NBA Trade Rumors: Hawks struggling to find right deal for Josh Smith

Kevin C. Cox

Ken Berger is reporting that the Atlanta Hawks are struggling to find a deal for Josh Smith that doesn't require Atlanta to take on future salary.

CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that the Atlanta Hawks and general manager Danny Ferry have not been blown away by any offers they have received for forward and soon to be free agent Josh Smith. While the Hawks have been asking for young assets and picks in return for Smith they are finding that other teams are insistent on Atlanta taking back some salary as well. Particularly because of the uncertainty surrounding Smith and his free agent status.

Now we have previously advocated that holding onto Smith at least until the offseason might be Ferry's best bet. However, Berger points out one of the pitfalls.

Yahoo Sports reported the Nets have offered Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks and either a first-round pick or the rights to Croatian Bojan Bogdanovic. It's a deal the Hawks know will still be there all the way up to Thursday's trade deadline, but not necessarily this summer when Smith becomes an unrestricted free agent. As a team that far exceeds the NBA's new luxury-tax apron -- at least $4 million above the tax line -- the Nets could not acquire Smith via a sign-and-trade this summer unless they shed significant salary prior to or as part of the deal.

Fewer trade partners this offseason lessons the chances for a sign and trade and brings in the possibility that Smith could simply walk away. The Hawks could pay Smith substantially more money than any other team but its unclear as to whether or not they want to. The possibility of Smith staying has hardly been discussed and its unclear whether or not Ferry and company still see that as a workable option.

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