One year after giving Josh Smith a terrible contract, the Detroit Pistons might be finding themselves a way out of that mess, with the Sacramento Kings showing plenty of interest in the disappointing power forward.
Smith has three years and $40.5 million left on his deal with the Pistons. Signed on a huge deal off free agency, Smith averaged 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 41.9% from the field and 26.4% from beyond the arc as he failed to bond with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe in the frontcourt, playing out of position and not really showing any effort in trying to change the flaws in his game.
Things should be different for the Pistons as Stan van Gundy takes control of both front office personnel decisions and the coaching, but still, Smith isn’t a great contract to have, and there’s a problem with his fit considering both Monroe and Drummond, although Monroe is still not signed to a new deal. His name did come up in a sign-and-trade scenario with the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Blazers preferred adding Chris Kaman to be their backup center.
The Sacramento Kings believe they can be a new home and place for Josh Smith to bounce back from an awful season. They have a problem at power forward, and by joining DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay it’ll give them a very impressive frontcourt, but also one in which Smith shouldn’t feel like he’s playing in the wrong spot, although his tendency to shoot bad jumpers and long 3’s without any need for them isn’t just about his spot on the floor.
The Kings are also looking to make some splashy moves, and if it only costs them players they have no plans for in the long run like Jason Thompson, Derrick Williams and Jason Terry, it doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea. Smith is also good friends with Rajon Rondo, a player the Kings have been trying to get their hands on for two years, via trade or simply waiting for the next free agency period to sign him.
Smith can also add some defense to a team that sorely lacks an elite defender. Smith wasn’t one last season, but it’s all about his attitude. When focused and motivated, Smith can be one of the best shot blockers in the league. Maybe Stan Van Gundy will bring that quality out of him again, but maybe only a change in teams and scenario can do that.