By Sekou K Smith | Saturday, July 26, 2008, 10:11 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
THE BASEMENT - This time a month ago I was busy calculating just how long it might take for the Hawks to wrap up negotiations with both Josh Smith and Josh Childress before putting the finishing touches on the roster in time for training camp.
Little did I know that I’d be sitting here this morning trying to wrap my dome around the fact that there’s a good chance neither Smith nor Childress would be in a Hawks uniform this season.
Childress, of course, is already gone.
Smith, on the other hand, is still in the crosshairs. But it’s not looking good for the Hawks on that front.
There are at least two, blockbuster sign-and-trade proposals the Hawks are chewing on regarding Smith (one from a Western Conference power and the other from an Eastern Conference big dog) that could dramatically change the landscape in Hawksville.
The “proverbial” ball appears to be clearly in the Hawks’ court regarding both opportunities, and we should presume many more. Because if they are resigned to the fact that they don’t intend to pay Smith a salary commensurate with what he feels he’s worth, then there only recourse is to sign-and-trade him.
The leverage we all assumed the Hawks had with their own restricted free agents went up in smoke last week when Childress bounced.
Anyone that doesn’t think Smith will wait this thing out as long as the Hawks is living in a dream world. If you don’t think he’ll sign a qualifying offer, play out his season and walk next summer as an unrestricted free agent you’re crazy.
If the Hawks want to get anything in return (and keep in mind they get absolutely nothing if he plays out the year and walks, NOTHING), they have to act now.
The tricky thing about sign-and-trades is that all sides not only have to agree on the deal but all three sides want to walk away from the deal the winner (whether it’s acknowledged by others or not).
With one loss already on the books this summer, the Hawks simply cannot afford another.
Oh my god! if we get Smith for Odom, well all need to praise Mitch