Josh Smith at the trade deadline?

Josh Smith has just announced he thinks he is a max contract - but are Atlanta going to offer him such money? Especially after their buyers remorse Atlanta gave Joe Johnson on his huge contract.

My feeling is that that Atlanta monitors all trade situations very closely especially what happens with the Lakers and Dwight. Atlanta's dream is to unite Josh Smith and Dwight as they are friends in Atlanta next season. I think its 80% that Lakers keep Dwight past the trade deadline and then are able to offer him the biggest contract.

There are some good points made by Zach Lowe in his article here:

Unfortunately he gets the Nets information wrong, Hump is not an expiring this season. Lowe makes a good case for Houston perhaps trading for Josh Smith or signing him in free agency.

The Nets gave away fringe players for Joe Johnson and the Nets with Prokhorov are one of the few teams in the league willing to give Josh Smith a max contract or near max contract. Would Atlanta entertain another trade with Brooklyn?

Hump, Marshon and Picks for Josh Smith works because the contracts balance in dollar terms even if the talent is not equal. In order for it to be worth it the Nets would need to sign Smith to a contract extension in the summer, you don't want to use Hump's expiring on a 25 game rental.

It is doubtful that Atlanta would accept this trade on a talent level as they would most likely get better offers for Smith but Hump's contract allows them another year to find a trade that they like in order to bring in another player. Picks are always useful for a team rebuilding and Atlanta really is in no-mans land at the moment. IMHO.

Remember Smith has recently been suspended from the Hawks for behaviour detriment to the team so I do question whether they want to give him an extension. Atlanta knows what Smith is capable of on the court since they drafted him and perhaps they see this as the time to move in a new direction. Any trade is likely better than losing him for nothing as a free agent.

These are my own rambling thoughts but if the Nets only gave up HMAP for Josh Smith would people be in favour of it? How would Josh Smith fit on this team? Could he succeed as a PF on the Nets? I guess he would be only the fourth choice on offence behind Lopez, JJ, D-Will and Smoove could focus on defence, blocking shots, rebounding and fast breaks.

Or is Josh Smith fools gold? Just because we have one of the richest owners who is willing to spend whatever it takes to win a championship would it be naive to think Josh Smith could move us forward into playing in the conference or NBA finals?

Is he a good fit in the front court next to Lopez and Wallace? Does he replicate Wallace's skill set? I read comments after the Joe Johnson trade from Smith which made it sound like he was glad Johnson was traded away from Atlanta, does anyone know if they have beef? Therefore if Johnson and Smith don't get on perhaps the trade would not be pursued?

I think if these things can be overcome then a trade for Smith should happen. He would be asked to be played a different type of game than he has in Atlanta but a starting line up of

PG D-Will, SG: Joe Johnson, SF Wallace PF Josh Smith C Brook Lopez has to be considered the best starting five in the NBA, no? And we don't give up our depth and keep our bench players. Discuss.

“I feel like I’m a max player,” Smith said Friday.

And yes, that is the first time he has said that.

“I feel I bring a lot to the table. I have a lot of versatility. For what I do and what I give this ball club, I feel like I’m worth it.”

The Hawks have given one max contract in their history. It turned Joe Johnson into a very rich man (six years, $123.6 million) and the Hawks into a punch line. So which way do you think the wind might be blowing on this?

Granted, in the new collective bargaining agreement, Smith's max deal would be nearly as high as Johnson's: about $94 million over five years. But it still could give the organization reason to balk.

Smith again: “There shouldn’t be any hesitation. I’m Josh Smith, I’m not anybody else. I ‘m not Michael Jordan, I’m not LeBron James, I’m not Brook Lopez. I’m Josh Smith. You can’t look at what might’ve happened with another person. Let’s say Joe. You can’t say, ‘I’m skeptical of giving another person that’ because of whatever they feel like happened."

If you were waiting for the line in the sand, there it is. ... ax-player/
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