NBA Trade Rumors: Will Atlanta Hawks Trade Josh Smith Before Next Season?

NBA Trade Rumors Ponder Josh Smith's Future in Atlanta 

The Atlanta Hawks were rumored to be dealing Josh Smith during the 2011 NBA Draft. They were in talks with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the No. 2 overall pick. 

Minnesota never got a deal they liked and ended up drafting Derrick Williams. The Hawks kept quiet for the remainder of the draft until it came time for them to make a pick. They went with Keith Benson in the second round. He's a 6'11", 224-pound center.

I was surprised the Hawks didn't use Smith as trade bait to jump into the first round in deal for other players as well. Atlanta has gotten all they can out of Smith, and the time has come for the two to part ways. 

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The Hawks aren't going to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference. They aren't a complete team capable of hanging with Boston, Miami, or Chicago. Atlanta's big time players choke in the biggest moments, which is why they will never get past the second round of the playoffs. 

Trading Josh Smith in the right deal would be a way for Atlanta to make a move in the Eastern Conference. Smith said he doesn't want to be traded, but if it were to happen he would live it. 

To me that sounds like he doesn't care whatever the Hawks do. The looming lockout means Smith won't be on the move soon, but if the Hawks are still having issues with Smith next season then they made trade him around the trade deadline.

If the Hawks are unable to re-sign Jamal Crawford then I don't think they will trade Smith. They will have money to sign an additional player, but that player won't have the impact Crawford had for the Hawks. Atlanta will need to rely on Smith more if Crawford leaves. 

In my opinion, Smith needs to go. The Hawks will always be a team that will never get past the second round. They need to change things up, and trading Smith will be a good move. 

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