The buzz Tuesday was that the Pistons could be interested in Hawks forward Josh Smith.
The thinking is since the Hawks just signed Joe Johnson (six years, $124
million) and Al Horford (five years, $60 million) to new deals, they
won’t be able to afford to keep the remaining three years and $37
million left on Smith’s deal.
Plus, the Pistons made a run at Smith in the summer of 2008, so it’s understandable that they (and several other teams) would be mentioned as possible landing spots for him by the February trade deadline.
However, there are some major factors working against a Pistons-Hawks swap. Take the Pistons’ two main trade chips — Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton.
The Pistons like Smith — front office personnel speak openly of getting players who can play above the rim and Smith fits the bill. But it’s doubtful they will be able to make any major financial commitments with the team’s sale still pending. When the sale becomes official, the Pistons would seriously consider a Hamilton-for-Smith swap as it appears Hamilton needs a change of scenery.
But the Pistons likely wouldn’t part with Prince for Smith. They like Smith better as a player, but Prince’s expiring deal is like gold.