Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press broached the idea of a Tayshaun Prince-for-Josh Smith swap in his article today:
The Hawks overpaid to keep Joe Johnson and could decide they can’t afford Josh Smith and Grand Ledge’s Al Horford. The Pistons asked about Smith in the summer of 2008, and Tayshaun Prince’s expiring deal could entice the Hawks to part with the 6-foot-9 guard/forward.
Since the Hawks turned down the trade in 2008, Smith’s value has risen and Prince’s has decreased. The trade is less likely today than it was then, and it was a no then.
In this year’s TrueHoop Network Awards, Smith had a wonderful showing:
- Most Valuable Player (eighth)
- Defensive Player of the Year (second)
- Most Improved Player (fifth)
- All-NBA third team
- All-Defensive first team
That’s not the résumé of someone traded for Tayshaun Prince, who didn’t receive any votes in any category. (For more on why Smith had such a great season, read Bret Lagree of Hoopinion’s explanation how Smith stopped shooting 3-pointers, which allowed him to take advantage of his passing skills.:
The Hawks gave Joe Johnson that massive contract because they knew had to keep him to contend. If they didn’t keep him, there was little point in paying guys like Smith and Horford. Johnson’s contract doesn’t make those guys more likely to be traded in the short term. Rather, it makes the Hawks more likely to keep them.
In short, not happening.