Tuesday , Jul , 01 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Atlanta Hawks Plan to Match Offers for Smith and Childress

The Hawks will have competition for both players, with Smith vaulting to the top of the list of available free agents in a summer where finances for most teams will be tight.

Both Smith and Childress can sign offer sheets with other teams, but the Hawks have the right to match any offer. The Hawks will get first crack at Smith, who is expected to meet Tuesday with his representatives and Hawks management, the first day they are allowed to do so by league rules. Such a meeting with Childress could also occur.

"We want to sit down and talk to [the Hawks] first and gauge their interest and see exactly where we are," said Wallace Prather, one of Smith’s agents. "I think everybody realizes that Josh loves it here and loves his teammates and loves playing in his hometown. If everything goes well, hopefully, we wont have to talk long. But if they send us off to find another offer, then we’ll have to do that as well."