There had been reports previously that Josh Smith believes that he is a player worthy of a max contract. We never knew the exact value that Smith would be asking for and we had an idea of what the Hawks would ask for for Smith, but now we have confirmation.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported that the Hawks were seeking expiring contracts, high draft picks, and young players with potential for Smith. Smith, himself, is seeking a deal somewhere around five years for 90 million dollars. He’s looking to become the designated player for the franchise that trades for him.
It sounds like Smith would be willing to resign with any team that trades for him for the extra $23 million that he would get for the extension. But trading for Smith is a danger on its own because the team that trades for him would have to empty out its roster for him. They wouldn’t have a lot of flexibility to work with cap wise after the trade to bring in other pieces.
Here’s the exact transcript from Berger’s article:
• The Hawks are believed to be seeking a combination of expiring contracts, young players and draft picks in exchange for Smith, whose expressed desire for a five-year, approximately $90 million max contract has cooled the market for him. Rival executives continue to believe that the Suns have been aggressive in their pursuit of Smith and other trades. But even with a potential lottery pick from the Lakers in the Steve Nash deal, execs are skeptical that Phoenix has enough attractive young players to complete the deal. The Nets and Celtics have inquired about Smith, but it’s too early to say where those talks are going.
At the end, it says that its too early to say where the Nets and the Celtics are going in talks with the Hawks, but its not very likely that the talks between those teams will go anywhere. They’re lacking in all of the pieces that the Hawks are looking for, and neither team will be willing to give Smith a maximum contract.
The Nets already have three max players on their roster in Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez. The Celtics are going to want money to play with in the free agency classes in the next two years and will also need to keep Rajon Rondo under contract as well.
There’s no telling what talks really are behind the scenes, but I doubt that they’re going anywhere between the Hawks and the Celtics. I don’t even think the Phoenix Suns will be able to trade for Smith at that asking price.
If you ask me, Smith is going to be a Hawk after Thursday and will be forced to wait until free agency to move. But the clock is ticking, and it seems like the Hawks are dead set on making a deal.