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Hawks coach: Smith handling trade talks like a pro

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013

ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Smith is starting against the Miami Heat Wednesday night in what could be his final game with the Atlanta Hawks if any of the trade deadline talks involving the star forward become reality.

Hawks coach Larry Drew said Smith has not allowed Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline to be a distraction.

"With all the talk that's been going on, it can be a distraction but he has shown no signs of it distracting him," Drew said. "He's been totally focused with everything that we've done. He's handled himself in a very professional manner. I didn't expect anything different.

"I know during this time it can be a little unsettling for any player who has his name tossed around as far as trades, but he's been a total professional."

Smith arrived at Philips Arena about two hours before Wednesday's game, wearing a knit cap and a smile on his face.

His name has been in trade rumors linking him to the Nets, Bucks and other teams.

Smith, the 6-foot-9 forward, becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season. He leads the Hawks with 17.4 points per game and is second with 8.6 rebounds.

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