New contract for Josh Smith is unlikely this season

Josh Smith is entering the final year of his current contract with the Hawks but it is “unlikely” that he will be re-signed before the end of the upcoming season. The forward is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Don’t panic yet Hawks fans.

Under the rules of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, it could be advantageous for Smith, and to some degree the Hawks, to wait on a new contract. In simplest terms, if Smith re-signs with the Hawks before June 30, the extension can be for only a maximum of three years. If he waits until after his contract expires, he can re-sign for up to five years.

According to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, Smith and his agents have said he would like to remain in Atlanta.

– Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution