Detroit Pistons ink Josh Smith to four-year deal

July 10, 2013

With Chris Paul and Dwight Howard off the market, the Detroit Pistons landed the free agent some considered to be the next best option, as the team announced the signing of free agent forward Josh Smith to a multi-year contract. Various news reports indicated that the deal was worth $54 million over 4 years.

Smith, 27, is a highly athletic player who is an outstanding weak-side shotblocker and a tremendous finisher at the rim. He is also skilled enough offensively to step out and hit occasional threes, although many would contend that he would be better served shooting less from the outside given his field goal percentage.

“We’re pleased to welcome Josh Smith to the Pistons organization,” President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars said.  “Josh is a two-way player and we look forward to blending his talents with our young core.”

With an improving, young front line of Andre Drummond at the 5 and the skilled Greg Monroe at the 4, Dumars is banking on Smith to help form a fearsome unit that can defend the rim and clean the glass. In order for that "Big 3" vision to come true, Smith would be required to see plenty of minutes at 3.

In Atlanta, Smith primarily played at the 4, but this was partly due to the Hawks small front line in which Al Horford started at center.

However, Smith's superior athletic ability should allow him to successfully defend most 3's one-on-one, making any adjustment relatively painless.  He certainly will continue to see minutes at the 4 as well.

Smith joins the Pistons after spending nine seasons with Atlanta where he averaged 15.3 points (.465 FG%, .283 3FG%, .654 FT%), 8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.1 blocks.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Smith is the only player in NBA history to boast career averages of at least 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

In his six trips to the playoffs, Smith has produced, averaging 15.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.7 blocks. He also shares the Hawks' franchise record -- along with Tree Rollins and Dikembe Mutombo -- for most blocks in a playoff game, with seven.

Last year, the 6-9, 225-pound forward had 29 double-doubles and ranked ninth in the NBA in blocks (1.8 bpg).

By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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