When drafts roll around, even a sure thing is never a sure thing.
And while the popular consensus is that the Minnesota Timberwolves will use their No. 2 overall selection in Thursday's NBA draft to pick up Arizona Wildcats forward Derrick Williams, Yahoo! Sports reports that that the Atlanta Hawks are trying their hardest to get the T-Wolves to consider trading their pick for Hawks power forward Josh Smith.
The Hawks are reportedly hoping to acquire the No. 2 spot in order to draft 19-year-old Turkish phenom Enes Kanter, who was all set to play for Kentucky in 2010 before the NCAA ruled him ineligible.
The 6-foot-11 center is a prime prospect in Atlanta general manager Rick Sund's mind, particularly because he would take some of the paint pressure off of Al Horford.
Also, it is no secret the Hawks are looking to dump some salary by trading Smith away. Prior to this rumor, it was thought that Smith could be headed to Boston to play for Doc Rivers.
As any team would, the Hawks want the biggest bang for their buck. And for them, that means acquiring Kanter.
So they are doing their best to sell Smith to Minnesota as a potential double-double machine that knows how to get into open space and finish strong. Essentially, they're hoping the Timberwolves can envision Smith as the necessary yin to recently acquired point guard Ricky Rubio's yang. Together, they could be a quick, strong and dynamic duo. Or so the Hawks hope to convince Minnesota.
If anything is going to happen, it will have to happen fast.