Josh Smith has told the Atlanta Hawks that he is not going to renew his contract during the season. It is stated that he is planning to test the free agency market.
Josh Smith side
Josh Smith is one of the best athletes in the NBA. He has never had any problems with his teammates and is known as a team-first player. Last year he averaged 18.8 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game. In addition to those numbers he averaged 1.7 blocks per game. He had pretty much the same numbers in the 2010-2011 season too. That goes to show just how consistent he is and he is still just 27 years old. With the new CBA rules, he can only have a three-year extension with Atlanta Hawks but if he decides to become a free agent he will be able to sign a five-year contract. The Atlanta Hawks are not showing good signs for the upcoming season and I think becoming a free agent is a good idea for Josh Smith for the rest of his career.
Atlanta Hawks side
They tried to be a contender in the previous years but they are not capable of doing that anymore. Sorry Hawks fans, the city of Atlanta is not ready to challenge for a championship. After trading Joe Johnson, the Hawks did not replace him with another star. The team will probably make playoffs but advance no further than the first round. Trading Josh before he leaves to get something in return might be the best option for the Hawks.
A sign-and-trade might be a possible scenario for Josh Smith. The Los Angeles Lakers might be interested in trading for him. A Josh Smith-Pau Gasol trade will help both teams in the end. The Lakers will get better athletically and the Atlanta Hawks will get a European-style center.