Jun 21, 2011, 10:21 AM EDT
Atlanta needs to do something to shake up this team, because it is clear the current roster is a step or two behind the elite in the East. And while you can expect that Chicago and Miami will be better next season, Atlanta isn’t going to get better without some bold moves.
Like trading Josh Smith.
Which is something they are exploring and something the forward is good with, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith(notes), 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.
Smith had another good season for the Hawks — 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game — but he and coach Larry Drew clashed, and that reportedly carried over to the locker room. Drew wanted Smith to shoot fewer jump shots, Smith undercut Drew in the locker room.
Smith has two years, $25.6 million left on his deal, not an unreasonable one for a borderline All-Star. But the Hawks are going to want real talent back and that may not be easy at all. Especially where Smith wants to go — Boston plans to make another run with their core, Orlando and New Jersey do not have a lot of good trade bait to offer. With that, don’t expect a deal, if one comes at all, until after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in place.
But the talks seem to be out there.
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