Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Philadelphia 76ers likely won't be the team to land Josh Smith, but the fact that the Atlanta Hawks approached the 76ers with a deal shows how determined they are to get rid of the upcoming free agent.
John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in a story about how the Sixers are unlikely to make a move before the deadline that Atlanta had tried to start trade talks that would have seen Smith go to Philadelphia in exchange for Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes. A similar deal had been reported by Chad Ford last Thursday. Kris Willis of Peachtree Hoops wrote the Sixers were out of the Smith sweepstakes last Friday.
It's no surprise that the Hawks are trying to move Smith: with the hyperathletic 6-foot-9 small forward an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and Atlanta not willing to pay him as much as he wants, it seems highly likely that they will move him before Thursday's trade deadline. But what we're finding here is just how determined the Hawks are to get something - perhaps just pennies on the dollar - for Smith. Smith's not an All-Star, but he still scores 17.4 points a game and rips 8.6 boards.
Evan Turner's in only his third year after being drafted No. 2 overall, but his career arc hasn't been that of a No. 2 pick - he's averaging an inefficient 13.8 points on 13 shots per game, and although he has decent rebounding and assist numbers, Smith grabs more boards in less minutes. And although Hawes is averaging double-digit points, it took him just about half a season to earn a gig as a starting center on a team where the other options are Kwame Brown and Lavoy Allen.
And we're told that the Hawks approached the 76ers with this deal, not the other way around. And that the Sixers reportedly were less interested in the deal - as Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers wrote when reports of a deal first surfaced last week, Smith would replicate some of the same production they're getting from Thaddeus Young and would likely prevent Andrew Bynum - also seeking a big free agent contract this offseason - from resigning.