Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith on free agency: ‘I feel like I’m a max player’
With his contract expiring after this season, Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith is set to be one of the marquee names on the free agent market this summer. Based on the NBA’s salary rules, the maximum contract he can receive would be five years and about $94 million.
Smith feels that he is worth that max deal, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I feel like I’m a max player,” he told the Journal-Constitution‘s Jeff Schultz on Friday.
The only max contract the Hawks have given a player went to Joe Johnson for six years and $123.6 million. Johnson proved to be a bust and was traded to the Nets last summer in a salary dump.
Although Smith has never been selected to an All-Star Game, he boasts career averages of 15.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.3 steals.
“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.”
“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.”
The 6-foot-9 forward was the 17th overall pick in the 2004 draft, and has helped lead Atlanta, near his hometown of College Park, Ga., to the playoffs in each of the last five seasons. At 25-18, the Hawks currently hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.