The Hawks, who have had their star forward on the trade block for some time, are having trouble finding suitable trade partners as the NBA trade deadline approaches, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports. With the deadline Thursday at 3 p.m., the Hawks have been unable to pull the trigger on a single-team or multi-team deal to get pieces back for Smith before he becomes a free agent this summer.
Atlanta is not desperate enough to make a deal “just to do it,” according to the report. The Hawks have hit roadblocks with the Nets, Celtics, Suns and Bucks in trying to move Smith. Atlanta general manager Danny Ferry reportedly wants draft picks in return for Smith — not just players, and especially not players without a lot of time left in the league (such as the Celtics’ Paul Pierce). Most teams willing to talk about a trade are also trying to shed salary, which the Hawks aren’t that interested in absorbing, according to the report.
Earlier rumors indicated that Ferry was pushing for a young center to be brought back in the trade, or at least enough draft picks that one could be acquired before next season. But with the Hawks’ most probable trading partners in the playoff hunt, as is Atlanta, teams look more likely to sit still on a deal rather than give up pieces they’ll regret moving later.