Josh Smith Feels He Deserves A Max Contract

by January 26, 2013

Josh Smith says he should get a max contract when he hits free agency this summer. As for whether Atlanta’s new front office will foot the bill, that’s another story. From the AJC: “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.'”