Hawks trade rumors: Josh Smith still NBA's hottest name

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

For the past few seasons major names have been getting traded in the NBA. Such is life in the business of basketball and the Hawks are dealing with that reality now.

The Atlanta Hawks have been involved in just about every NBA trade rumor out there. New talk sparked Sunday surrounding Josh Smith with the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards being the top rumored teams. Reports are indicating that Atlanta may want to move Smith before the Feb. 21st trade deadline.

Although team names have surfaced in the Smith rumors, player names on those teams have remained fairly quiet. The Nets might offer up a deal centered around Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks, but would that be enough to pry Smith away from the Hawks?

Another hurdle that teams will have to jump over is that Smith is playing out the final year of his contract at $13.2 million. Where he will sign a new deal is anyone's guess and back in January 2012 Smith hinted at wanting a max contract. The max money might be one reason why Hawks general manager Danny Ferry will look to trade Smith before Thursday.

An additional reason why the Hawks might move Smith is that his stats have plateaued a bit. He is averaging better than his career numbers of 15.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game at 17.4 points and 8.6 boards, but the Hawks must determine if they want to build around the veteran player or if Ferry wants to move in a new direction.

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