It didn't take very long for the Atlanta Hawks season to end before those rumors started permeating around the Internet about how Josh Smith could be traded in the offseason.
When I say offseason, I mean before June 30 when all the NBA rules change as the players get locked out in "Sports Labor Bliss: Part Deux" that may make the NFL lockout look like an amiable Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Of course, there's shock all around Lakers nation as the best team with Kobe Bryant on it was eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round. And Andrew Bynum was a scapegoat for everything that happened to the Los Angeles Lakers.
As a result, Internet fodder and lore has a trade rumor going something like this:
Josh Smith ($12.4M) and Kirk Hinrich ($8.0M) for Andrew Bynum ($15.1M) and Ron Artest ($6.7M).
Under the deal, Atlanta, which has $64.3 million committed to seven players next year would see its payroll increase slightly to $65.7 million for seven players. But the Hawks would have that center they covet, even if they lose one of the more electrifying, yet inconsistent players in the game in Smith.
Either way, they would have to fill the rest of the roster with bargain basement players to avoid the luxury tax under the current system or a hard cap at the luxury tax threshold if the owners get what they want under a new CBA.
We all know that if this Atlanta Spirit group sticks around they'll only want to go into the luxury tax if they think they can make it past the second round. And as of right now, it seems like the Spirit may stick around no matter what happens to their hockey team.