Friday, March 9, 2012

Josh Smith seeks divorce from Hawks

Josh Smith has reportedly told the Atlanta Hawks that he desires to be traded by the March 15th deadline. With Al Horford missing most of the season to a pectoral muscle injury and Joe Johnson in and out of the lineup with various ailments, things look like they are about to get worse for Atlanta.

Sadly Smith isn’t the only dissatisfied Hawks’ player. Last month, Marvin Williams expressed his frustration with his role on the team and if things don’t change he may be looking for a way out of Atlanta also.

Neither player has much leverage right now though. Smith is signed through the 2013 season giving Atlanta nearly a year to either appease him or trade him while Williams is signed through 2014.

Still it may not be a bad idea to entertain offers for him this year. Smith is one of the best defensive players in the league and there really isn’t another player out there that Atlanta could bring back in a trade to replace what he does on that end of the court.

Doesn’t matter if they trade him now or next year they won’t replace his defense but they can try to bring in someone with a more complete game.

Smith hasn’t developed much offensively during his time in Atlanta though that’s not really a knock on Smith. Lack of player development seems to be a systemic problem with the Hawks organization as players like Smith, Williams, Horford and Jeff Teague continue to play way under their potential.

With that being said, drafting even more unpolished players isn’t going to help the Hawks in their attempts to advance past the second round of the playoffs. They will need to bring in players with more developed games.

And sadly there aren’t many candidates out there right now who could help this organization. At least not any players young enough for the Hawks to build around.

Still it’s possible that players like Paul Millsap, Brook Lopez, Monta Ellis and Andre Igoudala may be available. Many teams around the league would jump at the chance to bring in a talented player like Smith and trading Smith would give the Hawks the chance to move any other baggage they may have on their roster.

But it’s doubtful the Hawks will move on the Smith situation by the trade deadline. With Horford out, Smith is Atlanta’s best frontcourt player so unless they get an offer they can’t refuse for him they will look to trade him either during the offseason or before the trade deadline next year.

Besides, there’s really no need to move him right now anyway. They do have time on their side.

Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and is also an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He can be contacted at Follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist and add him on Facebook Roosevelt Hall Thesportmentalist.

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