Josh Smith On Hawks, Max, Free Agency, Dwight

As the end of the 2012/13 season draws near, Josh Smith could be in his last few weeks as a member of the Hawks. Of course, it seemed we were just seconds away from hearing he'd been traded on deadline day, when Smith remained in Atlanta. Hawks GM Danny Ferry spoke to Ramona Shelburne of about the circumstances leading up to the deadline.

"I think our situation was unique in terms of still being competitive but also having cap space and flexibility going forward," the GM said. "We looked at all of our options at the end of June up until the trade deadline. Josh and I have had a positive and honest relationship from Day 1. He's been professional this season despite a lot of change and obviously a lot of distractions. I've enjoyed working with him."

Smith also opened up to Shelburne, and said he's open to re-signing with the Hawks. Still, he's looking forward to exploring unrestricted free agency for the first time. We'll round up the highlights of Smith's conversation with Shelburne here:

On why he answered affirmatively when asked if he deserves a max contract:

"The question was asked to me, 'Do I feel like I'm a max player?' And I gave him an honest answer. I said, 'Yes I do.' And the reason why I say this, is because if you don't know your worth, who will? I can't set my standards low. If you set them low, that's how people are going to view you. Like when you sell a house, you don't sell the house for $2 million. You put the $5 million sticker on there … and then you work it out. You negotiate."

On what he's looking for in his next team:

"Winning. That's all I care about. I want to have an opportunity to have a legitimate shot at getting a ring. I've been successful in high school, AAU, I want to have a legitimate shot at winning a title."

On his experience in restricted free agency in 2008, when he signed an offer sheet with the Grizzlies that the Hawks matched:

"I went to Philadelphia and sat down with the Clippers for dinner because I was already out here in Los Angeles (where he now lives during the offseason) for an adidas photo shoot. So this is going to be exciting for me to travel to different cities, and sit down and talk to executives and GMs."

On friend and fellow free agent Dwight Howard

"Is Dwight serious about (Atlanta)? That's the question. Everybody would probably want to have him on the team. But Dwight is global now. That's in his mindset. He's addicted to it now. He's addicted to being global and international. That was the whole reason he wanted to leave Orlando is he wanted to have that big market."

On whether Howard would sign with the Hawks, who may make a push for him:

"I'm not going to say it's farfetched, but it is going to be kind of difficult to be able to persuade him."

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