Hawks general manager Danny Ferry gave a simple explanation why he turned down the chance to trade Josh Smith on Thursday.
“We value Josh,” Ferry said.
It wasn’t the only time Ferry used those words. Smith, 6-foot-9 forward who leads the team in scoring, is an important defender with his steals and blocks, contributes big in assists and rebounds but will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Ferry confirmed the Hawks entertained offers for Smith leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline. Ferry preferred to keep Smith even while accepting the risk he could lose the forward in free agency with no return for the team.
“We weighed the positives and negatives of each of our opportunities and at the end of the day we felt like the best decision was to stand pat based off some of the things we were looking at,” Ferry said.
The Hawks made two other moves. The team traded guard Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for guard-forward Dahntay Jones. Atlanta also acquired backup center Jeremy Tyler from Golden State as the Warriors moved to escape the luxury tax.
“I’m playing my dream job,” Smith said. “I’m just blessed with the opportunity to be able to be a part of a special time. A lot of guys came through this league and played for the Hawks and other teams that I grew up idolizing, so it’s definitely a blessing just to be here.”
Smith leads Atlanta with his averages of 17.1 points and 2.1 blocks per game.
Deadline day resulted in only minor deals to the disappointment of those hoping for a frenzy.
J.J. Redick was the biggest name to be traded. Orlando traded the guard, center Gustavo Ayon and reserve point guard Ish Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guards Doron Lamb and Beno Udrih, as well as forward Tobias Harris.