The sudden popularity of Josh Smith around the league in the wake of the shocking decision the Pistons made Monday to waive their highest-paid player is indicative of just how much a player’s contract defines his value. His next team will almost certainly have him at a fraction of the cost the Pistons will continue to shell out through 2019/20. Certainly, there are better fits for him than the crowded frontcourt in Detroit, too. Smith won’t come off waivers until Wednesday, but there should be no shortage of updates today about where he’ll be playing soon. We’ll track the latest in this thread, much like we did on Monday, with any additional news added to the top:
- Howard went on record with reporters, including Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston, about his recruiting pitch to Smith (Twitter links). “Have I been in his ear? Yeah, I’ve been in his ear,” the Rockets center said. “The only thing I told him was that if you want to win this would be a great place for you. We’ve won together in AAU. Let’s try to get us one in the big leagues.”
- The Clippers have reached out to Smith’s representatives, reports Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Clippers officials are still “gauging interest,” Woike writes, though it’s unclear if they’re trying to assess Smith’s level of interest or still debating their own willingness to sign him. There were multiple reports going back and forth Monday about whether the Clippers truly wanted Smith.
- Just about every playoff-bound team has reached out to Smith’s representatives, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, who cautions that in some cases it’s largely a matter of the team performing its due diligence (Twitter link). One exception, according to Broussard, is the Hawks, Smith’s original NBA team.
- The Rockets have strengthened their position as the favorites to land Smith, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Dwight Howard wants Smith, his close friend, on the team and is serving as Houston’s lead recruiter, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com details.
- Rajon Rondo, another friend of Smith’s, said they talk almost every day, and the new Mavs point guard publicly made his pitch for the ex-Pistons forward, as Stein relays in the same piece. “I think we can use an athletic big,” Rondo said late Monday. “They traded me for Brandan Wright. Besides Tyson [Chandler], our other bigs are perimeter shooters. Josh brings a lot to the game — his intangibles, he can make plays, rebound, defend. He’d be a good fit anywhere, but especially here I think he’d be a good fit.”
- Mavs owner Mark Cuban confirmed the team is going after Smith, as Stein also notes. “Josh is super talented and he fits the profile of the guy we love to bring in here,” Cuban said. “He’s one of those guys that gets a bad rap … and we have a great track record of bringing the truth out about guys like that: Monta [Ellis], Stack [Jerry Stackhouse], Jet [Jason Terry].”
- Smith, a client of Brian Dyke and Wallace Prather, is set to meet with his representatives this afternoon, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.