How Much Is Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith Really Worth?
Josh Smith and trade rumors are synonymous with each other.
The Hawks apparently believe he's currently worth $13.2 million—which is how much the final year of his contract is worth—according to Hoops Salary.
The big question, though, as Smith will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season, is just how much he's actually worth.
Let's start to look for an answer to that question by looking at Smith's career stats.
Josh Smith (nine seasons) — 15.1 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, 2.2 BLKPG, 1.3 STLPG, 46.4 FG%
When you look at those statistics, it's obvious that Smith is worth as much as he's currently making.
His $13.2 million per year puts Smith just under players like Kevin Love ($13.7 million), Eric Gordon ($13.7 million), Marc Gasol ($13.9 million) and Manu Ginobili ($14.1 million).
Putting Smith in a category with those players isn't unfair, and in all honesty, it makes a lot of sense because he is as productive as most of those players—aside from double-double machine, Kevin Love.
What makes Smith a bit different than those players is that he's an athletic monster.
When you watch him fly up and down the court, and swoop in on defense for highlight-reel dunks, you're in awe. And that means that teams are going to increase his value because of the star appeal he brings to the court.
Smith's main criticism is his lack of discipline on both sides of the ball.
While you could chalk that up to the fact that he's just 27 years old, in spite of his nine seasons in the NBA, his lack of discipline is certainly his Achilles heel.
Fortunately, teams seem to favor athleticism and potential more than they care about discipline when it comes to signing free agents.
Potential is a very powerful thing on the free-agent market, and there will definitely be teams looking to make Smith their franchise player.
While there aren't many rumors circulating about who those teams are, one thing is for sure: Teams will overpay for Smith because of his potential and star appeal.
Based on the current CBA, Smith falls into the seven-nine year category, which means he can be paid $11 million per year or 30 percent of the salary cap—around $17 million this past season—according to NBA.com.
How Much Will Josh Smith Get Paid Per-Year Next Season?
Teams will overpay for Smith's talents, that's just a fact of life. It happens every offseason, and this year will be no exception.
Smith is a good player to take a risk on because at worst, you're getting an athletic player who knows how to play the game and put some impressive production on the board.
When it comes to "J-smoove's" future, one thing is for sure. The Atlanta Hawks won't be paying him anything next season.
He'll be looking to take his talents elsewhere—most likely to a team who will give him more money than he's worth.
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