The latest rumor out of Atlanta is that the Hawks have expressed interest in trading disgruntled superstar Josh Smith to the Los Angeles Lakers for power forward Pau Gasol.
Smith has been unhappy with his current situation with the Hawks for about a year now, feeling he was wrongfully targeted and criticized by coaches and the media for the team’s failure following the 2010-2011 season. He made it known shortly after that he wanted to be traded and reiterated that emotion before the trade deadline earlier this year as well.
Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times tweeted, “The Atlanta Hawks have been pursuing Pau Gasol, The Times has learned. Nothing imminent, but Josh Smith would be key piece going to Lakers.”
In his article that followed, Bresnahan stated the Hawks made it known there were thinking about shipping Smith off to LA a few weeks ago, “initially expressing interest in Gasol shortly after Oklahoma City eliminated the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals,” this past season.
Gasol, who will be 32 by the start of next season, has two years remaining on his contract that totals $38.3 million, while Smith has one year left on his contract worth $13.2 million.