According to numerous reports, the Brooklyn Nets are making a strong push to acquire forward Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks, as they believe he could be the missing cog to help elevate the team up the standings in the Eastern Conference.
Smith recently turned down a three-year, $37 million dollar offer from the Hawks, as he’s searching for a deal in the ballpark of a max contract worth five-years and $90 million.
The Nets find themselves four games back of the New York Knicks for first place in the Atlantic division with a record of 29-22.
Brooklyn was recently linked with the Charlotte Bobcats over a possible Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon swap, but it looks like those talks have subsided, as getting Josh Smith has become the top priority for the franchise.
Through 46 games, Smith is averaging 16.9 points on 45.1% shooting, as well as 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals a game.
I can understand why the Nets are so fascinated with Josh Smith, as he’s a tremendous athlete who can play strong perimeter defense, block shots and create his own shot.
Although, he has shown a tendency to settle for jumpers this season (43% of his attempted shots are jumpers), and his attitude leaves a lot to be desired at times.
What do the Brooklyn Nets have that would entice the Hawks enough to give up Smith?
I don’t think so. No team in their right mind would go out of their way to pay Wallace $10 million a year for the next three to four seasons.
Well, Atlanta could certainly use a legitimate center so they could keep Al Horford playing at power forward, but considering the huge improvement Lopez has shown (leads the team in scoring with 18.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, named to his first all-star game), I doubt Nets management would want to part ways with their emerging big man.
Perhaps a package of Humphries, backup guard MarShon Brooks, some draft picks and possibly even a third-team getting in on the deal could work, but again, that might not be enough for the Hawks.
If, theoretically speaking of course, Josh Smith were to wind up with the Brooklyn Nets, the salary implications of that move would be financially exhausting for the franchise.
That would give them little to no flexibility to sign more players.
From a basketball standpoint, would Josh Smith make the Nets a better team on the court?
Despite his immense talent, I don’t see how adding another player that requires the ball in his hands on a constant basis to a team full of players who already fit that mold would be a wise decision.
There isn’t enough ball to go around, and that’s a fact. They wouldn’t be able to use the taxpayer mid-level exception as they would be so far over the salary cap to do so.
A group of all-star caliber players trying to figure out how to play together truly worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers, right?
There is no denying how talented Smith is, but I just don’t see him fitting in on a roster of guys that need the ball to be effective.
Sources say that it’s a 60% chance that Josh gets moved before the trade deadline. If I were Mikhail Prokhorov, I would stay clear of this one.