Bucks Emerge as Newest Trade Suitor for Hawks’ Smith

By Nick T.
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Josh Smith sweepstakes is drawing more intrigue.

According to Gery Woelfel of Racine Journal-Times, the Milwaukee Bucks could be in the hunt for landing the Atlanta Hawks forward.

“One team that hasn’t been publicly mentioned in the Smith Sweepstakes is Milwaukee, although there are whispers the Bucks are interested. The Bucks are in position to offer the Hawks as good of a deal as anyone for Smith, especially if Jennings or Ellis is involved.”

Though there haven’t been any trade talks between the two ball clubs, the Bucks have some attractive trade pieces at their disposal, as Woelfel mentioned.

Guard Monta Ellis is the piece that makes the most sense. Technically speaking, he will remain under contract for the 2013-14 season, but most pundits have him opting out of next year’s $11 million option in order to seek a long-term deal. In turn, the move would leave the Hawks enough cap space to go after big name free agents such as Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.

Still, another piece may be needed in order to push the trade towards fruition. In which case, Milwaukee could offer up third-year center Larry Sanders, which could make for a perfect fit considering ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Hawks were in the market for a young center.

Sanders has been a building block during the Hawks transition period. He is first and foremost a defensive menace in the paint, averaging 8.5 rebounds and a league-best 3.2 blocks per game. He is also averaging 8.5 points per contest and when on the floor, he gives the Bucks a 10-point advantage per 100 possessions, per NBA.com.

The x-factor would still be whether Smith, who’s contract expires next year, would stay put in Milwaukee for the long-haul. Either way, the Bucks will be posting a big risk on the deal.