While Josh Smith heads into the final year of his contract, Hawks general manager Danny Ferry is focused on making this season one of the best of his career. Ferry met with the media on Tuesday and talked about Smith and his situation. One of the things that Ferry keyed in on was providing the internal support to push Smith to an even higher level.
"He's had a really strong career so far," Ferry said. "Let's see if we can take it to another level. (Head coach) Larry [Drew] will push him and I will push him to go from really good to that next level."
During his career in Atlanta, Smith has never made an All-Star team despite having numbers worthy of a selection. He turned in what was perhaps the best season of his career in 2012 tying for the team lead in scoring with the departed Joe Johnson at 18.8 points per game while also grabbing 9.6 rebounds a night. Toss in 3.9 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.7 blocks and some might say Smith is already at an All-Star level.
However, that is not to say there isn't room for improvement. Smith's field goal percentage dropped for the third consecutive season down to a still very respectable 46 percent. Shot selection and decision-making have hampered his overall game but if he puts it all together this season then he will cash in big during the offseason. Perhaps Danny Ferry is the voice that is needed to help Josh get there. If he is, then perhaps Smith will be a little more reluctant to seek employment elsewhere.
This story was originally published at SB Nation Atlanta.