The Phoenix Suns are interested in Josh Smith, and HoopsWorld.com's Alex Kennedy reports that the team in desperate need of a franchise player will make a run at the Atlanta Hawks power forward either before the trade deadline or this offseason.
Phoenix considers Smith a cornerstone type of player, according to Kennedy.
Smith's contract ends following this season, and his status with Atlanta has been up in the air. While the versatile forward has not demanded a trade, his agent, Wallace Prather, has been in contact with general manager Danny Ferry regarding his client's future. They are expected to meet again this week.
The Suns have cap space as is, and they'll have even more with several players coming off the books following the 2012-13 season. That said, any trade for Smith would have to appease Atlanta, and Phoenix is limited in its assets. Center Marcin Gortat is one player that has substantial value, and the Suns also have expiring contracts in wing Wesley Johnson, backup point guard Sebastian Telfair and a partially guaranteed deal with Shannon Brown for next season.
Phoenix signed restricted free agent Eric Gordon to an offer sheet this summer before the New Orleans Hornets matched the deal. That, and the Rudy Gay trade not involving Phoenix, means the Suns could have room to sign another max-level deal with a player along with Smith.