Josh Smith

The Hawks, losers of six of their last seven before Wednesday – including an embarrassing 39-point loss to the Bulls on Monday – now find themselves in a combustible situation with a lame-duck coach and an unhappy star on an expiring contract. Among their options: trade Smith before the February deadline, or attempt to re-sign him while chasing pending free agent Dwight Howard.

Drew said he can’t speak on plans regarding Smith, deflecting such questions to GM Danny Ferry.

“We look at Josh as we do any player is in a situation of having a year left on his contract,” Drew said. “Josh is a talented player. He’s a big part of what we do. He’s a guy that we count on, rely on in what we do. Hopefully he’ll be a Hawk for a long time. He’s a phenomenal talent.”

– Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Blog)