GM Danny Ferry‘s best move of the offseason might have been the decision to let Josh Smith leave the Atlanta Hawks after being here for so many years. Smith gave the Hawks some great years during his tenure with the team, but he never really developed into a superstar like the front office hoped for. While the coaches certainly deserve some credit for his lack of development, it was Smith who failed to elevate his game to the next level in the end.
There’s no denying his athletic capabilities, which shone through when he went up for a monster jam or rejected someone’s shot into the seats. He was a human highlight reel every time he took the court because he could literally jump out of the building. However, whenever he went to take a shot from outside the paint, you were better off looking away.
Time after time, Atlanta fans gasped and sometimes even booed when he would take a jump shot from outside because they knew what was usually going to occur next — a brick.
Now, the Detroit Pistons are wondering why their front office took a chance on the forward given the numbers he’s turned in so far this season in the Motor City. From the 3-point line this year, Smith is averaging 3.6 attempts per game, which is his highest since joining the league with Atlanta.
What’s even worse is his shooting percentage from beyond the arc. He’s shooting an unbelievable 23 percent from three, and could possibly end the year with the worst 3-point shooting percentage with a minimum of 300 attempts in NBA history.
For a guy who wanted a max contract this offseason, I would say Ferry made the right decision to let him go and look elsewhere, especially after the news today of head coach Maurice Cheeks being fired after just 50 games with the Pistons in his first season.
The forward did a lot for the Hawks to bring them back to relevancy in the league, but the decision to let him walk and bring in a player such as Paul Millsap, who was just recently named an NBA All-Star, was the right move by Atlanta’s front office.