Atlanta Hawks offseason: Lou Williams talks rehab, Josh Smith

USA TODAY Sports

Lou Williams says that his rehab is on track and that he hopes that Josh Smith is back with the Atlanta Hawks next season.

Lou Williams spoke to the media on Saturday as he and his teammates cleared out their lockers and headed into the offseson. Williams is one of three Hawks that have guaranteed contracts for next season but is coming off of the first major injury of his career.

Here is what Williams had to say about his ongoing rehab:

"It's coming along great. It's going to very long and challenging summer for me trying to prepare myself to get back on the basketball court. It's a challenge that I'm ready for. It's not one I can dodge if I want to continue to play basketball at a high level. I'm ready get it started."

Williams also indicated that he would split time between rehabbing in Atlanta and in Florida where he would be under the care of famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews. By all accounts Williams' situation is progressing but watching Derrick Rose continue to miss time is at least concerning. However, Rose's situation isn't the norm and Iman Shumpert suffered an identical injury as Rose and Williams and returned to the court in January.

Williams also talked about Josh Smith's upcoming free agency and compared it to his situation where he left Philadelphia for Atlanta after spending the first seven seasons of his career with the 76ers.

"At the end of the day Josh is going to be my friend forever, whether we are on the same team or not. Guys have to make decisions based on personal (reasons). Selfishly, I still want him to be here but he has to make a decision for himself. You are talking to somebody who just left a team that I was with for seven years to be with Josh. Hopefully, he makes a decision that is right for him and hopefully it benefits us."

Williams went on to say that he enjoyed the atmosphere in Atlanta during his first season with the club and that if he was asked he would help recruit potential free agents.

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