C's have had 'no discussions' about Atlanta's Smith

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C's have had 'no discussions' about Atlanta's Smith

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn The Boston Celtics have every intention of becoming a younger, more athletic team in the near future.

But that future does not include Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith.

A league source told CSNNE.com on Monday night that the Celtics have had "no discussions whatsoever" with the Atlanta Hawks about acquiring Smith. The same source added there were no plans to open up such dialogue any time in the near future.

"You can never say never," the source said, "but there's nothing going on there."

A report by Yahoo! Sports indicated that a source close to Smith said that if he were to demand a trade, Boston would be one of the teams Smith would have interest in playing for.

The report also made it clear that Smith has not requested a trade.

When you look at the Celtics' roster, the C's don't have a lot of players to offer up as trade bait.

The two that stick out the most are Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

Garnett is due to make 21.2 million this season, so the Hawks would have to include additional players to make a trade work money-wise. Smith has two years and 25.8 million left on his contract, which will pay him 12.5 million this season.

Allen, who recently picked up a 10 million option to remain with the Celtics, would appear to have been the more likely target of Atlanta for a number of reasons.

The Hawks aren't sure whether they will be able to re-sign Jamal Crawford, who will become an unrestricted free agent next week. Adding Allen, the NBA's all-time 3-point king, would give Atlanta a major boost on the perimeter.

In addition, Atlanta general manager Rick Sund is familiar with Allen from their days in Seattle (now the Oklahoma City Thunder).

As for the Celtics, adding Smith would provide a major boost in terms of athleticism and shot-blocking. However, adding him in many ways would be replicating the skillset of Jeff Green, who the Celtics acquired at the Feb. 24 trading deadline from Oklahoma City. Green is set to become a restricted free agent this summer after the Celtics make him a qualifying offer, something the Celtics have maintained will happen before the June 30 deadline.

When you throw in the fact that losing Allen would strip the Celtics of not only one of their leaders but also a key in their ability to space the floor offensively, it makes sense that the Celtics haven't had discussions about making a deal for Smith - and apparently have no interest in changing that stance anytime soon.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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