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Rockets’ pursuit of Dwight Howard could complicate Pistons’ of Josh Smith

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

The Houston Rockets told Atlanta Hawks free-agent forward Josh Smith during their meeting Monday in Los Angeles that they will make him a contract offer if they don’t sign Los Angeles Lakers free-agent center Dwight Howard, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Smith understood the Rockets’ position and wasn’t offended.

The Pistons met with Josh Smith once free agency began, but they didn’t offer him a contract. Reportedly, though, Detroit’s plan was to lure Smith before he becomes the top target of every team that misses on Dwight Howard.

If Smith wants to wait for the Rockets – and that isn’t necessarily the case – the Pistons have two options. They could offer Smith more money to entice him to stop waiting, or they could ride it out and risk other backup options signing elsewhere while Smith mulls his decision. Obviously, neither option is ideal.

Joe Dumars has, for better or worse, typically gotten his key free agent by striking quickly. The Pistons agreed to terms with Chauncey Billups, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva on the first day free agents could negotiate. This is a new course for Dumars, and the Pistons’ summer somewhat hinges on how he navigates it.

42 Comments

  • Jul 2, 201312:42 pm
    by jacob

    Reply

    Is Josh Smith a good fit or a bad fit for the Pistons?
     
    Jared Dubin, Hardwood Paroxysm: Good fit for Josh’s bank account, but bad on-court fit for the Pistons. The spacing problems presented by a Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond frontcourt would be hellacious, and would almost certainly offset the potential defensive gains made by pairing Smith with Drummond.
    D.J. Foster, ClipperBlog: Bad fit. Detroit’s best player (Greg Monroe) is a power forward. Andre Drummond needs time at the 5. Josh Smith, he of the 28 percent career average from 3-point land, is not a small forward. But aside from insulting the concept of spacing? Well, it’s still awful. Can Joe Dumars really overspend in free agency again when his roster isn’t ready to compete? It’s Groundhog Day in Detroit.
    Tom Haberstroh, ESPN.com: Bad fit. Did the Infamous Summer of 2009 not teach Dumars anything? Cap space to Detroit is like a bright light to a mosquito: It looks cool, but it doesn’t get you anywhere. As a non-glamour market, the Pistons often find themselves egregiously overpaying free agents (see: Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva). Better to let Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond blossom than have Smith poison the frontcourt with horrible shots.
    Brett Koremenos, HoopSpeak: Good fit … maybe. It all depends on how the Pistons utilize Smith and shore things up at point guard following his signing. If Detroit keeps Smith strictly as a 4 (his best spot) and rotates Monroe and Drummond around him, the Pistons will make huge strides. If Smith gets bounced back and forth between the forward spots and the Pistons can’t find a suitable point guard, this signing could turn out to be a mess.
    Jeremy Schmidt, Bucksketball: Bad fit. Detroit is set at the 4 and 5 for the next four or five years with Drummond and Monroe. They are going to need room to operate. That’s where Smith fails to come in. He’ll be a non-3-point shooting 3 instead of a very versatile small-ball 4.

  • Jul 2, 201312:49 pm
    by jacob

    Reply

    So what is this saying that Smith prefers the Rockets to the Pistons?

    • Jul 2, 20131:02 pm
      by kingjacob

      Reply

      Howard and josh smith want to be on the Same team these NBA players are spoiled soon there will only be a few good teams in the NBA with all tihe stars teaming up

      • Jul 2, 20131:07 pm
        by jacob

        Reply

        I kind of hope Smith does sign with the Rockets. I think that Joe D can pull of trades for good players by taking back some bad contracts and offering cap relief to teams.

        • Jul 2, 20131:23 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Literally everyone prefers the Rockets over the Pistons. For every imaginable reason.

      • Jul 2, 20132:55 pm
        by G

        Reply

        Howard & Smith CAN’T both sign with Houston, it’s one or the other. 

  • Jul 2, 201312:57 pm
    by cr29

    Reply

    Man I wish Phil Jackson were around to get us out of this jam.

  • Jul 2, 201312:59 pm
    by jacob

    Reply

    The Detroit Pistons are expected to pursue Rajon Rondo if the Boston Celtics make him available.
    Danny Ainge has said that calls have only been incoming about the availability of Rondo and that he is not looking to trade him.
    Rondo is currently recovering from a torn ACL.
    Via Vincent Goodwill/Detroit News

    This sounds better. 

  • Jul 2, 201312:59 pm
    by Paul Williams

    Reply

    Here’s hoping the Pistons pursue other options. I like Smith, but for what he is, he doesn’t fit right now. If they want to bolster the front line, they should sign Dorrell Wright and make him the first big off the bench, playing the 4 to Drummond/Monroe’s 5. If they resign Calderon, which they need to, the Pistons can then attempt to pick up Reddick, a dead-eye shooter and floor spacer that we DESPERATELY need. My hope too is that we can pry Tyreke Evans away from Sacramento and make him our 3 of the present and future. If cap space becomes an issue, Gores can bite the financial bullet and amnesty Charlie V. Gores has made it clear that he wants to win, and win now. If everything I hope comes true, our roster would look like this:

    Starting Five: Calderon(PG), Reddick(SG), Evans(SF), Monroe(PF), Drummond(C)

    Bench: Knight(G), KCP(G/F), Stuckey(G), Wright(F/C), Mitchell(F), Middleton(F), Singled or Jerebko(F)

    We would lose English, Siva, Bynum, and Kravtsov, but that’s a small price to pay for a suddenly solid roster. I also wouldn’t be opposed to trading Stuckey, maybe in a sign and trade with Sac. to bring in Evans. We could tack on a 2nd round pick to sweeten the deal. Here’s hoping…. 

    • Jul 2, 20131:05 pm
      by jacob

      Reply

      The Pelicans offered Evans a 4 year 44 mil $ contract. We would have to offer at least that. I would personally like to add Rondo and a PG.

      • Jul 2, 20131:11 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Yeah I gotta say, the Pelicans priced us right out of the Tyreke Evans race. And that’s just fine by me.

        • Jul 2, 20131:15 pm
          by Pistons87

          Reply

          Someone needs to save NBA GM’s from themselves.  Tyreke at that price is horrendous value.  To think about how much money they have in Eric Gordon and potentially Tyreke Evans, two players who haven’t proved they can actually contribute to winning is crazy.

    • Jul 2, 20131:10 pm
      by Corey

      Reply

      I mostly like your plan, although I think Evans is pretty much off the table unless they make a HUGE offer - going to NO. Perhaps Iguodala instead? Or perhaps we keep our powder dry (ie wait for a better opportunity) on the SF front.  I’m not sure why we’d need to lose Siva or Kravtsov. Your roster is 13 players – we could keep those two and be at the cap of 15. Bynum and English wouldn’t be any loss, IMHE, as we’d have six guards without them. 

    • Jul 2, 20131:13 pm
      by Steve

      Reply

      LOL Tyreke Evans as a small forward? Are you crazy?

      • Jul 2, 20131:17 pm
        by Pistons87

        Reply

        He played mostly at SF for the Kings this year and was effective at that position.

    • Jul 2, 20131:21 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Paul, the problem with this is that your “dream” roster just doesn’t look very good. Maybe the difference is that some Pistons fans look at Monroe/Drummond at the 4/5 and think they have a sure fire frontcourt advantage over damn near anybody, so you can get by with a pretty average perimeter. Then there are those of us who look at Monroe/Drummond at the 4/5 and feel like they’re throwing two established centers on the floor together and hoping for the best. Your team is a bottom seed in the east with not much room to grow. AKA the worst case scenario.
       
      Also, is it just me or have fans been brainwashed into thinking that the 1-3 are SOLELY responsible for spreading the floor? The floor spacing issue will be taken care of when GREG MONROE can spread the floor. You can have the best shooting perimeter on the planet, but you’re still going to have a minimum of four gigantic bodies in the paint at all times if your 4 and 5 are both centers. And, frankly, this game plan of surrounding our bigs with shooters and calling it a day sounds like we’re following in the Dwight Howard era Magic’s footsteps. So, uh, if that doesn’t spell doom I don’t know what does.

      • Jul 2, 20131:54 pm
        by Keith

        Reply

        The Magic made it to the finals with Dwight and a bunch of quality role players, that’s not exactly a bad end result. Also, perhaps we are trying to be realistic. Star caliber players don’t want to come here. We would have a much better chance creating one big advantage (Monroe-Drummond could be that, though aren’t yet) and filling the rest of the roster with less individual talent but better fits (shooters).

        Also, maybe I’m taking this out of context, but don’t you think it is at least easier to envision our 1-3 spacing the floor than our 4-5? A lot of people talk about the hope for Monroe’s jump shot, but there is little evidence to suggest it will occur. Here are Monroe’s conversion rates on jumpers the last 3 years: 25%, 33%, 29%. None of those are approaching a decent jumper, and there is no discernible development. It seems more unrealistic to say Monroe will somehow become a floor spacer than to say the team needs more shooters at the 1-3. The latter we can effectively target and acquire, the former we can do nothing but cross our fingers and hope. 

    • Jul 2, 20131:33 pm
      by Jeremy

      Reply

      Evans and his agent have publicly stated that he doesn’t want to play for a team that is going to make him a 3.

    • Jul 2, 20131:40 pm
      by Who Is Us

      Reply

      A few problems with your I’ll conceived roster.
      1.) Evens is a SG. He played out of position at SF for the kings and wasn’t that good there, and he doesn’t defend the position well at all.
      2.) Reddick is still an undersized 2 (about a half inch taller than BK and MUCH less athletic) who only does one thing for his team, shoot 3′s. But for what you get from him as a shooter, you give up an equal or greater amount on defense.
      3.) Jose Calderon is fools gold, he puts up good numbers but hasn’t lead a winning franchise, ever. On top of that he is the only person in your scenario who is a worse defender than Reddick.
      4.) In order to sign all three of those players you are probably looking at $12mil for Evans, $9-10mil for Calderon, and another $7-8mil for Reddick.

      So, not including Wright who is probably going to cost around the low-level exemption and can’t play MAN defense, for about $27mil. (Which the Positions don’t have right now) you’ve put together a proposed starting line up that would be the worst defensiveve team in the entire NBA. Positions 1-4 would all be below average defenders, thus leaving Drummond to try to save everyone was every time down the floor and thus being prone to early foul trouble. You have no back up center and spent $500k on a guy you propose the Piston’s should cut.
      This is not a solid line up, this team you proposed would be an absolute disaster unless you are playing fantasy basketball where the only think that matters is you offensive stats.. this team you’ve constructed would probably put up 94pts per fame but would likely give up more than 100!

      As much of a bad fit as Josh Smith is, a roster with him on it would be better than the one you’ve proposed. 

  • Jul 2, 20131:08 pm
    by Keith

    Reply

    Sounds like we should make a move on Iggy. Honestly, Smith simply isn’t going to sign with us if Houston is on the table. They are better, more talented, and have a true star on the wing just waiting for a partner. Smith loses nothing in waiting, but the Pistons could end up losing out on all of their targets by waiting for Smith. 

  • Jul 2, 20131:09 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Yeah that’s why this was a terrible and misguided plan. And by “this” I mean wasting a draft pick on getting all this cap space one measly year early.
     
    If and when Joe accomplishes absolutely nothing in free agency, he’ll have nobody to blame but himself. It’s one thing to go out and say “Josh Smith, you’re our guy. We want you above all else, etc.” But when you’re going out and trying to get him OR Iguodala (or Mayo, or Evans, or whoever else) you’re going to end up with nothing. There’s just too many teams with money and too few true difference makers.
     
    The Bobcats might be the Bobcats, but they (unlike the Pistons) actually HAVE a decent young core of players at complementary positions, so going into free agency they targeted Al Jefferson. Just Al Jefferson. And they may be the one team that’s let him know he’s their top priority, and that might be the key to landing him. Going into free agency with three GAPING holes on the perimeter (to say nothing of the pair of centers you’re committing to before they’ve ever proven they can play together) is madness. We’ve been rebuilding for five years already!
     
    Can’t help that the Pistons have exactly zero guys anybody would want to come here and play with. (If Monroe were off the roster, perhaps a point guard would want to come here and play with Drummond, but I think he caught maybe one lob all season with Moose next to him clogging up the floor.) But yeah, this team has nothing. Making a grand gesture towards either Smith OR Iguodala may have been a big risk in case we didn’t adequately woo them, but I’m reminded of the old saying that he who chases two rabbits catches none. And we’re chasing a lot of rabbits right now.

    • Jul 2, 20131:19 pm
      by Corey

      Reply

      Yeah! I wish JoD had been smart enough to throw a huge offer at the first free agent he could find – just like in 2009.

      If we carry a lot of cap space into the season, that’s ok – he hasn’t failed to use the space effectively until the trade deadline.  If we don’t do anything useful with it by then, the trade to rid us of gordon’s salary was a waste.

      Although, here’s a depressing thought: If they DON’T amnesty CV, then they could have just amnesty’d Gordon and gotten the salary cap space without giving up a first round pick.  Some teams supposedly don’t like to “pay a player to not play for them” but that’s effectively what they did with Maggette anyway, even if he did ride around on the team bus all year. 

      Now I’m sad.  Either Gores or JoD was unwilling to take the financial (or image) hit of amnesty’ing a player, and saving themselves from THAT is why they gave up a first round pick, not to get salary cap space also available through the amnesty clause. Unless they amnesty CV for more space – which I’m still hoping for.

      • Jul 2, 20133:01 pm
        by G

        Reply

        How did that strategy work out in 2009?

    • Jul 2, 20131:21 pm
      by Pistons87

      Reply

      Bobcats decent young core: MKG, Walker and Zeller?  You think that’s huge improvement over our young core?  Don’t ever give the Bobcats any credit or think they have some kind of plan.  They have done absolutely nothing despite drafting in the lottery every year of their existence.  I will take Joe D and his horrible decisions vs the whole damn Bobcats front office any day of the week.

    • Jul 2, 20131:35 pm
      by Jeremy

      Reply

      He hasn’t exactly “wasted” a draft pick just yet. It is top 8 protected next year and honestly, as of today, the roster doesn’t look any better than it did last year. Assuming no one signs here, the team is heading for a much higher pick than 8.

    • Jul 2, 20131:43 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Error error error. Half the lobS Andre caught playing with moose, we’re from most himself. And if you think Walker MKG Andiamo are brighter than Andre Monroe and KCP, I don’t know what to say

    • Jul 2, 20131:45 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Error error error. Half the lobS Andre caught playing with moose, we’re from most himself. And if you think Walker MKG Zeller are brighter than Andre Monroe and KCP, I don’t know what to say

    • Jul 3, 20136:42 am
      by Max

      Reply

      @Otis  What nonsense you talk.   Moose himself threw Drummond several lobs directly from the post last year.   You sound so angry at the Pistons that you are just utterly blind to them.   

  • Jul 2, 20131:11 pm
    by dvs

    Reply

    I hope he goes to the rockets or any team outside of detroit.

    • Jul 2, 20131:16 pm
      by Steve

      Reply

      I would like to see the Rockets succeed, so any team other than Detroit or Houston. Seriously…Josh Smith is an offensive black hole that will demand the ball much more than he’s worth. He’s one of the worst shooters in the NBA He takes some of the worst shots in the NBA, especially the mid-range/long-range 2-pointers, which has been well-documented. He has one of the worst true shooting %’s in the league, and I would hate to have him here. I’d much prefer Iguodala.

  • Jul 2, 20131:48 pm
    by cir3

    Reply

    how come nobody is talking about kyle korver….one of the most deadly shooter in the league.

    • Jul 2, 20131:59 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      Reports have already surfaced that he is going to sign with the Nets.

    • Jul 2, 20132:03 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Because he is not a very good player. But, yeah, if he can be had for cheap, might as well go get him.

  • Jul 2, 20132:28 pm
    by cir3

    Reply

    we can never have too many long range shooter.

    • Jul 2, 20132:38 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      Again, he is already expected to join the Nets. I agree we could use a shooter off the bench, but Korver has a much better opportunity in New Jersey.

    • Jul 2, 20132:55 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      actually, there are only 15 roster spots. who do you want to cut?

      • Jul 2, 20134:49 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        Kim English and CV can go. Siva could spend time in Europe like Trent Plaisted and Deron Washington did. From what I can tell the team has Knight, Stuckey, Caldwell-Pope, Middleton, Singler, Jerebko, Monroe, Mitchell, Drummond, and Kravstov that should definitely be on the roster assuming there are no trades. That leaves 5 spots for guys not on that list. There’s room to get someone like Korver. I don’t think Korver’s a particularly realistic target, but that’s more Keith’s point.

  • Jul 2, 20134:32 pm
    by cir3

    Reply

    how many efficient long range shooter are in the starting five?
    chalmers
    wade
    lebron
    bosh
    haslem

    now, how many efficient long range shooter are in the bench?
    allen
    miller
    cole
    battier
    jones

    so why not have
    rondo
    iguodala
    smith
    monroe
    drummond 

    and why not have a bench of:
    “a bunch of efficient long range shooters”

    • Jul 2, 20134:54 pm
      by G

      Reply

      In answer to your first question, LeBron shot effectively from 3 (.406), as did Chalmers (.409). So they had 2 in their starting 5. The starting lineup you’re suggesting for Detroit has ZERO.

      • Jul 3, 20137:43 am
        by Keith

        Reply

        You are also forgetting Bosh who, while he doesn’t take a lot of 3s, is one of the best mid-range  shooters in the league. He spaces the floor too.

        Further, that crazy starting lineup also ignores that we don’t have shooting on the bench. At best, we would have Knight-Stuckey-Singler-CV-Kravtsov. Stuckey and Kravtsov can’t shoot at all. Knight is a 37% (not elite) shooter, Singler is 35% (just about average), and CV is 34% career (below average). So not only are you suggesting we have no shooting in the starting lineup, you are basically sporting an entire team of non-threatening shooters. 

  • Jul 2, 20135:26 pm
    by cir3

    Reply

    needless to say, calderone would be a better fit.

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