The Atlanta Hawks are soon to be known as the Brooklyn Nets farm team, as the two sides are working out another trade that would send Atlanta’s biggest star to Brooklyn less than a year after the two teams worked out a mega-trade that sent Joe Johnson to Brooklyn in a blockbuster deal. From the sounds of it, this deal would have all the fixings of the Johnson trade, but a lot has to happen before anything is finalized.
The Nets have been pursuing a lot of trade options before the February 21st deadline, one of them included flipping Kris Humphries to the Bobcats in exchange for guard Ben Gordon. But while that deal still remains very possible, reports say the Nets are viewing a Josh Smith deal as a priority at the moment and would cancel any trade on the table if it meant getting Smith in Brooklyn.
Before we continue, we need to put a flashing disclaimer that the “sources” machine that is ESPN bafoon Chris Broussard is the main man behind these reports right now, so take everything from here down with a fistful of salt.
Right now, Brooklyn has made it known that they’re willing to part ways with Humphries and guard MarShon Brooks but Atlanta is going to want more than that in exchange for Smith. Broussard reports that the Hawks would like a young center as part of the deal, which means a third team would likely have to be involved in the trade if the young center is a major requirement in making this deal happen.
A first round pick would also likely have to be thrown in as well as a birthday cake, a carton of mile and six multi-colored crayons — I think Broussard may have mis-heard that last part of the trade.
In all seriousness though, Smith moving to the Nets makes a great deal of sense for both sides involved. It’s clear that Brooklyn will not be getting Dwight Howard this season and likely wouldn’t have been able to get him in free agency this offseason. Smith is not a bad option and he brings a chemistry to the team that he has with Johnson.
For Atlanta, moving Johnson means the ability to max out two contracts this offseason, which means they may be able to bring in Dwight Howard and another top free agent to Atlanta, in addition to the assets they’ve received thus far in trades. Atlanta would then be able to move the draft picks and players they have for even better players or hang onto them and mold a real contender together.
Despite how excited Chris Broussard is getting about this potential trade, the Nets don’t have enough assets to make a Smith deal happen on their own. A third team would almost certainly have to be involved here, and that might be too many moving parts to make this fantasy deal a reality.