA for the fans there.
Orlando is this case doesn’t have the cards in their hand. All they have is the Ace Howard and he is already admitted that he is ready to fold and so from Orlando’s prospective they need to get something and what better than an all-star center that is also young. There have been rumors about the Lakers and Bynum and why would the Magic want him if he is always hurt? How is Bynum going to sell tickets to regular season games if he is sitting on the end of the bench wearing a suit? Of course Atlanta may have to add other assets to equal the salaries Hinrich or Marvin which they would probably take Marvin since he is also young and can still develop. The ttrade would be good for both teams again because Orlando should get something of value instead of holding the bag at the end of next year season.

dap01

June 23rd, 2011
10:06 am

This is off the subject but the king Lebron did some serious choking in the finals, on a couple of possessions, he acted like he had never dribbled or shot in his LIFE.

That scared and lost look in his eyes was priceless.

Mark Bradley

June 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

Thanks, Dan. But I think the Magic will try everything to build around Dwight Howard before they trade him.

(That said, if they are going to trade him, what better replacement than Al Horford?)

HawkKingBibby

June 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

Mark, I think some members of the media overblew the 3 or 4 jump shots Smoove took a game in the playoffs. They completely overlooked how hard he played, how many times he drove to the basket with reckless abandon and got to the free throw line. Smoove played his heart out in these playoffs. I wish we got the same effort from Al Horford down low that we did from Smoove. Your right Sund would be nuts to give him away.

Rattler4life000

June 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

I totally agree with Ga_ Native, This would one of the most ridiculous moves this franchise could do. Josh is the most talented player on this team, he’s the most identifiable player on this team and the most intense player. If you thought we were so soft before, let Josh go watch us get dominated night in and night out inside. the worst player in the Chicago series were was Mr. Horford and we talk bout trading Josh. Soft team, Soft so called fans. let’s get so more choir boys to get punked like we Al did inthe playoffs

TheRealMrGreen

June 23rd, 2011
10:12 am

Hawks will be dumb (typical of the org) to trade Josh for anything less than an All Star player, preferably a true Center. Josh is a nut case, but who in the league has his skill set, and can impact a game of both ends of the court (good or bad lol) like Josh?

david

June 23rd, 2011
10:15 am

Hawks are not going to do anything. We are going to “suck” next year just like every year. Not terrible but we are just so freakin predictable and boring that they “suck” and too ignorant to sign Crawford (maybe our best player) back up. Drew can’t do anything with this team but he is our coach for years probably. JS has never been coached, held accountable, never EVER. He needs to go to a coach that will teach him how to play basketball. When he pouts or act childish take him out and let him watch, even if it’s for 5 games, etc.. TRAIN him, COACH him, TEACH him. SOMEBODY could make him a badass around the bucket but not Woody or any of his pups. Horford is getting bored, Joe has been bored for a couple years. When they FINALLY fired Woody and then hired his asst., One of the dumbest moves on planet earth. They keeping drafting small shooting guards and think since they are small they are point guards. We need a POINT guard. A floor coach. A leader on the court. PASS FIRST SHOOT second point guard. Did I mention a big man that WANTS to rebound and smart enough to set picks and throw great outlet passes. He doesn’t even have to score except for easy stuff from hustling and being smart. WE need a brain SOMEWHERE in this organization. I love Joe but paying him a trillion dollars at 12:01 on the first day of signing crippled us for a few years and made the city unfairly not like him. A BRAIN please.

lewis

June 23rd, 2011
10:17 am

yall are not very intelligent. we’re lucky to have Josh Smith at this point. Did you guys not watch the playoffs?

ASG = JERKS

June 23rd, 2011
10:18 am

Idiot Chelleni on 790 the Zone says he thinks about the Hawks getting LeBron and dealing Josh Smith. He was talking about it again today. The guy has the brain the size of a pea. No wonder he is on talk radio and not doing anything important.

chuck

June 23rd, 2011
10:24 am

Horford should be untouchable. He plays the same position as Smith. Therefore trade Smith. I agree we should give him away because if he goes to a team with STRONG veteran leadership, the players will take care of Josh when he starts thinking he can shoot from over 5 feet away from the basket.

hmmmmm

June 23rd, 2011
10:25 am

Josh will continue to mature as he has up to this point. He is still young and will be better next year.
2 years from now he will be a beast.

ASG = JERKS

June 23rd, 2011
10:25 am

Sounds like Hawks fans need a pep talk from Bruce Levinson. It would go something like this:

“Ticket prices are going up. We plan on giving Joe Johnson more money. DEAL WITH IT.”

steve brown

June 23rd, 2011
10:32 am

Josh Smith is an unwatchable player. Boycott the Hawks until they are sold!!

superiorblogman

June 23rd, 2011
10:35 am

Said it a million times. Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and Zaza for Monta Ellis, Biedrins and Dorell Wright or Monta Ellis, Biedrins, and a pick is the probably the best you will get if you look for something comparable in talent.

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6lynv5a

Curious George

June 23rd, 2011
10:37 am

Can we please trade the Hawks (& The Atlanta Spirit Group) to Winnipeg to get back our beloved THRASHERS?