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Clippers, Josh Smith Have Mutual Interest

FRIDAY, 12:42pm: The Clippers remain interested even after Jordan’s decision to return, as Marc Stein of hears (Twitter link). The Kings and Mavs are also reportedly in the mix.

TUESDAY, 12:21pm: The interest between the Clippers and Smith is mutual, and the team has spoken to the representatives of the Brian Dyke and Wallace Prather client, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).

MONDAY, 6:34pm: The Clippers are targeting unrestricted free agent Josh Smith even though the club is cap-strapped, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN com tweets.

Though  the Clippers lost DeAndre Jordan to the Mavericks, they still have approximately $68.1MM in guaranteed salary commitments next season. They also used part of their mid-level exception to get a verbal agreement with veteran forward Paul Pierce and only have $2,088MM remaining. Smith could slide into the rotation as a backup to Blake Griffin at power forward, as well as play some small forward and even play alongside Griffin in smaller lineups.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of buzz regarding Smith in free agency, though the Kings reportedly met with him. Smith has expressed a strong interest in re-signing with Rockets, who signed him as a free agent in late December after the Pistons released him, even though he was in the second year of a guaranteed four-year, $54MM deal.

Still, it would appear that Smith could find a bigger offer if he’s patient. While he flamed out in Detroit, he seemed to reestablish at least some of his value as a rotation player on a team that reached the Western Conference Finals.

Smith started at small forward for Detroit but mainly played power forward with the Rockets off the bench, averaging 12.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 55 games. He also had some big games in the postseason, averaging 13.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

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17 thoughts on “Clippers, Josh Smith Have Mutual Interest

  1. Jeremy

    neither smith or Blake Griffin can play center so this is a bit confusing to me. Shouldn’t the Clipper target 5’s?

    • Dana Gauruder

      No doubt they need a center to replace Jordan. The point was that Smith-Griffin could pair up on occasion in a small ball lineup. Remember, Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green sometimes played “center” in the Finals when Mozgov/Bogut were on the bench.

      • Jeremy

        Great.. so in the right match up that works. You go tell Josh Smith he’s now a spot starter / back up lol. Still doesn’t get the Clippers a starting 5? I think they should trade for Josh McRoberts to fill the role you just described and use the cap savings between McRoberts and Crawford (about 1.8 mill I believe) and find a serviceable big man to fill the role they really need. Just my 2 cents though.

        • Dana Gauruder

          No doubt they need a starting center. Smith would have to play a similar role to the one he had in Houston, where he was mainly a sixth man. Considering how little money the Clippers have to offer him, I doubt he’ll bite even though the Pistons are still paying him all that money to NOT play for them.

          • Jeremy

            I stand corrected.. I thought Smith started for the Rockets and Jones came off the bench. Still cannot seem him wanting to back up a guy who will average 40mpg. It still does not answer their 5 hole either.

          • Z.....

            Smith started in the playoffs for them, but came off the bench during the regular season

      • Maybe the clips can take the covers off the Lakers statue and borrow kareem

      • Mario Renteria

        we can give you joey dorsey

    • Z.....

      Well, Josh Smith can give them some rim protection, but as you mentioned, they still need someone at the 5. They also need some perimeter defense though, so maybe try to sign Smith with the remaining amount on the exception, and then bring in McGee or someone else at the minimum?

  2. King James

    Doc just sign Josh…clear some more cap….And I will sign with your LA Clip’s…..Your the only team that can help me beat the Spurs,,,,,,,

  3. sirgant

    With Lance Stevenson already in tow, no need to add another potential head case to this declining roster. Doc is a good coach, but proving to be a poor GM. Pierce may regret signing on.

    • Dana Gauruder

      Unless they can find a legit center to replace Jordan, it’s hard to see how the Clippers will go any further in the playoffs.

  4. dana

    will some please tell me what the Wizards are doing? if KD wants to come he will but how do you not make moves that will put you in the eastern finals? Greg Monore 50 Million dollar contract was a still he should had been a wizard. Josh Smith high energy can get you 15 and 8 , protect the rim which is needed he is your strech 4. come on he puts up in the eastern finals

    • Dana Gauruder

      It’s clear the Wizards want to clear as much cap space as possible to get Durant and other top free agents next season. Josh Smith would make some sense if he were willing to sign a deal with a team option for the second year.

    • Z.....

      The wizards added Jared Dudley, essentially for free, in a trade. That should be a big pickup. They also had a decent draft. I think they’re definitely improved heading into next season

      • Dana Gauruder

        He’ll provide depth on the wing, which was needed with the loss of PIerce. Dudley is at the end of his contract, too, which fits into their plans to have as much cap space as possible next summer to sign Durant and other top free agents.

        • Z.....

          If they can either move Nene, or have him come off the bench behind Gortat, they could be pretty good. Dudley and Otto Porter give them some versatility at the 3/4 spots, and Kelley Oubre could possibly add some defense on the wing off the bench as well.

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