PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Josh Smith wasted no time taking advantage of his restricted free-agent status, spending Wednesday visiting the Philadelphia 76ers - a franchise with plenty of cap room to make a big offer.
The 22-year-old Smith toured the city and visited the Wachovia Center with Sixers officials, who would like to woo the forward away from Atlanta with an offer sheet to expensive for the Hawks to match. As he's a restricted free agent, the Hawks can match any deal made to the 6-foot-9, 235 pound Smith.
``Everything is going good. He's enjoying his time here,'' said Smith's agent, Wallace Prowther. ``They seem to like him. They seem to be genuine.''
The Sixers have about $11 million in salary cap space available and could use all of it to offer Smith a five-year contract. The Hawks have said they would match any contract offer to Smith, but are on the hook next season for big contracts for Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson, and they still want to resign forward Josh Childress.
Smith's numbers have increased in each of his four NBA seasons since Atlanta made him a first-round pick out of high school in 2004. He averaged 17.2 points and 8.2 rebounds last year and helped the Hawks make the playoffs.
Smith and his agents met with the Hawks on Tuesday. Prowther said other visits where scheduled, but declined to name the teams.
Smith would be a nice fit for the up-tempo Sixers and would be a huge upgrade over last year's power forward, Reggie Evans. He's one of the premier shot blockers in the league and could team with starting center Samuel Dalembert and small forward Thaddeus Young to form one of the top frontcourts in the Eastern Conference.
``From the outside looking in, it looks like he'd fit well,'' Prowther said.
Teams began negotiating with free agents on Tuesday and can begin signing free agents on July 9.

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Whiteside takes his one-man show to Rip City After a 2-8 start out of the gate, Miami has righted itself quite nicely. But will Erik Spoelstra’s crew be able to sustain that momentum in the Pacific...
Thumbnail Rockets vs. Nuggets Prediction After stunning the Warriors last night as a double-digit underdog, will the Rockets cover again tonight when they visit the Nuggets at 10:30PM...
Thumbnail Butler aims to keep scorching nets The Cavaliers are coming off back-to-back losses heading into tonight’s game at Chicago. Can LeBron James & Co. get back on track in...
Thumbnail Pistons vs. Hawks Pick Can the Detroit Pistons continue their current hot streak on the road when they face the Atlanta Hawks tonight at 8PM...
Thumbnail Lakers vs. Raptors Prediction Is the over the right play tonight when the Lakers visit the Raptors at 7:30PM ET?
More inNBA Articles  

NBA Team Pages