Pack your bags, Josh Smith

Indiana, Toronto among good trade fits for Atlanta's enigmatic power forward

Updated: September 19, 2012, 1:30 PM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN Insider
Kevin Garnett Grant Halverson/Getty ImagesSmith had a great 2011-12, but he is an unrestricted free agent after this season.

It took Danny Ferry exactly seven days in his new role as the Atlanta Hawks' president of basketball operations and general manager to completely change the face of the franchise.

His ability to swiftly orchestrate separate deals to part with high-priced veterans Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams signaled a commitment to rebuilding and shed as much as $77 million still owed to the two veterans beyond next season.

Fast-forward two-and-a-half months to today, and Ferry's rebuilt roster has only a handful of contracts that go beyond the 2012-13 season:

Al Horford: Signed through 2015-16.
Lou Williams: Signed through 2013-14.
John Jenkins: 2012 first-round pick.
Mike Scott: 2012 second-round pick.
Jeff Teague: Due to become a restricted free agent at season's end, barring an extension.

Notice one big name we didn't mention: Josh Smith.

The tantalizingly talented, yet often frustrating, forward is among the many Hawks entering the final year of their deals, and he represents arguably the biggest challenge for Ferry to date: what to do with Smith.

If handled correctly, this could be the next step toward eventually turning the Hawks into a perennial playoff contender. Mishandled, and this could undo everything good that came out of the trades of Johnson and Williams.

So the question is, what's the smarter move for Ferry and the Hawks?


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Joe Kaiser

Fantasy, Insider