The Atlanta Hawks will not be trading forward Josh Smith, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Hawks were reportedly engaged with Bucks in the final hour before the deadline, but those talks broke down and Milwaukee reportedly went ahead on a deal with the Magic for J.J. Redick.
Smith was the target of several teams around the league as Thursday's deadline approached, and Milwaukee emerged as the likely favorites in the final hour before the deadline. Both Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh were reported as potential pieces in a deal with Milwaukee. Wojnarowski reported earlier on Thursday that Danny Ferry and the Hawks preferred to send Smith to the Western Conference, and the Phoenix Suns were thought to be one of the top trade partners in that conference.
Smith, who is making $13.2 million in the final year of his contract this season, figures to be one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market next season. He is averaging 16.8 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 3.9 assists per game this season while shooting 45 percent from the floor. He's one of the league's top defensive players and he's spent his entire career with the Atlanta Hawks, though he hasn't always been happy about that. Smith was suspended by the team earlier this season for conduct detrimental to the team.
For weeks, he was the biggest name rumored as the centerpiece of a likely deal before the deadline. A last minute Smith trade would have been the biggest deal in a relatively quiet deadline day. His expiring contract made him an attractive trade asset for the Hawks and Ferry, but they could not settle on an acceptable package for the productive power forward.
The Hawks will now likely play out the final 21 games of the season with their roster relatively unchanged. At 29-23, Atlanta is currently slotted into as the sixth seed in the East. They have the talent to make some noise in the Playoffs, but with or without Smith, they're not a contending team right now as Ferry continues to put his imprint on the franchise in his first year.