NBA

Hawks' Smith has kept focus as trade deadline nears

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Associated Press
2/20/2013 7:29:55 PM
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ATLANTA -- Josh Smith is starting against the Miami Heat Wednesday night in what could be his final game with the Atlanta Hawks if any of the trade deadline talks involving the star forward become reality.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said Smith has not allowed Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline to be a distraction.

"With all the talk that's been going on, it can be a distraction but he has shown no signs of it distracting him," Drew said. "He's been totally focused with everything that we've done. He's handled himself in a very professional manner. I didn't expect anything different.

"I know during this time it can be a little unsettling for any player who has his name tossed around as far as trades, but he's been a total professional."

Smith arrived at Philips Arena about two hours before Wednesday's game, wearing a knit cap and a smile on his face.

His name has been in trade rumours linking him to the Nets, Bucks and other teams.

Smith, the 6-foot-9 forward, becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season. He leads the Hawks with 17.4 points per game and is second with 8.6 rebounds.

The forward, in his ninth season with his hometown Hawks, averaged 24.5 points, 10 rebounds and 6.3 assists in his last four games before the All-Star break.

Guard Jannero Pargo has not been re-signed after being with the team for two 10-day contracts. Drew said he hopes the team adds a guard if it makes no other trade-deadline move.

Drew said the team has to closely monitor the status of veteran guard Devin Harris, who has missed time this season with a sore left foot.

"We've already had dialog and conversation about our situation if nothing changes," Drew said. "Certainly we have to keep an eye on Devin with the sore foot."

Jeff Teague and DeShawn Stevenson are the Hawks' starting guards against Miami. Drew said Harris is available to play.

Josh Smith (Photo: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
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