For the past week, all we've heard from every reporter covering the story is that Josh Smith will definitely be traded before Thursday's deadline. As a result, apparently the Atlanta Hawks are getting some terrible offers. And so, the next step in this annual dance is ... the team's GM (Danny Ferry) telling everyone he totally won't trade Smith unless the offers get better.
Take it away, CBS Sports' Ken Berger:
Hawks GM Danny Ferry has told prospective trade partners he is not interested in taking back future salary and he won't do a deal "just to do it," one person familiar with the discussions said.
This is like going into a pawn shop emaciated and unshorn with your grandfather's "authentic" Winston Churchill cricket bat, finding out it's only worth half of what you'd thought, and telling the broker you didn't need to eat anyways. It's too late, bub. The peanut butter isn't going back into the jar.
If the Hawks have no plans to re-sign Smith in July, whatever they can get in a trade on Thursday will almost assuredly outstrip anything they can get in a sign-and-trade in July. And the trade package would have to be literally worse than nothing to be lesser than what the Hawks would get if Smith walked in free agency.