10:07am: The Suns aren't among the teams making a play for Smith, as Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News writes at the end of his league-wide roundup. They, like other teams, are wary of giving Smith a max deal in the summer, according to Lawrence.
9:00am: The Bucks, Nets, Celtics, 76ers and Wizards are among the many involved in talks for Hawks forward Josh Smith, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Other teams are engaged as well, and there's a strong belief that Smith will be on the move before Thursday's trade deadline, according to Wojnarowski. Smith will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end, and he believes he's deserving of a maximum-salary contract. It appears as though the Hawks are unwilling to meet that demand, and that has apparently sparked interest in a deal.
The Nets were reportedly making a strong push for Smith as recently as a week ago, but it's clear they have competition. The Hawks seem to be in a position of strength, with multiple teams going after a player who's likely the best player on the trading block as the deadline approaches. Atlanta, with less than $18.5MM in firm commitments for next season, looks like it's set up to have the cap room to add a pair of maximum-salary players this summer. Dwight Howard is an Atlanta native, so the Hawks could be a viable option if he elects not to re-sign with the Lakers. When I examined Smith's trade candidacy a couple of weeks ago, I predicted Hawks GM Danny Ferry would hold on to Smith in hopes that he might want to recruit Howard, the best man in his wedding, back to Georgia. Even if that doesn't happen, and Smith signs elsewhere, the Hawks would at least have a ton of cap room to play with.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported a week ago that the Hawks are looking for "a quality young center" in return for Smith. That's an asset the Celtics don't possess, and I'm not sure either the Nets or Hawks would have interest in including Brook Lopez in a Smith deal. Larry Sanders of the Bucks, Kevin Seraphin of the Wizards and Spencer Hawes of the Sixers are young centers who've shown promise, but perhaps not enough to entice Ferry and the Hawks.
Smith is making $13.2MM in the final season of his deal, which includes a 15% trade kicker. Since he signed his contract under the old CBA, the team that acquires him in a trade must pay the extra money. If Smith is traded at Thursday's deadline, the kicker would amount to approximately $1.3MM, or 15% of the prorated amount remaining on his salary this season.