TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NBA

Hawks' Smith big name in NBA trade deadline speculation

{eot}
Associated Press
2/13/2013 10:59:38 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

ATLANTA -- The Hawks could soon face a big decision with leading scorer Josh Smith, one of the most-discussed names in speculation leading up to the NBA trade deadline.

Smith, in his ninth season with his hometown Hawks, can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. That makes him a natural trade-deadline target, especially given general manager Danny Ferry's established willingness to part with big contracts.

Ferry, who traded Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams before the season, said Wednesday he's open to any opportunity that makes long-term sense for the team.

"We're in a unique situation right now with our current roster being competitive but also having potential cap space going forward," Ferry said. "Like most teams we're constantly evaluating ourselves and looking at the opportunities that may be out there to improve, whether that's through internal growth or externally through trades.

"If there's an opportunity that makes sense for the long-term interest of the Hawks, we'll certainly look into it. We'll definitely look into it."

Ferry wouldn't comment specifically on any talks with teams, including reports the Nets, Spurs and other teams have inquired about Smith.

The trade deadline is Feb. 21.

Smith, who had 30 points and 10 rebounds in the Hawks' 108-76 win at Orlando on Wednesday night, said he hasn't let the trade rumours interfere with his play.

"I've been playing well, so I guess my game speaks for that question," Smith said. "I'm not worried about any outside distractions, media, hearsay. I just try to come out and play my game and not worry about anything else."

He said this isn't the first season he's heard trade rumours.

"This is like the third or fourth year, so I'm kind of immune to it," he said.

The Hawks are sixth in the Eastern Conference. Their post-season outlook took a hit when guard Lou Williams sustained a season-ending knee injury last month.

The 27-year-old Smith is known for his powerful left-handed dunks and defensive big plays with steals and blocked shots. He leads the Hawks with his average of 17.1 points per game, and he is second to centre Al Horford with 8.6 rebounds per game.

Smith set career highs with his averages of 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds last season.

If he is not traded, Smith could be difficult to re-sign. Though he has never been an All-Star, he could ask for a maximum contract. The Hawks could offer five years and about $94 million, while other teams could offer up to about $70 million for four years.

Smith's Atlanta-based agent, Wallace Prather, said the Hawks and Smith agreed there would be no contract talks until after the season.

"Management offered Josh an extension at the beginning of the year," Prather said. "That's the last that we spoke about Josh's future in Atlanta."

Prather wouldn't speculate if Smith, who is making $13.2 million this season, can command a maximum contract.

"The market dictates that," Prather said. "I don't like to speak one way or the other. You can't put the cart before the horse. You go out and play well and then when that contract comes up, you go out and find the best deal for you. ... Obviously, he's playing at a high level."

The Hawks have awarded only one max contract -- a six-year, $123 million deal with Johnson in 2010. Ferry was still new to his job in Atlanta when he dealt Johnson to the Nets.

Smith's career has been filled with impressively balanced stat lines. He had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists Monday night in a 105-101 win at Dallas.

But there is another side to Smith, who was suspended by the team for one game last month for "conduct detrimental to the team" following an incident in practice.

Smith can follow spectacular plays with poor decisions. His 146 turnovers are only four below point guard Jeff Teague's team-leading total.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said Smith's positive far outweigh the mistakes. He said Smith should be representing the Eastern Conference in Sunday's All-Star game.

"It's just really unfortunate," Drew said. "I think he's having a phenomenal year. And I've said it before: Few players in the league can impact the game on both ends of the floor the way he can.

"He can defend all five positions. I've put him in a position where he had to defend all five positions in one game. You just have to keep doing what you're doing. Sooner or later he will be recognized, as he should have already been, as an All-Star."

Smith wasn't happy in 2008 when the Hawks forced him to test his value on the open market as a restricted free agent. He signed an offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Hawks quickly matched the offer.

Now the Hawks may face another decision with the power forward.

"Josh is a pretty good player, so I would assume there are a lot of people that are interested," Prather said. "Now will they pull the trigger? Will they offer Danny something he likes?

"I think those teams are interested. ... If he is genuinely looking to move Josh, it's up to him and those teams to work something out."

Josh Smith (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!

Podcasts

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - July 27th 2014

Will & Duane fill the lanes with new friends of the program Aggrey Sam/CSN Chicago & Tony McIntyre/CIA Bounce along with the News, Views & Truths.

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - July 20th 2014

Will & Duane are Wiggin' out on the LBJ-Love Triangle, Canada Basketball team dilemma, Summer League Love/Hate & the News, Views & Truths

TSN 1050 Toronto: Game Night with Andy McNamara - Will Strickland - July 20

Will joins the show to chat some hoops during a busy NBA offseason. Wiggins/Love talks, LeBron's return to Cleveland & what the Raptors accomplished.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television