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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