ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 28: Josh Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Hedo Turkoglu #15 of the Orlando Magic during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on April 28, 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)
According to a report, the trade rumors involved between the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic are legit and the Hawks are actively trying to move Josh Smith. As far as Orlando goes, it makes perfect sense. They are tying to convince Dwight Howard to stay and not leave as a free agent and bringing in one of his best friends in Josh Smith would likely go a long way in helping that situation. The question is what does Atlanta get in return?
This is where I don't think the rumor has any merit. As Kurt Helin points out, the two guys that Orlando has that match salaries the closest is Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas and that simply isn't happening. Helin also points out that Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick works but it would leave the Orlando back court decimated and it would cause Atlanta to likely make more moves as their guard situation would become extremely muddled.
Personally I like Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson but not in exchange for Smith. Would a third team have to be involved? These rumors aren't going away quickly because of Howard's upcoming free agency and is likely only one of the many to come this summer.
The underlying issue in the report is that Atlanta does appear to be intent on moving Smith. Here is the quote from Ken Berger's article.
Executives say the Hawks have expressed an eagerness to move Smith and would like to shed salary in the process.
I still can't fathom Atlanta sending Smith to Orlando but it remains to be seen whether or not the goal is to add another piece that fits with the team or to simply shed salary. If the salary ramifications prove to carry more weight then this situation is worth keeping a close eye on.