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Why the Josh Smith Deal Will Happen

July 17th, 2014 at 5:54 PM
By Sean Walters

Today rumors of a trade sending Josh Smith to the Sacramento Kings have re-surfaced, and the chances are that it may get done. Original talks broke down, but after the free agency period has started to sort itself out both teams still seem interested to get this deal done.
Josh Smith and Greg Monroe from Flickr via Wylio? 2013 Erik Drost, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The motivation from the Pistons side is clear, their big lineup of Smith, Andre Drummond, and Greg Monroe was a nightmare last year. Either Smith or Monroe should be on the way out of Detroit, and the Pistons certainly hope that it is Smith. His huge contract, and overall lackluster performance on the court have left everyone wanting more, and wanting Smith out the door.

Moving Smith would make tons of sense on and off the court for the Pistons. They would take back much less salary in the deal which would open up some extra space to try to sign Monroe to a long term contract. Monroe is said to be mulling a long-term pact from the Pistons, but the sides are still apart on money. While the Pistons don’t want to sell the farm (give max money) to Monroe, the extra space opened up by moving Smith could be the difference in the negotiations.

On the court it’s a no-brainer to try to keep Monroe over Smith. Smith was sorely out of position last season shooting way too many 3-pointers while playing a perimeter game. He needs to be much closer to the rim, and use his length offensively, and defensively to best affect the game. If Smith were gone a more traditional small forward like Kyle Singler or Caron Butler would open up things for Drummond and Monroe down low while hitting a much higher percentage from deep.

The Kings motivation should be clear as well. They wouldn’t have to give much up in terms of talent, and would be acquiring an All-Star level player on a mission to show that last year was a fluke. The Kings could pair Smith with DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins down low to have a solid interior presence that both blocks shots, and dominates the paint offensively. The Kings would essentially be paying pennies on the dollar for a great talent, but the down side is they would be paying dollar for dollar Smith’s terrible deal. The Kings have the room for the bad contract though, and if Smith plays up to his potential in Sacramento the contract could prove to be worth it.

Stan Van Gundy has made it clear to the media how important keeping Greg Monroe is, and moving Smith would be the best step in making Monroe a Piston for the long term. The motivation is clearly there for both sides, now we wait to see if they can finalize the deal.

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

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