Jun 22, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT
A source also said discussions between Atlanta and Orlando with Josh Smith going to the Magic are “totally legit.” Executives say the Hawks have expressed an eagerness to move Smith and would like to shed salary in the process.
For Orlando, this makes a lot of sense. If they are going to keep Dwight Howard they have to shake up the roster again and become serious contenders, Josh Smith is a step in that direction. Orlando’s offense can get stagnant because nobody consistently can create good shots for themselves outside of Howard — Smith would change that. He also is a good defensive forward and combined with Howard makes the Magic a powerful defensive force. If Stan Van Gundy can get Smith to take fewer midrange jumpers they will be set.
The problem is, what does Orlando have to give back that Atlanta really wants? The Hawks would like both talent and to save money. The only guys with straight up salaries that match are Hedo Turkoglu or Gilbert Arenas, and those are not happening because it’s an added expense for less talent. A combination of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick would do it, but that would not save Atlanta any money. And it decimates the Orlando back court — unless you love the Gilbert Arenas/Chris Duhon combo. If I were the Hawks, I would demand Ryan Anderson in any deal.
Orlando may need a third team or maybe Atlanta is more desperate to move Smith than I thought. I get why the Magic want Smith, but it makes far less sense for Atlanta.
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