The Brooklyn Nets are trying to get any kind of deal that might kick start their season and throw them back into contention for a better spot in the East, with the most prominent of those potential trades looking like another one with the Atlanta Hawks, hoping to get Josh Smith.
It’s been quite clear for a while now that Smith, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season, won’t continue in Atlanta. There were talks of a trade a year ago, but nothing eventually happened. This season, despite a surprising start to the season, it doesn’t seem like the Hawks will be interested in keeping Smith for the future, knowing he’s looking for a max contract. The Nets wouldn’t mind giving him a maximum deal (which would be lower had he re-signed with the Hawks), not really minding the luxury tax situation.
Smith didn’t reveal too much about what he knows, as the Hawks are reportedly looking for shoppers to make a deal happen in the next 10 days.
It is what it is. You have to understand, this is a business first. Once you get that in your head that it’s a business first, it’s never personal, you’ll be pretty good in this league.
Smith is averaging 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, not really playing and putting the kind of effort you’d expect from a guy trying to win more money on the final year of his contract. Smith knows there will be plenty of teams willing to spend on him next season, regardless of he’s worth the money or not. The Hawks just don’t want to give him away for nothing.
The Nets, at the moment, are willing to trade Kris Humphries (owed $12 million for next season) and Marshon Brooks, still on his rookie contract. Both players have taken a big hits to their minute numbers this season, feeling quite clearly that they’re being kept as trading chips for more lucrative names. While the Nets are also in discussions with the Charlotte Bobcats for Ben Gordon, they’d much rather have Smith, although there’s a very good chance the Hawks will be asking for a first round draft pick as well from the Nets.
The Nets have already given up on a first round draft pick, along with a few other players, to make the deal for Joe Johnson in the off-season happen. While they are thinking about the now, giving up too many first round draft picks with a team that doesn’t have much of an upside considering the age of its key players, might be a bit too much for Josh Smith.