Josh Smith trade rumors: Celtics join group vying for Hawks star

Kevin C. Cox

Could the high-flyer be headed to the Northeast?

The Boston Celtics are looking for ways to make a trade that would send Josh Smith to Boston, ESPN's Marc Stein reports.

For more on the Celtics, visit Celtics Blog | For more on the Hawks, visit
Peachtree Hoops

One issue with the potential deal for the athletic forward is that it would likely require the C's to give up Paul Pierce, a move that general manager Danny Ainge would likely be reluctant to make.

Smith is in the final year of his $58 million contract and will be a free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season. Any team landing him this year would likely be one in contention, as Smith could opt to test free agency in the offseason. He's reportedly looking for a max contract, but it's difficult to imagine any team giving it to him.

In 48 games, Smith is averaging 17.4 points and 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks while shooting 46 percent from the field. Atlanta is 29-22 and in second place in the Southeast Division. Boston is 28-24 and in third place in the Atlantic Division after being riddled with injuries.

Rajon Rondo, Leandro Barbosa and Jared Sullinger are each out with season-ending ailments as Boston struggles to fight to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

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