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How much is Josh Smith worth? He thinks he’s a max player.

Jan 26, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT

Josh Smith AP

Josh Smith is a free agent this summer.

He will be one of the biggest names out there — 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, a borderline All-Star level player, a guy with the athleticism and potential to be one of the best bigs in the game. If you’re looking for a big who can run and finish in transition, he’s your guy.

But he’s having a down year (PER of 17.1). He still loves his long jump shots that he doesn’t knock down steadily — Smith takes 6.1 shots beyond 16 feet a game and knocks down 29.5 percent of them, compared to the 4.9 shots a game at the rim where he hits 78 percent (stats via Hoopdata). He gets 22.8 percent of his offensive chances on spot up jumpers and shoots that same 29.5 percent (via Synergy).

So how much would you offer him this summer?

If you’re one of the teams thinking about trading for him at the deadline — the Hawks are listening to offers — you better have an answer for that question. And it needs to be an answer Smith likes.

He thinks he should get a max deal, he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“I feel like I’m a max player,” Smith said Friday.

“I feel I bring a lot to the table. I have a lot of versatility. For what I do and what I give this ball club, I feel like I’m worth it.”

The Hawks one max contract offer was to Joe Johnson and that was a mistake before the ink was dry on the signature. Under the new CBA this contract can’t be as painful — five years, about $94 million is the max. And unlike Johnson this contract carries Smith though what should be his peak years — ages 28-33 (which is not way over the hill for a big).

But would you give him a max deal?

I’d be hesitant. But teams that need a star are willing to overpay to get what they want, and Smith has the potential to be a franchise anchor. But after nine seasons at age 27, do you expect him to become more than he is now?

  1. Kazz_Detroit - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    Hawks aren’t going to win a championship with Josh Smith being the main man in Atlanta. Winning a championship is the NBA goal and I’m not so sure Atlanta can win one with Josh Smith. I wouldn’t give him a max contract, obviously he thinks it is deserving. Trade him. That’s my opinion!

  2. brotherlove2012 - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    If you’re willing to pay that kind of money, you expect to get a player who can carry yoyr ballclub … That’s not the case here. Smith is a good player, but too much of an individualist to even be a good complement player on a championship caliber team. He is not the type of guy to accept a secondary role like Bosh did in Miami. He is not even close to max out player, not even close.

    • money2long - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      who wouldn’t accept a secondary role to lebron james ? wade was there too. i see your point, but cmon, this is bosh we’re talking about. he had no choice but to. and defensive players like josh smith do NOT come by ever so often. he is special regardless of his negatives. and for that, you an bet there will be teams who will look to fork over the cash.

  3. money2long - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    josh smith isn’t no ordinary big man. 33 may not be over the hill, but for smith’s style of play, it may be. however, i still like him enough to ponder giving him the max deal if i were in a position to.

  4. brotherlove2012 - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    Yeah, but would you have him as your franchise player? He didn’t pull it off in Atlanta, why would it be different somewhere else. Same thing than Vince Carter was, a great athlete, but not a proven winner. He needs to adjust his attitude, a player with his size and abilities should be a 20/10 player, not a 17/8 …

  5. progress2011 - Jan 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Josh is INSANE in the membrane….if he thinks he is better than a 3rd Option !!!

    He wants a Ridiculous deal like his old teammate Joe Johnson got.

    Max deal because he can dunk….REALLY !!

    45% Shooting, 16 Points per game, 29% from 3, 8 boards, 2.5 turnovers, 50% Free Throw

    To be totally honest….that’s not even 6th man/ Leading bench production numbers !!!

    Max Deal = No Deal !!!

  6. abchome - Jan 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    He’s good but not great, definitely not a franchise player to build around. Not worth a max contract but it doesn’t hurt to ask, Roy Hibbert just got one.

  7. wwttww - Jan 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    16/8/4/2 is not 6th man production this guy says…..

    • progress2011 - Jan 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      You don’t say…ww wtf !!!

      Jamal Crawford is averaging: 16 points per game and averages 10 fewer minutes per game than Josh.

      So, I agree with you….maybe Josh is the 7th player in the rotation !!!

      • tomasekradek - Jan 27, 2013 at 6:38 AM

        you’re totally crazy my man. jamal is 37th and i mean thirty-seventh in PPG!! by your logic he’s nearly number one in the rotation… huh, really? what about D, what about rebounding, what about effort given etc.

        not saying he’s max but it seems you’re max…max dumb

  8. jeff6381 - Jan 26, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    To give him a max contract would be a horrible decision but this is the NBA where bad contracts are the norm.

  9. asublimeday - Jan 26, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    I’d say Bulls, but they have his finally just-as-productive clone in Boozer.

    • money2long - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      i want you guys to ponder for a bit.

      lebron james on the bulls… with a healthy derrick rose, boozer the way he’s playing now, newly minted all star joakim noah, defensive stalwart luol deng, coach thibs and his system….

      lebron could have been playing shooting guard for the bulls, and i think he would have, had he known the future potential of the bulls roster during his free agency.

      but everything turned out okay for lbj because he ended up with some new jewelry in the end.

  10. eventhorizon04 - Jan 26, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    When it comes to answering the question, “Is this player a max player?”, there are two separate interpretations:

    1. Is this player a max player, in the sense that multiple teams would be *happy* to give him a max contract?
    Guys who fit this description include LeBron, Durant, CP3, etc. If you’re a GM and you can get those guys for a max contract, you offer them that deal without any hesitation.
    I don’t think Josh Smith is in this category.

    2. Is this player a max player, meaning it’s very likely at least one team would be *willing* to give him a max contract?
    Guys who fit this description include Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez, and Josh Smith.
    Giving Hibbert and Lopez max-deals was considered risky, but their teams had to offer them max deals to keep them since at least one other team (Portland in the case of Hibbert) likely would have given them a max contract.

    Josh Smith falls into this categy – he’s a max-player because he would probably get a max contract as a free agent, but any team that gave it to him would be nervous.

  11. biasedhomer - Jan 26, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    He will get a max contract, even though he is not worth it.

    I could see the Mavs or Rockets go after him.

    Smith, Howard, Bynum, Jefferson, and Milsap will all likely get max contracts.

  12. wwttww - Jan 26, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Progress….your not making any.

    • progress2011 - Jan 27, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      PROVE IT !

      I brought FACTS to the table as to why he is not as productive as the leading 6th man / Jamal Crawford.

      Prove me wrong…..your unsubstantiated OPINION won’t fly her Son !

  13. mazblast - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Maybe he’s a max player, but is he a basketball player? More precisely, is he a basketball player worthy of a maximum contract?

  14. sportsnut101 - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    Sure he’s a max guy on the bobcats or the kings They not gonna sign him to a max deal otherwise they will be in same boat as they were before

    What’s wrong with 5 75 mil. But that would be it. N other teams can only offer him 4 so let’s who wins

  15. talkingfan - Jan 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Josh, dude be happy wit what you get because it’ll be great, but max player U R NOT!!!!!!!

  16. bougin89 - Jan 28, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    I think we can stop using the word potential at this point with Josh Smith. At this point in his career, he is what he is, isn’t he?

    On offense he’s a crappy version of Blake Griffin.

    Someone(maybe even the Hawks) will probably offer him max money but he’s another player that doesn’t deserve it.

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