The Atlanta Hawks have begun testing what they could acquire for Josh Smith on the trade market, and the pogo-stick forward reportedly would not mind a change of scenery. One of the teams on his short list of preferred trade destinations? The Boston Celtics. (Yahoo! Sports)
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith, and Smith isn’t averse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.
Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.
“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic. …
The Hawks have looked to identify veteran players near the end of their contracts, sources said, but have had no serious discussions on trading Smith.
“They’re looking for a change,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “They would die to be rid of Joe Johnson’s contract or move Smith, but they won’t give [Smith] away. They want something in return.”
I understand why Smith would make a lot of sense on the Celtics. He’s one of the premier athletes in the NBA, a pterodactyl-winged forward who can at times dominate both ends of the floor. He’s still young (25 years old), will make a reasonable $13 million per year for the next two seasons, and would provide enough highlights to feed a small family. If the Celtics could acquire him without losing any of the Fab Four, Smith might extend their championship window by another year or two, then help the Celtics transition into a Rondo-centric future.
But I also understand why the Hawks want to get rid of Smith. One night I’ll think to myself, “Wow, this dude could be one of the best players in the NBA.” The next, I’ll think to myself, “Why does Smith look completely disinterested, and why does he insist on repeatedly firing his broken jump shot?” According to the Yahoo! report, Smith has grown tired of becoming Atlanta’s scapegoat. Well, there’s a reason he earned that status: he still possesses a landfill of unfulfilled potential—even while averaging a solid 16.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, Smith makes questionable decisions and occasionally leaves unbiased observers shaking their heads. He’s like a beautiful girlfriend who has an annoying voice and makes her boyfriend carry her purse wherever they go. Yeah, she’s nice to have around most of the time, but she can also get quite frustrating.
Would I pull the trigger on a trade for Smith? Almost definitely, especially if acquiring him could be done without losing any of the Fab Four (anyone want, umm, Glen Davis?). But I would do so knowing full well Smith would sometimes lead me to take my shoe off and chuck it at the television.