$58M for Josh Smith – Good Price?

I know there are a lot of you out there who want Josh Smith on the Warriors roster. Well, the AJC is reporting that he signed a five-year, $58 million offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Of course, that begs the question, would you want Josh for $58 million?
Now, obviously several factors played into that number. For starters the Grizzlies are the only team left with money, so they have the negotiating edge. Second, he’s signing fairly late, so the market has already been set and Josh is running out of options. Neither was the case when the Warriors were perusing Free Agent Mall, so one could argue they couldn’t have gotten Josh Smith for $58 million in early July.
But, if they could’ve, I think it certainly would’ve been a better move to get sign Josh instead of Maggette (for less than $2M more a year than what they paid Maggette). They probably wouldn’t have been able to keep Azubuike. I think they could’ve, it’s just they would’ve been even closer to the tax. But I’d sacrifice Buike to get Josh.
Here’s what the lineup would look like if the Warriors signed Josh (and the Hawks declined to match), compared with the current lineup:

PG Monta Ellis PG Monta Ellis
SG Stephen Jackson SG Corey Maggette
SF Al Harrington SF Stephen Jackson
PF Josh Smith PF Al Harrington
C Andris Biedrins C Andris Biedrins

I like the lineup with Josh Smith better. Harrington would get to play his more natural position, which is small forward. Marco Belinelli would get a clear path to back-up shooting guard minutes (might as well find out what can do now), instead of Kelenna Azubuike, who is better at this point. The Warriors get a defensive presence in the lineup and are more athletic (can you imagine Monta and Josh on the break?).
Corey is a better scorer than Josh, so they would be losing some much-needed offense. But Josh fits the future formula better. He and Monta and Andris could’ve been the core for years to come (and don’t forget Randolph).
To be sure, the Warriors probably couldn’t have gotten Smith for $58 million back then, especially with the numbers that was being thrown out back then. And there is no guarantee the Hawks won’t match, even though Smith wants out. But if they could’ve gotten him for that price, would it have been a good move, or do you like the team as currently constituted better?

Marcus Thompson

  • tw@ll

    I don’t think josh smith is worth that much money. I’ve followed his game the last few years (i live in atlanta). And he doesn’t have the work ethic that Mully wants out of his players. It just seems like Smith only shows up when his games are nationally televised (sounds familar?) which is why there is this misconception of him being amazing. Elton Brand is 10x better than him IMO.

  • JustPuked

    By now everyone’s seen some version of the rumored Hawks/Warriors Josh Smith sign ‘n trade for Harrington, Wright and possibly Belinelli or Perovic trade. It’s such a hot rumor in Warriorland because if fills so many of our needs and alleviates the scariest aspect of our current roster: Dependence on the so far unfulfilled potential of Brandan Wright.

    I doubt the Warriors could have gotten Smith for $58M and I’d be floored if the Hawks don’t match the Grizzlies tender (franchise suicide). I’ve read Kawakami’s analysis of Josh Smith’s weaknesses including his poor shooting percentage and less that expected rebounding prowess but Smith would be a significantly upgrade at power forward over Harrington and it’s getting harder and harder to envision Wright becoming Josh Smith 2.0.

    So Marcus, you’re asking us if we would be happy with a close to best case scenario where Cohen willingly goes into luxury tax land, Mullin still sign Maggette/Ellis/Biedrins AND we get the apple of our eye Josh Smith and the only player we lose is Azubuike?!!? Yes, Marcus YES. The price is a little steep but I’d bite.

    My only quibbles are, I’d start Maggette at the three, bringing Harrington off the bench and I’d find a backup for Ellis besides his clone/twin brother….:-)

  • EJ

    IMHO, i think the warriors’ reluctance to make an offer for smith and to go with maggette instead were (a) fears that atlanta would match anyway, holding up that money to make offers to other free agents (b) they’ve still got high hopes for wright (c) they drafted randolph who can do some similar things in the future (d) maybe jackson becomes trade bait for a contender around the deadline and having maggette wouldn’t make it such a huge loss for them since they’re retooling (e) it would probably leave harrington (and his salary) or wright buried on the bench.

    a guy like smith isn’t someone that can put a franchise over the top. with the money that was to be invested in ellis and biedrins, and then to lock up smith with a huge deal, that would’ve left them strapped to ad another piece to contend in the future. and i’m sure the number for smith would’ve been more like 5 years/60mil. the warriors ability to retain azubuike was probably one of the key moves made this summer and probably wouldn’t have been possible with a smith signing.

    if wright and randolph can reach the potential that everyone sees in them, then i’m fine with passing up on josh smith. i think a core of ellis, maggette, wright, randolph, and biedrins is awesome!

  • Chris Cohan


  • petaluman

    As you mentioned, it’s unlikely that JS would have signed for 58M early on, and the Hawks are pretty sure to match. That makes the question purely theoretical. Would the Warriors be better off with Josh Smith, or Corey Maggette and Kelenna Azubuike?

    I think we’re probably better off this year as we are. If AH opts out, we’ll probably wish we had Smith next year.

  • I agree with tw@ll….i stay in Atlanta and get to view a bunch of Hawks games in person…Grew up in San Jose so I got nothin’ but love for the Warriors… I just think that’s way to much money for Josh Smith..dont get me wrong he’s a young talented athlete but he has a low basketball IQ and is to raw to be relied on every game….He had a good post season and thats what earned him this payday however for us that watch him all the time his offensive game is very limited. To many times he settles for long jump shots which is not his strength. And his low post game is limited. We kept hearing he went to Houston last summer and worked out with Olajuwon however when the real games started we didnt see any of that…he’s a great shot blocker and would sell tickets with his highlight dunks but if your looking to win games CONSISTENTLY, he’s not the answer…I’m glad Mullin and Nellie stayed away from him…..

  • Alberto

    I fully agree that Josh Smith at 58 million is a bargain. We still might a chance if Atlanta match the price and trade him for Warriors players (Al and Marco/Brandan). If Atlanta does not match then the Memphis Grizzlies get a great player for very reasonable price.

    I wish the Warriors were in the position of the Grizzlies.

  • Confused in Contra Costa

    Why did you just waste time writing a piece based on a contract the Warriors would not be able to sign Smoove to?

    $58M might be the number the Hawks are getting him for, but it undoubtedly would have had to be higher for the Warriors to sign him.

  • JustPuked

    tw@ll and Bigbabytap, As Atlanta locals, do you think the Hawk fan base would revolt if the Hawks let Smith walk….especially after loosing Childress for nada? Are Hawk fans actually secretly dreaming the Smith-Harrington/Wright/Belinelli trade happens? Do Hawk fans still think fondly of the Harrington Era?

  • Niners in 2009

    The Hawks are gonna match. There’s really no point in making this a Maggette or Smith debate. How many RFAs are switching teams? None of the big names. After Maggette the best available UFAs were Ricky Davis and Kwame Brown, c’mon now. Just be glad we got somebody good.

  • Le


    Think about your last sentence. You rather be in the position of the Grizzlies than the Warriors?

  • Twinkie defense

    Sure, I’d love Josh on the Dubs. But moot point Marcus, ’cause Atlanta would have matched our $58 mil, just like they matched Memphis’.

  • Marcus, I don’t write often but can’t stay away from this one. Josh is what we need. Not Josh of today (22 years old), but Josh of tomorrow. We have to remember AB doesn’t have any more low post game than Josh and we just gave him $60M+. I’m willing to bet Nellie can teach Josh to run the pick and roll too. Mully did AB’s deal because he’s 22, getting better and fits our style of play.

    So lets talk style of play. Josh is athletic, blocks shots and loves to run. His rebounding numbers aren’t great at 8.2 but are a lot better than Harrington at 5.4 and he’s slated to start @ the 4. X factor is Josh is 22 and only getting better.

    I’ve got to comment on players under performing on REALLY bad teams. We as Warrior fans should Ace this topic. Josh doesn’t try hard all the time but if you were on the Hawks would you? Nellie might be the best coach in the league at getting unmotivated players to play. Remember Baron and I think we traded a 1 pick for Marcus Williams because we believe he WILL try under Nellie. We all know he didn’t for Frank.

    In the context of your question, no brainer. Wright has a lot of developing to do. Harrington is due $20M over the next 2 years and isn’t working out for us at that price. Belinelli’s D is closer to High School than NBA so forget about his 3’s. Please give me JS

  • chishaq

    woulda’ shoulda’ coulda’

    i am not a fan of what ifs. what if we drafted kobe?

    i like the roster. it will be a competitive team in a highly competitive division. they have shooters as well as a couple of guys who can hit and take punishment. do they have the equvalent of carlos boozer? no, but turaif will provide stuff to make his life tougher on the court.

  • JP

    Sice Atlanta matched the offer from Memphis, I guess the point is moot and it is too late anyway because CM is here. However the dubs can still try to trade for Josh Smith. If not then we really need to have B Wright step up and start at power forward. Harrington is more suited to be a 6th man and we need that. I think our season success or failure depends on what we get out of Brandon or another power foward. If BW can be a role player power forward then we might be an above average team.

  • daovis

    I’d say that if there were no salary involved, the Smith format of the team would be the better one. But the Hawks matched the offer, meaning for the Warriors to get him they would have had to offer more than 58 mil. Buike plus Maggette might not be enough, it might have to be Buike + Maggette + Turiaf’s salaries, plus maybe some luxury tax. If you count those, Josh Smith is not worth the loss of those three guys, given that the Warriors ran out of gas with their 6-8 man rotation last season. We’d be pretty much the same team as last year, minus Baron, Buike, Pietrus and Croshere; plus Marcus Williams, and more minutes for Belinelli and Wright (and Randolph, but he’d be here either way).

  • Action

    My thing is why not keep the team that went to the playoffs and build on that to win a ring we went to the second round and almost one why tear that team up and start over when we had a foundation? I just don’t understand CM

  • Chris Cohan

    They fired the wrong dude.

  • smearthebeard

    His a RFF!!! for cryin out loud. They were never going to get him Marcus you idiot!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JUSTPUKED…….the fans of Atlanta LOVE josh smith. all the blogs out here were full of fans saying they would boycott the games if they let JSmoove leave (especially after the Childress fiasco….) the hawks management kept saying they would match any offer for Childress and Smith and the fans were upset that things didnt get moving quicker, especially considering atlanta didnt have any draft picks…resiging Smith was a necessity and no one around here wanted Harrington back….

  • EJ


    For 5 years 63mil, would you rather have Biedrins or Josh Smith?

  • Marcus


    Since you have Turiaf already, I’d take Josh. Ronny isn’t better than Andris. But the PF/C combo of Josh and Turiaf, to me, is better than the PF/C combo of Harrington and Biedrins

  • goingforthemoney.com

    It easy to look back in hindsight! However as of my comments the Hawks have matched and got a better deal for themselves then they would have had the W’s made a go for it earlier. I’t has all worked out for the best so far for the W’s. They have a lot of talent on this squad and not enough minutes to spread around. My hope is that they continue to play the game as they’ve been playing and wait for the right moment to make the block buster trade to get them over the hump. PS: If you play the rookies and 2nd year players enough to showcase and develop them someone may get desperate enough like memphis did last year to give away a talent for no other reason but to dump salary! Just dreamin’ out loud!