Atlanta Hawks: Danny Ferry tries to ease Josh Smith’s concerns

Hawks forward Josh Smith is eager to see what Danny Ferry has in store for the in the future but he doesn’t seem to be impressed by what he sees right now.

Ferry agreed to trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams in deals that no doubt leave the Hawks as a worse team now. Word is Smith, whose contract expires after next season, expressed his concerns about the team’s direction in a recent meeting with Ferry. The Hawks GM in turn told Smith his short- and long-term visions for making the team a contender.

Ferry acknowledged meeting with Smith last week.

“It went great,” Ferry said. “It went fine.”

Ferry declined to elaborate on any details about the conversation with Smith but, speaking generally about the effects of major trades on players, said there can be shock initially.

“If changes are made there is a sense of loss because relationships get built in this business,” Ferry said. “It takes time for everyone to adjust.”

If Smith was stung by Johnson’s departure, it would make sense on a couple levels.

For one, as mentioned, the Hawks right now have less talent than at any time during their five-year playoffs streak. Smith has told the team he wants to be traded to a franchise he believes is more serious about playing for championships. That’s certainly part of Ferry’s long-term plan but the Hawks took a step back in the interim.

The other factor is Smith had a solid relationship with Johnson, who was Smith’s longest-tenured teammate along with Zaza Pachulia and Marvin Williams. Smith was in his second season when Johnson arrived in Atlanta with the expectation of being the team’s star. Smith and Johnson’s strong chemistry on the court was obvious, too, with Smith often looking to pass to Johnson in transition or spotting up in the half court.

Ferry said he has yet to meet with all of the Hawks players. He’s had a busy schedule that’s included trips out of town, and many of the players also have been in and out of Atlanta. Ferry said he planned to meet soon with Pachulia and Jeff Teague, who both are in Atlanta.

“I am trying to build connections with all of these guys,” Ferry said.

Notes

  • The Hawks no longer appear to be in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. The hang-up remains the same: Howard has given no indication he’s willing to commit to the Hawks (or any team other than Brooklyn) beyond next season and, without that assurance, Atlanta is unwilling to trade major pieces and draft picks and also take back one more of Orlando’s bad contracts.
  • The Hawks met with free agent forward Anthony Randolph over the weekend. Ferry said the Hawks also are scheduled to meet with free agent forward Rashard Lewis, who didn’t commit to the Heat after meeting with the team in Miami on Sunday.
  • Hawks free agent Kirk Hinrich agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Bulls.
  • Free agent guard Jannero Pargo is still considering a return to the Hawks, his agent said. “Something we have talked about, but talking to a number of teams,” agent Mark Bartelstein wrote in a text message. “Will know more in next few days.” Pargo is close friends with Johnson, his former teammate at Arkansas.
  • Today is reporting day for the Hawks’ rookie and free agent minicamp in preparation for the Las Vegas Summer League but the team still hasn’t released an official roster. Apparently there are still some last-minute changes being made.

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

119 comments Add your comment

turtle power

July 9th, 2012
11:23 am

Wolverine

July 9th, 2012
11:23 am

Lets move on from the Dwight Madonna Howard…and try to build a competitive team…First

Buddy Grizzard

July 9th, 2012
11:23 am

Wow, they’re talking to Pargo. That’s depressing.

doc

July 9th, 2012
11:23 am

odd some argued josh was happy to see these guys go, wrong so wrong as usual.

KevinM

July 9th, 2012
11:25 am

MC, did Danny talk about any of the new guys he is bringing in here?

Rev in Tampa

July 9th, 2012
11:30 am

Good bye Dwight. Hello lotterey.

The worst possible outcome is for the Hawks to try and build a team to compete for the playoffs next year with the best possible FA’s out there right now and squander the cap space. I’m cheering for the lottery.

KevinM

July 9th, 2012
11:30 am

Watching ORL/BKN as Mark Price is ORL head coach….congrats to Mark…

Justin Harper looks like he may be able to fill the void of Ryan Anderson for the Magic.

Michael Cunningham

July 9th, 2012
11:31 am

@KevinM: he’s not talking about the trade until it’s official.

KevinM

July 9th, 2012
11:32 am

Rev, now I think its time to move Josh to get us in lottery land.

Statick

July 9th, 2012
11:32 am

“The Hawks no longer appear to be in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes.”

Why even bother courting that ingrate?

Rev in Tampa

July 9th, 2012
11:32 am

I’d love to know what Danny told Josh about long and short term plans.

KevinM

July 9th, 2012
11:34 am

MC, did Danny state whether he was looking at Randolph at the 3? I’m hearing he’s a PF, but I see him at the 3 facing the basket.

Mike

July 9th, 2012
11:34 am

@MC

If Josh isnt impressed with these moves, do you think the Hawks need to trade him now because he should know that it going to take a while to get back up to the elites?

i_am_soulstar

July 9th, 2012
11:35 am

Pargo’s not getting any PT with Teague and Harris here. He probably knows it.

Hazeltine

July 9th, 2012
11:35 am

To pass on Dwight Howard would be a stupid mistake. He’s the 3rd or 4th best player in the league. Who cares if he’s willing to sign right now. You hafta roll the dice. Even if it’s for one season, you’d at least suck enough afterwards to get a high draft pick. Either option is better than the primordial gray area that the Hawks are racing straight towards if the try to build aroun Horford and Teague.

ccarking

July 9th, 2012
11:35 am

joe and josh were very close ???? that one is news to me joe was even a no show for josh wedding maybe we should reserve judgement on how josh feels until he speaks direct on the matter maybe MC should interview josh ?

Astro Joe

July 9th, 2012
11:37 am

Rev, I’ve been saying that for a week.

doc, I read a few “ifs” in that blog… but, if Josh is dismayed by trading a 6-time All Star for 5 guys name Moe, then I don’t understand? Maybe he saw the headlines in the NYC paper after the trade, something like “Nets Steal Joe Johnson from Hawks”. Funny how Joe’s contrat was an anchor for the Hawks while it convinced Deron to re-up with the Nets and may help lead to the acquisition of Howard. I guess one team’s anchor is another team’s cornerstone.

Time to bookmark DraftExpress so I can see who will be available in the lottery next June.

bigdave

July 9th, 2012
11:38 am

where is the quote from Smith that leads to the assertion that, “he doesn’t seem to be impressed”?

Veteran Fan

July 9th, 2012
11:38 am

If we are out of the Dwight Howard running, why keep Josh Smith? We could trade him for draft picks and lose for a season and rebuild the team better through free agents and rookies. He has already said he wants to go so work with him and get maximum value!

mountain_jim

July 9th, 2012
11:38 am

I would love to know that also, Rev in Tampa.

The Truth

July 9th, 2012
11:39 am

FTPB

“Farmar has already agreed to a new deal to pay overseas. He can be used to make salaries match up though.” – Just Joe

Here’s the thing though, Farmar was under contract with the Nets for 4.2M for 1 yr before the trade to the Hawks. The Hawks should control him for 1 yr unless Danny agreed to his buyout as part of the JJ trade which would have been asinine.

If the Hawks didn’t get full control of a player like Farmar in a JJ trade, Danny bargaining was weak especially since the protected 1st rd pick may never be realized.

ryan

July 9th, 2012
11:39 am

OJ Mayo please at least try make trade for him the Hawks have to do something sadly we are looking like a lottery team SCREW D12 all he cares about is the big city lights .

Jake

July 9th, 2012
11:39 am

I bet Ferry said he would try to get CP3 and ATTEMPT to get Howard. I think Howard would like to come to Atlanta but if he says that it affects his image with the whole not deciding situation

Eric

July 9th, 2012
11:40 am

As of now I think this team is at least a 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Joe averaged 18 ppg Marvin didn’t give your that much, Devin Harris could possible get that by himself (he did avg 21 ppg in 08′). This team is pretty good right now, just be patient.

Rick James

July 9th, 2012
11:40 am

Its hard for me to believe that Josh has as issue with the team trading Joe Johnson.If he wants the team to build that contract had to go.I dont care about his chemistry with Marvin Williams it couldnt get them past the second round of the playoffs.Another contract that had to go.These moves allow the team to build and extend his contract. Sorry Josh its a business not a social club.I want him to stay but I think he has a touch of Dwight Howard syndrome.If he cant see that Danny Ferry is trying to win maybe he does need to just go.

Roy

July 9th, 2012
11:41 am

Can someone tell me why Hibbert cant be an option here?

Marcus

July 9th, 2012
11:45 am

After last weeks’ transactions, it is a challenge to manage expectations regarding the Hawks …

Seeing all the other teams working deals or getting verbals from FAs or sign-and-trades stokes up the questions about why we seem to be standing pat … but then balance that with staying the course, hoping Ferry knows what he is doing and not spending just for the sake of spending to get warm bodies to fill roster spots.

Rev in Tampa

July 9th, 2012
11:48 am

@KevinM,

I agree. don’t see Josh hanging around to be the Big Dog on a team that will be about as good as last year’s Detriot Pistons. But who should the Hawks seek in return? A true center and move Al to PF? A starting SF? Another PF?

As I think this through I keep wondering what Danny told Josh in that meeting.

kwooden1

July 9th, 2012
11:48 am

Mike C., this is the first step in what I talked about when we first heard about the possible JJ trade. Without Dwight, we’re one more trade away from becoming the Bobcats! Josh has no reason to stay after next season and we won’t be bad enough to get a good draft pick. The 2012-13 season is a waste and the following two seasons will be probably lottery seasons.

I will state again, the HAWKS need offer whatever they have, with no guarantees, to get Dwight. When Ferry made the JJ trade, that is what he signed up for from the fans perspective. From the owners perspective though, he’s done what his Bosses have asked him to do, make up for the poor financial decisions!

vava74

July 9th, 2012
11:48 am

If we are out of the Howard sweepstakes, Danny has to trade Josh immediately.

It’s that simple, since Josh will NOT like playing on a team going nowhere, which is what we are without major moves.

Only a very lucky combination of new talent on the cheap and excellent coaching could keep us relevant enough for Josh to be mildly happy, but the harsh reality is that he will NOT be happy unless we land Howard or trade him.

So… do it.

It’s how things work right now.

D.

July 9th, 2012
11:48 am

Gotta keep Josh Smith, if you trade him the party’s over. The best return for Josh was an old Pau Gasol, and that’s the best your gonna get. Hard to replace 18.5 ppg, 9 rebounds, and one of the best shoot blockers in the game.

D.

July 9th, 2012
11:51 am

Enter your comments here

Buddy Grizzard

July 9th, 2012
11:52 am

Hump wants a 4 year deal. Why would he take a one year deal with Cleveland and risk his long term financial security to do Dwight Howard a favor. Reading that these rumors that Dwight to Brooklyn is “almost done” are overblown and driven by, guess who, Dwight Howard and Brooklyn. There’s a huge chance that by this time on Wednesday Brooklyn will be completely out of the running for Dwight, and Dwight will be reconsidering his options. As I wrote in April on Hoopinion, opting in may have ensured that Dwight will NEVER play for the Nets.

Buddy Grizzard

July 9th, 2012
11:52 am

Not saying a deal can’t get done. But if it does get done, I will be surprised. Just surprised, not shocked. Stranger things have happened.

Marcus

July 9th, 2012
11:54 am

AJ and rev In Tampa 911:30 am post),
Some pundits believe that next years’ draft will be comparably weak as it relates to the depth of talent in the 2012 draft. If true, might not be the year for angling for the lottery, as it might be 2006 all over again. :(
Saw a preliminary 2013 mock on DExp … not really impressed, even if it is based on this past seasons draft position.

Also, something has got to give in HOU. They have like 12 frontcourt players via trade/draft/incumbents. Either they are loading up for a mega-deal to balance their roster or somebody is gonna get a pink slip.

joey1

July 9th, 2012
11:55 am

Marc J. Spears: Possible complication in Dwight 3way deal is Nets FA Kris Humphries would seek 4yr deal with CLE and wouldn’t sign 1yr pact, sources tell Y! Twitter

Buddy Grizzard

July 9th, 2012
11:56 am

I disagree with the idea that this team is going nowhere. The Hawks played most of last season without its All-NBA center and lost its backup center for the playoffs. Assuming Horford and Zaza remain mostly healthy for the upcoming season, I don’t see why the Hawks couldn’t have a similar record. Horford only had two playoff starts but managed to score as many fourth quarter baskets as Josh and Joe combined. Joe is not a clutch player. Horford is. With Horford healthy for a full season but the Hawks missing Joe instead, this should be an improved squad.

Paddy

July 9th, 2012
11:57 am

Hazeltine……….the Hawks are really not passing on Howard. It is difficult to negotiate with a player who does not want to play for you! If the girl of your dreams won’t answer your calls, you guys are not becoming “an item”!

Rusty

July 9th, 2012
11:58 am

Dwight Howard is the 3rd or 4th best player in the league? What in the world are you talking about Hazeltine?

Lebron James,Kobe Bryant,Kevin Durant,Derrick Rose-there are 4 players any sane person would rate as head and shoulders above Howard. Howard is a top 20 player at best and his attitude is a gigantic red flag.

I wouldn’t want him if the Hawks could get him, he hasn’t developed offensively and never will b/c he thinks he is awesome already.

Slimjr

July 9th, 2012
12:01 pm

Yea Rev, looks like a potential lottery team now if all bets are off with D12..Josh is out of here..Cant blame him though..

All opinions are welcome…

Rev, hope you have a back up plan? It maybe a very long season up coming?

KevinM

July 9th, 2012
12:04 pm

“Truth: If the Hawks didn’t get full control of a player like Farmar in a JJ trade, Danny bargaining was weak especially since the protected 1st rd pick may never be realized.”

That brings up a good point….we all know Houston is trying to make a splash this year….time to give them our vets and improve their standing so we can earn ourselves that draft pick sooner than later based no how I understand that trade provision.
We have interest in Houston getting better this year and lottery protected doesn’t have to make them a title contender.

“Rev, But who should the Hawks seek in return? A true center and move Al to PF? A starting SF? Another PF?”

Rev, I think I heading to a full tilt youth movement, like Utah did when they moved Deron Williams. A position is not of concern right now.
We need a new big 3, it’s that simple.

Going young also allows me to justify the move of LD to another position in the organization.

Buddy Grizzard

July 9th, 2012
12:04 pm

And by the way, great job Danny Ferry for leaking that the Hawks have not offered Al Horford in any deal for Dwight. Dwight coming here was always a long shot and we’ve seen what crybabies NBA players are when they know they have been dangled in deals. Until the ink is on the paper, never let anyone know your intentions. But not only that, you’ve got to play the media game and leak story lines. Letting the world know that Al Horford HAS NOT been offered to the Orlando Magic is a big win, considering that Horford may be the player the Hawks are building around.

The Truth

July 9th, 2012
12:04 pm

“Hawks forward Josh Smith is eager to see what Danny Ferry has in store for the in the future but he doesn’t seem to be impressed by what he sees right now.” – mc

Oh really? Based on whose comment? Agree with Rev, what did Josh say to make you write this MC?

Are you reporting news or making it?

KevinM

July 9th, 2012
12:06 pm

Talking D12 and the Nets on NBATV during their SL game and their guest said I would trade D12 to anyone except the Nets. I wouldn’t accomodate him.

Slim, your boy Nicholson looking very good today in Orlando.

billyho55

July 9th, 2012
12:07 pm

JUST WANDERING WHAT YOU GUYS THINK OF KEVIN LOVE? HE MENTIONED LATELY THAT HE ISN’T TOO THRILLED WITH TWOLVES MOVES & IF THEY DON’T MAKE PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR ALL BETS ARE OFF? WHAT WOULD YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT TRYING TO WORK OUT A DEAL FOR HIM IF THINGS GO SOUTH THIS YEAR WITH MINNY?

1baddsgb

July 9th, 2012
12:12 pm

why is everyone so eager to be sorry next year look at the bobcats it takes time to build a playoff team and nba players won’t come to atlanta if we have a losing season at least no good ones

Glenn

July 9th, 2012
12:12 pm

Meh . I’m sure Josh knew that the only way he could get a long term deal with the Hawks was if Marvins and/or Joes contracts were off the books . Unless he believed that him , Al ,& Joe could be part of a super 3 . I’m sure he’s brighter than that .

I bet we get CP lll . Just really excited about the Hawks . We seem to be in the mix for alot right now . I find it hard to believe Josh wouldn’t be excited if he wanted to be here past next year .

rufus1

July 9th, 2012
12:16 pm

What Josh really wanted….

He want the Hawks to improve the team by going into the luxury tax. He wanted the Hawks to sign a Ray Allen or Jet, plus a big who could help on the glass like a Camby. Those moves could have changed our franchise.

——————————————————

Reality starting to set for some bloggers….

You can’t trade an Allstar and get better…

Hazeltine

July 9th, 2012
12:16 pm

Go get Dwight!

drmaryb.(''_*).

July 9th, 2012
12:16 pm

I have something to ease Josh’s mind. I just need him to take a few shots from downtown first.