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Report: Hawks not interested in trading Josh Smith for Pau Gasol

Nov 17, 2012, 4:31 PM EDT

Josh Smith AP

There’s a certain percentage of Lakers fans that constantly go back and forth about their feelings for Pau Gasol. One month he’s exactly the kind of skilled, versatile big man that is vital to a team’s championship hopes, the next month he’s soft and these people want to see him traded out of town.

The people who want Gasol gone have no idea what they’re talking about, of course, but that’s another discussion for another time. There have been rumblings about the Lakers having interest in Atlanta’s Josh Smith, who is an unrestricted free agent after this season. Presumably, the Hawks wouldn’t want to see him walk without receiving something back in return, and L.A. has been rumored to be willing to part with Gasol in a deal that would bring Smith to the Lakers.

Atlanta, however, has no interest in dealing Josh Smith to L.A. for Gasol, or to any other team at this point. From Marc Stein of

Sources say that the Hawks, at present, have no interest in parting with Josh Smith and Kyle Korver for Gasol. Or even Smith and lesser parts for Gasol.

Positions can obviously change between now and the Feb. 21 trade deadline, but sources maintain that Atlanta has not been enticed in the least by the prospect of parting with the 26-year-old Smith — even as he heads into unrestricted free agency — for the 32-year-old Gasol. The Hawks, for the record, have also been telling interested teams that they value Smith and what he offers as a hybrid forward in an Eastern Conference that’s generally been getting smaller.

Smith is an amazing talent, especially defensively, and his shot-blocking ability playing alongside Dwight Howard would be showcased to the point where defensively, the Lakers would be among the best in the league inside.

But if Lakers fans aren’t happy when Gasol has an off night, imagine their disgust as Smith launches a barrage of long twos (and even some threes), which is the primary criticism of his game offensively.

Lakers fans need to relax with Gasol. He was the victim of Mike Brown’s offensive ineptitude last season, and once Mike D’Antoni takes over, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the team won’t find a way to properly utilize his talents on the offensive end of the floor.

As for any deals at all this year, unless it’s something that involves Steve Blake or Chris Duhon that will strengthen L.A.’s bench unit, they’re not likely to happen. The Lakers are in win-now mode, and mid-season roster upheaval of the team’s core pieces gets them further away from that goal, not closer to it.

Besides, if the Lakers want Josh Smith, they’ll have him once he hits free agency. And they won’t need to trade anyone to make that happen, least of all a piece as important to L.A.’s championship aspirations as Pau Gasol.

  1. raidmagic - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    With the Lakers salary commitments could they pay Smith?

    • eugenesaxe - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      If they got him in a trade, I believe so. Not if they have to wait til he’s a free man.

  2. eugenesaxe - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Didn’t ATL get the memo about making any stupid move the Lakers want?

  3. ron05342 - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    The Clippers are the better team in Los Angeles. I have been a Laker fan forever but this is a fact that is amazingly flying below the radar, even in L.A.

    Watch out for the Clippers. They have a real shot at coming out of the West.

    • uptmonsta - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:20 PM

      The Clips is a great regular season team, but the fact remains that only one team can truly threaten the Lakers out West and that’s the Thunder. The Clips don’t have enough Big Guns. Paul is really the only Big Gun. Should Bledsoe and Crawford be depended on to carry a team to the Finals? The Clippers will bypass the Lakers when Blake Griffin is ready to. Until then teams like them and the Grizzlies will only be entertaining regular season squads.

    • jedifriedchicken - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      The Clippers are a good team, who are playing well due to having some time growing into that role under one coach. The Lakers are a great team that’s just been put together, and has just began growing into their potential role under a new coach. No one’s talking about the Clippers winning it this year. They have one full fledged superstar, and another one that still in the process of growing into the role

      • jedifriedchicken - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        And deep team full of role players. The Lakers have four hall of famers, and some other good parts who will be better once they know their roles. Miami and Boston had to go through some growing pains when they formed their super teams, and so do the Lakers. Boston’s super team won one of two finals appearances, including their first year, and Miami’s been in the finals the two years since forming their super team, winning the second appearance. The last time the Lakers had a super team was in 2004, and it was considered a failure only because they lost in the finals.

  4. dal24la - Nov 17, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    “Besides, if the Lakers want Josh Smith, they’ll have him once he hits free agency. And they won’t need to trade anyone to make that happen, least of all a piece as important to L.A.’s championship aspirations as Pau Gasol.”

    ….The Lakers are over the cap and still will be this summer Kurt. Unless Jsmoove takes the veteran’s minimum, that is NOT happening.
    How do you still have a job and make these egregious errors? At least you didn’t spell anyone’s name wrong today. smh

    • tsi431 - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      Pau Gasol would have to be gone if the Lakers went for Josh Smith you tool, its common sense. That money would be freed up, not that it matters to the Lakers anyhow.

      • eugenesaxe - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:37 PM

        They’re sitting at ~51mil if they dump Gasol for no contracts and Artest doesn’t exercise his option. Neither of those will happen, and even if they did, Smith could get more elsewhere.

      • dal24la - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Your reading comprehension is off. He said “they’ll have him once he hits free agency. And they won’t have to trade anyone”.

        Please tell how they get Josh Smith once free agency hits without trading anyone?
        And getting rid of Gasol for nothing would still have Lakers over the cap.

      • dal24la - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        First, your numbers off, it would be $57, not $51. Second, your scenario assumes Dwight Howard doesn’t resign.

    • cjispro - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      His name is Brett.

    • uptmonsta - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      The Lakers can amnesty Gasol next summer and give his salary to Smith. And as far as money goes that billion dollar Time Warner deal covers the tax bill and then some.

      • cosanostra71 - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

        no the Lakers would still be over the cap even if they amnestied Gasol which they won’t

  5. uptmonsta - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    The Hawks shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss this deal. First of all Smith and Hofford play the same position. I know the stretch four is becoming more and more prevalent, but it’ll never take the place of a true pure post scorer, which Gasol is.

    The Hawks also need to realize that Gasol is at his best when he’s the focal point of an offense. When Bynum was hurt or playing limited minutes it was the Gasol/Odom tandem that held it down for LA. And in the Olympics when Gasol is made the focal point he dominates. Its hard to ask a player of his stature to be a fourth option, but if you tell him he’s the man he’ll dominate.

    I think it would be a good trade for both teams. The Hawks would get a true #1 scorer and the Lakers would get guy that is more comfortable playing a utility role. The Lakers currently start two centers and the Hawks start two powerforwards.

    It’ll hurt a ton if Smith walks next summer and Ferry gets zero for him.

    • jedifriedchicken - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      Brett’s right, it would be another setback dumping one of the main starts for Smith. Smith is a physically gifted player, but he’s also a knucklehead, who doesn’t always make the right decision, and who could possibly be a distraction for this team.

  6. pricejustin24 - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Uh, smith is a 3. Hortford is clearly a 4. That’s not the same position dummy. It’s a great trade for both teams but it won’t happen. Danny Ferry knows the hawks ain’t winning in the next few years… Why would he want gasol? Knicks and lakers still have the best shot at a deal that would actually work for both teams. Pau and Steve Blake for amare and Ronnie brewer.

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      Lol, Lakers trading for Amar’e.

      That’s funny.

    • damp1015 - Nov 18, 2012 at 3:13 AM

      I like Gasol, but his game is not what it was. And I know STAT is not what he used to be. I’ll admit too, Gasol is playing, STAT is not. I just don’t like Blake, give us Meeks!!

      And D’Antoni will love his Nash/STAT combo back.

  7. fanz928 - Nov 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Why the he’ll would Josh smith boot he has a option to be the only option in atl and max money

  8. fpimentel72 - Nov 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Don’t know who said that the Lakers is over the salary cap but that’s not true, we can get him but I really don’t want him, he is not a good player, Gasol is much more a better player than smith, the Clippers is good and they will make the playoffs but they need still a lot of work.

    • eventhorizon04 - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:23 PM

      “Don’t know who said that the Lakers is over the salary cap but that’s not true.”

      Assuming they keep Dwight Howard, they will be over the cap.

      And I see no scenario where the Lakers let Dwight leave so they can sign Josh Smith, so “in effect,” they’re over the cap.

    • lakerdownunder - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      im assuming you’re joking about the Lakers not being over the salary cap? they have the highest payroll in the NBA

  9. abchome - Nov 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    How? The trio of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash alone will make $59m in 2013/14. You don’t think Josh Smith would take $10m pay cut to join the lakers. Right?

  10. jerdogthompson - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM


    I’d recommend checking your facts. The Lakers are well over the salary cap and next year will get into the repeater tax mode. Thus should they carry the current salary into next year (not counting Howard) their yearly nut including the whole ball if wax (repeater tax, rev share, etc) would be roughly 250 million. Oh yeah, the TWC deal. Well that’s 3 billion over 20 years so roughly 150 million a year from that. That’s a 100 million deficit which can be made back on tickets & merchandise. However, it’s not including the signing of Howard which would skew the numbers mightily. They can do it but will they. I think it’s best that you all accept the fact the Laker dynasty will need to take a few years to rebuild so perhaps they can contend in say 2018 or so. Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but I calls a spade a spade.

    • lakerdownunder - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM

      OK lets get this right. The Lakers have only ONE guaranteed contract for 2014 and that is Nash.You could assume that Howard will also be added to that…so you have 2 contracts. Thats IT. No other players, including Kobe, Gasol, MWP and the rest of the current roster are guaranteed in 2014.

  11. lakerluver - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    @jerdogthompson, or I’ll call you by your other username, paulhargis53,
    I hate to call a fool a fool but you’re a fool. So, lets get this right. The LAKERS are going to give Dwight a max deal only to suck through his prime years? Why don’t you leave the general manager duties to Mitch. I’m sure the LAKERS know exactly what they’re going to do. Do you think they don’t know the tax implications? Surely, do they. You guys need to stop trying to figure this stuff out. You don’t have a clue. The LAKERS are a money making machine. They can not afford to NOT be good. Mediocrity won’t fill up the Staples Center nor keep that lucrative tv deal they have.

  12. lakerluver - Nov 17, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    I doubt if the Hawks would be stupid enough to just hand the LAKERS a title. 1 good player for 2 good players is robbery. Pau may be more skilled than Josh but Josh and Kyle would both help the LAKERS immensely. Kyle can shoot the lights out and would be perfect for D’Antoni’s offense. Josh and Dwight would terrorize opposing teams defensively. With Pau gone Dwight would have the post to himself. Josh is younger, quicker and much more athletic than Pau. I love the idea of surrounding Kobe with young, hungry players.

  13. themagicfanguy - Nov 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM


    Actually, jerdog is correct, at least from a financial standpoint. Now with that said, the lakers could always attempt to move some players and make room for Dwight’s contract, but that could be difficult considering that most of the pieces they are willing to move are older or overpaid(metta).
    The lakers ARE a money making machine, but if you look at the bottom line, they would have to either move players or operate at a deficit to keep the current roster intact.

  14. danielboston008 - Nov 18, 2012 at 4:50 AM

    Josh Smith would be nice. I doubt Atlanta gives him up for an aging star with a bloated contract though.
    I like this scenario..

    Lakers receive – Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan
    Toronto receives – Pau Gasol

    New Orleans Receives – Jose Calderon, Demar DeRozan
    Lakers receive – Ryan Anderson

    Pau Gasol for Kyle Lowry and Ryan Anderson…..not bad at all.

  15. pricejustin24 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Ok. Gasol, Meeks and Blake for amare and shumpert.
    Sincerely, Mitch

    Then we’ll sign delonte.

  16. yousuxxors - Nov 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Knicks would trade amare but not shump.

  17. paulhargis53 - Nov 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but I post only under this name.

    You’re the only one pathetic enough to have multiple names, lakerluver/bozosforall/maddog911.

    8 year old, dude.

  18. jimeejohnson - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Chamberlain and Russell. West and Havlicek. Magic and Larry Legend.

    LakerLuver and paulhargis53?

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