In his latest piece regarding the trade value of NBA players, ESPN/Grantland’s Bill Simmons discussed a potential trade, likely in Simmons-esque jest, involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks.
While discussing Atlanta’s should’ve-been All-Star forward Josh Smith, a player who is on the outs with his current team, Simmons had the following:
Josh Smith trades never seem to work. [...] Who says no to Atlanta saving $20 million next season by dealing Smith and Marvin Williams to Cleveland for Antawn Jamison’s expiring contract? (Answer: The Hawks. But they definitely had a two-hour meeting about it.)
Jamison is the owner of a well-documented $15 million expiring contract, but also one who wishes to stay in Cleveland through the March 15 trade deadline. The Hawks, since signing Joe Johnson to the NBA maximum contract, are looking to part ways with overpriced (or soon-to-be well-paid) athletes.
Marvin Williams has long been rumored to be linked to Cleveland, but the addition of Smith, averaging 17.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game, certainly adds a new element to the mix. The athletic Smith has told the Hawks that he would like to be moved prior to March 15. He is due the remaining portion of his $12.4 million salary for this season as well as the $13.2 million for 2012-13. He would be a free agent heading into the 2013-14 season.
In the same published piece, Anderson Varejao slots in 40th with one of the league’s best trade values, one spot ahead of New York’s Tyson Chandler and several ahead of Indiana’s Roy Hibbert who represented the East in the most recent All-Star contest.