The Hawks would likely raise the five-year, $45 million offer that Smith turned down last summer, but money will not be the only factor in the 22-year-old power forward's returning to Atlanta. As I reported in Sports Illustrated during last season, league sources said Smith would not be interested in returning to the Hawks if the team retained coach Mike Woodson, who recently signed a two-year extension. The two have butted heads frequently in Smith's four seasons, and sources said the relationship is beyond repair. With a dearth of offers, Smith may change his tune, but having a volatile relationship on such a young team may not be in the Hawks' best interests.One tries to remain open to the possibility of positive thoughts but it's difficult. I'm sure there was at least one unqualified coach out there who was willing to work cheap (undoubtedly criterion #1 during the "coaching search") and who had not utterly alienated the franchise's best player to the point he, the player, would consider turning down an eight-figure contract. Then again, I'm always open to the possibility that my assumptions are incorrect and that there are things I do not know.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Rumor and Innuendo
Lack of hard news has reduced me to passing along paragraphs like this that you might have missed. Chris Mannix, of SI.com, fleshes out his account of Clippers trade for Marcus Camby by speculating about the trade's impact on Josh Smith's next contract: