We are less than two hours from the NBA trade deadline and Josh Smith remains with the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta is presumedly still involved in talks with a number of teams. It appears things have calmed with Brooklyn but reportedly, Milwaukee, Phoenix and maybe Houston are still involved.
Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy reports that the Hawks remain underwhelmed with the offers they are receiving for Smith but that Danny Ferry will be inclined to accept one rather than lose Smith for nothing.
ATL still underwhelmed with offers for Smith, but most believe they'll settle for one of the offers rather than risk losing him this summer.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 21, 2013
We aren't sure what teams are offering in return but we do know the Hawks were looking for young prospects, picks and no returning salary for next season. Ferry could opt to hang onto Smith and negotiate during the offseason but would run the risk of losing Smith for nothing.
Atlanta could offer Smith more money and a five year deal if he is not moved by the 3 p.m. deadline. That would give the Hawks the ability to effectively match any offer and allow Smith to choose where he wanted to play. Smith by the way earlier told reporters that no matter what happened that Atlanta would always be his home.
Josh Smith: "No matter what happens Atlanta will still be home. " #ATLHawks— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) February 21, 2013
Smith also said that the Hawks are one of the teams that he will consider this offseason so it doesn't sound like any doors have been shut quite yet despite reports to the contrary.
Josh Smith: "Atlanta will be on my list in free agency." Pretty obvious that all options remain on the table for Smith and the Hawks.— Sekou Smith (@SekouSmithNBA) February 21, 2013
If that is the case then there is no reason for Ferry to blink. Hang onto Smith until the offseason and regroup at that point. Don't purge next season's cap room just to move Smith now. The worst case scenario would be that Smith walks away for nothing but the Hawks will reap the financial benefit from that and could set about rebuilding.