Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Atlanta Hawks have started to gauge trade interest on forward Josh Smith(notes), and Smith isn’t adverse to ending his seven-year stay with his hometown team, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.
Smith hasn’t requested a trade, but has privately told league friends that the Boston Celtics, New Jersey Nets,Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic are his preferred destinations should the Hawks decide to move him.
“The relationship has run its course,” said a league source with knowledge of the dynamic.
Well, now you've got a decision to make.
Do you break up the Celtics core to bring in a 25 year old athletic power forward who, despite some flaws in his game, has the potential to be a game-changer as he grows?
I say, painfully… yes. And the tradeable piece is Ray Allen, who is mentioned in the piece:
Hawks GM Rick Sund has long coveted Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen – two aging Celtics entering the final years of contracts – but Celtics GM Danny Ainge has yet to show an inclination to break up his core for next season.
This is one of those tough decisions that Danny Ainge keeps talking about. When he's brought up the past where the Celtics were afraid to break up the Big 3 at the end of their run… this is the kind of deal he's talking about having passed on.
I'm not going to pump Josh Smith up in to some kind of superstar. Not yet anyway. But he's got that kind of potential. He's a good, mobile defender who can get out and run. Yes, he settles for a few too many jumpers, but he's also shown the ability to get aggressive. And again, he's only 25.
How many times have we mentioned the need for an athletic big to run with Rondo? Put Josh Smith in there with him and maybe they can re-live their Oak Hill days:
On the flip side, you lose a steady force. Ray Allen has been a loyal soldier for the Celtics. But Danny Ainge has been clear about setting emotions aside and making deals he thinks will help this team.
If you put your emotions aside too, you'll see that this deal can help the Celtics. I don't WANT to see Ray Allen go. But I do want Josh Smith. I want Smith to learn from Kevin Garnett. I want Smith to run the break with Rondo. And I want Smith to be part of the Celtics future. He is the youth and size we need and he can slide into KG's power forward role once he retires, which is coming soon.
If he really wants out of Atlanta, and he really wants to come to Boston, and Atlanta really wants someone like Ray Allen (who can help a young playoff team grow up a little)… then this is something the Celtics HAVE to explore.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Davis plans to explore all free agency options | ESPN Boston: Draft Profile: Jimmy Butler | Communtiy Corner: Court Makeovers | Story Snapshot: Davis "exercising his mind" | Insider: How the East teams should draft | WEEI: Draft's potential Celtics: Malcolm Thomas | Lawrence Frank "blew away" the Pistons in interview | Herald: Celtics reach for power switch | BC's Reggie Jackson a man of mystery | Top 8 power forward prospects | Glen Davis hauls lobsters off Maine coast | Globe: Keeping options open | Davis in a holding pattern