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Report: Spurs have interest in trade for Josh Smith

Feb 12, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs are clearly in the market for another big man — they realize if they are going to go up against the Thunder, Clippers and Grizzlies in the playoffs an improved front line will be key.

First came the report they were interested in Utah’s Al Jefferson, which makes some sense for them (but seems unlikely).

Now comes this note that the Spurs have been talking to Atlanta, too, from Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports (part of his weekly power rankings).

The Spurs are among the teams with interest in Hawks forward Josh Smith, a source told Yahoo! Sports. Keep in mind, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was previously with the Spurs.

How would that work? The Hawks are not going to take on a lot of bad contracts, but they might take on Stephen Jackson and his $10 million expiring contract. But that is the money, now what are you going to give the Hawks that they want for the future? It’s going to have to be someone like Kawhi Leonard plus a young point guard and/or a pick. And that may not be enough.

For the Spurs, Utah’s Jefferson is a better fit right now and likely can be re-signed for less. Smith is more athletic and more talented for sure, he makes them potentially much better, but he also brings a penchant for long jumpers that will drive Gregg Popovich to start drinking whisky instead of wine.

We’ll see if these deals move any closer to reality, but one thing is clear and that is the Spurs are looking to add a piece along the front lines. That comes with risk for a 41-12 team, but they are thinking about the postseason.

  1. readysethike - Feb 12, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Josh Smith would be a nice piece at the pf spot to take over and eventually replace duncan…Poppovich would be just the right coach to make sure Smith uses the best of his abilities

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      I’m not a Spurs fan, but giving Poppovich a guy with Josh Smith’s talent could be really scary for the rest of the league if Pop gets Smith to play smarter.

      Smith is incredibly athletic, great at finishing around the rim, an underrated passer, and an All-NBA defender when he’s motivated. He just plays dumb basketball at times.

  2. necr0philia - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Josh to San Antonio and send the Spurs team to Atlanta and the deal is done!!

  3. wwttww - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    I’d take Leonard and a pick.

  4. mazblast - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    They’re 41-12. Why deal Leonard and mess with success?

    • davidly - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:03 AM

      Because this is no more than the the likes of the speculating tweeterverse, wherein people with no say can play fantasy hoops. Fortunately for the Spurs fans, it doesn’t work that way.

  5. bucrightoff - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    No chance Kahwi is getting dealt. He’s probably untouchable, Pop loves him and has talked him up, and as we saw last night he’s got a pretty nice game. He’s a big part of the future of the Spurs.

    • andrewproughcfe - Feb 12, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      Agreed – Leonard has a lot of upside. Smith is a 9-year veteran with consistent, but never spectacular, stats. If I’m grooming my forward of the future, I’m not starting with a guy with that much mileage on the tires.

  6. muhast - Feb 12, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Kahwi and Danny Green and it’s a done deal.

  7. savvybynature - Feb 12, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    So your trade scenario has the Spurs trading the only two small forwards on their roster for a power forward?

    Josh Smith is a good player and all, but that would definitely make the Spurs worse simply because their roster would no longer fit together. Makes no sense imo.

  8. kavika6 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Josh Smith’s attitude doesn’t fit the Spurs’ style. No divas welcome. Why screw up such a good chemistry? I think Jackson, Blair and maybe a second or third string point guard are tradeable, but not Leonard or anyone else.

  9. 00maltliquor - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:39 AM

    Very interesting. Josh Smith is good be he’s no Spurs-type player. Would be interesting to see if/how Pop’ straightens him out, and how he would fit in the culture with Dunc and the guys.

    Another thing, who would they deal? Sure wouldn’t be one of the Big 3, right? And just Kawhi and a end-of-the-round 1sty+Stack Jack doesn’t sound like a deal ATL would be in love with unless there was another team/party involved with something going their way to sweeten the pot.

    It sounds nice now for this season if I’m the Spurs, but another thing they would have to think about is do they really wanna spend max $ or risk losing him and essentially Kawhi cause they won’t shoot themselves in the foot by paying top $? Too much risk involved unless they are for certain THIS will bring home another championship pretty much for sure this season.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out if this rumor is indeed true.

  10. davidly - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    I don’t think this team is going to pull the trigger on a deal to “put them over the top” this season if it’s at the expense of general long-term success. For over a decade now the Spurs’ fans have had the luxury to leave the arena having won the game the vast majority of the time, and if not, having seen a well-oiled machine play the game the way you don’t see anywhere else, and–when they don’t get so far in the playoffs–they get to enjoy June the way you’re supposed to: In the sun.

    Leave “the rings” fans to swing their members at each other on the sports forums. They rarely live in the present anyway.

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