Pistons forward Josh Smith acknowledges the idea that he’ll join prep school teammate Rajon Rondo on the same NBA team anytime soon is far-fetched, but he’s optimistic that it will happen sometime, as he tells Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe. The two have spoken about the possibility multiple times, Smith says.
“He’s my best friend, especially in the NBA,” Smith said. “We definitely connect. We take family vacations together.”
Smith added that Kevin Garnett joined them for those trips. There was trade talk surrounding Rondo and Smith prior to the deadline, but neither ever appeared close to changing teams. Smith says he’s content playing with the Pistons, who last month reportedly shopped him. A pair of reports this summer from fellow Globe scribe Gary Washburn indicated that Detroit was interested in acquiring Rondo via trade. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge insisted he wasn’t looking to deal the four-time All-Star, and set a steep price tag on him as the deadline approached.
Smith is under contract through 2016/17, while Rondo is set to become a free agent after next season. The Pistons, at this point, have enough cap flexibility for the summer of 2015 to sign Rondo for up to the max if both sides would be willing, but the BDA Sports Management client will surely have plenty of other suitors.
Rondo didn’t speak to Holmes about his relationship with Smith, who was the point guard’s roommate at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Oak Hill coach Steve Smith invoked Rondo’s connection to the school earlier this season when he claimed that Carmelo Anthony, another Oak Hill alum, was attempting to recruit Rondo to the Knicks, but Anthony and Rondo denied those talks.