Following his release from the Detroit Pistons, Josh Smith was sought after by a handful of Western Conference teams before reportedly committing to sign with the Houston Rockets.
Continue for updates.
Smith Commits to Signing With Rockets
Wednesday, Dec. 24
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski has the latest on Smith:
Rockets Assure Smith Spot in Starting Lineup
Tuesday, Dec. 23
With so many team's pursing Josh Smith, the Houston Rockets have decided to promise the forward a major role according to ESPN's Marc Stein:
Multiple Teams Interested in Smith
Monday, Dec. 22
Detroit's official website announced the news of Josh Smith's release on Monday. Not long after, Marc Stein of ESPN provided the latest on franchises looking at signing Smith:
Yet another team in the west is looking at Smith, via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo:
Wojnarowski believes the Rockets are the early favorites to land Smith. He provided the following details:
Houston can use its biannual exception – worth $2.077 million annually – to lure Smith. Most teams with an interest in Smith, including the Clippers, Kings, Mavericks and Heat, can offer only the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.
The Rockets want to utilize Smith's ability to block shots, rebound and pass as a unique complement at the power forward to Howard. Clearly, Smith's shot selection has to improve, but the Rockets are strong believers in the corner 3-point shot, especially with their ability to offensive rebound.
Dwight Howard has already talked to Smith, according to Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle:
The Lakers are also interested in Smith confirms Eric Pincus of the LA Times. Meanwhile, Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun shared the following details about Smith potentially landing with the Kings:
Zach Lowe of Grantland reported that Memphis is also looking at Smith:
Stein also highlighted an Eastern Conference team potentially looking into adding the veteran:
Tim Bontemps of NYPost.com later reported the Brooklyn Nets would not pursue Smith.
Smith, 29, has averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season. His number's still look solid, but Smith is shooting a career-low 39.1 percent this season and 46.8 from the free-throw line. His points-per-game average has dropped each of the last three seasons.
Still, the release of Smith was a shocking move by the Pistons, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe notes:
Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy noted that a priority placed on developing young talent had a lot to do with the move, via the team's official release:
We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve performance and build for our future. As we expand certain roles, others will be reduced. In fairness to Josh, being a highly versatile 10-year veteran in this league, we feel it’s best to give him his freedom to move forward. We have full respect for Josh as a player and a person.
During his career, Smith has been a reliable scorer despite his struggles this season. He also adds 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the postseason as career averages.
Given his experience, landing with a team that can make a postseason run seems like a perfect fit. With all four teams mentioned in the running for Smith having a shot to make the postseason, acquiring Smith would add both offense and another veteran presence to those respective rosters.
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