Josh Smith 'relieved' that trade saga is over

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of speculation regarding his future, Josh Smith is "relieved" that he can put the trade talk behind him and focus on playing out the remainder of his contract in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Hawks decided to keep forward Josh Smith at the trade deadline despite being heavily involved in discussions with multiple teams. Smith, after being the focal point of so many NBA trade deadline rumors, is "relieved" the saga is over, via Ken Berger of CBS Sports:

According to someone who spoke with him Thursday, Smith wasn't surprised or disappointed he wasn't traded, but simply "relieved it was over."

The Hawks were linked to the Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, and Houston Rockets as the deadline inched closer Thursday, but in the end were unable to find a suitable deal for Smith. Now, they'll face the challenge of handling his impending unrestricted free agency.

The Hawks have been lukewarm on wanting to offer Smith maximum money in free agency, but Atlanta still has time to convince Smith to stay. With open cap space in the upcoming offseason, the Hawks will have the opportunity to adjust the roster while also attempting to keep Smith, and Ken Berger reports that winning is a primary motivation for Smith.

"That's the conversation that will be had," the unnamed source said. "That's what it's going to boil down to. Josh is motivated by winning, not just by money."

Can GM Danny Ferry provide a winning vision to Smith over the next few months? That's the next question for Atlanta, which still has Smith on the roster until Summer.

More in the NBA:

Metta World Peace greets cops wearing Cookie Monster pajamas

Magic trade J.J. Redick, 3 others at deadline

Josh Smith staying in Atlanta after all

Celtics make trade for backcourt help

NBA's best trade was made four months ago

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