Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith: When NBA Lockout Ends, Will High-flying Forward Be Trade Bait? Fan’s Take

As an Atlanta Hawks' fan, the NBA lockout has put the 2011-12 season in jeopardy and now there is a concern that more games will be officially canceled in the very near future.

If the lockout were to end in much the same way the previous one ended back in 1999 , will the Hawks stand pat in regard to making big moves with their roster?

Josh Smith has been rumored to be part of multiple trade scenarios and as the 6'9", 240 pound Atlanta native enters his eighth season in the NBA, will the Hawks organization go ahead and make the move to ship him out of town.

Smith can still run the floor and is still one of the fiercest dunkers in the NBA, but his on-court attitude has always been a concern dating back to the days of Mike Woodson and has continued with the current coach, Larry Drew.

The Hawks are very close to making a breakthrough and the team has made the conference semifinals in three consecutive years.

Smith is viewed as one of the Top 50 players in the NBA. However, in his first seven years he has never been voted or selected to an All-Star game, not even as a reserve.

Teammates Joe Johnson(notes) and Al Horford(notes) have been bestowed that honor multiple times since their arrival in Atlanta.

Horford has emerged as the team leader of the Hawks even though he might not be as vocal as Josh Smith(notes) or doesn't make the type of money that Johnson has.

Why hasn't Josh Smith made an All-Star game? One of the reasons is because on his on-court demeanor that affects his own play and the overall play of his team.

As a Hawks' fan, we don't know what to expect from mercurial forward on any given night. Yes, Joe Johnson does hold onto the basketball too long and took hi share of questionable shots, but J-Smoove's constant arguing with referees or shooting ill-advised three-point jumpers after the coach explicitly said don't shoot is a problem.

The Hawks need to cut their losses while Josh Smith is still a marketable player at the age of 26. Smith is in the prime of his career and is still making shoe commercials , but at some point every player loses some of their athleticism or all of it due to age and/or injury.

It has happened to Dominique. It has happened to Vince Carter(notes).

For Vince Carter, he was a vastly better shooter and had stronger guard skills than Josh Smith. I don't foresee Smith getting better as a shooter or as a decision-making or leader.

If Jeff Teague(notes) is the eventual floor leader, then Teague doesn't need unnecessary vocal distractions such as Josh Smith attempting to undermine the progress of Teague with his own antics.

Josh Smith has been known to act like a point guard and ignore giving the ball to Kirk Hinrich(notes) and Teague. And this happened during the last few weeks of the 2010-11 season and the first round of the playoffs against Orlando.

Smith has done some good things for Atlanta, and many Hawk fans remember the near triple-double effort during last season's playoffs (Game 4) against the Bulls. However, many remember the long jump shots that missed that led to the opposing team scoring.

Whenever this NBA lockout ends, its time for the Hawks to aggressively start exploring trade options for Josh Smith.

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Updated Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011