The AJC and Chris Vivlamore are reporting that despite a solid relationship over the past few months, the Atlanta Hawks will not offer Josh Smith a contract during the season. This could help the Hawks as being patient will allow them to sign Smith for two extra years. Here is what the AJC said.
“Josh Smith is entering the final year of his current contract with the Hawks but it is ‘unlikely’ that he will be re-signed before the end of the upcoming season. The forward is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Don’t panic yet Hawks fans. Under the rules of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, it could be advantageous for Smith, and to some degree the Hawks, to wait on a new contract.
In simplest terms, if Smith re-signs with the Hawks before June 30, the extension can be for only a maximum of three years. If he waits until after his contract expires, he can re-sign for up to five years. According to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, Smith and his agents have said he would like to remain in Atlanta.
‘I’ve been clear that I value Josh as a player,’ Ferry said. ‘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.’”
You have to be curious as a Celtics fan if this could open up the door for a trade at the deadline if all is not well in Atlanta at the time… and it probably will not be. If the Celtics were to land Rondo’s high school friend they will likely have to give up Green, Lee/Bradley, maybe another player, and a pick. The Celtics would have to match contracts and that is always difficult, especially with the over-paid ”B class” superstar Smith’s of the world.
The Celtics have gone after Smith in the past, specifically after the NBA season ended in June. It has been no secret that Josh Smith has wanted to leave Atlanta in the past although he is not as outspoken now. A bad season, something the Hawks will be having, is just the thing to get the emotional Smith to ask for a trade. Would you be willing to sacrifice all of these things for the all-star forward?