Knowing most of the NBA is obsessed with another frontcourt star, the Detroit Pistons are going to try and make their first attempt at Josh Smith count and sign the former Atlanta Hawks Power Forward.
Smith averaged 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season, not making it look like a contract year, suffering from moments of unhappiness and too much trade talk during certain parts of the season. He shot 46.5% from the field, but his shot selection is probably the biggest problem that comes along with him.
Smith shot 71% from the restricted area, but only 31% from anywhere else, including 30.3% from beyond the arc. While Smith is an exceptional talent in transition, in the paint and on defense (2.1 blocks per game in his career), as long as he keeps trying to make things happen with long-range jumpers, he’s a liability considering the contract he wants to get (expects a max-deal).
The Detroit Pistons have two priorities this offseason – re-signing Jose Calderon and getting Smith, while big part of the NBA is busy chasing Dwight Howard, and possibly missing out on a player that when focused is one of the best power forwards in the league.
However, if he does sign for the Pistons, there’s a good chance he’ll be playing out of position. Defensively, Smith has shown he can guard small forwards without a problem, as he showed in the playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, but offensively, with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond in the frontline as well, Smith may find himself a little bit out of position.
For the Pistons as well that would leave them still in need of a shooter, which they might have gotten in the draft with Caldwell-Pope, although how many minutes he’ll get as a rookie is still questionable. If the Pistons can create a team that runs a lot, they’ll benefit from Smith’s presence on both ends of the floor. A slower paced team will really be a waste of his talents.
In general, the Pistons need talent. While Smith isn’t the perfect power forward to have, especially in the way he plays sometimes like he’s a much smaller player and better shooter than he really is, his arrival will no doubt be a significant upgrade to what they currently have.