Update (Tuesday, 3:25 p.m.): ESPN’s Chris Broussard tweets that it’s unlikely a deal for Josh Smith would include Marcin Gortat as the centerpiece. That makes it appear unlikely that an agreement is made considering Phoenix has little to appease Atlanta with other than draft picks.
Though local radio personality John Gambadoro shot down such rumors as soon as they arose a few weeks back, The Detroit News’ Vincent Goodwill was one of the first to report that Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith is still on the Suns’ radar.
That news was backed up by ESPN’s Marc Stein, who also hears that Phoenix is one team that has revived interest in the Smith — that is, if they ever lost interest. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted this to be true as well.
It’s clear Phoenix has been at the very least making inquiries about the combo forward, but there will surely be fierce competition to acquire Smith. The Brooklyn Nets are at this time said to be a favorite, though they would need a third team to get involved for a deal to work with Atlanta. Boston is the interesting pick to land Smith, and San Antonio, Washington and Dallas have popped up as potential suitors.
Milwaukee and Phoenix, however, could be serious contendors, says Stein:
The big worry for both of those teams, though, is whether they could really risk trading for Smith when convincing him to re-sign for the long term is likely to be a serious challenge in either city. Especially with Smith said to be angling for a max deal … and with nobody confusing the Suns or the Bucks with Mikhail Prokohorov’s Nets.
And again, it’s hard to see how the Suns could work out a deal with Smith considering their few pieces that could interest Danny Ferry and the Hawks. Ken Berger of CBS Sports is also skeptical that the Suns have what it takes.
He adds that Atlanta would want expiring players, draft picks and young players, something that would appear to be a bit to ask for a Phoenix team in need of youth. Even tossing aside Smith’s apparent expectation of a $90 million contract over five years, that would be a lot to give up.