July 27: It would be a real shame if the Hawks and Josh Smith are unable to work out a long-term contract and instead wind up having to sign-and-trade him, especially after the team made the playoffs last season. Not that qualifying for the postseason is hard when playing in the Eastern conference. Myself, a few other InsideHoops.com guys, Chuck Nevitt, JR Rider and Leon Smith could probably pull it off. Still, the Hawks are fun to watch, show promise to get a bit better, and have a squad that’s decent to cheer for. Losing Josh Childress to a faraway overseas land hurts, but if a bench guy or two steps up a bit and shows some improvement, he’ll only be missed a little. His afro, on the other hand, will be tougher to replace.

Anyway, imagine if a team like the Celtics were able to land Smith. If that happened I’d imagine they’d use him as a super-sixth man. They have championship chemistry in the starting lineup and shouldn’t mess with that. Imagine Smith getting 28-32 bench minutes on a 60-win Boston squad. Sweet, huh?

I’m just tossing Boston out there for the fun of it. Obviously every team in the league would love to have Smith, and he’d start for almost all of them.

Aside from being good and still young, Smith is also extremely exciting to watch. He sells tickets. The Hawks need to keep him, even if it means overspending a little.