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Potential Trade Target: Josh Smith

Possible teammates?  What number would Smith wear?
Possible teammates? What number would Smith wear?

I know, I know, we've been over this before. But for old times sake, let's run it out there one more time before draft night, ok?

One rumor that caught my eye yesterday was the report that Danny Ferry might have some plans to shake things up in Atlanta, where he was just named GM. Could this finally be our chance to land Josh Smith?

Sam Amick's post on Atlanta Hawks | Latest updates on Sulia

Well, that didn't take long: with Atlanta GM Danny Ferry in his first day on the job, the message is spreading that he'll be looking to shake up the Hawks' roster and rebuild in some capacity. No specifics yet, but forward Josh Smith has tremendous value and an expiring contract (next season at $13.2 million), center Al Horford will be healthy again and is an attractive piece as well (four years, $48 million remaining) and shooting guard Joe Johnson has the sort of deal that any sane GM would try - and likely try in vain - to get rid of (four years and $89.3 million left)

Celtics fans are well aware of Josh Smith's desire to leave and his kind words for the Celtics upon exiting the playoffs. You don't have to tell us twice that he'd be an interesting option on the court. (Though a good number of people are very skeptical of his worth given his shot selection among other factors)

But to me the real interesting thing is how to get him to Boston. I think I'd characterize it as "possible, not probable."

The Celtics do have the cap room to provide Atlanta immediate cap relief if they chose to do an unbalanced trade. In theory Boston could send Atlanta draft picks get Smith in return. The trick is that we'll have to renounce most of our free agents to get that cap room. That might not be so bad considering that Smith would eat up much of the time that Bass and/or Jeff Green would play.

The timing would be tricky as well. You could agree to a deal in principle on draft night and finalize the logistics of it on July 10 when free agents are eligible to be cleared off the books. Even then, if we wanted to bring Kevin Garnett back, he'd have to agree to a lower-than-market deal - probably in the $7 to $8M range. (I think, don't hold me to the math)

Then there's the little matter of what the Hawks would want in return. Smith is already an expiring deal, so the Hawks don't have to dump him right now or ever for that matter. They can field offers for him all offseason and into next year and if they don't like what they are offered, they can let him come off the books and/or count on a sign and trade later.

But say they want to move him for value - what would they want? Would they want both our draft picks (21 and 22) when they already have number 23? Are they trying to corner the market on project power forwards? I don't think the Celtics are allowed to sign-and-trade Jeff Green under the new rules after they voided his contract, but we could sign and trade either Brandon Bass or Ray Allen. Not sure if Ray would agree to that unless there's a 3rd team involved (did I mention that this could get complicated?).

They might also prefer Avery Bradley and/or JaJuan Johnson in the final package. I'm not going to put together a trade proposal because that's what the trade forum is for, but these are the pieces that you're working with. And by the way, if you trade picks and multiple players to invest $13M into a guy, you are still left with the dilemma of trying to fill out the roster with min salary guys and undrafted free agents. You know, like we've been doing for the last 5 years.

So I think the bottom line is that Danny Ainge is a gambler and he's going to do his best to be creative and forward leaning as he always is. He'll probably at least pick up the phone and talk to Danny Ferry a few times to throw ideas around. Will it actually happen? Don't bet on it, ...unless you are as big a gambler as Danny.

(Note: I tried to make sure I had the logistics and new CBA rules in mind when writing this up, but if I missed anything please feel free to correct me.)