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Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Hawks to trade Josh Smith?

The Hawks have begun exploring a trade involving Josh Smith, according to sources. Smith, meanwhile, has privately told friends that the Celtics, Nets, Rockets and Magic are his preferred teams should Atlanta ultimately decide to trade him. Smith has not requested a trade.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Do the Atlanta Hawks and Josh Smith move forward together. Or, do they part ways?

The Hawks would keep Smith if it was solely about talent. The 6-9 Atlanta native is the rare player who can score, rebound, pass, and provide some national spotlight with rim-rattling jams and deft-defying rejections.

However, the Hawks’ personnel decisions are influenced by money. For years, ownership has been bleeding cash because they owned the city’s NHL property, the Thrashers.

Ownership may have sold the Thrashers to a group in Winnipeg, but they’re still cutting costs on the basketball side. So Smith, and the remaining $37 million on his contract, is available.

Takers must have deep enough pockets to assume the remaining years on his big-ticket. And takers must also be willing to put up with Smith, who has repeatedly clashed with teammates and coaches.

Finding a taker for Smith might not be so easy for the Hawks, after all.

--Oly Sandor.

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