Los Angeles Clippers sign forward Josh Smith

July 17, 2015

An offseason that initially appeared to be headed for disaster has suddenly provided the Los Angeles Clippers with championship dreams, as the team has not only kept DeAndre Jordan and brought in Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson, but also announced today the signing of power forward Josh Smith.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Smith joins the Clippers after playing in a total of 83 regular season games last season with the Houston Rockets (55 games) and the Detroit Pistons (28 games), averaging 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks in 27.7 minutes.

In Smith, the Clippers are getting a potentially dynamic backup big man off their bench, as he remains a good athlete and an effective weak side shotblocker.

The youngest player in NBA history to record 1,000 career blocks, Smith, 29, is just the 25th player in NBA history (seventh active player) to tally over 10,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 2,000 assists and 1,000 blocked shots.

Offensively, Smith is a strong finisher at the rim, and a very good passer.  He is also a streaky (some might say below average) three-point shooter.

Originally selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 17th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Smith has appeared in 836 career regular season games with Atlanta, Detroit and Houston and owns career averages of 15.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 blocks in 33.6 minutes. Smith is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

A member of the 2009-10 NBA All-Defensive Second Team and 2004-05 All-Rookie Second Team, Smith has twice been named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week and also finished second in the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2010-11.

The Georgia native won the 2005 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and has made 69 career Playoff appearances, averaging 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 32.9 minutes during the postseason.

Smith was a 2004 McDonald’s All-American and drafted by the Hawks after his senior year of high school at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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