NBA Offseason: What’s Next for Josh Smith?

May 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks small forward Josh Smith (5) looks down the court in the second half of game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Philips Arena. The Pacers won 81-73. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Smith. J-Smoove. J-Smooth (I hate it when people call him that…). Air Smith. Joshy Joshua. Josh Smiff. The Peachtree Pounder (HOW COOL IS THAT?!). Josh Smith.

Whatever you call him, you know who he is. He’s a unique player that brings excitement, as well as a less-than-motivated player (for the most part/on certain ends of the floor *cough cough* rebounding *cough cough*) that brings lulls to the crowd and a plethora of “NOOOOOOOOOOO”s when he pulls that elbow above his left shoulder for a smooth (pun intended) jumper. Think of him how you want to, but the bottom line states that Josh Smith is a player worth bringing in a lot of money this offseason. Is he worth every penny that he’s demanding? Maybe not, considering he’s made it public that he considers himself a “max” player.

Matt Moore, NBA writer for CBS Sports suggested that Smoove pay a fine for each jumper he takes. Take a look:

If I’m a team with cap space ready to build, I offer Smith a max on one condition. There’s a $7,500 charge for every shot taken outside of the paint that he doesn’t make.

Smith took 533 jumpers (non-backcourt heaves at the buzzer) this season according to NBA.com. If he replicated that next season, and made none of them, it would comes him nearly $4 million, and $4 million for each season he shot the same. If he made the exact same percentage he did this year, it would cost him close to $2.8 million. Now, your cap space would still be tied up in Josh Smith. But you’re putting his play in his own hands. Now, you can change it if it’s a “911 shot” with the clock under 2 seconds. But if you’re Smith, and you know you’re getting hit if you don’t make that shot, don’t you abandon it and go to the post? You get the value of the player without the mess.

Note: This is probably not allowable under any circumstances under the CBA and Smith’s agent would rather light himself on fire than submit his client to this. But isn’t it a great idea?

*courtesy of  Josh Smith wants to test free agency, does he deserve the max? from cbssports.com*

I have suggested something similar to that in the past and I think that a fine for jumpers would be quite helpful to his game. Unfortunately, there is no record of me making this idea public, so we’re gonna have to rely on scout’s honor.

Teams such as Houston or even your own Atlanta Hawks could take a gamble and give him all the money possible. General Manager Danny Ferry has stated that he values Josh as a player and a member of the franchise, but I find it hard to believe that the most money will come from the Hawks.

An interesting side note: Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey is a believer in “Mathketball”, which is (loosely) a style of play where the goal is to only shoot at the rim and outside the three-point line. In this system, deep twos are the enemy and (in my opinion) Josh would be a perfect acceptable fit for a stretch four that can still pound the post. He hasn’t been an awful three-point shooter over the past few seasons and I am perfectly fine with him chunking a trey every now and then.

The main point I’m doing a bad job of making is that other teams will offer Josh Smith oodles and doodles of money to move zip codes. Danny Ferry needs to make a decision: Is Josh Smith worth a max contract? Can I convince him to play a different style of basketball?

And the most important question of all from Danny Ferry:

Can I win a championship with Josh Smith?

I say, “No.”

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Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Josh Smith

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