Jan 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks small forward Josh Smith (5) in action against the Toronto Raptors during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Washington Pursuing Josh Smith?


We’re four days away from the NBA Trade Deadline and the Washington Wizards have had their shortage of trade rumors, until today. Earlier this morning, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that several teams, including the Wizards, were interested in Atlanta’s Josh Smith.

The Atlanta Hawks have made it clear that they aren’t willing to overpay to keep Josh Smith, who will become a free agent this upcoming year. Smith will most likely seek out a max contract, and I’m not sure he’s really worth that type of money. John Wall will also be entering into the time period in which everyone expects the Wizards to give him a contract extension, leaving Washington with very little financial flexibility over the next several years.

Smith is certainly talented and would propel the Wizards into one of the top Eastern Conference teams in the NBA, but he isn’t worth the price. We’ve all seen the story of Wizards General Manager, Ernie Grunfeld, giving undeserving players large contracts, only to burden the team down the road. Josh Smith has been playing at an All-Star level for quite some time, but I’m not sure where he’d fit in Washington. Smith is known for taking ill advised shots, despite not having the capability to hit them at a consistent rate. Washington has had their fair share of past players which are known to take terrible shots, so I really don’t want that reoccurring.

Besides, what would it take to bring Josh Smith to Washington? I suspect that Emeka Okafor would be the center piece in the deal involving the Wizards. Okafor has been playing at a very high level as of late and has helped change the team’s culture defensively. He’s been one of the most productive rebounding big men in the league. Does a swap involving Okafor and Smith get the deal done? I don’t think so. Danny Ferry is a pretty savvy General Manager, so I’d expect him to pry away a first round pick from any of the teams he has spoken to involving a trade. Washington will probably finish with a top five lottery pick, and Ernie Grunfeld has been known to deal away his picks to acquire more established players. In my opinion, trading away a top pick probably isn’t worth it.

As mentioned, several other teams are also involved in the Josh Smith sweepstakes. With only a few days left until the trade deadline, I’ll be interested to see if any deal involving the Wizards comes to fruition.

I’ll keep you guys updated as the situation unfolds.

But more importantly, how would you guys feel is Smith is traded to Washington? What would you be willing to give up?

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith NBA Trade Rumors Washington Wizards