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Should the Pistons Trade Josh Smith?

April 30th, 2014 at 5:29 PM
By Sean Walters

'Josh Smith and Greg Monroe' photo (c) 2013, Erik Drost - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Biggest get for the Detroit Pistons this past off-season was no doubt Josh Smith. The Pistons lured him away from the Atlanta Hawks in hopes to create a dominant front court that would destroy other teams on the boards. It didn’t work, and now a new general manager will be left to wonder if they should continue Joe Dumars failed experiment.

Smith really just never fit at the small forward role for the Pistons. He was put into awkward situations where he couldn’t be the best version of himself. Smith played much more of a perimeter game when he should be featured down around the basket where his length and vertical have the most game-changing ability. The problem is the Pistons already have a promising, young power forward in Greg Monroe, and the two have shown they shouldn’t be playing together.

It seems very likely the Pistons will be looking to break up the Smith-Monroe- Andre Drummond trifecta in the offseason. We know without a doubt Andre Drummond isn’t going anywhere. This means the Pistons still have a roster with two potential all-star power forwards, and one of them needs to be turned into a different asset to help the team.

The problem is that trading Josh Smith is going to be next to impossible. Smith’s value is already damaged after the season he just put on tape. A 42% from the field, and 53% from the line shooting display is ugly no matter how you look at it. Though likely you can attribute Smith’s career-low field goal percentage from playing out of position. Smith attempted the most 3-point shots of his career, something he wouldn’t be doing playing his natural position at power forward.

Clearly Smith is a talented player who had a down year, it happens to many players. The next problem with trading Smith is his monstrous 4 year 54 million dollar deal he signed last off-season. The NBA is a league where cap flexibility is everything, and that is not a cap friendly deal. Having three long years left on that deal certainly won’t appeal to any teams in the league, especially at that crazy Joe Dumars price.

If you are going to attempt to trade Smith, you will be getting pennies on the dollar, literally. There is no way you could get equal value in terms of talent for a trade, and off-loading one of your best players solely for salary cap relief would certainly be a bold move for a brand new GM. It is a tough spot to be in, but the three bigs playing together simply didn’t work this past season.

Tags: Andre Drummond, Basketball, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, NBA

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