A Josh Smith trade? Unlikely.
This week, we saw two rumors pop for the Atlanta Hawks, both of which somewhat fit the likely criteria for a Hawks trade, given the Hawks current status as a probable playoff team.
The first was a deal that would send out future money in the form of Marvin Williams to Cleveland for Ramon Sessions. The was brought to the table by Bob Finnen, who ran an update on Sessions Thursday and provided this insight as to a player option that Sessions holds for next season:
Either way, he'll likely opt out. His contract is worth $4.6 million for 2012-13. He might sacrifice some money next season for the security of a multiyear contract.
While it's clear that the Hawks would certainly love to find a good trade for Williams -- after all, they reportedly tried to do this each of the last three trading deadlines -- it would be unclear in this example why the Cavaliers would want to take on the remaining ~16 million left on Williams' contract for the next two seasons.
The other deal was some speculation from ESPN's John Carroll, extolling the virtues of a Kirk Hinrich trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. Wednesday, Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy tweeted confirmation that the Lakers had actually inquired about the Hawks guard:
This deal makes more sense in that Hinrich's noted defensive reputation still carries value and the Lakers need some defensive chutzpah to stay Western relevant in the playoff race this season as the team can't afford to whiff on the postseason as the Kobe Bryant era begins its descent.
For the Hawks, it would be the best case scenario, getting a first round pick for Hinrich instead of simply letting him go as the Hawks did Jamal Crawford this past offseason. The Hawks would surely need picks for next season as they will be scrambling for value rotational players let again given their financial commitment to Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford.
No other deals have popped up as yet, and as we discussed on the Bill Shanks show this week, unless the team free falls out of the playoffs altogether (very unlikely) there is almost no chance of a major deal, like a Josh Smith trade, coming down during this season as Rick Sund and Larry Drew hang on in the last year of their own contracts.