The Brooklyn Nets are "aggressively pursuing" a possible trade for Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reported on Sunday.
The Nets are also targeting Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon in trade talks before the Feb. 21 deadline. But Broussard reported that Smith is a "higher" priority for the Nets.
The Nets would offer Kris Humphries and second-year guard MarShon Brooks for the 27-year-old Smith, who is averaging 16.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on 45.1 percent shooting from the field. He would be a bona fide addition to a Nets lineup that includes guards Deron Williams and Joe Johnson and center Brook Lopez.
The Hawks would be looking for more in return from the Nets, however. Broussard reported that they would want the Nets' first-round pick in addition to Humphries and Brooks. Or, it could take a third team to get involved for the trade to go through.
Smith will be a free agent in the offseason. He said recently that he believes he is worth a max contract, something the Hawks have indicated they are unwilling to give him. If Smith re-signs in free agency, a max contract would run for five years and cost his team in the neighborhood of $94 million. The Nets and Hawks are neck-and-neck in the current Eastern Conference playoff standings. The Nets sit at No. 5, while the Hawks are right behind them at No. 6 — and the two teams are tied in the loss column.