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Pistons reportedly targeting Josh Smith and Gerald Henderson in free agency

Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld:

The Pistons have been linked to Hawks forward Josh Smith and Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson; both are expected to be offseason targets of the Pistons, especially with so much cap space to play with.

I like Smith a great deal, but he’s a better power forward than small forward, and the Pistons have Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond locked in at the two big spots. Smith can play small forward, and – for the right price – I’d be fine with him there. But when the Pistons are competing with teams that want him as a power forward and are willing to pay him based on his value at that spot, the Pistons should probably pass.

Unlike Smith, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, Henderson is set to become a restricted free agent. Henderson would follow the Austin Daye Walker Russell path of playing for the Pistons after their fathers did, but aside from that minor sentimental connection, I don’t see much value in Henderson. He’s an inefficient scorer and doesn’t do much else. He’s shooting 3-pointers better than ever, so that’s an intriguing sign of growth, but if the Pistons sign him, it should be only because they believe in what he will become, not what he is.

57 Comments

  • Feb 12, 201310:43 am
    by TRJ

    Reply

    Important to note that they don’t know anything at Hoopsworld (or at least nothing about the Pistons.)

  • Feb 12, 201310:46 am
    by Domnick

    Reply

    Tyreke evans please.. Not henderson

    • Feb 12, 20135:32 pm
      by MrCarter

      Reply

      Glad I’m not the only one who sees it like that. I think Evans would be a great fit for us.
       

  • Feb 12, 201311:15 am
    by Mr.BlockedShot

    Reply

    Josh Smith at the right price would be a great adition. Even coming off the bench. Drummond and Monroe should be locked in at PF and C (if Lawrence Frank ever gets Drummond to start), but Smith’s skillset and polivalency has always drawn my attention.

  • Feb 12, 201311:45 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    josh smith?
    you’ve gotta be kidding?
    and josh smith at small forward?
    you’ve got to be seriously kidding.
    and josh smith at small forward on a team with two guys – drummond and monroe – who both need to be closer to the hoop and who ideally need a SF who can stretch the floor?
    no…no…no…you cannot seriously want that fate for a team you root for?
    smith’s addition to this team would be a disaster.  right up there with the AI, BG/CV fiascos.
    he’s an extremely talented, low BB IQ knucklehead who doesn’t have a clue as to how to best utilize his immense talent.
    the last thing the team needs, on the court, is a guy like smith.  in fact, coming to detroit would actually set him up for failure in a way that going to another team would not.
    in fact, he might love coming to a place like detroit, where his imbecilic tendency to shoot 3 pointers would be encouraged because of the presence of monroe/drummond.
    and if you hadn’t noticed, his success, and the success of the atlanta hawks, was greatly enchanced when mike woodson was able to somehow convince him to stop chucking up 3 pointers, which he is horrible at shooting.  (i think p. hayes advised that stuckey should just stop shooting 3 pointers because he is so bad at it.  well, smith shoots them at a .287 rate, a miniscule improvement over stuckey’s .282, though stuckey has at least had the good sense to shoot them at a lower rate…at least until this year.)  and not only is he horrible at shooting them, but by taking 3 pointers you effectively remove him from the area of the court where he is truly frightening for opponents- closer to the hoop.   
    unfortunately, i think this is going to be joe’s plan, however.  he’s made no secret about his desire to obtain smith, the same way that he always coveted AI.  and there were rumors for months about detroit and ben gordon before gordon signed.  i’m sure the reports and rumors are well-founded.
    what a nightmare.
     

    • Feb 12, 201312:25 pm
      by Merwin

      Reply

      Well said.  I know Joe wouldn’t do this.  I just know it.

    • Feb 12, 20131:24 pm
      by ryan

      Reply

      My thoughts more or less exactly. If we sign Josh Smith I will officially make myself a fan free agent and begin looking over teams.

  • Feb 12, 201311:51 am
    by Tom Y.

    Reply

    Trade rumours are often unfounded, and I certainly hope these are, because these are some crazy ideas.

  • Feb 12, 201311:56 am
    by George

    Reply

    I want no part of Smith.  He is not a small forward, regardless of what some of you think.  He also expects to get a max contract this offseason too. I would just pass on going huge this off-season and just compile values and good role players.  I like Henderson, he gets his role.  I would love to make a run at Earl Clark.  Clark has been great for the Lakers of late.  He is a legit sf, and he is 6’10.  You can also play him at pf in small stretches too. Has 3 pt range, plays great D, rebounds, seems to have a good attitude, and like Henderson, he gets his role on a squad.  Kobe likes him for Christs sake.  and he is only 22.

    This team is going to be built around Drummond/Monroe, and I only want players who understand they will never be our franchise guy.

    On a different note, I hope we sell high on BK.  I know he is young, but at this point he projects, at best, as a 6th man shooting guard.  In one week, we have seen what a real pg can do with our roster, and BK just doesn’t project close to what a guy like Jose brings.

    • Feb 12, 201312:09 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      agreed about clark.
      he will be cheap, he will fit the current roster, and he needs a team where he can fulfill his potential.
      joe should move fast on him, while LA is busy chasing bigger fish – howard? – this summer.
      spend a bit on a couple of mid-range level guys, and keep a lot of your cap space open so you can steal a couple of young guys when teams need a third team that has room to absorb a contract. 
      i guess we’ll see how much joe d has actually learned from the last few years of mistakes. 

      • Feb 12, 201312:27 pm
        by inigo montoya

        Reply

        Strongly agree about Smith, he is not worth what he will probably get paid.

        I like Clark too, but I think he might get overpaid too, just like Ariza did.

        I also like the strategy of keeping your cap space open, one can be opportunistic when the time is right.

         

        • Feb 12, 20131:42 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Ariza got overpaid because his team won the championship. The Lakers are liable to miss the playoffs. I doubt the same thing happens with Clark. But if he can be had for $4M/yr, that’d be great.

          • Feb 12, 201310:48 pm
            by mateo

            I think Clark will receive offers around 3yrs/15-18mil$. I would love to sign him for around 3yrs/16mil$, then go after Corey Brewer for about the same. That would only total about 11 mil$ per season. Go after OJ Mayo, and extend Monroe. Keep

          • Feb 13, 201310:28 am
            by tarsier

            This is a terrible idea. Signing a bunch of role players to medium deals can get you in the playoffs, but it won’t get you far. You gotta get at least fringe all-stars. And once you’ve spent basically up to the cap building your core out of such guys, you fill out the roster with these role players.

            For $11M/yr, you can get a very good player. Why get two mediocre players instead? 

          • Feb 13, 20132:22 pm
            by frankie d

            of course you want to have the best players possible, but the difference between a 2-3 year player who can be signed for a relatively cheap contract and a more established player who commands that 10 million dollars can be negligible, if it exists at all.
            one of the keys in the current nba is to find and acquire cheaper, younger players who have been overlooked or cast aside, for any number of reasons.  you add those guys to a core of all-star level talent – in detroit, that would be monroe, drummond and (player to be acquired soon, hopefully) – and you just churn through that talent until you find the guys that fit and work.  or you keep acquiring them until you can package the most attractive ones and bring in that all star talent.
            houston has done that exceedingly well and now we shall see if they take that next step up to legit contender.  SA and OKC have also been using that same basic formula to great success.
            (in fact, joe d was the sucker in one of houston’s coups, when they stole a mid-second round pick – budinger) and later parlayed him into a mid-first round choice in a trade.)
            trying to sign free agents through the competitive bidding process is the absolute worst way to build a team.  you are guaranteed to overpay because of the bidding process.  and that player, typically a 5-7 year vet, who gets that 10-11 million dollar contract may be, and often is, no more productive than a younger guy being paid one half or one third the salary.  you just have to have very good scouting and a very good idea of who will fit your particular team.  and you also have to make sure you devote time and attention to actually developing that young talent once you bring it on board.
            i would have gladly taken a daniel gibson-type player at a third of the price, instead of signing a guy like ben gordon to that ridiculous contract.   is gordon a better player?  yea, maybe…arguably.  but is it worth paying gordon 2 times, 3 times the salary to do basically the same thing gibson has been doing for cleveland at a much cheaper price.
            i don’t think so.

          • Feb 13, 20132:34 pm
            by tarsier

            I agree wholeheartedly with some of what you said. You want to avoid big bust signings. But the relatively cheap role players aren’t enough to get it done. You need to find some big names who will be big time contributors, pay them, and then fill out the roster with your Corey Brewer types.

            But with the beginning of a young core, one that still needs another big time piece or three, and a ton of cap room, you shouldn’t make these Corey Brewer types your main targets. Get the big time player or two first. Just don’t delude yourself into thinking BG or CV is that guy.

            Some people are talking up O.J. Mayo. He seems too comparable to BG for my tastes. 

  • Feb 12, 201312:02 pm
    by Drew

    Reply

    Josh Smith would not fit on our squad.

    Henderson is aiming way too low for value.  It is like when we got Nazr Mohammad

     

  • Feb 12, 201312:39 pm
    by David

    Reply

    I agree that josh smith isn’t a good fit for the Pistons. There’s better and cheaper (he wants a max contract) SFs available. I’m thinking Detroit should go after Corey Brewer. He’s a good defender, fast, and plays within himself. I don’t think he’d cost too much. 

    If the team really wants a SG, maybe they should see what it’ll cost to sign OJ Mayo. 

    If Calderon continues to play as he has been, I’m all for resigning him, signing a 2 or a 3, and drafting a PG, SG, or SF depending on who’s available. 
     

  • Feb 12, 201312:42 pm
    by Mamun

    Reply

    save the money for next year and fill in the roster with some one year deals just for the 2013/2014 season
    there will be better free agents  

    • Feb 12, 20131:51 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      But of course, Joe burned a precious first rounder for the luxury of being allowed to spend the money this coming offseason.

      Also, in the 2014 offseason, Monroe will be eating a lot more cap room. 

      • Feb 12, 20131:55 pm
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        Agreed, that’s why he cant miss with this chance or he is outta here!

      • Feb 12, 20134:56 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I mean, really, that’s a sunk cost and shouldn’t change things. But there are good FAs on the market even if no perfect fit. Better to grab one and try to get the right fit viz trade than to let all the space get lost on internal raises.

  • Feb 12, 201312:43 pm
    by Mamun

    Reply

    save the money for next year and fill in the roster with some one year deals just for the 2013/2014 season
    there will be better free agents ….

  • Feb 12, 201312:51 pm
    by George

    Reply

    I have to correct myself, Earl Clark just turned 25.  I still think he would be a great guy to go after, but as is was pointed out, he is gonna cost some money (so long as he keeps up his play).  I really think he will get at least the MLE , which is what Ariza ended up signing for (for 5 years).  Ariza ended up playing for teams that were a mess (hou, no, wash), where he is expected to be a major contributor.  If he were on a team where he was the 4th option, he would have flourished.  Back to Clark, I think even if we were to give him an MLE type deal, we would be getting a very good starter, but one that is more of a 4th option.  That said, with Monroe, Drum, and Jose (we better retain him!), 4th is more than good enough.

    • Feb 12, 20135:00 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Clark isn’t worth the full MLE. The only reason to sign him would be to get a player at a bargain.

  • Feb 12, 201312:53 pm
    by jake

    Reply

    i wouldn’t mind henderson for the right price. he’s a very good defender, and we could use him in a tony allen-esque role. nothing wrong with that.

    as for smith, i have serious doubts about his ability to play the SF full-time and even worse doubts about his ability in 5 years. i wouldn’t complain if we came away with him though, even though i’m sure he goes somewhere else. 

  • Feb 12, 20131:19 pm
    by Rich P. Phoenix

    Reply

    I like Henderson and Clark.  Forget about Smith.  I think the draft may be the answer now.  Save the money for the best available later

  • Feb 12, 20131:28 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    Earl Clark definitely interests me. But I don’t get what Gerald Henderson brings to the table. What do you all like about him?

  • Feb 12, 20131:45 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    No to Josh Smith, I believe the thinking on Henderson is he is a bit tougher than what we currently have and he is a legit 6″4 so he has some size.  I dont necessarily agree with this but he can be had with a reasonable offer so Im sure thats why the Pistons want him.

  • Feb 12, 20131:53 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Also, if we are talking about legit strech 4′s then if the Pistons have to have one then I want the guy from last night Ryan Anderson.  Maybe his eyes lit up when he saw Villanueva but he is still putting up numbers without Dwight Howard.   If he isnt too expensive I’d look into getting him.  Much more consistent and not as streaky a skill set.   He may be under contract for one more year, Im not sure.

    • Feb 12, 20132:30 pm
      by Steve K

      Reply

      Would love Ryan Anderson, but I can’t seen him coming to Detroit. He’s paid $8.5M through 15/16. He’s young with stats trending upward. I can’t vouch for his defensive prowess, but he’s a major asset on offense as we witnessed last night.
      Despite coming off the bench, I’m guessing the hornets view him as a long-term part of their plans.

  • Feb 12, 20133:12 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    I don’t get why everyone is so unanimously against Josh Smith. A frontcourt of Drummond, Monroe and Smith would give so many matchup problems to so many teams. Remember, this is a league trending towards small ball. If the Pistons went the opposite direction (which makes sense considering their two cornerstone players), they would wreak havok almost immediately. Plus, having a defender like Smith immediately upgrades the defense — particularly against LeBron, who is someone you have to account for if you want to go deep in the playoffs at any point in the next five-ten years.

    And with guys like Drummond and Smith running the floor, they’d be a devastating fastbreak / up-tempo team that pounds for points in the paint. If he gets a max deal, that’d be ridiculous. But if he can be had for like $10-15 million, why not?

    I’m not opposed to Josh Smith. 

    • Feb 12, 20133:46 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      why not?
      how do smith’s skills compliment drummond and monroe?
      how do those guys play in a half court offensive structure? 

      • Feb 12, 20135:53 pm
        by Desolation Row

        Reply

        Having Smith and Drummond on the same team on defense would definitely open up more transition opportunities, and having him at SF would create a higher-tempo / fastbreak team. As for half-court sets, there are worse positions to be in than having Josh Smith at SF. It wouldn’t be the most effective lineup for halfcourt situation, but it wouldn’t be the worst. And, the positives on D / transition would offset the negatives in the halfcourt. Moreover, you could slide him to PF when Drummond or Monroe need a breather and not miss a beat. 

        He’s not a great shooter, but what’s to say he won’t improve with defenses collapsing on Monroe/Drummond in the post?

        And, in all honesty, the whole exercise of trying to “contend” is completely pointless unless you have a plan to stop LeBron. Smith gives you that. Not many players do.  

        • Feb 12, 20135:54 pm
          by Desolation Row

          Reply

          Contain* not stop. Nobody can stop LeBron, really. 

    • Feb 12, 20133:51 pm
      by David

      Reply

      I agree that josh smith at the 3 would be a huge defensive upgrade. The issue is offense. Smith’s biggest weakness on offense is his tendency to take mid to long range jump shots which he’s just not a very good jump shooter. Smith’s offense is great close to basket, but with Monroe and Drummond down low:
      A) the pistons don’t need another starter who can muscle inside to the basket
      and B) there won’t be space for Smith to do it which will just encourage his bad habit of taking the jump shot.

      Moving forward with a Monroe-Drummond front court Dumars/Frank needs to surround them with shooters on the wing.  

    • Feb 12, 20134:25 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I’d say $10-13 million (his current contract is 13 by the way, so I’m not even offering him a pay raise here) is where I’m comfortable, but I might go as high as 15. I think he demands more. As I understand it the max is 30% of the cap for a player having 6-9 years of time in the league,  or $17.4 million this season, and the cap might go up next year since the NBA is having another good year. Let’s say the cap jumps from the current $58 million to around $65 million, and all of a sudden we’re looking at a $19 million deal. Heck, even a more realistic cap jump to around $60 million would require $18 million in a max deal. Even if it stays at $58 million for yet another season, I think $17 million is over my tipping point on Smith. Smith is definitely going to look for a max deal, and the NBA’s love of overpaying free agents suggests he gets it. He may be worth it if he is your starting PF and you really need someone with his skill set. As a SF who can’t shoot or possibly the 3rd big man that is just not a good buy.
       
      I also have to agree with frankie d and David on this, I don’t think he’s that good of a fit alongside Monroe and Drummond. Not wanting to play your 3 best players at the same time is a problem, and one the Pistons would likely find themselves having if they add Smith.

      • Feb 12, 20135:01 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        He can demand whatever he wants. If nobody offers it to him, he won’t get it.

        • Feb 12, 20136:02 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Are you arguing that a league that just gave Roy Hibbert and Rudy Gay max deals in recent years won’t give Josh Smith one? Fringe All star players have gotten max deals in better free agent classes than this one. Weak free agent crops have not historically led to lower salaries handed out. Instead teams overspend to get the best players available. Especially in a year like this when there are a bunch of teams with some cap space and not much talent that looks to be on the move. My bet is Smith and Mayo both get max deals. Again, if we get him at around his current salary then I’d change to being ok with it. If he doesn’t fit with what we have he would have a contract that helps with moving him. I think someone overpays though.

          • Feb 12, 20138:46 pm
            by tarsier

            I’m not saying he definitely won’t. I’m saying it is far from a sure thing. Gay and Hibbert got max deals. Iggy, Curry, and West didn’t. These players are all of about the same caliber as Smith.

          • Feb 12, 20138:48 pm
            by tarsier

            If Mayo gets a max deal, that GM will be a laughingstock.

    • Feb 12, 20138:48 pm
      by Merwin

      Reply

      “But if he can be had for like $10-15 million, why not?”
      Smith wants to leave Atlanta because they won’t give him a max deal.  He’s not going to come to Detroit for less.  If he would, that’s a different discussion.  But giving a max deal to a player with low basketball IQ and who doesn’t really fit our team is silly.

      • Feb 13, 20132:35 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I agree with your premise. However, I am expecting he will find that nobody will give him a max deal. And then he’ll have to sort out where to go.

  • Feb 12, 20133:13 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Ryan Anderson is excellent. And he would be so perfect next to Drummond that he is one of the only PF’s in the league I’d consider trading Monroe for (excepting people who would NOT be available, such as Kevin Love).  I’d still hate to do it, but imagine Calderon and Drummond running P&R with Anderson and two wing shooters to spread the floor.

    Corey

    • Feb 12, 20138:49 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I think it’s possible that Love is available. his relationship with the Wolves is strained to say the least. And Monroe could be a centerpiece that management could sell to the fan base as a decent return.

  • Feb 12, 20135:34 pm
    by MrCarter

    Reply

    My top 4 Piston free agent targets(in no order):
     
    1) Tyreke Evans
    2) OJ Mayo
    3) Brandon Jennings
    4) Corey Brewer

  • Feb 12, 20137:57 pm
    by Pamela

    Reply

    let us just leave our team to grow!!!  no more trades…..we will be better as soon as our guys grow together -

    • Feb 12, 20138:06 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Nah, we need more talent. Outside of Drummond and Monroe, nobody on this roster is a solid building block. Knight looked like he could be — and may still well be — but I think he’s a perpetual sixth man at best for a playoff team. Hence, why he is starting for this one. We need more talent. 

  • Feb 12, 20139:31 pm
    by MrCarter

    Reply

    Not sure about you guys, but i’m hoping we do just one more trade to try and secure another 1st round pick(even if it’s later) in this years draft, in which we move either Stuckey, Maxiell, Jerebko, or Bynum in the process. I’m keeping Calderon, and hopefully re-signing him. But I would like to see one more move by Dumars before next thursday.

  • Feb 12, 201311:03 pm
    by George

    Reply

    As said earlier, Calderon has shown in one week what a real pg can do in our offense.  It sucks Drummond went down when he did.  We have to resign Calderon for the good of Monroe and Drummond, who are the foundation of our future.

    Calderon was groomed since he was a high school to be a pass first guard.  He knows exactly what his role is.  BK was trained to be the #1 shooting option his whole life…at least until we drafted him.  I am not saying BK can’t change, but he has too many bad habits that will take a while to ever (possibly) fix.

    Another note, I just read MrCarter’s list of FA’s to go after and the entire top 3 – Evans, Jennings, and Mayo – are guys who need to dominate the ball to thrive.  We need to build around Greg and Andre, which is why guys like Jose are key to keep.  We need guys who know their role and who this team is centered around.

  • Feb 12, 201311:47 pm
    by mateo

    Reply

     This is what I would like to see(realistically):

    -I would like to trade Jerebko and Bynum, second rd pick to the Lakers for a future 1st rd pick and D Morris and ?(just to make the salaries work).

    - Let Maxiell and Maggette walk.

    -Amnesty C Vill, or trade him for a higher pick or future pick.

    -Hope to draft Otto Porter(SF) and Patrick Young(PF/C).

    -Resign Calderon(3yrs/MLE), extend Monroe(5yrs/48mil$).

    -Try to sign OJ Mayo(4 yrs/30mil$), E Clark(3yr/113mil$).

    Total offseason additions(includes draft cap hold) = approx. 26 mil$. 
    Total salaries lost: approx. 24mil$

    Calderon/Knight/Morris
    Mayo/Knight/English
    Porter/Singler/Clark
    Monroe/Clark/Young
    Drummond/Young/Slava

    plus a few other players

    Not a amazing scenario, but it seems pretty realistic. A lot of youth, and we replaced players and filled needs with betters players, or one’s with more upside. 

    • Feb 13, 201312:19 am
      by Venice

      Reply

      I don’t think Gores would waste his money on Clark .I mean 3 yrs/113 mil ?!

    • Feb 13, 201311:04 am
      by MrCarter

      Reply

      Are you kidding. Calderon will NOT re-sign for the MLE. I say we re-sign him, but for about 3yrs/$25million with a team option for a fourth year. However, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks Knight should go to the bench. I personally would like to trade him before the deadline for, say, a young swingman prospect and an additional 1st round pick in this years draft. Thats my take.

      • Feb 13, 20132:40 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I don’t know what he will or won’t sign for. But I would not sign Calderon for over $8M/yr. He’s a nice player, and that’s about what he is worth… right now. There is virtually no possibility he will suddenly improve. He could suddenly get worse. So unless the rest of the team is in place and Calderon is the missing piece to make them a contender, you don’t give him multiple years at his present value.

        This is the same ridiculous rationale that led to Rip and Prince extensions. They weren’t terribly overpaid at the moment they signed them. But the players had no direction to go but down.

  • Feb 14, 20136:25 pm
    by Jocko

    Reply

    Smith, Monroe, and Drummond can share the PF/C positions and each get 32 mpg.  In addition, slide Smith to SF on the occasion when you add a stretch PF to the mix (like Villanueva).  For the first year, you’d continue to bring Drummond off the bench, but would give him starter’s minutes.  

    Defensively, this would be incredible.  Offensively, it would be bruising.  Maybe Smith’s 35% shooting outside the paint would be high enough efficiency since we’d be holding the opponents to 2004 levels.  

    I’d lean toward getting him.  If it really isn’t working out, we can always NOT sign Monroe after next year and recycle that savings into a SF.   

  • May 12, 20133:08 pm
    by Giles

    Reply

    Better to go for iguodala as a small forward.

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