Well this surprises no one.
Atlanta Hawks star forward Josh Smith thinks that he deserves a max contract.
“I feel like I’m a max player,” Smith said, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I feel I bring a lot to the table. I have a lot of versatility. For what I do and what I give this ballclub, I feel like I’m worth it.”
target=”_blank”>Hawks’ Josh Smith: ‘I feel like I’m a max player’
Whether you think Smith is or is not a max contract player, I’ve got some bad news for you: he’s going to get one regardless of what we think of his play.
This season Smith is averaging 16.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per-game while shooting 45% from the field and an abysmal 29% from three. While your not getting an offensive star with Smoove, he’s one of the best defensive players in the NBA.
This past summer Roy Hibbert and Eric Gordon both got max contract offers as restricted free agents. If the two of them can receive the max then it’s a given Smith will get one also. Besides, owners aren’t fiscally responsible with their money. Several players were overpaid this summer, so Smith will be next up.
One of the better questions will be whether the Atlanta Hawks will be the team offering the max contract or if he will be taking his talents elsewhere. The Houston Rockets could be in play for Smith as they have the cap room to make an offer and will be looking for another star to pair alongside James Harden.
To be clear, there are a handful of players in the NBA that are actually “max” players and Smith isn’t one of them. If you factor in his talent, the ability to market and whether he can bring another free agent then sure he’s worth the max. For example, if he can get Dwight Howard to sign with the Hawks, then he’s worth the max.
With the trade deadline around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see if the Hawks will deal Smith and if not, whether they’ll re-sign him this off-season or let him walk.