Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
October 22, 2001: Traded by the Milwaukee Bucks (as a future 2004 first-round draft pick) with Scott Williams to the Denver Nuggets for Aleksandar Radojevic and Kevin Willis.
October 1, 2002: Traded by the Denver Nuggets (as a future 2004 first-round draft pick) with Mengke Bateer and Don Reid to the Detroit Pistons for Rodney White.
February 19, 2004: As part of a three-team trade, traded by the Detroit Pistons (as a future 2004 first-round draft pick) with Zeljko Rebraca and Bob Sura to the Atlanta Hawks; the Atlanta Hawks traded Rasheed Wallace to the Detroit Pistons; the Boston Celtics traded Chris Mills to the Atlanta Hawks; the Boston Celtics traded Mike James to the Detroit Pistons; and the Detroit Pistons traded Chucky Atkins, Lindsey Hunter and a 2004 first-round draft pick (Tony Allen was later selected) to the Boston Celtics.
Josh Smith has been a “tweener” forward his entire career, not quite big enough to play the power forward, and not having the shooting skill to play the small forward.
On 82games.com, you can click on a player’s profile page and see how they do when they play by position. This year, Smith’s player efficiency rating (PER) is 19.5 as a power forward compared to 12.2 as a small forward. Last year, those numbers were 18.5 and 16.1 respectively. In the 2011-12 season, when he had a career high 21.1 PER, he played almost exclusively power forward.
Smith is just better when he’s playing the 4, even if he is a bit undersized for it, but he’s never had the chance to play between a true center and small forward to make that happen. That is why being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he could have played between Andrew Bogut and Richard Jefferson, would have been pretty spectacular.
First, with Smith defending the high post and Bogut defending the low post, they would have had a pretty spectacular defense. Between Bogut’s rim protection and Smith’s weak-side blocks, it would have tough for opponents to score in the restricted area.
The Bucks would have also had a nice high-low game, as Bogut used to be a better shooter before his elbow injury. From the 2006-07 season to the 2008-09 season, he was .463 in the paint outside the restricted area. And for all Smith’s shooting woes, he’s been fantastic inside three feet.
Add to that tandem the three-point shooting of a then healthy Michael Redd playing shooting guard, and the pre-collapse play of Jefferson, and the Bucks could have had a deep playoff run.