For most of the season, we've been hearing that Josh Smith is happy with the job Danny Ferry has done so far in Atlanta, and that he's pleased with the Hawks' direction. However, the team's recent struggles appear to be taking a toll on the veteran forward. The Hawks announced today that they've fined and suspended Smith for one game for "conduct detrimental to the team."
While Smith and Ferry talked about moving past the issue in the team's press release, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that it may not be quite that easy. According to Berger, Smith's agent, Wallace Prather, met with Ferry to discuss what Prather described as "a lot of frustration" with Atlanta's recent play. However, Smith and his agent stopped short of making a trade request.
"I want to be clear that I'm not pushing a trade," Prather said. "This is not a trade request or anything, but there are frustrations in Atlanta."
Prather added that he does know "teams are interested" in his client, and Berger hears from rival executives that the Hawks have participated in trade talks with several clubs involving Smith. The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract and will hit unrestricted free agency this summer, so if Atlanta feels as if Smith could walk in July, it may make sense to entertain offers him before the trade deadline.
The Grizzlies, despite looking to clear long-term salary from their books, have not contacted the Hawks about Smith, and the Mavericks haven't expressed interest either, according to Berger. However, the CBSSports.com scribe hears that both Memphis and Dallas, as well as Houston, would appeal to Smith.