Monday, February 18, 2013
How Phoenix or Dallas land Smith
By Joe Kaiser
Earlier today, we mentioned that Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News reported that Dallas and Phoenix were two teams to watch in the Josh Smith sweepstakes. How realistic is it that the Mavericks or Suns can pull off a deal? We take a look.
Dallas probably would want to hold on to two of their top trade chips, key veterans Shawn Marion and Vince Carter, and it's somewhat questionable how those two could even fit into the Hawks' plans beyond this season anyway. So what other move could make sense? For once, the Mavs could offer the expiring contract of Chris Kaman along with two of their best young players, 2012 first-rounder Jared Cunningham and second-round steal Jae Crowder, and its first-round pick this June. That probably wouldn't be enough for the Hawks to unload a talent the caliber of Smith, though, especially since the 2013 NBA draft is considered to be one of the worst in recent history.
If you ask me, a deal with the Suns is probably more likely.
Now, Atlanta already has Jeff Teague at the point and Al Horford at center, so two of Phoenix's best trade chips (Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat) are players the Hawks don't really need. A more likely trade scenario -- and one that works in ESPN's Trade Machine -- would involve the Suns packaging Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris along with their first round pick for Smith.
Phoenix would be banking on resigning Smith as a free agent, obviously, and it probably would stand a decent chance to do so given the built-in advantage that would come with retaining Smith's bird rights (the ability to offer a longer, more lucrative contract). In that case, they could look to deal Luis Scola sometime after the season. Atlanta would go into next season with Brown, Dudley and possibly even Morris penciled in as the starters at the shooting guard, small forward and power forward spots, and could end up with a very high lottery pick. In that case, they'd likely take the top SF or PF available, possibly someone like Georgetown's well-rounded wing Otto Porter or UNLV's big-time freshman Anthony Bennett.