January 23, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) reacts during a time out in the game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks Trade Rumors: Are the Knicks pursuing Josh Smith?

Every trade deadline brings that one surprise move out of nowhere.

Could the New York Knicks be that team this year to make a move that no one saw coming?

So far there have been plenty of Knicks trade rumors. Most center around second-year guard Iman Shumpert, but there have also been a few that involve the Knicks pursuing big men Jermaine O’Neal and Timofey Mozgov.

Feb 11, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) drives against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Hawks beat the Mavs 105-101. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

But could the Knicks come out the winners in the Josh Smith sweepstakes?

Count me as one that didn’t see this coming, but Hoopsworld’s Alex Kennedy has reported that the Knicks have indeed thrown themselves into the middle of the Smith talks.

The reported blockbuster would involve Smith coming to the Big Apple in exchange for Shumpert and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Kennedy notes that the Knicks have been tossing the Shumpert-Stoudemire package around the league in an attempt to land a big time player, with Smith apparently the Knicks first choice.

A move such as this would make sense for the Knicks as it makes them title contenders and Smith would likely want to re-sign with the Knicks in the offseason.

Parting with Stoudemire and Shumpert would be difficult, but adding a big time player makes the Knicks a serious threat.

However don’t get too excited.

It makes no sense for the Hawks to do a move like this.

Why would they give up their cap flexibility to take on Stoudemire’s massive contract, which has two years and $45,090,881 remaining?

Stoudemire has played very well since his return and a STAT-Al Horford frontcourt would be very good, but Hawks’ general manager Danny Ferry cleared up cap space to be  a  player in free agency. Bringing in a massive contract and an injury risk defeats that purpose.

STAT’s recent improved play could make him a trade target, but there is a ton of risk for any team to give up assets to acquire him, so it is still unlikely.

But while many expect the Knicks to be quiet during the trade deadline, they could ultimately end up making a lot of noise.

The Hawks haven’t received many good offers on Smith, so the Knicks could stand a chance.

However I wouldn’t hold my breath.

As much as I like Stoudemire, if some team were willing to part with a big time player to assume the final two years on his contract, well that would be a gift.

The last time I checked it isn’t Christmas.

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith New York Knicks Trade Rumors

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