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2013 NBA Trade Deadline: Hawks keep Josh Smith, play it safe

The Atlanta Hawks made a deadline trade, but it didn't involve Josh Smith. Danny Ferry played it safe, making only a minor move, while maintaining the Hawks cap space going into a big summer.

Kevin C. Cox

The Atlanta Hawks were active at the trade deadline, but it wasn't in a blockbuster deal sending Josh Smith away. The Hawks sent out three-point specialist Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for journeyman Dahntay Jones.

Despite the constant, and loud, chatter surrounding forward Smith, the Hawks couldn't find a deal worth agreeing to before the deadline passed. The final offer from the Milwaukee Bucks didn't involve the players the Hawks coveted, and in the end hanging onto Smith wound up being the best option for Danny Ferry. Now they'll go forward knowing the stakes this summer have become even higher as Smith could walk as an unrestricted free agent.

Still, the Hawks did make a move in sending the oft-injured and struggling Morrow out to Dallas. Morrow recently missed 17 games and had fallen out of the rotation. On the season, he averaged 5.2 points for Atlanta.

Atlanta will save a small amount of money in Jones' $2.9 million contract, but much like Morrow, will likely be a rotational player at best. Both Morrow and Jones are on expiring contracts, thus neither effected the Hawks' future salary situation, which will be key come summer.

With the Mavericks, Jones averaged 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.

Overall, the Hawks' outlook remains unchanged. Morrow for Jones was a minor move that is unlikely to have any implications on this season. The biggest move in the Southeast division was the Orlando Magic sending J.J. Redick to the Milwaukee Bucks, but that is unlikely to change the Hawks' playoff chances much. The majority of teams made minor moves that were related to salary and luxury tax relief, just as the Hawks did.

Overall, Danny Ferry and the Hawks played it safe by keeping their cap space clean for the summer, and now hope to have a big off-season with the ability to offer a max contract to an available free agent of their choice.

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