via Atlanta Journal:
Now I will give Josh Smith some credit that he should have made the all-star cut, but after coming off suspension, it’s safe to say that he eliminated his candidacy for the roster spot. The Hawks have only given one max contract in their history which made Joe Johnson a very rich man (six years, $123.6 million). He’s in Brooklyn now. Josh Smith believes he is worth it. With the the new collective bargaining agreement, Smith’s max deal would be nearly as high as $94 million over five years according to the Atlanta Journal. Josh Smith told the Atlanta Journal that the Hawks organization “shouldn’t even think about it” simply because he’s “Josh Smith”.
Nine seasons into Josh Smith’s career and the talking points haven’t changed much. But that’s not what really matters.
Doesn’t matter that Smith can be the best player on the court, or the reason your head hurts. Doesn’t matter that he often has been the only Hawks player worth the cost of a ticket, or the one that makes you rip the ticket in pieces. Doesn’t matter that he probably deserved to be an All-Star in the last three years, even if those in power to fill out the All-Star roster seem to view him as a life form just north of algae.
This is all that matters right now about Smith, specifically regarding his tenuous future with the Hawks: His contract is expiring and his asking price for a new one is going to be high. It’s going to hit the ceiling. It’s why his days in Atlanta may be numbered.
“I feel like I’m a max player,” Smith said 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 Hawks have given one max contract in their history. It turned Joe Johnson into a very rich man (six years, $123.6 million) and the Hawks into a punch line. So which way do you think the wind might be blowing on this?
Granted, in the new collective bargaining agreement, Smith’s max deal would be nearly as high as Johnson’s: about $94 million over five years. But it still could give the organization reason to balk.
Smith again: “There shouldn’t be any hesitation. I’m Josh Smith, I’m not anybody else. I ‘m not Michael Jordan, I’m not LeBron James, I’m not Brook Lopez. I’m Josh Smith. You can’t look at what might’ve happened with another person. Let’s say Joe. You can’t say, ‘I’m skeptical of giving another person that’ because of whatever they feel like happened.”
If you were waiting for the line in the sand, there it is.
Smith’s comments came after the shoot-around Friday morning.