You can never be 100 percent sure what you’re gonna get from Josh Smith. He sometimes has amazing games and sometimes he disappears. But despite continual All-Star snubs and two years worth of trade rumors, he’s still pretty confident about his abilities. Read more after the jump.
I feel like I’m a max player,” Smith said to AJC Friday.
And yes, that is the first time he has said that.
“I feel I bring a lot to the table. I have a lot of versatility. For what I do and what I give this ball club, I feel like I’m worth it.”
The last player the Hawks gave a max contract to was Joe Johnson and well we all saw how that worked out (it earned him the name ski mask Joe [stealing money]). In the new collective bargaining agreement, Smith’s max deal would be nearly as high as Johnson’s: about $94 million over five years, the organization will be weary about giving it to him.
Smith has been at the center of trade talks for quite some time most noticeably in the same sentence as Pau Gasol. Danny Ferry has yet to pull the trigger but it doesn’t mean he won’t before the February 21st deadline approaches although now it seems more unlikely. Smith’s contract is expiring and the Hawks appear to be in rebuilding mode, more reason for them to not offer him a max contract.
One thing that’s undeniable is Smith’s athleticism and talent. Whether he’s traded, kept or released into the free agent market, his value is extremely high. Plus take a look around at the contracts that have been given out lately (Landry Fields, Roy Hibbert, Omer Asik etc.) If Smith can’t get a max contract or something very close to it then something is wrong.