Josh Smith #5 of the Houston Rockets shoots against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2015 National Basteball Association Playoffs at Toyota Center on May 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas.
Smith, an 11-year National Basteball Association veteran, played 55 games for the Rockets last season after the Detroit Pistons waived him in December.
Instead, Smith will now make slightly less money to play for the team that was eliminated by Houston in last season’s Western Conference Semifinals. He then averaged 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game while shooting 38 percent from three in the postseason. The forward was originally a star for the Atlanta Hawks for the first nine seasons of his career after being taken straight from high school with the 17th-overall pick in 2004. But he’s due to earn $5.4 million a year over the next five years from the Detroit Pistons via the NBA’s “stretch provision”.
Regardless, there are teams eyeing Smith with a deal, just not a big one. Order was restored, and the Clippers looked like contenders again except they lacked bench depth. 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. Prior to signing Smith, the Clippers made significant moves by trading for Lance Stephenson and re-signing DeAndre Jordan.
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.
The Houston Rockets have been in search for the ideal stretch-4 to fit their patented offense that treats the midrange area of the court like hot lava.
Josh Smith and Blake Griffin. Now Smith joins the team, giving the Clippers a very formidable bench that could be hard for any opponent to contend with.
There is a bit of irony in Smith’s signing with the Clippers and his reported reasoning behind the decision.
The Kings used the sixth pick in the draft on the 7-foot Cauley-Stein, who was an All-American and the SEC’s top defensive player as a junior at Kentucky last season.