Josh Smith Talks Contract, Future

As of this March, Josh Smith hoped the Hawks would move him, and it appears that trade request still stands. However, speaking to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Smith deflected questions about his trade request, and his comments suggest he doesn't expect to be involved in an offseason deal.

"All I know is I have one more year on my contract so I will definitely be here," Smith said. "I just have to go into the offseason to better myself and do whatever I have to do to help this ballclub. I was an Atlanta Hawk after the trade deadline and I’m one now, so I have to look at some of the things I can do to help my basketball team win ballgames, especially in the postseason."

In his March report, Cunningham suggested that Smith felt the Hawks didn't do enough to promote his All-Star candidacy, and wanted to join a team more committed to winning a championship. Asked about the possibility of signing a contract extension with the Hawks, Smith hinted at another source of dissatisfaction.

"I can’t get extended," Smith said. "They didn’t give me the money; I had to go get it. That’s something I have to play it out and see how it goes from there."

Smith seems to have been given some bad information on his extension eligibility, since there's nothing in the CBA suggesting he can't extend his contract now, as Cunningham points out. The second part of the quote, meanwhile, hints at what happened in the summer of 2008 — he had to "go get" a contract offer from the Grizzlies, which the Hawks ended up matching.

Smith figures to be one of the most desirable trade candidates in the league this summer, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him begin the 2012/13 season in Atlanta. The Hawks value him highly, as they should, and I don't expect them to receive an offer they like this offseason.

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