The trade deadline is looming, and reports are bubbling from ESPN that the Wizards could be a potential suitor for Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.
Here are the reasons why any trade for Smith seems highly unlikely:
- Who is really doing the asking here? The Wizards, who are fully healthy and 11-8 starting with their upset win over Oklahoma City on Jan. 7? Or the Hawks, who are determined to move a player that will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and wants a maximum contract even though he doesn’t deserve one? Chances are that the Hawks have called, um, 29 teams in the NBA to find out what it’ll take to move Smith.
- According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Washington has told Atlanta that the following players are untouchable: John Wall, Bradley Beal and Nene. Again, this sounds like the answer to an inquiry from Georgia, not Ernie Grunfeld picking up the phone. The Wizards don’t have any incentive to change course on their commitment to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft or the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft. Wall is the franchise cornerstone. Beal is on pace to finish second in the rookie of the year race. Nene was the player that the Wizards traded FOR only a year ago, the kind of veteran big man they couldn’t land in free agency and instead got while simultaneously jettisoning JaVale McGee, who has proven to be every bit as challenging in Denver as he was in Washington. That was a win-win.