I hate trade rumors. But you love them and I love you, so I’ll give you what you want.
From the mighty Adrian Wojnarowski over at Yahoo! via his Twitter feed, the Milwaukee Bucks are apparently at least rumored to be in the mix for Josh Smith:
Still many involved for Atlanta’s Josh Smith, including Bucks, Nets, Celtics, 76ers, Wizards, others, sources say. Strong belief he’s moved.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 17, 2013
The small forward/power forward/athlete who pretty much plays wherever he’s needed Smith, 27, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and it’s been rumored the Hawks have been shopping him for some time. He’s likely to command a salary in the high double figures this off-season and apparently that’s not apart of Atlanta’s long term plan.
What exactly would Atlanta want in return from the Bucks for one of the biggest names on the trade market?
With the Hawks having lost Lou Williams, it’s only natural that Bucks fans flock to the idea of unloading Monta Ellis in any Smith related deal. Trading Ellis for Smith straight up works from a salary perspective, but that’s probably the only way it works.
Adding Samuel Dalembert and Tobias Harris to the deal on Milwaukee’s end and 3-point specialist Anthony Morrow to the deal on Atlanta’s end also works and gives the Hawks a young player back in return while keeping Milwaukee’s perilously thin backcourt stocked with a shooting guard.
If the Bucks were to actively pursue and get far into Smith trade discussions, one would think they’re doing so with the assumption that Smith would merely be a short term rental and not a potential long term Buck. His comments before the 2010 playoffs left Bucks fans a bit scorned and seem to indicate he’d rather be in a market with more to do. To each their own. If he were the vehicle through which Monta Ellis was removed from Milwaukee and able to deliver a nice short term return, he’ll be greeted and bid farewell to as a hero.
But whether Milwaukee would want to surrender a player with the potential of Harris for a couple of months of Smith remains to be seen. Likewise, we have no idea what the Hawks would actually want back, if maybe Ersan Ilyasova would get involved or anything else.
My early thoughts on the matter are that any move made for Smith would hasten a breakup of the Bucks as we currently know them this off-season, while keeping Milwaukee firmly in the playoff picture for the rest of the regular season. I mean, think of a defense with Luc Mbah a Moute at the three, Smith at the four and Larry Sanders at the five. Even with Brandon Jennings and Morrow manning the one and two, that sounds pretty intimidating.
Going for it for the rest of this year while setting everything up to reset come summer time though, that sounds like a pretty reasonable way to approach the next five months, as Milwaukee has come too far to try and tank away the rest of 2012-13. We’ll see how this one shakes out, but color me moderately intrigued with the possibilities.