With the trade deadline right around the corner the Atlanta Hawks have a decision to make with forward Josh Smith. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Smith will meet with management about his future with the team.
Josh Smith’s reps will speak with Hawks’ GM Danny Ferry this week about Smith’s future in ATL, sources say.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) January 27, 2013
I don’t know how this Smith-Hawks saga will play out, but it’ll be something that should be monitored over the coming weeks. Earlier this week, Smith referred to himself as a “max contract player” and you have to wonder if Danny Ferry thinks the same. Before that Smith was suspended by the team for conduct detrimental to the team.
Before the season began, Ferry dealt six-time All Star Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets to create serious cap space for 2013 free agency, but there’s a small chance that Josh Smith may not be in the team’s future. They may move ahead with a core of Jeff Teague and Al Horford and attempt to sign players that can fill Smith’s play and effort for a lesser price.
Instead of letting Smith walk a la LeBron James in Cleveland a few years back, Ferry could deal Smith while he still has a substantial amount of value in the trade market. Rumors have been floating that the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in Smoove which would require swapping he and Pau Gasol, but that seems more unlikely everyday.
For his career, Smith has averaged 15/8/3 for his career and is a defensive stud, but offensively his game is questionable especially when he takes long twos. When he’s locked in and attacking the paint he’s one of the best frontcourt players in the league.
Sitting at 25-19 and currently the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks have won five of their last 10 and seem to be a lock to make the playoffs whether Smith is apart of the team or not. If the right offer is made the team will deal him, but if they let the summer hit I don’t think Ferry and company sign Smith for the entire max contract and get themselves locked down cap wise like they did with Joe Johnson.