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Thread: Would Josh Smith be a good fit in T.?

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    Default Would Josh Smith be a good fit in T.?

    Joe Kaiser thinks so

    It took Danny Ferry exactly seven days in his new role as the Atlanta Hawks' president of basketball operations and general manager to completely change the face of the franchise.

    His ability to swiftly orchestrate separate deals to part with high-priced veterans Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams signaled a commitment to rebuilding and shed as much as $77 million still owed to the two veterans beyond next season.

    Fast-forward two-and-a-half months to today, and Ferry's rebuilt roster has only a handful of contracts that go beyond the 2012-13 season:

    • Al Horford: Signed through 2015-16.
    • Lou Williams: Signed through 2013-14.
    • John Jenkins: 2012 first-round pick.
    • Mike Scott: 2012 second-round pick.
    • Jeff Teague: Due to become a restricted free agent at season's end, barring an extension.

    Notice one big name we didn't mention: Josh Smith.

    The tantalizingly talented, yet often frustrating, forward is among the many Hawks entering the final year of their deals, and he represents arguably the biggest challenge for Ferry to date: what to do with Smith.

    If handled correctly, this could be the next step toward eventually turning the Hawks into a perennial playoff contender. Mishandled, and this could undo everything good that came out of the trades of Johnson and Williams.

    So the question is, what's the smarter move for Ferry and the Hawks?

    a) Negotiate an extension that will keep Smith in Atlanta for the long term.
    b) Peddle him to a contender seeking one final piece for a shot at the title.

    Let's delve into that.

    Smith, 26, is due $13.2 million this season and is coming off a season in which he established personal highs in both points (18.8) and rebounds (9.6). Even though these numbers coincided with Horford being limited to 11 regular-season games due to a shoulder injury, naturally inflating Smith's numbers, Ferry made it clear in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the summer that he likes what Smith has to offer.

    "He's a really good player," Ferry told the newspaper. "I love his ability to pass the ball. I love his ability to make game-changing plays defensively. I love his competitiveness. If I was out there playing, I would want Josh on my team."

    Last season, Smith's 21.16 PER ranked him No. 8 among all power forwards who played a minimum of 40 games and averaged at least 30 minutes, putting him right ahead of Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, David Lee and Chris Bosh.

    According to stat projections by Kevin Pelton and Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus, Smith is expected to average 17.3 points and 9.1 rebounds in 2012-13. Yes, those numbers would be down from what Smith did last season, but they'd still represent Smith's second-best season in terms of both points and rebounds.

    Using Synergy Sports Technology to look deeper at the stats, it becomes clearer that Smith's biggest strength at this stage in his career actually is defense. He has fared particularly well when defending the spot-up and post-up, as you can see below:

    Smith: Defending the Spot Up
    Year Pct. of Time Points Per Play #NBArank Rating
    2012 23.2 0.905 182 Good
    2011 25 0.847 72 Excellent
    Two things stand out, here. While these numbers are good, they are hardly eye-popping (as you can see by the NBA rank). And still, they ranked better than anything Smith did offensively, according to Synergy.

    Smith: Defending the Post Up

    Year Pct. of Time Points Per Play NBA Rank Rating
    2012 22.9 0.753 119 Very Good
    2011 20 0.819 147 Good
    One of the few exceptions is in cuts to the basket, where he's routinely excelled; 8.9 percent of Smith's offense came via that route last season, and his 1.355 PPP in those situations ranked No. 55 in the NBA. The year before, his 1.426 PPP in cuts to the basket ranked No. 44 in the league.

    Are there flaws to Smith? Sure.

    His reluctance to go inside the paint and preference to settle for the "long two" -- long regarded as the worst shot to take in any level of basketball -- is often vexing, particularly for a 6-foot-9, 225-pound athlete like Smith who has consistently been a reliable scorer closer to the basket.

    As Kirk Goldsberry of CourtVisionAnalytics.com pointed out earlier this month, 16.3 percent of Smith's field goal attempts came via the "long two" a season ago -- the highest percentage in the league. More maddening is that he wasn't even a league average shooter from that range.

    Considering all this, as well as the estimated $50-60 million that it'd cost to keep him in Atlanta beyond 2012-13 and the strained relations he's often had with the franchise over the years, one has to believe that Ferry might have to consider moving him for the right package.

    Finding a trade partner is the tricky part.

    Trade ideas
    Any team with an interest in Smith would likely have to be a contender tradable assets with a willingness to gamble that it could then convince him to ink a long-term deal.

    The other difficult aspect to this is that the rebuilding Hawks would need a promising piece in return (ideally a small forward or power forward) whom they could build around, and possibly a first-round pick or two. How many contending teams are willing to part with something like that? Not many.

    That being said, here are some potential fits:

    Indiana Pacers: Smith for David West, Paul George

    The Pacers need another piece to compete with the Miamis and Brooklyns of the East, and Smith could be a younger, more athletic alternative to David West alongside Roy Hibbert in the frontcourt. West, like Smith, is due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, and in order to make the deal work, the Pacers would have to be willing to unload one of their younger, up-and-coming talents like Paul George.

    From the Hawks' perspective, this would essentially be a move to get George. Indiana would be getting a player in Smith who may seem like an odd fit in Frank Vogel's slow-it-down offensive system, but it could work, and here's why: The Pacers have taken considerably less 3-pointers and shot more efficiently since Vogel took over, and Smith's career could take off if he's able to buy in.

    Toronto Raptors: Smith for Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis and a first-round pick

    Some would argue about Toronto being a "contender," but Raptors coach Dwayne Casey is known for his defense and the franchise spent the offseason restructuring its team to fit that approach. The Raptors also have the pieces to make such a deal. Smith would give Casey more of an athletic rebounder at the 4 to put next to highly touted rookie center Jonas Valanciunas and enable the team to move on from the perimeter-oriented Bargnani and still unproven Davis.

    Where Atlanta is concerned, it would add yet another shooter and scorer in Bargnani, who is signed through 2014-15, a big man with promise in Davis, and potentially a solid draft pick who would likely be somewhere in the middle of the first round.
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story...ard-josh-smith

    I personally think AB is the better fit.
    @Chr1st1anL

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Sig's Avatar
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    People actually pay for Insider?

    And not that I care (AT ALL), but isn't this considered stealing?

    OT: I would love to have Josh here.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Raps can't include a pick unless it is on draft day.... then Smith is a free agent.

    Hmmmmmm.

    Raps should just wait for off season when they can sign him as an UFA and keep Bargnani, ED, and any pick(s).

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    Raps can't include a pick unless it is on draft day.... then Smith is a free agent.

    Hmmmmmm.

    Raps should just wait for off season when they can sign him as an UFA and keep Bargnani, ED, and any pick(s).
    What's the point of having both? I really don't see Josh Smith as anything but a 4 in this league.
    @Chr1st1anL

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    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    What's the point of having both? I really don't see Josh Smith as anything but a 4 in this league.
    Same here. I'm guessing he's much more effective at the 4

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    Raptors Republic Rookie The Fox's Avatar
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    No way man...
    Peace. Positivity. Prosperity.

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    remove the pick and sign me up. Smith is 26 an all-star and one of the best defenders in the league. A front court with him and JV would be unreal.

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    Smith is actually really effective at the 3, you just need to understand that he doesn't have range on his shot. He could work with Bargs as a stretch 4. Unfortunately Bargs is the key to this deal. Bargs and Jonas are the only 2 players on the Raptors roster that I could see the Hawks possibly biting on in a trade for Smith.

    I also think better deals could be had for Smith. Denver could offer Gallinari and Mozgov since they now have Iggy at the 3. Mcgee, Smith, and Igoudala could be pretty lethal on the defensive end.
    Houston could offer a better package with rookie contract players like Motiejunas, Parsons, and Terrence Jones, plus Kevin Martin thrown in to make the money work. The Hawks get a C so they can move Horford to PF where he belongs, and they get 2 SF where they basically currently have none. This is assuming all those rookies look promising this year.

    Lots of other possibilities come to mind too. Not to mention I think Atlanta really wants to hang onto Smith, and it sounds like Smith likes the change of culture Danny Ferry brought. If we could get Smith for Bargs and Davis it would be criminal.

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    Raptors Republic Starter minks77's Avatar
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    I don't like him on this team as it is constructed in a spursish "play the right way" mold and too often jsmoove would rather play his way.

    That being said, for Andrea and Amir or Ed. Possibly, but no pick.
    LET'S GO RAP-TORS!!!!!

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    What's the point of having both? I really don't see Josh Smith as anything but a 4 in this league.
    That is fair enough.

    There are those who see him as a SF. I am on the fence. It would depend on the lineup around him. I don't see Smith as being the issue in the lineup, it is DD. Bargnani needs to relocate his 3pt touch, Lowry/Jose are fine but DD would need to be a deep threat or be replaced.

    My only point is Bargnani and ED are assets. Why give them up for Smith who could leave 3 months later? If the Raps really wanted Smith, free agency is where they should get him as he is unrestricted and they will have the ability to sign him.

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    He's a good all around player, but IMO he wouldn't resign in To, and Bargnani fits the offensive system much better

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    Raptors Republic Rookie pillowmint's Avatar
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    I'd pull the trigger on the trade as long as it was a second round pick, I think giving up a first is too much. I also would have a hard time letting go of Bargnani, I've become too much of a homer for him and think he's as valuable as a lot of these marquis players (although I'm wrong and he likely isn't). Josh Smith would thrive under Casey, I don't have much doubt, and I also think his intensity along with Lowry is what would push this club in the right direction.
    i8theball.com it's a website...about, you know....basketball.

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    Hmmm a perimeter oriented big that can actually make shots? or one that thinks he can?

    No Brainer. No Way.

    Im not saying Josh really perimeter oriented, but watching him shoot that long two possession after possession would be painful.

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    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    Quote SitnonDfence wrote: View Post
    Hmmm a perimeter oriented big that can actually make shots? or one that thinks he can?

    No Brainer. No Way.

    Im not saying Josh really perimeter oriented, but watching him shoot that long two possession after possession would be painful.
    Seriously, we'd become worse on offense than last year....we don't need more defensive-minded players. I mean we may in the future, but our D improved a lot last year, and with JV and Lowry, that should help provide a minor upgrade, with our only real hole at the 3...which I'm not convinced Josh Smith can defend full time. This article makes no sense to me. It clearly is a situation where both deals benefit the Hawks more. George may be the most talented player out of all mentioned. He's nearly as tall and just as athletic as Smith. Also, he actually can guard both wing positions well, and with his size could easily guard PFs in a couple of years (for spot minutes). In any case, both deals improve the Hawks depth and scoring by a lot, while they take those same things from TOR/INDY without significantly improving D or overall athleticism. He may be a better leaper than Bargs, but I think Bargs is actually better at using his quickness to score.

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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    What's the point of having both? I really don't see Josh Smith as anything but a 4 in this league.
    You keep all of your assests and that gives you the ability to trade some of them for the stud 3 we have all been crying for.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star tucas's Avatar
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    Like matt said, I'd definitely wait til free agency to try to get him but I've always seen him as a 3 and Horford as a 4. Even he's said he sees him as a 3. As a 3 he suits our team well. As a 4, pass

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    I like this trade if it comes with an extension.

    Smith and JV make for a much more intimidating presence on defence. We would be adding and All Star reaching his prime that can make Toronto not just good, but an elite defensive team. We may lose a bit offensively, but Smith can hold his own and with Lowry, Ross, and DeMar coming into his own I think we are okay on that end.

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    No way, I don't like the idea of giving up Ed Davis and Bargnani together. Ed Davis has now had two straight seasons averaging a double double per 36 and he is getting the the age where big men typicaly start to come into their own. Josh Smith is a very good player but he is not that much of an upgrade over what he have right now and could be a potentially negative influence in the locker room.
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    Josh Smith will be commanding a max contract.. and like Bosh, I don't think he deserves it. He's a good player but not a game changer. He'd be a good #2 on a team but not a good #1. I'd pass. I'd rather give assets away for Gay who I think is a better #1 option, or swing for the fences and trade Bargnani with a lottery team in 2013 (Muhammad/McAdoo) or 2014 (Parker/Wiggins) and try to get a potential stud that way.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote planetmars wrote: View Post
    Josh Smith will be commanding a max contract.. and like Bosh, I don't think he deserves it. He's a good player but not a game changer. He'd be a good #2 on a team but not a good #1. I'd pass. I'd rather give assets away for Gay who I think is a better #1 option, or swing for the fences and trade Bargnani with a lottery team in 2013 (Muhammad/McAdoo) or 2014 (Parker/Wiggins) and try to get a potential stud that way.
    That's a good suggestion, but the only problem I see is that if you are going to play the lottery game then you're sending a clear message that your are still in a rebuilding phase. We are a little too far along now with the roster moves this summer to back track and rebuild. I was all for rebuilding through the draft prior to the moves they made for Lowry, Fields, etc. but now imo we're in too deep and we must move forward.

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