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Don’t expect Atlanta to extend Josh Smith. Which means more trade rumors.

Sep 25, 2012, 9:13 PM EST

Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith reacts during the final moments of the fourth quarter of Game 6 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff basketball series against the Boston Celtics in Boston Reuters

If you are taking preseason bets on “guy to show up in the most trade rumor posts” on your favorite message board, Josh Smith would be a good call.

For example, look at this one from Boston already. (By the way, Brandon Bass, Avery Bradley and a first round pick for Smith is a horrible trade for Boston. That’s an Isiah Thomas trade if you throw in an over-the-hill player to give a max deal to.)

But there are going to be a lot of Smith rumors because: 1) GM Danny Ferry is clearly thinking retooling in Atlanta; 2) Smith is already a trade rumor favorite; 3) Smith can play — 18.8 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game and a PER of 21.1 — and is entering his prime at age 26; 4) Smith is in the final year of his contract; and finally…

The Hawks are not likely to be extending Smith. So Ferry told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“I’ve been clear that I value Josh as a player,” Ferry told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He has worked hard this summer and I believe he is going to have great season. I’ve been in contact with his representatives. Josh and his representatives have been clear that he is excited about the direction of the team and wants to be part of the future in Atlanta. That being said, I don’t expect the contract situation to be resolved until next summer.”

This delay is as much Smith as the Hawks — like Andrew Bynum and Chris Paul and all the other big name free agents this year, Smith can make more money by opting out then re-signing with the Hawks. Smith would be an unrestricted free agent with a lot of offers (hello Dallas!) but the Hawks would be able to always offer more if they wanted to keep him (and he wanted to stay).

As for the rumors, Ferry would trade Smith for the right deal, but the front line of Smith and Al Horford is not something you break up if you think you can put the right pieces around it. Meaning this is not a given, you are going to have to give value for Smith, this is no fire sale.

  1. progress2011 - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    I can’t believe this writer attempted to lump Bynum and CP3 (2 cornerstone players, you build a team around) with the likes of a soon to be journeyman, like Josh Smith.

    Ferry has done a masterful job getting rid of all the overpaid, overhyped players and clearing salary space by getting rid of downsyndrome joe johnson.

    I hope Ferry continues the trend by getting rid of probably the last peice of that era in Atlanta by getting rid of Josh Smith.

    Then he can go after a true superstar caliber player, with all the cash the Hawks will have.

  2. mannyicey - Sep 27, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    Well, the Hawks aren’t going to get rid of Josh Smith. That’s why they are waiting to resign him, while telling both Josh and Josh’s management that they are committed to him. They want more than just 3 years.

    See, Josh Smith fits the new Atlanta Hawks philosophy: Fast, athletic and young. The guys that they got rid of wasn’t just overpaid, but they were Isolation players that doesn’t fit that “Basket-to-Basket Sprinting” mindset. Josh Smith can run the floor and make athletic plays. And the pieces that they have kept and have collected fits that mold (for the most part. Especially those who may start.)

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