Does a Pau Gasol for Josh Smith Swap Still Make Sense?

Just when you think Pau Gasol might be safe, Josh Smith goes and gets himself suspended.

Though it was widely believed the Atlanta Hawks would hold on to the free-agent-to-be in Smith rather than trade him in hopes of re-signing him, their downward spiral and his subsequent adjournment has changed things.

According to Ken Berger of, Smith's agent stopped short of demanding a trade for his client but did express trepidation with regards to where the Hawks were headed:

Josh Smith's agent spoke with Hawks general manager Danny Ferry on Wednesday to discuss what he characterized as "a lot of frustration" with the team's recent spiral, but stopped short of making a trade request.

"As far as moving forward and whatever changes will be made, that's more so management's job to field those calls and make the decisions they feel like are best to move forward," Smith's agent, Wallace Prather, told ...

"I do know there are teams interested," Prather said.

Multiple rival executives confirmed that the Hawks have participated in trade conversations with several teams regarding Smith, a 27-year-old game-changing defender when engaged.

I know what you're thinking: The honeymoon in Atlanta is over. And you're right.

The Hawks were prematurely hailed as legitimate title contenders upon posting a 20-10 record through the first 30 games of the season. With Joe Johnson out of the picture and the team fully vested in Smith, it seemed the latter's return to the Peach State was inevitable.

Six losses in eight games, one suspension and an aggregated 58-point output against the Chicago Bulls later, Smith's return is now bordering on unlikely. We can point to the fact that Smith didn't actually request a trade all we want, but Berger goes on to report Smith does have a list of preferred destinations.

Little good can come from...

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