josh smith

The Atlanta Hawks have aggressively tried to trade power forward Josh Smith to the Lakers for Pau Gasol, initially expressing interest in Gasol shortly after Oklahoma City eliminated the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, The Times has learned.

Smith has been unhappy in Atlanta for more than a year, his dissatisfaction starting after the 2010-11 season because he felt he was an unfair target of criticism by coaches and media members.

In separate activity leading up to Thursday’s amateur draft, the Lakers are also open to trading Gasol to a team with a high first-round pick because they covet Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Atlanta holds the 23rd pick and cannot help in that area.

No deals were imminent for the Lakers, who hold only the 60th and final pick in the draft. They have not had a first-round pick since taking Javaris Crittenton in 2007.

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times