Josh Smith Leaves Houston Rockets for L.A. Fame
By Trey Oursler
Josh Smith Signs Deal with the Los Angeles Clippers
On Thursday afternoon it was confirmed the former-Rockets playoff star, Josh Smith, will be leaving Houston to join CP3 and the Los Angeles Clippers. Smith was only signed on a 1-year deal for $2.07 million and was expected to test the waters of free agency once the season ended.
It’s official, the Clippers have signed forward Josh Smith. Get all the details → http://t.co/5QX8sCOQi6 pic.twitter.com/SGdcGD0h4A
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) July 17, 2015
The Contract The Rockets offered a larger contract than the Clippers for the 11-year veteran from College Park, Georgia. Houston was prepared to pay Smith $2.49 million for him to stay in a red and white jersey next season, unfortunately Smith wasn’t feeling that. Instead he opted for $1.49 million from Los Angeles for the 2015-2016 season, not to forget about the $5 million still rolling in from Detroit’s massive contract they gave him in 2013.
Rockets offered Josh Smith just over $2.5 million, he declined and took a mil less to sign with the Clippers. (h/t @calvinwatkins)
— NBA Legion (@MySportsLegion) July 16, 2015
By signing for the veteran’s minimum for one season, Smith hopes to revitalize his career for an entire season after only playing six months in Houston. He is hoping to make himself a better looking prospect heading into next year’s free agency.
Why Leave Clutch City?“J-Smoove” had two legitimate reasons to leave Houston, more touches and fewer people. The Rockets have kept Terrence Jones amidst all of the trade rumors, they drafted a monster of a power forward in Montrezl Harrell and oh, don’t forget about the starter… Donatas Motiejunas. Smith knew he couldn’t get many minutes and wasn’t willing to stick around to see if things would pan out for him in H-Town.
On the other side, Los Angeles re-signed DeAndre Jordan at the center position and still have an All-Star power forward in Blake Griffin, but what about the bench? They drafted Michigan State’s Branden Dawson which will help, but Steve Ballmer knew depending on a rookie and “Big Baby” Davis wasn’t going to work, Josh Smith should be the back-up power forward to Blake Griffin when contracts are signed and the team has a few practices.
Mar 17, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (left) talks with Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) during a break in play against the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
This would put Smith on a Clippers second-team with Austin Rivers, Wes Johnson and Jamal Crawford or Lance Stephenson. Syracuse Orangeman Wes Johnson was recently acquired from the Lakers, Lance Stephenson came over from Charlotte and the Clips were also able to snatch Paul Pierce from Washington. Which practically means Josh Smith is willing put up a million dollars that the Clippers can make him a household name again…from the bench…and with superstars all over the roster? Good luck.
Next Move For HoustonRockets won’t have to worry about their front-court situation as they have 6 players signed to those two positions. However, the position that still needs some work is point guard, even with the signing of Patrick Beverley. Jason Terry has been offered a deal by the Rockets and it sounds as if he will accept, which would solve some of the problems. Nick Johnson may have to strap up this season and prove he was worth his second-round selection in last year’s draft.
More Jason Terry: “I want to stay close to home. I want to compete for a championship. I’ve got one, but two is always better than one.”
— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) July 14, 2015
The Rockets did sign one free agent that wasn’t on the team last year, Marcus Thornton. He will come over from Phoenix and provide immediate help at the guard position as far as ball handling and scoring.
K.J. McDaniels has been the other headliner that the Rockets have been trying to sign. With more free space because of Smith leaving, this will make it easier for them to work out a contract with McDaniels. They are looking to offer a mid-level exception of around $5.4 million. He didn’t play very much in his half-season with the Rockets, but he is a versatile, athletic shooting guard or small forward that can play at McHale’s pace.
Rockets want to use $5.4 mil MLE on KJ McDaniels are in talks with him. McDaniels has a strong offer from 1 other team. No offer sheet yet.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) July 16, 2015
Final ThoughtsNo reason for Houston fans to bash Josh Smith when he helped us climb out of such a terrible hole against the Clippers in Game 6, but does he even fit in L.A.? Smith is a passionate player that doesn’t do a lot of joking around, which could cause chemistry problems with Stephenson, Griffin and Jordan. Speaking of chemistry, why would Smith want to leave his former-AAU teammate and friend Dwight Howard?
Howard and Smith were dyanmic in the playoff series against Dallas, throwing alley-oops back-and-forth to each other. The two of them proved they still have high basketball IQ’s and can play at a high level together. Even captain James Harden is a laid-back, chill guy who won’t get in your face and tell you assignments, where in Clipper-land, there happens to be a guy named Chris Paul and he always runs the show.
He may be getting a few more minutes a game and his three-point shot could improve so he can be a legitimate stretch four, but he isn’t the missing piece for Los Angeles to get to the Finals. Smith is looking for his championship ring while Detroit continues throwing him their cold-hard cash. He very well may continue to bounce around until he ends up with a ring or in retirement.
Stay tuned to @SpaceCity_Scoop for more news on free agents and everything Houston Rockets!
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