A Josh Smith - Dwight Howard Reunion is on Tap
Forward Josh Smith, cleared waivers today after being waived by the Detroit Pistons on Monday. Smith is reported to be headed to the state of Texas to join James Harden and the Houston Rockets organization.
The Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies were all suitors for the services of the forward, reported by ESPN.com, and in the end, Smith chose to re-join his AAU buddy, Dwight Howard.
With this acquisition, it seems like Houston may not have a problem after all.
The 2014-15 season was the second year of the 4-year, $54 million dollar deal Smith signed in the summer of 2013, now an after-thought as his days in the motor-city have shifted to the lone-star state.
In Detroit, Smith was expected to form a formidable front-court along with Bigs Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, but the overcrowding of the post-area shifted Smith out-of-position thoroughly exposing him at the three.
It's no secret that Smith cannot shoot with consistency to say the least.
If CP3, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers formulate the members of Lob-City out west, Smith is, and was the lone-member of Brick-City, Mid-West.
Yes, he is that bad from outside.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, from 3-10 feet from the basket, Smith is shooting a career 35% from the basket.
From 10-16 feet, Smith is shooting 26%, and from 16 to the three-point shot, 34% and 27% respectively.
Reading those statistics can ruin your day and at this particular juncture in time, your holiday season, but Smith isn't all that bad.
He is a two-way player.
His sanctuary is underneath the basket.
Like Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Smith excels in Bully-ball.
In 2-point field goals and from 0-3 feet from the basket, Smith is shooting 48% and 67% respectively, which includes what he does best: finishing at the rim and dunking.
Smith can also handle the ball like a point-forward and is a willing passer, averaging 4.7 assists this season.
Alongside Howard, who isn't the most offensively polished big-man in the middle, Smith will have many chances to clean the glass and convert easy baskets.
A career average of 7.8 rebounds says so.
Not to mention the easy highlights that are almost a given when Harden and Smith run the break, which should make Smith an instant fan favorite in H-Town.
On a team among the upper-echelon of the Western Conference, the Rockets grant Smith the opportunity to do something that he hasn't been able to do for a while: compete.
Let's be honest, the Eastern Conference is weak compared to the West outside of Chicago, Washington, Cleveland and Toronto (Not sold on Atlanta yet, despite its 21-7 record), and honestly, Detroit did Smith a service.
The motor-city is in the midst of a rebuilding process. Piston's ownership is rewarding Stan Van Gundy, this off-season, with full basketball autonomy, as he is the Head Coach and the President of Basketball Operations.
Stan is concentrated on grooming the young talent in Detroit which means winning, for now, is not a priority.
Translation: It is not the right place for a capable hot-head like Josh Smith.
In Houston, Smith can make a difference.
Imagine Howard and Smith in the lane combining their career averages in block shots of 2.2 and 2.0 respectively, while Patrick Beverley terrorizes guards on the perimeter.
Imagine a world where Smith will be encouraged to face-up and play closer to the basket which will benefit his game and pad his stats all-together.
Imagine Smith learning from one of the best big-men in the history of the NBA in Head Coach Kevin McHale, who has just signed a three-year extension, worth over $13-million per-season to remain in Texas.
Imagine the new big-three in the West: Harden, Howard and Smith.
It all sounds nice doesn't it?
Factor in the fact that Houston will be paying Howard for one season, via the pro-rated portion of the bi-annual exception of $2.077 million, reported by Bleacherreport.com and you have what is called, a steal.
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