According to ESPN.com Insider (which, by the way is expensive, tempermental, and disappointing - save your money), the Hawks are trying to move Josh Smith. Since the Suns have had a supremely talented, athletic and moody forward before, I figured . . . why not give it a try
Here's the trade:
The Suns get: Josh Smith, Speedy Claxton and the #19 pick
The Hawks get Jason Richardson and the #14 pick
Why the Suns pull the trigger: The young building block the Suns need. You can absolutely build around Barbosa, Smith and Amare. I probably wouldn't feel safe in a dark room with Josh Smith, but he's a hell of a basketball player, and a perfect fit in an ump-tempo system. They idea of Nash feeding him lobs makes me giddy.
Why the Hawks pull the trigger: Apparently they're fed up with Smith. I know, this isn't want you want to hear when you're trading for the player, but sometimes the team simply not patient enough, and gives up too soon (shades of Marion to Miami, or Nash and Finley to Dallas). It also saves them around 3 million in cap space, which they need, and moves them up in the draft. J-Rich can play the 3, and gives them a #2 scoring option, something they need, since Smith isn't a pure scorer.
I'd even be ok with this trade if it meant straight up sending them the pick, and dumping Shaq on the Cavs to make the room.
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 06/16/09 7:36 AM MST ]
When I saw yesterday that Smith was on the blocks I immediately thought about this too. I am not thrilled with the $6m immediate trade kicker that Smith gets if he's traded and especially not thrilled with his contract which is through 2013 but it does only max out at $13m. Smith with this contract would be a huge gamble. At his age if he matures he could be a key center piece for a long time signed to a reasonable deal. If he's a bust who never improves he's an albatros on the organization's books for a long time.
Having Smith and Amare on the same team is intriguing as well. You put those two on the floor together and you've got the most athletic front line by far. If you move Shaq for salary room this deal almost makes more sense since since you would free up the playing time needed to rotate Amare, Smith and Lopez (for defense). You also increase your bargaining position with Amare since you could better afford to lose Amare if Smith is locked up.
The next obvious question here considering Smith is on the blocks is trading Amare himself.
We all know that Amare would love to play in Atlanta where his "record" label is based so do you consider sending him to Atlanta for Smith? I had always considered Atlanta a potential landing spot for Amare but figured they wouldn't be willing to deal Smith to get him. Now it looks like things have changed in the ATL.