Usually, Josh Smith is only in the news outside of Atlanta for negative reasons. He's either getting snubbed from the All-Star team, shooting too many long-range jumpers or demanding a trade.
For once, Smoove appears content and *gasp* optimistic about the future of this Atlanta Hawks squad. Getting rid of Joe Johnson tends to have effects like that.
According to Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, Smith is excited about the new additions to the team and is no longer interested in being traded away from the organization.
Usually I'm such an optimistic person that I'll see a quarter-filled glass of water and say it's half full. However, years as a Hawks fan have taught me to be pessimistic about this team.
This newfound bliss that Smith is experiencing isn't going to last long. And by that I mean, Smith's bliss might continue into the future, but only if it's with a different team.
Now that Joe has been traded to the Brooklyn Nets, there are going to be even more touches for Smith. That means more opportunities, more stats, more national recognition and a possible chance at his first All-Star bid.
It also means that Smith will make more money.
While Amick's piece details how Smith is happy with the current makeup of the team and how he plans on having a successful 2012-2013 campaign, there is not a single mention of the years beyond this upcoming season.
Unless he signs an extension with the Hawks, Smoove is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. In fact, the entire Hawks roster, with the exception of new acquisition Lou Williams, rookie sharpshooter John Jenkins and All-Star center Al Horford, is eligible to test the waters of free agency after this season.
That's why Smith is content. It's why he's experiencing this sudden blissful enjoyment of his current situation.
Smith has a chance to be the leader of a good but not great team while putting up great numbers. The greatest number is going to be the one on his new contract next summer.
Unless the Hawks' pipe dream of landing Dwight Howard comes true, it's going to be awfully difficult to convince Smith to stay once he has the opportunity to leave.
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