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The Hawks are not talking extension with Josh Smith, for some reason

May 26, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Hawks forward Smith reacts after a shot in the first half during their game against the Celtics in Game One of their NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs basketball game in Atlanta Reuters

Trying to figure out the Hawks’ approach to Josh Smith is a trick. They don’t regularly campaign for Smith for the All-Star teams and have never made a fuss when he’s not selected despite it routinely being pretty terrible. They wouldn’t give him a big deal when he was a restricted free agent in 2008, instead letting him hang out there despite no one signing him to an offer sheet because, well, they knew the Hawks would match. At the last minute, the Grizzlies tried to steal him away, but the Hawks matched, getting Smith at a discount. He’s openly and publicly let it be known he wants a trade. They won’t deal him.

Do they want him there? Yes, apparently. Will they pay to keep him? Apparently not.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked Smith about whether he would be talking to the Hawks about an extension he’s available for this summer. Not only did Smith say no, apparently no one, not even his agent, have brought it up to him. Smith doesn’t even think he’s eligible.

“I can’t get extended,” Smith said. “They didn’t give me the money; I had to go get it. That’s something I have to play it out and see how it goes from there.”

Two things stand out about that statement. The first is that Smith, who presumably got the info from his agent, is wrong about his contract not being eligible for an extension.

via Atlanta Hawks: On Josh Smith’s future | Atlanta Hawks.

Turns out he is available for extension. The Hawks just aren’t working on it. So the Hawks won’t trade him somewhere he’ll be happier and can really showcase his talents (you have to think in a stronger system his mid-range jump shooting might decline), but they won’t give him the money to keep him long-term, despite having given Joe Johnson that suicidal contract, and then extending Al Horford for the max.

What is it, exactly, that the Hawks are trying to do with Josh Smith?

No one can really figure it out. If those teams that are shopping for a major upgrade can’t find what they’re looking for, they really should try and make a move for Smith. He was a should-be All-Star the past two years, is entering his prime, and has shown flashes of brilliance. He needs coaching to curtail his worse impulses, but  could also be the difference in a championship team. They just have to figure out what to do with him.

Because the Hawks do not.

  1. decimusprime - May 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Ive always thought JS is just going through the motions. Like a genius doing tech support. I agree if he were to play where he wants, he might show the talent that rarely breaks free.

  2. mungman69 - May 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Hey Matt, why don’t you blame the fans?

  3. prosourcetalk - May 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Gasol for Smith

  4. biasedhomer - May 26, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Smith is a good player, but he is not worth a max contract. I think he wants something around there.

  5. lakerluver - May 26, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Josh is a great “talent” but not a great player. A change of scenery might do wonders for his career. Pau for Josh? If I were the LAKERS I’d give it some serious consideration.

  6. watermelon1 - May 26, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    He’s who Dallas should have gone for last
    Summer as
    Opposed to odom.

    Dirk and
    J smoove. Yikes!

    • therealhtj - May 27, 2012 at 12:44 AM

      Unfortunately, Josh Smith wasn’t available for nothing more than a Trade Exception after getting all butt hurt. He and and Dirk may have bumped you up to the 6 seed.

  7. blakspartan - May 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    When josh smith develops a mid range jumper then the hawks should consider, he is one dimensional always go to the left, never has any lateral moves, or a go to move, all he is, is a athletic player nothing else

  8. ezmagic - May 27, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Bring him to Orlando. He grew up with Dwight in ATL and they played on the same AAU team. He’s a good defender also and will help Dwight and the team that needs perimeter defending. The hawks can have hedo in return.

    • abchome - May 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Wow! Why are you wasting your time here? Go apply for the Magic GM job…

  9. dirtybird2020 - May 27, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Lol, yea their gonna take hedos contract….. Thats was funny

  10. passerby23 - May 27, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    Either sign and trade him or let him walk. It’s clear the Hawks have reached their ceiling with the current core of Smith-Horford-Johnson. They don’t need to make the mistake of overplaying a talented, but enigmatic and often disappointing player. Sign and trade for some draft picks and a decent player and rebuild. Joe Johnson’s bloated contract is already eating away at the Hawks’ books. They don’t need another one.

  11. jimeejohnson - May 27, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    He could balance out Melo’s headband up in New Yawk!

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