NBA Trade Rumors: Spurs interested in Josh Smith

By Quixem Ramirez

Feb 11, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) prepares to enter the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Hawks beat the Mavs 105-101. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Spurs hold the league’s best record, they still remain heavily involved in the league’s rumor mill.

Add Josh Smith, Atlanta’s mercurial nine-year forward, to the list.

Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

The Spurs are among the teams with interest in Hawks forward Josh Smith, a source told Yahoo! Sports. Keep in mind, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was previously with the Spurs.

Smith, 27, wouldn’t be a bad fit for San Antonio. His athleticism would be a nice foil against the frontcourts of Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers in a potential Western Conference matchup. Facilitating also isn’t a problem for Smith, who is assisting on 20 percent of Atlanta’s possessions this season. That figure would place him fourth on the team, behind Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Nando De Colo.

Smith is in the final year of his contract, meaning San Antonio won’t retain significant long-term salary with a deal. It also means that the Spurs will have to give up at least somewhere in the ballpark of $13.2 million, Smith’s cap figure this season. Trading Parker, implausible because of his performance and the presence of Jeff Teague, or Ginobili for Smith would work under the the NBA’s salary cap rules. But neither package makes much sense.

Instead, San Antonio could package De Colo, Stephen Jackson, and his $10.1 million expiring deal, and DeJuan Blair to make ends meet. Yet Atlanta probably won’t cede Smith, in all likelihood, without receiving either Kawhi Leonard or Tiago Splitter — maybe both — in a trade.

So, with this in mind, would you welcome Smith to the Spurs?