The big news of the NBA today sent out shock waves as Detroit Piston General Manager and Coach Stan Van Gundy released Josh Smith on waivers.
While it’s no secret Van Gundy has been disenchanted with more than a couple of his players Smith wasn’t necessarily the player he appeared to have the biggest issues with. Rather, Brendon Jennings has seen more than his fair share of time on the bench in late game settings. It’s unprecedented for a player with more than 2-years on his contract remaining and owed north of $26 million to be released. It’s expected Smith will go through the 48-hour waiver period and then be on the open market.
Told that yes, the Rockets would be interested in Josh Smith after he clears waivers. Were interested in ’13. — Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) December 22, 2014
The teams said to be interested in Smith are Dallas, Sacramento, Los Angles Clippers, Miami and our Houston Rockets. While all these teams would appear to have equal opportunity to snatch him up the Rockets may have a decided edge given the relationship between Dwight Howard and Smith who grew up together in Atlanta. In the summer of Smith’s free agency Howard spoke to him often about teaming up prior to Smith landing in Detroit.
Houston has advantage on most Josh Smith suitors, who only have minimum slots available: Rockets can offer Smith its bi-annual exception. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) December 22, 2014
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Josh Smith and Dwight Howard played AAU together and, as kids, dreamed of teaming up together in the NBA. Something to keep in mind. — Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) December 22, 2014
As for whether Rockets would do one year or two year bi-annual deal with Josh Smith, I’m told they’re fine with whichever he wants.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) December 22, 2014
Given Terrence Jones remains on the injury list Smith could provide some relief in the front court. The question is whether Smith could return to the stat filling guru of his Atlanta days or whether he will remain a malcontent who adversely effects his team’s performance on and off the court.
This season Smith is averaging 13.1-points, 7.2- rebounds, 4.7-assists, 1.3-steals, 1.7-blocks, 2.6-turnovers, is shooting 39.1% from the field and an abysmal 24.3% from three in 32-minutes per game.
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