Philadelphia 76ers nearly added Josh Smith at deadline

  • Andy Flint

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The league’s favorite trade deadline topic, Josh Smith, was reportedly very close to landing in Philadelphia at the modest cost of center Spencer Hawes and young wing-player, and former number 2 overall draft choice, Evan Turner.

This report comes from NBC Sports Pro Basketball Talk and was reportedly confirmed by both the Sixers and the Atlanta Hawks. Smith was a heavy topic of discussion during the league’s trade deadline and it was thought that the 9th-year player would likely get a change of scenery after a few up and down seasons as the Hawk’s leading man.

Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Sources from both teams confirmed that the Sixers and the Hawks were close to a deal that would have sent Sixers Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes to the Hawks for forward Josh Smith.”

Smith was rumored in a Pau Gasol swap last season, while putting up a career best in points (18.8 ppg) and rebounds (9.6 rpg), but a deal that suited both sides was never agreed upon, and Smith remained in Atlanta. We see this sort of stuff all the time in the NBA. The same type of scenarios played out with Andre Iguodala for two or three seasons before he finally found his one-way ticket out of Philly via the Mile High express. The same kind of talk surrounded Monta Ellis for years, before he ended up in Milwaukee with the Bucks.

Smith will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, and is free to sign wherever he’d like. The allure of bringing together a front-court of Josh Smith and Andrew Bynum was likely the driving force behind this potential deal, but would have also been it’s Achilles heel, as Bynum is also an unrestricted free agent heading into this summer.

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