There was, in the course of the week, the 76ers' impressive courtship of Atlanta Hawks' restricted free agent Josh Smith.

And, according to a source familiar with the Sixers' situation, there has been contact with several other free agents other than Hawks restricted free-agent forward Josh Childress and the Sixers' own two restricted free agents, Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams.

The others on the Sixers' radar, include Los Angeles Clippers' unrestricted free agent Corey Maggette and two restricted free agents, Golden State's Andris Biedrins and New Jersey's Nenad Krstic.

Childress is scheduled to visit, but despite earlier reports, is yet to be set for a specific date.

There have been conflicting reports as to whether the Sixers met with Clippers unrestricted free agent Elton Brand this week, although there was previous contact.

Brand is clearly the best option as the post player the Sixers have been seeking. But he has a 5-year, $70 million offer to return to the Clippers and team with former Warriors star Baron Davis, and a 5-year, $90 million offer to join the Warriors.

To this point, the Sixers have been unable to be competitive with those numbers, but it is likely they are waiting to see whether a rise in the salary cap next week might give them a better opportunity. It is also conceivable that they are trying to move a modest contract in order to create even more flexibility.

If the Sixers' available money is $11.5 million (it could be slightly less, it could turn out to be more), the most they could offer in a 5-year package is $66.7 million. With Smith, the Hawks have the right to match. It is highly unlikely that Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski would bid that high for Biedrins or Krstic.

Before leaving Philadelphia, Smith - easily the most versatile of the Sixers' possibilities - told Comcast SportsNet: "[It's] definitely the City of Brotherly Love. I felt welcome as soon as I got here, people stopping me, telling me that they wanted me to really come. I think that it was first class how everything was prepared; it was very organized and I had a good time while I was out here."

Asked whether he was presented with an offer sheet, Smith said, "We've just got to wait and see what goes on with the revenue and stuff, and see if we can get stuff done after that."

If an offer sheet were to be presented, the Hawks would have 7 days in which to match.

Stefanski has been unavailable for comment. Brian Dyke, one of Smith's agents, has declined to comment on contractual questions. David Falk, Brand's agent, has not responded to telephone and e-mail messages.

"I think Nenad would fit the Sixers really well," said Marc Cornstein, Krsitc's agent, adding that he believed Krstic would be a nice complement to Sixers' center Samuel Dalembert, another of his clients. "But once you get by the first 24 to 48 hours of free agency, which happens in a frenzy, things begin to move at a more normal pace. That's what's happening now, especially with restricted free agents."

Maggette, who opted out of a $7 million contract, has been popping up all over the league as a possible acquisition, although his agent, Rob Pelinka, has not commented publicly; the San Antonio Express-News indicated the Spurs were close to a deal.

Maggette averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists with the Clippers in 70 games last season, making 65 starts. A rookie with Orlando in 1999-2000, he spent the last eight seasons with the Clippers.

The 6-11 Biedrins was the No. 11 overall pick in 2004. Just 22, he started 59 of 76 games for the Warriors last season, averaging 10.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.24 blocks, shooting 62.6 percent from the floor.

The 7-foot Krstic missed much of '06-07 with knee surgery, but started 38 of 45 games last season, averaging 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds. *