Did the Hawks learn nothing from their most recent public relations disaster?If you hadn't heard, the Hawks became the first team in NBA history to lose a young, restricted free agent to a team from another country. Josh Childress left the Hawks last week for a three-year, $20 million offer from Olympiacos in Greece.
Slow-paced negotiations with Childress' representatives cost the Hawks in that deal. And a similar negotiating tactic could have cost them the services of fellow restricted free agent Josh Smith, too.
This time, the Memphis Grizzlies -- not a team overseas -- gave Smith an offer sheet, and the Hawks, as is their right, quickly matched it. So he's not going anywhere.
Hawks general manager Rick Sund, who had taken plenty of the heat for the botched Childress deal, remained confident that the negotiating process would continue amicably.
"One of the things that I think is important in the process is to have the integrity and professionalism to not negotiate in the newspapers," Sund said. "I said that in the beginning to Josh Smith's (representatives) and they haven't said a whole lot. They've done an excellent job representing their client. The bottom line is we've had a lot of dialogue, but it's not done yet."
Obviously, it didn't continue amicably enough, and Smith forced the Hawks' hand by turning to Memphis. But at least the Hawks didn't lose the player this time.