TUESDAY, 8:21am: The Smith talks were serious between the Kings and Pistons, according to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, contradicting part of Wojnarowski’s report. Lowe also suggests there’s a decent chance that they pick up again at some point.
MONDAY, 1:05pm: Van Gundy has told Smith that reports about trade talk with the Kings have been inaccurate and assured him that he’ll begin this coming season with the Pistons, barring an unexpected turn of events, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Kings had called about Smith, but Detroit never heard an offer it liked, and the discussion never reached a serious stage, sources tell Wojnarowski. Smith likes the idea of remaining with the Pistons, Wojnarowski also hears.
SATURDAY, 2:49pm: A source tells Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that there are “no legs” to reports suggesting that the Kings and Pistons are discussing a deal involving Smith.
THURSDAY, 8:59am: The idea of a Smith deal didn’t intrigue Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro, tweets Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News, who says it seems like coach Mike Malone is the catalyst for the talks. Stein noted Malone’s fondness for defense in story, one in which Stein also points to Smith’s defensive capabilities as one of the reasons the Kings are pursuing him. Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy didn’t give Smith any promise that he wouldn’t trade him when they met recently, but while Van Gundy is open to trading the forward, he wants value in return, Goodwill also tweets.
8:14am: The Pistons and Kings are once more discussing trade scenarios involving Josh Smith and are on the hunt for a third team to make a deal work, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Sacramento remains interested in the 28-year-old forward, as the Kings brass is fond of his defensive capabilities and intrigued by the idea of acquiring a player of his talent without giving up a piece of the team’s core, Stein hears.
The teams reportedly had talks last month before the Pistons put a stop to them, and the framework involved then would have seen Jason Thompson and either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry off to Detroit, Stein adds. It’s unclear whether any of that trio are subjects of the latest conversations, but Terry is seemingly agitating for an exit for Sacramento, having spoken of his fondness for the Mavericks and criticized Kings teammates DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay in a recent interview. The Kings would rather trade Terry than let him buy his way out of his contract, according to Stein.
Smith signed a four-year, $54MM contract with the Pistons a year ago, but the team’s decision to line him up next to Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond was ill-fated, and it’s left the club with a dilemma involving Monroe’s restricted free agency. The Pistons had serious talks with the Blazers about a sign-and-trade that would have sent Monroe to Portland, but the Blazers dropped out of the running for Monroe when they struck a deal with free agent Chris Kaman, Stein reports.
Smith has appeal to the Kings based on his relationship with Rajon Rondo, whom the team has long coveted, as Stein points out. Smith would love to play with Rondo, having called him “my best friend” in an interview this spring in which Smith said he and Rondo have had multiple conversations about the possibility of becoming teammates. The Celtics point guard is poised to become a free agent next summer.