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Should the Atlanta Hawks Really Trade Josh Smith?

January 18th, 2013 at 12:19 PM
By Gordon Robinson

'Josh Smith Face' photo (c) 2011, So Max O - license:
Before the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 109-95, Josh Smith was kicked out of practice and suspended for a game. After witnessing the Hawks victory against Brooklyn, many fans and "analysts" had a knee-jerk reaction in thinking that Atlanta might be better off without J-Smoove. Smith has been mentioned in trade talks for at least the past three years and, to his credit, very little of it has come from him. He has had a time where he felt like the fans of Atlanta did not show him love, but he voiced his opinion and left it alone. It has become a cliche when the Hawks are not doing well to have "trade Josh" be the answer to all problems. When the issue is looked at logically, trading Smith probably is not the best answer.

This Hawks team has chemistry, a chemistry that has not been in Philips Arena for some time. You can tell that the players genuinely like and respect each other. They have exceeded expectations of what many fans had of them after trading away their top scorer in Joe Johnson and that is due to the team chemistry that is on the floor. Yes, they hit a bump in the road and are currently trying to fight their way back to winning more than they lose; most teams go through these types of spells. To solely blame one guy and note all of his negatives is unfair to Smith and the entire Hawks team.

The first reason that Josh should continue to be a Hawk is simple, who/what do you get for him? You can not bring in someone else's trash just because you want to get rid one of your best players. The next reason is this; if the Hawks have any shot at getting Dwight Howard at the end of this season it will be because his friend, Josh Smith, will be playing at home along side of him. It is going to be tough for anybody (let alone Atlanta) to convince Howard to leave Los Angeles after this season and if Smoove is not in the building, we don't have a shot. 

Everybody in the city sees the talent that Josh Smith has and everyone knows that he still has some maturing to do. All agree that in the right situation and with the right coach Smith could not only be an All Star but he could be viewed as one of the toughest guys to defend in the entire league. It just might be time that Atlanta spent some money to bring in a coach that could motivate Smith and the rest of the team a little better ( just an option!).

There are other options to trading Josh, like trading away other players; there are several teams that would love to have Al Horford and the Hawks made the playoffs with him missing most of last season (another option). The way Hawks GM Danny Ferry has built this team there will be a few contracts coming off of the books at the end of the season and there might be players out on the market that fit into a system that is suited for the way Smith plays.

Right now, Josh Smith is most of the highlight in "The Highlight Factory" and it would be a shame to trade him to another team just to watch him grow to be a consistent force in the league. I'm not saying pay the man maximum money and call it his team, but it is not as simple as just saying the Hawks won one game with out Josh Smith, so we can afford to get rid of him.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, Danny Ferry, Josh Smith, NBA

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