Josh Smith Trade Rumors: Lakers eye Hawks forward

Ezra Shaw

Rumors continue to swirl that the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in a trade involving Pau Gasol for Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.

In what is sure to be the first of many Josh Smith trade rumors this season, reports have surfaced again that the Lakers have had internal discussions about a trade that would land Smith with the Lakers in exchange for Pau Gasol. However, it doesn't seem that Atlanta is interested at this point and probably wouldn't be without another team being recruited into the deal.

Sources say that the Hawks, at present, have no interest in parting with Josh Smith and Kyle Korver for Gasol. Or even Smith and lesser parts for Gasol.

Positions can obviously change between now and the Feb. 21 trade deadline, but sources maintain that Atlanta has not been enticed in the least by the prospect of parting with the 26-year-old Smith -- even as he heads into unrestricted free agency -- for the 32-year-old Gasol.

Danny Ferry has worked hard since his arrival to clear the majority of Atlanta's future salary obligations. Currently Atlanta only has just over $21 million obligated for next season. Gasol is signed through the 2013-14 season and would add nearly $19 million to the books for next season.

All indications thus far have been that the Hawks and Ferry hope to convince Smith to re-sign in Atlanta. After spending parts of the last two seasons wanting a way out, Smith seems open to seeing what Ferry's vision for this club is. Rumors like this are going to be frequent this season and this is just the first of many more to come.

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