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Report: Hawks pulled out of trade at the last minute that would have sent Josh Smith to the Bucks

Feb 21, 2013, 5:56 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

As it turned out, the biggest name to be dealt before Thursday’s trade deadline passed was Rudy Gay, whom the Grizzlies sent to Toronto in a deal that was completed three weeks ago.

It was supposed to be Josh Smith.

Leading up to the 12 p.m. ET deadline, all signs pointed to Smith being the highest-profile player to be traded, with Atlanta rumored to be knee-deep in talks with Brooklyn, Phoenix, and Milwaukee to try to get something done before losing Smith this summer when he enters unrestricted free agency.

The Hawks ultimately decided that they weren’t being offered enough in return for Smith’s services, and will play out the season with him on their roster. But a deal was apparently in place to send Smith to the Bucks, before Atlanta called it off at the last minute.

From Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea:

Source: Atlanta Hawks blow up deal at last minute that would’ve sent Josh Smith to Milwaukee.

Hawks would’ve received Ekpe Udoh, Luc Mbah-Moute, Beno Udrih and a protected No. 1 pick. Can’t imagine the Bucks are happy having invested so much time in trying to make it happen. Leaves big question now if Hawks can do better this summer.

It’s tough to blame Atlanta for backing out of this one. Despite the issues the team has with not wanting to sign Smith to a max contract this summer, this offer consisted of a bunch of questionable spare parts that don’t immediately make sense, or help the Hawks to build a winner for the future.

As for the part about whether the Hawks can get anything better for Smith after the season, this latest report of Smith’s intentions isn’t likely to help in that regard.

From Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

On Thursday, Smith said Atlanta will be on his list of teams he considers when he becomes a free agent. However, all politics is local. The Atlanta native does not want to irritate the home fans, but a person familiar with Smith’s plans told USA TODAY Sports that it is “highly unlikely” that Smith re-signs with Atlanta. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the private nature of the negotiations.

If teams do their due diligence and discover that Smith indeed won’t return to Atlanta, then there’s no reason to overbid for his services to the point where they’d need to acquire him via a sign-and-trade, and give up assets in the process.

It’s worth noting that only teams who are under the luxury tax threshold (or no more than $4 million over it — it’s complicated) will be allowed to execute sign-and-trade deals next year under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, so Smith may have to settle for less money over the life of a new contract to play somewhere else.

Either way, it doesn’t seem like the Hawks will be able to do better than the questionable pile of players the Bucks were offering shortly before the deadline, but perhaps they’d simply rather have the cap space to pursue a different high-priced free agent instead.

  1. Distinguished Male - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Eh, ATL always seemed reluctant to part with JSmoove anyways. I’m not too surprised.

    What did surprise me was the Jazz sitting on their hands. Weren’t they supposed to move one of their 4 bigs? Anyone got any news on why that didn’t happen? Were they low-balled? Or were they demanding too much?

    You throw a Millsap/Jefferson along with a Tinsley or something for Eric Bledsoe, I think that would have had the Clippers thinking about it. Not the greatest deal, but I’m sure there was something out there for the taking for the Jazz!

    Just surprised, is all.

    • Distinguished Male - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:11 PM

      And obviously that’s either/or with Millsap/Jefferson, not an “and”.

    • abasketballthing - Feb 21, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      Every rumor indicates that the Jazz were lowballed. The Millsap-Bledsoe rumor wasn’t real, and the Clippers were not interested(which makes sense because Millsap was never going to resign if they didn’t give him a starting spot). Jefferson was not a good fit for the Clippers’ offense. None of the other offers gave the Jazz anything they really needed. They did the same thing as Atlanta, really, except there is a real chance they can resign both players and trade one of them later on.

  2. kb2408 - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    I don’t blame Atlanta for not trading him to the Bucks. All they were offering was a bunch of guys with funny names. Josh may not be a superstar, but he’s worth more than those players.

    • hodaghunter - Feb 21, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      All those players and the pick is worth more than “nothing” which is what Atlanta will get when Smith walks this season.

      • saint1997 - Feb 22, 2013 at 6:42 AM

        not nothing. They get cap room. Atlanta is not a high profile destination but it is second tier and it wouldn’t be difficult to attempt to lure some second tier free agents to pair with Teague and Horford

    • turdfurgerson68 - Feb 22, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      Agreed. Why acquire spare parts when you already have a decent vehicle. Even if that vehicle may leave Atlanta.

    • saintlaron - Feb 22, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      Udoh is a starting caliber center in this league. He will easily average 10 boards & two blocks once he gets the minutes on the right team. Mbah-Moute is a very poor mans Josh Smith & Udrich is a expiring contract. Throwing in the first round pick is what made this deal more than fair. No guarantee that J-Smooth was resigning with the bucks if the deal went through. Now if this was a re-sign & trade deal then ofcourse this would be highway robbery.

  3. metallicsphinx - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    !2 PM Eastern Deadline??? You mean 3 PM. It really is amazing how many errors this site post, almost every article. Hire someone to check your articles before you post

  4. siege102 - Feb 21, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Yes the deal that fell through wasn’t great, but it would be interesting to find out who the Hawks wanted from the Bucks that they ultimately wouldn’t part with. We know that Sander, Henson, and Jennings were untouchable, and maybe Monte was in this specific case.

    I guess what I’m saying is that if the Hawks knew that they weren’t going to get these 4 guys, why not shoot the Bucks down right away?

    • jameskocian - Feb 21, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Only speculating; but is it possible that ATL waited ’til the last minute, knowing they weren’t going to pull the trigger to PREVENT MKE from doing another trade and improving?

      I concede it’s unlikely, but if they each move up a few spots they would be playing each other in the playoffs.

  5. bougin89 - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Really disappointed this trade fell through. Jennings, Ellis, Smith, Ersan, Sanders. That would have been fun to watch and we still could have blown it up and rebuilt after this year if we wanted to.

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