Josh Smith has scored 10,371 points in his nine years in a Hawks uniform, but he told reporters after Friday’s season-ending loss to the Pacers that he wants to test free agency.
ATLANTA — In the minutes following the Hawks’ season-ending playoff loss to the Pacers on Friday, when the cameras were on and media members stood two-deep around his locker, Josh Smith said what he was expected to say.
He stank, his team stank and he hadn’t even had time to think about whether his Hawks’ career was over or about impending free agency.
Later, in a quiet moment, Smith reflected on his nine-year tenure with his hometown team that drafted him out of high school with the 17th overall selection in 2004.
“As I walked off the court, everything just sort of hit me,” the Hawks forward told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Just the uncertainty of what the future holds. Just thinking about all of the relationships I’ve had here and the people who’ve crossed my path since I’ve been here. I just ... I just don’t know.”
Does he want to come back?
“The only thing I know is I want to be able to experience free agency. I want to explore my options and see what’s out there. I don’t have any certain idea what’s going to happen.”
If Smith has played his final game here, he finished with 10,371 points, eighth most in Hawks history.
Pachulia wants to return: Zaza Pachulia stood with a walking boot on his right foot and a basketball tucked under his right arm Saturday. They served as symbols of his present and future.
The Hawks center missed the final 24 games of the regular season after surgery to repair a partially torn Achillies. Pachulia, a fan favorite, is an unrestricted free agent, and after spending the past eight season in Atlanta, he wants to return.
“How can I not (want to be back),” Pachulia said after cleaning out his locker following the season-ending loss. “I’ve been here eight years. I call Atlanta home. You guys know the relationship between me and fans. I would love to be back again. This is my third time being a free agent, and we all understand the business, but again, we’ll see what July brings.”
Hawks interested in Korver: Kyle Korver said Saturday that the Hawks have expressed interest in re-signing him. Korver, obtained in an offseason trade with the Bulls, will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
“They said they would like to work something out, so we’ll talk in July,” Korver said. “I really enjoyed my year here in Atlanta. I enjoyed the team. I enjoyed the organization. I believe (general manager) Danny Ferry is going to do some great things here. I think he has a great opportunity to bring in guys who are going to play fun basketball.
“You know the vision he has. You know the kind of basketball that he likes to watch, and I think he’s going to bring in those types of guys, and I like the same basketball that he likes. So, I’m very open to coming back here.”
Harris on the mend: Devin Harris said he will go to New York for another platelet-rich plasma injection in the toe on his left foot that bothered him much of the season. After that, it’s rest and recuperation.
The unrestricted free agent guard said he would be interested in returning to the Hawks. Perhaps he can continue to rent Al Horford’s former house, as he did this season.
“I think we had a good team,” Harris said. “I think we proved a lot of people wrong on how we could play together, especially with guys on the last year of contracts. I thought the guys fit together really well. I really enjoyed it.
“I could see myself coming back, but you never know what happens in free agency.
Harris said the Hawks’ abundant salary-cap space makes Atlanta an attractive option.
“Is that really a question?” Harris said. “Of course it is. That makes it attractive. Not only that, it’s an attractive city. People like playing here. People like living here.”