Atlanta native (McEachern High School) Josh Smith finished his high school career at Oak Hill Academy and was stolen at #17 by then-GM Billy Knight after Smith's stock dropped from the lottery due to questionable work habits and a raw skill set.
Smith added his limitless athleticism to the mix his rookie year, revived (for one year at least) the NBA Dunk Contest, and give Hawks fans a potential star to make it worth coming to the games for.
During his (457) games as a Hawk, Smith has proved his critics wrong each year.He has worked every offseason in improving his game, and his results on the court seem to prove that out, gaining in PER every season, except for 2008-2009, when he came back from an early season injury and never captured his previous season form, logging career lows in block rate and rebound rate.
Smith already ranks 13th in games played as an Atlanta Hawk, he will only turn (25) this December. It's important to remember his previous improvements and age when commenting (as you know we do) about his still not optimized shot attempts and lapses in defensive fundamentals.
That Smith hasn't still harnessed all the potential in his NBA skillset yet and is still 7th in defensive rebound rate, 9th in total rebound rate, 3rd in block rate, and 10th in PER speaks to where Smith may yet end up on lists such as these after his career in the ATL has ended.