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NBA Trade Rumors: Josh Smith Plan B For Rockets

<strong>Fall back.</strong>
Fall back.

We touched on it a couple of days ago, but the rumors were associated with a Dwight Howard trade to come to Houston to stay there.

Now, from a number of sources, including The Dream Shake and ESPN's Marc Stein, comes the conclusion that, if the Rockets can't get Dwight Howard for all these draft picks being bundled up, then they'll turn their attention to Plan B, and who might that be....?

If the Hawks determine that there is no way Josh Smith will re-sign with the team after next season (or an extension after June 30) then the team has to consider an offer for the should-have-been-by-now All-Star.

If Houston doesn't land Howard, how much will they give up to get Smith? Obviously, Smith would not haul in the same as they would have offered for Howard, and they would have to get some kind of idea from Smith's camp that the 27-year old would be willing to re-sign with them before parting with any sort of package for Josh.

But still, seeing a team with three mid-first round draft picks, the mind wanders as to how many would be offered to the Hawks for Smith?

On the other hand, would the Hawks want to part with Josh for picks anyway? Smith carried the Hawks last season after Al Horford went down and led them to a surprising 40 win shortened-season. The Hawks brought Larry Drew back for another season and seem ready to ride one more time with the Joe Johnson/Horford/Smith trio with Jeff Teague playing the point.

So would the Hawks be willing to begin the rebuilding process by parting with Smith for picks?

Looking at it from the Rockets side, where would Smith fit in? The Rockets, especially if they don't get Howard, have no center and have Luis Scola already playing power forward. Of course, Scola turned in his worst season as a Rocket, with rate statistics down across the board. Scola also enters his Age 32 season, and last season might have signaled the fall-off that age can definitely induce. Would Smith move right into Scola's starting slot if trade for?

A different angle could be in the form of Kevin Martin, a usually efficient offensive type, when healthy, that is reportedly unhappy in HOU and has been discussed in these recent trade rumors as well. Martin, entering his Age 29 season, also sees his contract end at the end of the next season, meaning the Hawks wouldn't be taking on any new contractual obligations in a deal.

If the Hawks acquired Martin, the thinking would be to move Joe Johnson full time to the small forward or "three guard" position and slide Martin into the starting lineup, thrusting Marvin Williams back to a sixth man type role.

The Rockets are also trying to deal unhappy (reportedly) Kyle Lowry, but the Hawks don't seem a fit there as Jeff Teague has emerged at point guard, raising his numbers across the board and could conceivably match Lowry's career high stats from last season by the time Teague reaches his Age 25 season, the age Lowry was last season.

Draft night will prove to be eventful, even if the only events are the speculation that has run rampant, thanks to Daryl Morey and his never ending quest to make something big happen to his franchise.