The Detroit Pistons may be looking to make amends for the four-year, $54 million deal they issued to free-agent Josh Smith last summer.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons will try to move Smith over the summer.
Per beat writer Vince Ellis:
If you put a gun to my head I would say no with the most likely person to be gone is Smith. I know, I know he has 3 years and 40 mill left. But unmovable Gay was traded twice in a calendar year. Freakin Gilbert Arenas was moved. Now, you might not get anything of value back, but if you just want to move somebody, it’s possible. And I think they will try to move Smith.
It will be no easy task, as Smith is owed $40 million over the next three seasons. The Pistons must hold out hope that other clubs realize Smith played out of position this past season, but still managed to average 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
The issue in Detroit is that Smith cannot continue to play small forward and co-exist in a starting five that includes the frontcourt tandem of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. MLive.com expects retaining Monroe to be the team’s biggest personnel decision in free agency, while Drummond remains a key part of the team’s future.
Whatever the team can get in exchange for Smith and his bloated contract, the Pistons should take.
One team that may have interest in Smith is the Boston Celtics, where Smith could reunite with his old friend and high school teammate Rajon Rondo. Last month, Smith said “the conversation comes up” between he and Rondo. One proposed deal could be Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace in exchange for Smith.
Earlier this month, Smith, who became the scapegoat for the Pistons’ disappointing 29-53 campaign, refused to take the blame for the team failing to meet expectations.
“I am an easy target to be able to blame. I’m very outspoken,” Smith told the Detroit News. “I’m an emotional player. I can easily be a target night in and out.
“If you played the game, if you know X’s and O’s, it’s not all my fault,” Smith said. “I’m not gonna say I’m perfect, by far, but I’m not the guy you can point the finger at. I’m a firm believer in you point one finger at one person, point three back at yourself.”