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Josh Smith Shrugs Off Trade Rumors: 'I Will Just Have To Deal With It'

Trade rumors have dogged Josh Smith in recent days, with word that the Atlanta Hawks are shopping him around the league to see what other teams are willing to offer for him. But Smith told Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution he wants to stay with Atlanta, though he didn't say he'd be heartbroken if it were to trade him. From Cunningham's story:

"I’m not saying I want [a trade] to happen but if it does I will just have to deal with it,” he said.

Smith said the Hawks haven’t told him anything about a trade. But he noted that players aren’t usually privy to the team’s internal deliberations until a deal is going down.

The key part of the above excerpt is "I'm not saying I want [a trade] to happen," because the NBA fines players who make trade demands in public; Stephen Jackson and Rudy Fernandez were the most recent players to run afoul of that rule. Thus, even if Smith did desperately want out of Atlanta, he couldn't say so through the media.

By most accounts, Smith is open to moving on from Atlanta, the only team to employ him in his seven-year career. This week, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Smith had told people close to him he wants out, and would prefer a trade to the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, or New Jersey Nets. Further, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix told a Boston-area radio station Smith's representatives are pushing rumors that Smith wants a trade.

Keep your browser tuned to this StoryStream for more Josh Smith trade rumors and news. For complete coverage of the Hawks, please visit Peachtree Hoops.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.