Josh Smith has been the subject of off-and-on trade rumors for years, but even as the Hawks' roster changes around him, Smith has remained a fixture in Atlanta. His contract is finally set to expire this summer though, and with a month remaining until the trade deadline, it's not entirely clear what the veteran forward's future holds.
For most of this season, Smith expressed satisfaction with new general manager Danny Ferry and the Hawks' direction. However, a recent slide by the team has frustrated the 27-year-old, something agent Wallace Prather conveyed to Ferry last week. Neither Smith nor his agent requested a trade, and a weekend report suggested that the team was still committed to the longtime Hawk, but Smith's frustration and a one-game suspension doled out by the club seemed to bring some of those old issues back to the surface.
Zach Lowe tackles the possibility of the Hawks trading Smith in his latest piece for Grantland, noting that there are a number of factors in play. Potential suitors could be reluctant to give up much of value for a player on an expiring contract, and the Hawks may not want to part with Smith if they intend to pursue Dwight Howard this summer, since the two are good friends. Nonetheless, Lowe sees a few teams as real candidates to be trade partners if Atlanta explores deals over the next few weeks. The Rockets, Mavericks, Suns, and Nuggets top Lowe's list.
So what do you think? Is this the year we finally see Smith on the move, or will the Hawks hang on to him, hoping to re-sign him to a long-term contract this summer?