SI's Chris Mannix reports that the relationship between Smith and Hawks' coach Mike Woodson is in bad shape, meaning that Smith may be hesitant to sign a long term deal with Atlanta.
... league sources said Smith would not be interested in returning to the Hawks if the team retained coach Mike Woodson, who recently signed a two-year extension. The two have butted heads frequently in Smith's four seasons, and sources said the relationship is beyond repair. With a dearth of offers, Smith may change his tune, but having a volatile relationship on such a young team may not be in the Hawks' best interests.Since there aren't any teams that can afford to sign Smith to an offer sheet and force the Hawks to match, the proverbial ball is in Josh's court. Does he go for the money and long term deal, and try to force his coach out Magic Johnson-style? Or does he sign the qualifying offer, play with a chip on his shoulder next season, and go into the unrestricted free agent market in 2009? The latter option seems like the better one to me, but players tend to want to lock up the guaranteed dollars as soon as humanly possible.
A more appealing, but less plausible scenario could be for Smith to sign the one-year qualifying offer with Atlanta and try his luck in free agency next season.