The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have often been at the center of trade rumors involving Josh Smith.
Now it appears that another team has emerged as a potential destination for the Atlanta Hawks forward.
According to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the San Antonio Spurs are interested in Smith. The report does not state what the club would include in a package for Smith, but San Antonio has explored the possibility of making a deal.
With trade deadline looming, the Spurs probably have the least to gain in making a deal. They have the best record in the NBA at 41-12. The Spurs also have the largest division lead with a commanding 7.5-game advantage over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs have also had success despite battling several injuries. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have missed a total of 26 games. A hamstring injury has kept Ginoboli out since Jan. 30 and Duncan has fought through knee and ankle injuries.
On Monday, San Antonio earned a 14-point road win against the Chicago Bulls despite Duncan, Parker and Ginobili sidelined.
Adding Smith to their roster might make the Spurs the favorites to win their first championship since 2007. The Hawks forward has played well this season, averaging 17.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Still, he would probably be the club’s third-best player.
Atlanta could acquire a few expiring contracts from the Spurs, including Stephen Jackson and DeJuan Blair, as well as draft picks for Smith. The Spurs also have a few good young players to offer like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
Even if San Antonio can’t land Smith, there’s a good chance he’ll be traded by the Feb.21 deadline. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard there’s a 60 percent chance that Smith will be dealt.
The Hawks could trade Smith, while still looking to compete in the East. Their 28-22 record puts them in sixth place in the conference.
Smith is in the final year of his deal, and Atlanta doesn’t seem to want to lose him as a free agent for nothing. He will likely try to sign a maximum-salary deal, something that Atlanta may not be willing to offer.