Josh Smith is one of the bigger names in NBA free agency. While Dwight Howard and Chris Paul have been getting a lot of the attention from the media, many teams are focused on Smith who is officially an unrestricted free agent from the Atlanta Hawks. Yahoo! Sports recently took a look at the options for Smith this offseason and while Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting the Detroit Pistons are offering a favorable contract, the Atlanta Hawks are still in play for the All-Star.
The Pistons have reportedly offered Smith a "substantial" four-year contract. Smith has been vocal about wanting to receive a max deal from a team so it can be assumed that is around what Detroit has put up. If the Pistons amnesty Charlie Villanueva, the team could have around $29 million in cap space to work with. Detroit is hoping to re-sign Jose Calderon, but he would hold over $16 million of the cap and that would hurt Smith.
If the Pistons re-sign Calderon, they would have around $12 million for Smith. That may or may not be enough to bring him to Detroit with plenty of other teams interested. He could join a young lineup of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Smith would play either the 3 or the 4.
While Atlanta has shown more interest in a sign-and-trade with Smith instead of re-signing him, Wojnarowski believes there is still a chance that the Hawks bring Smith back. Do not get too excited, Hawks fans, but anything can technically happen with this.
Smith has been having conversations with new head coach Mike Budenholze. Smith reportedly respects the new coach and likes his reputation with the San Antonio Spurs. This has led some to believe that Smith could possibly consider the Hawks a destination. The team is looking into trades with multiple players including Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague. If they get rid of some of the current pieces, Smith is not going to want to return.
Atlanta believes they are a team in the running for Dwight Howard. The center will make his decision on where to play July 10 and if Smith continues to remain unsigned, Howard's choice could play a role in where he ends up playing. Howard and Smith on the Hawks sound great to fans, but is a real long shot from happening. All signs point to Smith leaving Georgia.