Saturday , Aug , 09 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Atlanta Hawks Match Offer, Retain Josh Smith

Atlanta Hawks Match Offer, Retain Josh SmithWell, that didn’t take long.  In a matter of hours, the Atlanta Hawks responded to the offer sheet the Memphis Grizzlies tendered Josh Smith by matching and ensuring the man they call "J-Smoove" stays in the A.  Given that both Luol Deng and Emeka Okafor managed to squeeze over $70 million out of their respective franchises, it’s a little surprising that Smith, one of the league’s top team defenders and a threat to average twenty-plus in the near future, settled for a mere $58 million.

Still, with the last offer from the Hawks being a full thirteen million lower, it wasn’t a bad day’s business for Josh and his agent.  Likewise, Atlanta can breathe a little easier knowing that it’s possible to keep their free agents in town (and on the continent) without having to hand out the sort of bank-breaking deals we’ve been seeing this summer.