Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the Hawks are interested in Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis as a starting point for a deal for Josh Smith.
On Bucks/Josh Smith talk: Hawks' interest believed to start w/Monta Ellis, since Monta could play next to Jeff Teague, whom Hawks still like— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 19, 2013
Ellis is on the hook for $11 million next season and is having the worst shooting season of his career. Its easy to see what the motivation would be for Milwaukee who could get rid of Ellis' salary while getting back an expiring contract in return. It seems highly unlikely that Smith would re-sign in Milwaukee. The only way this makes any sense for the Hawks is if Milwaukee sweetens the pot by adding Larry Sanders or John Henson into the deal.
Ellis is a scorer pure and simple but with Lou Williams coming back next season it is hard to see how this might work. Of course it is also possible that Ellis $11 million deal for next season could become more valuable as an expiring contract.
(Update) - Ellis has an early termination option and can opt out of his deal this summer making him a free agent.