ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported early this morning that the Washington Wizards have told the Atlanta Hawks that all players except for John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene are available in trade talks for Josh Smith.
For those of us who are hoping that the Wizards do acquire Smith, this news is promising in that it confirms the two teams have had conversations. The extent of the conversations is still unclear, however this news is better than spending hours on end reading teaser speculation articles. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported yesterday that the Hawks are convincing teams that Smith will be dealt between now and Thursday’s 3 PM deadline, which is additionally encouraging news.
With Wall, Beal and Nene seemingly off the table, it’s probably safe to assume that a combination of Jordan Crawford, Martell Webster and draft picks would be the focal points of any deal for Smith. The Hawks seem unwilling to meet Smith’s demands for a max contract this offseason, and assuming that’s the case, are determined to get whatever value they can instead of letting him walk. Of the reportedly interested teams, Boston seems out due to their probable unwillingness to part with long-time Celtic Paul Pierce and Brooklyn likely won’t have the cap room to facilitate such a trade. That leaves the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns as Washington’s competition. Milwaukee could use the expiring contract of center Samuel Dalembert as bait paired with youth such as Doron Lamb or John Henson, however the Bucks’ willingness to part with young talent remains unclear. Phoenix has not openly been shopping anyone except for point guard Sebastian Telfair, who does have an expiring contract, but not for nearly enough ($1.14-million) to assist in making a cap-friendly deal.
More news on this story is likely to come as the day goes on, so keep checking back here at All Over The Hill as we give you nonstop Wizards coverage leading up to the Trade Deadline on Thursday.