The Atlanta Hawks were moving on.
Danny Ferry, formerly of the Spurs organization, went and poached Gregg Popovich’s lead assistant Mike Budenholzer, and they are trying to create San Antonio East in the ATL. With Al Horford in the role of Tim Duncan.
Josh Smith wasn’t part of those plans.
Smith will face the Hawks on Wednesday and so reporters wanted to talk about Smith’s exit from Atlanta to land in Detroit. He told the Journal-Constitution the Hawks made no effort to keep him.
“No, there wasn’t,” Smith said when asked if there was a contract offer. “During free agency, during that period, there were a lot of guys out in L.A. that were meeting with various teams. I was one of those guys. That’s where I work out in the summertime as well. The only time I saw the Hawks during free agency was when they came to one of my workouts just to say hello. I think they were meeting with Dwight Howard that day. They never came in or sat down with me during the free agency period to offer me anything.”
Except for the saying hello part, that is what Ferry had already said about the summer.
Atlanta is off to a nice 6-4 start, which is early but roughly on pace for the high 40s in wins, which is a little better than the 42 of last season. But what the Hawks have really gained with their moves is way more financial flexibility to tweak the roster. They are not contenders but they are in a better position to build going forward.
They have chosen, wisely.
As for Smith, he landed in Detroit, which has an interesting roster that is really struggling defensively to start the season.