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Report: It is highly unlikely Josh Smith re-signs with Hawks

Feb 22, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Hawks forward Smith shoots past Heat Anthony and Wade in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Atlanta Reuters

This really isn’t news, or at least the unexpected kind. It just shines a light on the decision the Hawks made on Thursday not to move Josh Smith in any trade, to get nothing back for him if he decides to leave as a free agent this summer.

And he likely is going to leave.

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has the report that really shouldn’t surprise anyone, including Hawks GM Danny Ferry.

On Thursday, Smith said Atlanta will be on his list of teams he considers when he becomes a free agent. However, all politics is local. The Atlanta native does not want to irritate the home fans, but a person familiar with Smith’s plans told USA TODAY Sports that it is “highly unlikely” that Smith re-signs with Atlanta. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the private nature of the negotiations.

This was always an option the Hawks seemed comfortable with — if Smith walks as expected the Hawks will be more than $40 million under the salary cap. They will make a run at Dwight Howard and other free agents. And if it doesn’t work out this summer, they can start to plan for the summer of 2014.

But still, you have to wonder if some of those offers Danny Ferry walked away from — maybe at the last minute — wouldn’t have made the team better long term.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Feb 22, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    This is what I never got. Even some bums coupled with a first or second round pick is better than nothing.

    • pglive21 - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Not if those bums had contracts that extended past the end of this year. It’s not worth sacrificing the cap space for mediocrity.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:46 PM

        You are very right.

  2. d3murf - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    yeah, yeah, yeah…Ppl always say so and so went be back, until so and so is back..Then these so called insiders, pretend like they never said they wouldn’t be back…smh. These same insiders said there was no way Josh wouldn’t be’s all speculation at best.

  3. lorddarkhelmet - Feb 22, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    if they made a trade they would likely have had to take on salary. Their apparent goal was to gain flexibility under the cap unless the right deal came up. Also, it is in Smith’s best interest to do a sign and trade so he can get a true max salary so they aren’t done yet.

    • jcmeyer10 - Feb 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      This is the play they have gone with. Makes a lot more sense now.

    • Kevin S. - Feb 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      No, it’s not. They changed the CBA last time so that players can’t get their Bird Max in sign-and-trades. If Smith signs anywhere but Atlanta, he’s limited to four years and 4.5% raises. The only reason for him to agree to a sign-and-trade would be if he wanted to go to a team that didn’t have the cap space to sign him outright and would be beneath the apron after the deal is completed.

  4. kinggw - Feb 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Is this report similar to the reports that said a Josh Smith trade before the deadline was imminent?

  5. bparmalee - Feb 22, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Smith could be in a good negotiating spot next summer. A few teams are going to have room for a max player (assuming CP3 resigns with the Clippers) they are all going to be after one guy…. Dwight Howard. Once Howard signs some team may be forced to overpay and settle for Josh Smith long term. So he has kind of set himself up to be teams fall back plan.

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