Tucked away in the latest NBA Power Rankings from Marc Spears of Yahoo! was this interesting nugget about Josh Smith, the Atlanta Hawks and the San Antonio Spurs:
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.
While Smith's often flighty on-court demeanor would appear to be a poor fit with the no-nonsense culture Gregg Popovich has installed in San Antonio, there does appear to be some legs to this rumor.
The Spurs lack of athleticism in the front-court was exposed in their WCF loss to the Thunder last season, when Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden were allowed to finish around the rim without too much resistance as Oklahoma City won the last four games of the series to come back from a 2-0 deficit.
Smith would give San Antonio an above-the-rim presence on defense while his passing and skill level would make him a good fit in the Spurs motion offense. He's also on the last year of his contract, so San Antonio could assume his salary without too much long-term risk.
Pounding The Rock, SB Nation's Spurs blog, has all the latest San Antonio trade rumors compiled here.
From the Hawks perspective, the question becomes what exactly the Spurs would give up to get Smith. While Atlanta is reportedly unwilling to offer him a max contract in free agency, he's still one of their most important assets and it's unclear whether San Antonio would be willing to offer enough pieces off their team to make a deal worthwhile.