Josh Smith trade rumors involving Suns crop up again

Posted by on February 19th, 1:40 am

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.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and

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Tags: Phoenix Suns

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 arizona_jim // Feb 19, 2013 at 2:40 am

    It’s plausible Suns could trade for Smith if they can free up more cap space for the summer with moving guys like Gortat, Wesley and Brown together (brown could help Hawks now and Wes an expiring). No surrendering of lottery picks though. Having Smith could be a bargaining chip to lure Howard in the summer along with two lottery studs Suns acquire in draft. Suns easily could turn out to be a more athletic and competitive team than what the Lakers can field around Howard. I believe next season Lakers won’t be able to do sign and trades due to their salary under the new CBA so they have little flexibility to improve.
    Other than this scenario I don’t see it worth Suns time to trade for Smith.

  • 2 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 19, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Sarver has to be willing to spend money on star players. That’s something he’s been unwilling to do.

  • 3 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 19, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Sarver has never shown a willingness to spend money on star players. He clearly isn’t smart enough to know who could really help the team. He’s tried to ration out cap space amongst several players and that approach has failed every time. Maybe with 3 years of mediocrity, and dropping attendance at games he changes his mind, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

  • 4 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 19, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Sarver won’t sign two max players.

  • 5 john manhole // Feb 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

    @BoomShakaLuka  @arizona_jim
     He actually already has before (Amar’e and Marion), so I’m not really sure what point you’re trying to make.  If you want to argue that Sarver wasn’t the one who inked the Marion deal (he just paid most of it), then how about Shaq (who admittedly wasn’t max because I think his max at the time was something like $28M, but he was still making $20M-$21M in a Suns uni) and Amar’e?
    Either way, your ridiculous claim holds no water.
    WILL it happen?  That’s a different story, but I have no doubt in my mind that if the right deals for the right players came up, Sarver wouldn’t hesitate to do what he’s already done in the past (especially because the Suns were experiencing much more success in those days).

  • 6 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

    @john manhole
    There’s nothing ridiculous about my claim. Sarver’s penny pinching really started once the housing bubble burst. He lost a lot of money in real estate and in his banking corporations. He actually took government bailout money for one of his banks. As a result, every move from about late 2007 onward has been to dump salary for cap space. Yes, he paid Marion and Shaq but look what Shaq was moved for… expiring.contracts. He did re-sign Nash in 2009, but that was a no-brainer. His problem is cutting.corners plain and simple. He’ll spend some money, but ration it amongst role players who don’t help your team compete. He’s refused to pay money to keep his top level execs around. Sarver tries to operate the Suns on a budget, but he has no clue of what he’s doing.

  • 7 DBreezy // Feb 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I’ll just hold my breath and hope this is nothing more than agents, opposing gm’s, and other go-betweens trying to use the media to drum up trade interest ahead of the deadline.  Smith makes no sense for the Suns for the final 30 games of the season, and at or anywhere near his asking price he makes no sense this offseason either for the Suns.

  • 8 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    @john manhole
    There’s nothing ridiculous about my claim. Sarver’s penny pinching started once the housing bubble burst. He lost a lot of money in real estate and in his banking corporations. He actually took government bailout money for one of his banks. As a result, every move from about late 2007 onward has been to dump salary for cap space. He was paying Marion who Colangelo extended. Yes, he paid Shaq but look what Shaq was moved for… expiring contracts. He did re-sign Nash in 2009, but that was a no-brainer. His problem is cutting corners plain and simple. He’ll spend some money, but ration it amongst role players who don’t help your team compete. He’s refused to pay money to keep his top level execs around. Sarver tries to operate the Suns on a budget. He’s done absolutely nothing to make the Suns better since he single-handidly decided to tear apart a respectable 2010 team that was knocking on the door of the Finals. Until I see Sarver show a willingness to bring in and pay for: a qualified front office staff, coaches, talent evaluators, and ultimately talent, I’m always going to be skeptical.

  • 9 DBreezy // Feb 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

    @arizona_jim Why would anyone do anything to try and lure Howard outside of having cap space, which is useful whether you get him or not?  The guy is so flaky upstairs that he’s somehow managed to have that eclipse the fact that he’s coming off back surgery.  He’s burned through coaches, and looks like he’s about to burn his second organization in as many years.  And he doesn’t seem to care much about it basketball wise, just in the hurt feelings department.
    Basketball-wise he’s really been exposed this season as well.  Sure he may heal up just fine from back and eventual shoulder surgery, which should make a huge difference on the defensive end for him, but what about the other end?  He’s a guy who cannot be depended on as a 4th quarter scorer because he’s a poor foul shooter and lacks the go-to moves and sheer dominance of a Shaq.  You could keep Shaq out there in the fourth because he was so big, quick, and explosive.  Late in games, he would often explode off the floor quickly instead of waiting on his moves and was great enough to finish often through the contact of those trying to foul him.  That’s why Hack-a-Shaq had to be done far from the hoop whereas people often wait until Howard catches the rock before fouling.  Even healthy his moves are much slower and deliberate before the explosion than Shaq’s were.
    That deliberate play also should be an eye opener if you’re trying to build a team around him.  This season he’s shown that he doesn’t mesh well with the kind of perimeter player (if not personality!) that you would want to pair him with.  He’s also shown that he isn’t much of a pick and roll player unless you have a ton of 3pt shooters on the floor.  And as Nash has pointed out, it’s difficult to pair him with a traditional 4 at the high post because Dwight’s moves take up so much room in the paint compared to guys like Shaq or Bynum, that the spacing gets all messed up and no one scores.  Now if Dwight was willing to be primarily a defensive menace who largely scores opportunistically on the break or after ball movement breaks a defense down, perhaps none of this would matter.  However that’s not the case, so for that and the mental reasons, I would say buyer beware on Dwight.
      I wonder if he’s eyeing Dallas because of the way Dirk plays?  That might be a mistake on his part as Dirk loves the high post area and he loves high screen roll as well.  Also I don’t imagine Dirk or Cuban are going to be any nicer to him when he pouts than Kobe or Nash have.

  • 10 john manhole // Feb 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

    @BoomShakaLuka  @john
     So, I can see that the fact that he has paid 2 max players in the past means nothing to you.  If facts mean nothing to you, then we have nothing to talk about.

  • 11 john manhole // Feb 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

    @DBreezy  @arizona_jim
     While I agree that Howard isn’t worth the hype and praise he has received, I still believe he’s the best center in the game and there is only one other guy I can think of that I’d put in the conversation (Marc).  Tyson Chandler could maybe be thrown in there as well, I guess.  Point being, Dwight Howard, for all his headaches, is still a worthwhile NBA talent who has already proven he can be one of the top 3 players in the NBA and the defensive leader of a championship-caliber team.  If he recovers fully from his injuries, I have no doubt that he has another three or four years left at that level.  If I were a GM, I would be more than a little bit interested.

  • 12 BoomShakaLuka // Feb 19, 2013 at 9:54 am

    @john manhole  
    More like rented…

  • 13 4everis2long // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    As I have no doubt the Suns are trying hard to secure Josh Smith because it appears they do not believe in rebuilding through the draft, I have to root for the other teams here. Let another team get him please. J.Smith will not stay with the losing Suns team so why would the Suns want to rent him. I know the three Amigos are finding it difficult to accept they cannot get that highly sought after free agent but this is what happens when a franchise takes a major hit in the court of public opinion and there are no young studs on the roster to offer promise to a potential free agent. 
    Look I know there are GMs out there smart enough to combine young talent with a veteran or two who is near his prime but I do not think that type of front office talent is in Phoenix. We have to bite the bullet and hope we do well in the draft. I seriously doubt Phoenix will find a shortcut to the playoffs as most really good players do not want to play for the Sarver regime as it currently exist .
    I agree with ya DBreezy, I hope this is just propaganda. The last thing I want is a memo from Babby that we gave away the Lakers 1st round pick because there will be no one in draft as good as Smith and sometimes you just have to take a chance when it comes to talent. He will likely add, we are very confident we can come to terms with Smith at the appropriate time. I do not want to see this.

  • 14 DBreezy // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

    @john manhole  @arizona_jim Absolutely there are GM’s that should be interested in Howard.  As I said above, personally I wouldn’t do anything more than clear or preserve cap space though as he’s flakier to me than most free agents.  I wouldn’t hold onto a Josh Smith or a Lou Williams or move out a Brook Lopez plus a bunch of other stuff hoping this dude comes in and stays loyal.  The Clips for example really don’t have much to worry about with CP3, he’s given them a fair shake. Personally, I think Lebron would have stayed in CLE if they had completed the trade for Amar’e although I think he would have leveraged them to do even more because he could have. 
    Healthy he is the best center in the league right now because of the overall package.  Bynum may have better post moves, but he isn’t as good on the glass or D and has had motivational issues for far longer than Dwight.  Chandler is a better defender imo, but he is useless on offense outside of S/R lobs.  Gasol has the best touch at the position, but isn’t athletic enough to be as dominant near the rim, as a rebounder or a defender.  And so on with other guys like Noah, Hibbert, Monroe, Cousins, etc. 
    That said there are a lot of things to be concerned about when it comes to building a team around him both from a mental and logistical standpoint.  If you’re a GM it has to give you pause when you look at how his game meshes with Nash and Kobe.  Right now it really looks like the only way to win with him offensively is if the middle is completely wide open with nothing but shooters on the wing to allow Dwight to get his moves off in space and make it harder to simply foul him.  The ESPN style media is so quick to make this a Mike Brown or D’Antoni vs Phil thing when talking about the Lakers woes in general and Dwight’s in particular.  Looking beyond this season though is it possible that they chose D’Antoni because he’s exactly the kind of guy who could ultimately run the style of offense best suited to Howard given Howard appropriate surrounding personnel?  I question whether they could even get to the finals that way, but that wasn’t really my point.

  • 15 bkkkkkkkk // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

    So, MAX deal on him should be similar to Amare’s at about 20M/yr?  For that amount of money, his output needs to be 6~7 times of Scola.

  • 16 slapdoghoops // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

    @4everis2long I agree, unless the Suns can secure an extension for Smith, which is unlikely to happen as mentioned by your reasoning, the Suns should not even bother trying to pursue him.

  • 17 DBreezy // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

    @4everis2long Well Gambo says that the Suns have no interest and that it’s just the Hawks trying to drum up interest.  I’m sure the fact that they have $$$ available makes them fodder for agents’ games as well.  Just stay the course Suns FO and rebuild it right.  It didn’t take a season to get here and they won’t get out in one either.

  • 18 DBreezy // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

    @slapdoghoops  @4everis2long I think guys lose a year on an extension in the new cba.  That’s why they all want to wait till free agency now even if they intend on staying like CP3 in LA.

  • 19 4everis2long // Feb 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    @DBreezy Well said DBreezy. I know we live in a microwave and an ATM society where a lot of people want things right now. Like you said, we need to take our time and build through the draft. We cannot undo the past so in my opinion we need to realize people like Babby and Blanks have contributed to the problem not the solution and they should go elsewhere. It is kind of funny because two or three years ago when Barkley expressed interest in being a GM I thought no way. However after living with Blanks I think Charles would be a major upgrade. If we want to win we have to do it from within.

  • 20 DBreezy // Feb 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    @4everis2long Yeah remember when I said the same thing a few years back on AZC about Barkley?  If I thought that the Suns would be able to attract top flight GM candidates with prior experience, I wouldn’t think of it but I tend to think they can’t as they’ve struggled in recent years to get their top recruits to come here.  They’ve got to get a basketball mind or two in there and someone willing to say ‘NO’ to the boss when appropriate

  • 21 4-on-4: Discussing the Phoenix Suns trade rumors // Feb 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

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  • 22 4everis2long // Feb 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    @DBreezy Yeah I remember your dialogue Dbreezy. Barkley definitely has the backbone to stand up to Sarver.

  • 23 SkyBill40 // Feb 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    If the Suns do manage to pry Smith from ATL, there’s no way he stays. He’ll end up being a short term rental and leave as soon as his contract is up. Stoudemire was a max guy despite the knee injury, and we all know what happened there. Is Smith? I don’t think so, and neither do most of the media members. Still, max money his way and he’ll take it… but it won’t be here in PHX.

  • 24 Suns trade rumors: Rockets' Marcus Morris traded to Phoenix // Feb 20, 2013 at 6:14 pm

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