HOOPSWORLD: Negotiations are reportedly going nowhere between the Atlanta Hawks and restricted free agent Josh Smith. Smith is hoping for an annual salary in excess of $10 million while the Hawks are reluctant to meet his price.
At this stage, it looks like the Hawks best bet might be to sign and trade Josh Smith. Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution indicated that a “Western Conference power” and an “Eastern Conference big dog” have already submitted offers to the Hawks, and that the team is currently in the process of weighing those offers.
This can’t help but make one wonder who exactly the teams are that Sekou Smith was referring to. Could the LA Lakers be the “Western Conference powerhouse” poised to make a play for Smith?
Well, the Lakers could offer Lamar Odom to the Hawks and take back Smith and point guard Speedy Claxton, provided the deal Smith signs with Atlanta before being traded is enough to match salaries given his BYC status. The move would give the Lakers the defensive presence it lacked in the Finals against the Boston Celtics, and it would also provide the Hawks with a good player and an expiring contract in Odom valued at over $14 million.