From Ken Berger of CBSSports.com:
A source also said discussions between Atlanta and Orlando with Josh Smith going to the Magic are "totally legit." Executives say the Hawks have expressed an eagerness to move Smith and would like to shed salary in the process.via Draft buzz: Nash, Smoove, and more - CBSSports.com.
You tell me that discussions with Otis Smith, one of the biggest traders in the GM market, are "totally legit" and you have my attention.
Smith's at once a perfect and terrible fit in Orlando. Let's examine:
Smith provides an athletic wing who can create opportunities by driving and slashing. The death of the Orlando offense is predicated by ball stoppage and useless perimeter passing to whoever can find an inch to launch a 3-pointer vs. working to collapse the defense and initiate the perimeter rotation to a wide-open shooter. Smith brings a weapon the defense has to commit to stopping, which will free more opportunities. He's also a willing passer, which could be extremely dangerous if he could work to find opportunities for the other Magic players, or in lobbing to Dwight Howard. Smith would also help considerably with rebounding both when Howard is on the floor and off. When on, the Magic would unquestionably have the best rebounding combination in the league. Defensively, they'd be even more of a nightmare. Smith is able to corral perimeter wings and has incredible instincts for weak-side block situations. The Magic might double up the next team in offensive rebounds and blocks with that pair.
The worst part of Smith's game is his preference for 3-point shooting when he doesn't have a 3-point shot. A hilarious memory from the playoffs was listening to the Atlanta crowd scream "No!" whenever Smith found himself open on the perimeter debating a heave. So to give him more chances at that in a system that so often allows for both those shots and mid-range jumpers is a terrible plan. Additionally, Smith's good at driving and capitalizing on opportunities, but he's definitely not a "pull-up jumper" kind of scorer. He's not going to work well in the pick and roll with Howard. If the defense cuts off his path to the basket by help or positioning, the offense has to reset. His passing is solid, but he's not going to be a creator in an offensive set. He's an end point or near end point, not a playmaker. And defensively, were he assigned to cover the faster forward with Hedo Turkoglu covering the other, Smith would perform ably but wouldn't be best suited.
It's a good fit should the trade go down, but not perfect. The question will be what more salary the Magic can take on, if any, to get a deal done. They've already got what seems like billions wrapped up in Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas, neither of whom is a player the Hawks will want to take on.
We'll keep you updated on the Hawks' efforts to move Smith.