All signs pointed to a deal but the Atlanta Hawks held onto Josh Smith at the trade deadline and will now be faced with the possibility of losing him for nothing this summer. That is a risk that Hawks general manager Danny Ferry was willing to take after he failed to receive an offer that he could deem acceptable for Smith. At the end of the day, Ferry felt it best to stand pat:
"We value Josh," Hawks general manager Danny Ferry said. "We've said that all year long. He's been important to this program and he's been important to our year.
"We weighed the positives and negatives in each situation and at the end of the day, with some of our situations, we felt like the best decision was to stand pat based on some of the things we were looking at."
Several teams including Phoenix, Houston, Brooklyn and Milwaukee were rumored to be in on Smith and it was Atlanta that reportedly pulled out late on the Bucks in a potential three-way deal that would have sent Smith and Orlando's J.J. Redick to Milwaukee.
Reports are already surfacing that Smith is unlikely to re-sign with the Hawks during the offseason even though he also indicated that the Hawks would be one of the teams he considers during the offseason. Smith hasn't campaigned for a trade from the Hawks and Atlanta will hold his Bird rights this offseason which enables them to offer a five-year deal worth approximately $24 million more than any other team.
Atlanta may not want to pay that much for Smith but the fact remains that they can top any offer that another team gives Smith if they desire. Should the Hawks offer more money, it remains to be seen whether or not Smith would be willing to walk away from more money for a change in scenery.
Update: Here is a video of Ferry discussing the Josh Smith situation: