The Atlanta Hawks finally turned a corner in 2007-2008 when they made it to the playoffs. Sure, they only finished eighth overall in a very, very weak Eastern Conference, but they took the Boston Celtics to seven games and nearly had one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. Add in their incredibly awesome and youthful core of players and it’s pretty obvious they’re on the rise, right?
Yeah. About that. Josh Childress is already gone for Europe and while his minutes were relatively minimal, he’ll obviously be missed. But the bigger problem is that with all the free agent shifting from the offseason, somehow Josh Smith can’t get a raise and is suddenly going to demand a trade. If not demand, he’ll at least be in the position to force one, reports SEKOU SMITH of the AJC, who says the Hawks have already gotten several offers.
There are at least two, blockbuster sign-and-trade proposals the Hawks are chewing on regarding Smith (one from a Western Conference power and the other from an Eastern Conference big dog) that could dramatically change the landscape in Hawksville.
[…]The leverage we all assumed the Hawks had with their own restricted free agents went up in smoke last week when Childress bounced.
Anyone that doesn’t think Smith will wait this thing out as long as the Hawks is living in a dream world. If you don’t think he’ll sign a qualifying offer, play out his season and walk next summer as an unrestricted free agent you’re crazy.
If the Hawks want to get anything in return (and keep in mind they get absolutely nothing if he plays out the year and walks, NOTHING), they have to act now.
Way to go, Atlanta. Really, if you consider how well the Braves are right now, the southern city is really entering some sort of “Cleveland Zone” at this point. No seriously. When was the last title in the A-T-L.
More relevant though, is how amazing it is to see the turn of events in this NBA offseason. Smith looked prime to get a monster deal from either Philly or Atlanta despite his restricted status and suddenly, after Baron Davis and Elton Brand declared, he was left starting at a qualifying offer from the Hawks, because no one has any freaking money left. Fascinating, really.
As Smith points out though, the Hawks will trade him. They have to. He wants too much money and with negotiations already ugly (and Smith probably having already wanted to head to Philly) things don’t seem very fung shuey. (Sorry, early Sunday showing of Super Troopers.)