Share “Hawks suspend top-scorer Josh Smith for 1...”

Hawks suspend top-scorer Josh Smith for 1 game

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013
Advertisement

Smith, 27, leads the team with 16.5 points and 2.3 blocked shots per game. He also is averaging 8.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

Smith, an Atlanta native and nine-year veteran, set career highs with averages of 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds last season.

Ferry said he expects a positive response to the suspension from Smith.

"Josh and I discussed the issue and he understood and accepted this course of action," Ferry said. "We are confident that he will respond positively, learn from this experience and come back with a renewed sense of purpose to the team moving forward."

Smith can be a free agent after the season, and his future with the team is a key for the Hawks. Ferry could decide to trade the 6-foot-9 forward, especially if the Hawks keep falling in the Eastern Conference standings.

Drew said he hopes Smith remains with the team.

"We look at Josh as we do at any player in the situation of the last year of his contract," Drew said. "Josh is a talented player. He's a big part of what we do. He's a guy that we can count on and rely on doing what we do, and hopefully he will be a Hawk for a long time. He's just a phenomenal talent."

Ferry traded guard Joe Johnson and forward Marvin Williams before the season. Johnson made his first return to Atlanta with the Nets on Wednesday night.