So much for Josh Smith being a key piece for the Detroit Pistons.
After being hired as the Pistons’ new coach and president of basketball operations, Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that Smith would have to change his role and shrink back his game a little bit in an interview with Keith Langlois on Pistons.com. But he still made is sound like J-Smoove would be able to play to his strengths under Van Gundy and be a more efficient part of the Pistons moving forward.
It doesn’t look like that’s the case anymore. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Detroit Pistons could be looking into a deal with the Sacramento Kings that would send Josh Smith to join DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay in the frontcourt in return for Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams. Williams could also potentially be replaced by Jason Terry or Carl Landry.
Stein’s sources say a deal is not imminent, but this is an interesting development for both sides. For the Kings, it would unite three players who have a reputation of having bad attitudes in the same frontcourt. While Smith would be able to return to the power forward position (where he belongs) in Sacramento, time will tell whether or not Smith’s Portugal-themed shot chart this season was a product of playing with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe or the continuance of a disturbing trend:
— Michael Dunlap (@DunlapSports) June 22, 2014
For the Pistons, it’s hard to fault Van Gundy for looking to move Smith, who had one of his worst seasons this year in Detroit. J-Smoove shot only 26.4 percent from three-point range this season, but still had the gall to jack up 3.4 attempts per game. He shot above league average on only TWO of 14 spots designated by NBA.com’s shot chart and even his finishing ability at the basket was slightly diminished this season.
Bringing complementary bench players like Thompson and/or Williams would bolster the frontcourt depth and should the Pistons decide to try and re-sign Greg Monroe, Detroit would be set there. It would allow Drummond to flourish and grow in the paint without worrying about Josh Smith jacking up threes and long-range twos every possession.
However, don’t hammer the Kings just yet. Smith is still a good interior defender and perhaps relegating him back to his true position would cut down on his long-range attempts. We hammered them for the Rudy Gay trade and that actually worked out well for Sacramento. Furthermore, Smith’s friendship with Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo could come into play later since the Kings have coveted him for quite awhile now.