Josh Smith finally ‘perimeter shot’ his way out of Detroit. The Pistons decided to cut him and if he clears waivers (and he will), they will be on the hook for the remainder of his contract…a hefty $26 million.
Head coach and team president Stan Van Gundy put his foot down with this move. Smith could get away with poorly shooting long jumpers when his head coach wasn’t involved with personnel. Detroit has a long way to go to rebuild. Dumping Smith was a smart, long-term decision for the franchise.
Even though Josh Smith is one of the worst players in the NBA, teams are lining up to sign him once he clears waivers.
Title contenders will be at the top of the list, since he will most likely sign a one-year deal and then hit free agency this offseason.
Which NBA team will land Josh Smith?
Let’s make a list of the rumored NBA teams interested in him and the reason why Smith will either sign or decline.
Houston Rockets – He almost signed with Houston before signing with Detroit last year. Houston couldn’t make the money work. Since he’s getting his $26 million from Detroit, money shouldn’t be an issue this time.
Dallas Mavericks – Mark Cuban is putting together an interesting team in Dallas. They have a starting-five of Tyson Chandler, Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo. That’s a sweet lineup. Smith could look at Dallas as being his best shot at getting a ring.
Miami Heat – They could get a few million in cap space once their Josh McRoberts disabled player exception gets approved by the league. It might not be approved in time.
Los Angeles Clippers – This would be another ‘best shot to get a ring’ signing. ESPN’s Arash Markazi reported they would cut Jared Cunningham if they signed Smith.
Memphis Grizzlies – There’s interest from them, but Smith would only get the veteran’s minimum.
Los Angeles Lakers – It would be shocking if he landed on the Lakers. They have a ton of cap space after this season and have the disability exception due to Steve Nash’s injury. Smith could easily sign elsewhere with a contender and sign with the Lakers this offseason.
Sacramento Kings – All offseason you heard about an ‘imminent’ Josh Smith for Rudy Gay trade about to happen. Kings aren’t a contender and I don’t see Smith deciding to sign there.
That’s basically all the rumored teams that have interest and the ability to sign him.
The Detroit Pistons cutting Smith could be what he needs to get his game back to form. He needs to get back to working in the paint. He’s a horrible perimeter shooter and doesn’t appear to listen to his coaching staff. He’s not a guy you want making franchise money. If he signs with a contender he will come off the bench.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.