the only elite about him is his salary. do you see him playing the same level as d. howard, chandler, kevin love in terms of defense and rebounding all year round? for me that is how you define elite, he is just not that consistent to be called elite. for his age still immature as a player.
1. Smith creates nowhere near as much mental drama as Howard does, and Howard's only offensive move is "dunk". He also doesn't average 5 fouls a game (like Dwight is for L.A. right now) which means he will actually be in the game when you need him.
2. Smith is not far off Chandler defensively - Atlanta have been a pretty solid defensive team in recent times, and if you think that's because of Joe Johnson and Teague think again. Offensively he is so much better than Chandler that it's not even funny. Chandler is a poor man's Dwight on offense - catch, dunk. That's it.
3. Kevin Love is no better offensivley than Josh Smith is and can't play defense to save his life.
Smith is an ELITE defensive player, an exceptional rebounder and one of the best passing big men in the game. He has elite athleticism. He can score inside/out and has range out to the three point line. He absolutely is not the most efficient offensive player in the NBA, but he's still a very capable scorer.