Bucks are active in talks for Hawks' Smith
While several teams have been linked to the exceptional two-way player, the most intriguing team right now are the Milwaukee Bucks, who are said to be "definitely active" in their pursuit of Smith. The big piece the Bucks would be offering in return would be Monta Ellis, who is averaging 18.0 points, 5.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game this season. The Hawks reportedly like the idea of having Ellis paired in the backcourt with incumbent point guard Jeff Teague. Ellis has a player option for the 2013-14 season, so the Hawks may want confirmation that he'll return to Atlanta next season before making the deal.
Other rumored potential trades for Smith include the Nets sending Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks to Atlanta, but that is not as flattering of an offer as Monta Ellis. The Suns also have flexibility with cap space and a plethora of first-round draft picks, so they could be potential suitors as well. However, it currently seems as though the Bucks may be the frontrunners for Smith.
If the Bucks are able to get this deal done, there's a good chance that they won't stop there. The Bucks are reportedly also interested in Magic shooting guard JJ Redick. If Ellis leaves a void in the backcourt by going to Atlanta, the Bucks may package the manageable contract of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute with a first-round pick to acquire the sharpshooter in Orlando.
If things go the Bucks' way, they could end up with a starting lineup of Brandon Jennings, JJ Redick, Ersan Ilyasova, Josh Smith, and Larry Sanders. Ilyasova is averaging 17.5 points (51.5% shooting) and 7.8 rebounds over his last 13 games, while Sanders is emerging as a monster on the defensive end (leads the NBA with 3.2 blocks per game). That team would be a dark horse that could have a chance of knocking off some big-time clubs in the playoffs.