A report last week suggested that Josh Smith is open to a long-term future in Atlanta, even if he and the Hawks are unlikely to work out an extension before next summer. At the team's media day, Smith didn't quite confirm that idea, but did indicate that he won't let his impending free agency become a distraction this season, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.
"I’m not worrying about any contract discussions," Smith said. "I think the team and I
are on the same page. We know what we are going to do. My main concern
is making the playoffs and winning basketball games."
Here are a few more media day leftovers out of the Southeast Division:
- Tyrus Thomas spoke to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer about his disappointing 2011/12 campaign, and his excitement about working with new coach Mike Dunlap. Thomas is the only Bobcats player still eligible to be amnestied, and will have two years remaining on his contract after this season, so it's a big year for the former fourth overall pick.
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel expects the Heat to see what they have in camp in bigs like Dexter Pittman, Josh Harrellson, Mickell Gladness, and Jarvis Varnado. If the team feels uncomfortable with its options heading into the season, they could look to add a veteran big. Ben Wallace, Kenyon Martin, Mehmet Okur, and Juwan Howard are among those still on the market.
- Chris Vivlamore rounds up a few notable quotes from the Hawks' media day, while Michael Lee of the Washington Post does the same for the Wizards.