Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Atlanta Hawks to deal Josh Smith by deadline?

Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate all season long.

The trade deadline is Feb. 21 and it looks like there is a good chance to Hawks will trade Smith.

Expectations are growing that the Hawks will trade forward Josh Smith, a source said. Smith has averaged 17 points, 8.6 rebounds. 4.7 assists and 2.1 blocks this month despite the trade speculation.

Via Yahoo! Sports

The most popular Josh Smith trade rumors has sent him to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Pau Gasol. Gasol has been coming off the bench recently for the Lakers and isn’t thrilled with that role.

The Hawks just lost Lou Williams for the year and GM Danny Ferry still has the future in mind when it comes to clearing cap space and hasn’t been the biggest Smith supporter either.

There has been some thought that the Oklahoma City Thunder should try and go after Smith too. They could maybe buy low on him at this point and Smith would be a great fit to the already versatile Thunder roster.

The Thunder could package Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb and Eric Maynor for Smith. Smith is making $13 million this season in the last year of his contract.

The big issue is that Smith recently said he believed he was a max player. It would be impossible for the Thunder to re-sign Smith to a max extension unless they included Serge Ibaka in the trade.

Renting Smith for the rest of the season for Perkins would be a decent deal for the Thunder too though. There is still a chance the Thunder will amnesty Perkins down the road and acquiring Smith would really improve the Thunder’s chances at an NBA title this season.

The reality is that the Thunder would have to absolutely be in love with Smith to consider trading for him. They would have to choose Smith over Ibaka and they would never do that so soon after signing Ibaka to an extension.

A Smith trade could still greatly affect the Thunder even if he isn’t traded to them. Smith on the Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash could really improve that roster and turn the Lakers into a potential sleeper in the Western Conference.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith Los Angeles Lakers Oklahoma City Thunder Pau Gasol

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