Via Adrian Wojnarowski:
In a lust to draft center Enes Kanter, the Atlanta Hawks are trying to engage the Minnesota Timberwolves in discussions to tradeJosh Smith(notes) for the No. 2 pick in Thursday's NBA draft, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
If you don't know, here is the take from ESPN's Chad Ford on Kanter, who got NCAA'd last season for getting a stick of bubble gum during his pro days in Turkey (or something like that):
Tough, physical player
Very skilled, can do just about everything
Loves to draw contact in the paint
Crafty finisher at the basket
Can handle and pass
Has shooting range out to the three point line
7-foot-1.25 wingspan and a solid 9-foot-0.5 standing reach
Not an explosive athlete
A bit undersized for his position
Missed the entire year thanks to the NCAA
-Kanter is an extremely rare physical specimen - the type of prospect NBA teams have a difficult time acquiring outside of the draft. He's a legit 6-11 in shoes with a solid 7-1 ½ wingspan and a 9-1 ½ standing reach. He possesses a terrific frame, carrying 259 pounds with just 5.9% body fat. While not a terribly explosive athlete, he's a mobile player with solid agility who can get up and down the floor fairly well and displays good body control around the basket.
-Kanter has soft hands and displays good touch on his shots, both around the basket and from the perimeter. He's a reliable finisher who can score in multiple ways in the paint -- with a soft turnaround jumper for example.
-The mechanics he shows on his jumper leave plenty of room for optimism. He has a quick release, a nice arch and a solid follow through. He's already shown the ability to consistently hit shots in the 18-20 foot range and should continue to improve this part of his game as his career progresses.
The big downside is nobody has seen him play at a high competitive level, bringing to mind the images of Yi Jianlian in 2007 and his workouts dominating chairs.
More from Woj on why it makes sense for Rick Sund:
Hawks GM Rick Sund has been hugely interested in Kanter throughout the pre-draft process, sources said, and has clearly been looking to find a deal for Smith. Under the salary cap, the Wolves could absorb the $13 million-plus owed him next season without sending back corresponding contracts.
and why it may/may not for the Wolves:
The Wolves have privately committed to drafting Arizona forward Derrick Williams with the second pick, but the Hawks want to sell Minnesota on Smith as an open-court finisher to play along with rookie point guard Ricky Rubio.
Exit Question: Would a rookie big man that may enable Al Horford to move out to PF permanently be worth seeing Josh Smith leave the nest?
Acceptable Answer: Hey, it's better than one of the rumored alternatives, eh?