ESPN's Chris Broussard is reporting that the Brooklyn Nets want Josh Smith and are offering Kris Humphries, who was briefly Mr. Kim Kardashian, and Marshon Brooks, the shooting guard who played at Tucker High School before signing with Providence, in return. Broussard also informs us that the Hawks want more than those two players, which can be interpreted as yet another signal that the Hawks' general manager hasn't become Desperate Danny.
The trade deadline is Feb. 21. If the Hawks don't divest themselves of Smith by then, they risk losing him as a free agent this summer and getting nothing in return. But nothing Danny Ferry has done to date suggests that the Hawks are eager to dump Smith. Are they willing to listen to offers? Yes. Even to solicit offers? Probably. But the Hawks are likewise mindful that, simply by keeping Smith and letting this season play out, they'll become the one team able to offer him the most money and the most contractual years come July 1. (In NBA argot, they'll retain his "Larry Bird Rights.") That's no small consideration.
We mentioned a week ago that the Smith rumors were about to start swirling, and here they come. But the feeling remains that Ferry will make no deal in haste, and there's a chance he'll make no deal at all. For all the risk involved, keeping him could yield tangible rewards. To wit:
They could re-sign him, in which case they'd have no need to find a power forward;
They could work a a sign-and-trade, in which case they wouldn't be left with nothing;
They could re-sign him and he persuades his buddy Dwight Howard to play here. (Longest of long shots, I know.)