The Atlanta Hawks have signed veteran power forward Joe Smith to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Sund.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “the contract is a one-year deal Tuesday for the veteran’s minimum salary, approximately $1.3 million.”
“Joe’s acquisition provides us with a solid complement to our frontcourt,” said Sund. “Not only does he bring years of experience to our team, but his versatility gives our coaching staff a player who can play multiple positions and an individual who will provide tremendous leadership in the locker room.”
The 6-10, 225-pound Smith is a 14-year NBA veteran who most recently played 21 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Before joining the Cavs, he spent time with the Oklahoma City Thunder (where he participated in 36 contests), who bought out the remainder of his contract and released him on March 1. Smith saw action in 13 playoff games for Cleveland, averaging 5.5 ppg and 3.7 rpg (.460 FG%), and on the season, tallied 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds (.496 FG%, .750 FT%).
Smith brings career numbers of 11.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists (.456 FG%, .790 FT%) per game to the Hawks, where he will join experienced frontcourt mates Al Horford, Josh Smith and Zaza Pachulia. The NBA’s number one overall pick in 1995 by the Golden State Warriors, Smith was the consensus College Player of the Year at Maryland in 1995 and named to the 1995-96 All-Rookie team in addition to finishing third in the voting for the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
He has played in 52 postseason games over his career, scoring 6.5 points and grabbing 4.6 boards, while shooting .459 from the field and 78 percent from the line.
He spent two-and-a-half seasons with Warriors, tallying a career-best 18.7 points in his second year and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers midway through the 1997-98 campaign. Following one year with the Sixers, Smith joined the Minnesota Timberwolves for the first of two stints in 1998-99 before signing with the Detroit Pistons for the 2000-01 season.
Following a return to the Timberwolves in the summer of 2001, Smith played two more years with Minnesota before moving on to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2003-04. After three seasons with the Bucks, he played in only 11 games with the Denver Nuggets before being traded (along with Andre Miller) back to the Sixers (for Allen Iverson) for the remainder of the 2006-07 season.
For the next season (2007-08), Smith was a member of the Chicago Bulls and played in 50 contests, averaging 11.2 points before being traded in a three-team deal to Cleveland. He was a part of another three-team trade later that summer when the Cavaliers sent him to Oklahoma City, where he remained until he returned to Cleveland.
He was named Associated Press All-American and was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Player of the Year as a sophomore at Maryland. In two seasons with the Terrapins, he averaged 20.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Joseph Leynard Smith, born July 26, 1975 in Norfolk, VA, will wear uniform number 32 with the Hawks.