ATLANTA, GA - MAY 12: Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks defends against the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Phillips Arena on May 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
It is one thing to read an idle internet rumor about the possibility of Atlanta trading Josh Smith. Personally for myself, when the rumor comes from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, I tend to stand up and take a little more notice.
Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets,Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.
We have already discussed the possibility of Smith being moved as a resource of clearing out some of the duplication on the roster. While his offensive game can sometimes be maddening, he is the back line of Atlanta's defense and that would be something that the Hawks would most definitely have to address in any Smith trade.
Of the teams listed above, I think it is highly doubtful that Atlanta would send him to an Eastern Conference club unless the offer just blew them away. Orlando isn't parting with Dwight Howard for Josh Smith and it appears that Howard would be the reason they would look to acquire him in the first place. I will repeat that there is zero reason for Atlanta to trade him within the division unless a superstar is coming back in return.
According to the report, Atlanta is only gauging interest and is comparing salaries of veteran players around the league. Wojnarowski says that it is unlikely that any of Smith's reportedly chosen teams have the pieces to acquire him.
As far as reasoning, Wojnarowski offers up this:
There’s been growing acrimony between Smith and the organization, sources said, largely because of the feeling that Smith has been too convenient of a scapegoat. Smith had one of his most complete seasons for the Hawks, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists.
This is at least the second time we have heard this since the season ended. Maybe Josh is under appreciated here in Atlanta, but I would offer up this advice. The above numbers look really good but if he were willing to do the things that he does best on a more consistent basis then he would no doubt be approaching 20 points and 10 rebounds per game just by staying closer to the basket. His love affair with the jump shot is a thing that Atlanta has put up with more so than a lot of teams would just because of how much Smith brings to the table. Perhaps if he is tired of being the scapegoat, then he needs to quit doing the things that put him in that position.
Will be interesting to see if Josh Smith responds to this report via his new twitter account.