Atlanta Hawks expected to let Josh Smith leave in free agency


Feb 11, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) reacts after making a three point basket late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Hawks beat the Mavs 105-101. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As the trade deadline came to a close, the Atlanta Hawks were unable to find a suitor who could offer what the team was looking for in return for Josh Smith.

Reportedly, the Hawks sought young assets, in particular, a center, draft picks and cap space.

While the team can offer Smith a five-year, $97.49 million contract, compared to the four-year, $72.39 million contract that the rest of the league can offer, Atlanta appears to be in favor of preserving cap space.

The team’s primary target is Dwight Howard, but despite being from the area, it is highly unlikely that he returns to play for the hometown Hawks.

As for Smith, there were a number of suitors interested at the deadline and it will be interesting to see who lands the explosive forward this summer.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith