The acquisition of Josh Smith meant big news for the Detroit Pistons. The 28-year old is a proven veteran, an All-Star caliber forward who had already found some success with the Atlanta Hawks. Nonetheless, even after that addition and also the other moves the Pistons performed during the summer, the results are not there.
The Pistons currently hold a 17-24 record and they are projected to fight their way into a top-eight spot that will give them a playoff ticket. Even if they do manage to get into the playoffs, that can’t be considered as success for the Pistons. The expectations prior to the start of the season were much higher. Detroit was supposed to be a protagonist in the Eastern Conference this season, a top-four team.
That’s why the team’s management is strongly considering about trading away Josh Smith. The 28-year old forward is recording a very good season and his value is high. He is putting up 15.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists, while shooting 41.1 percent from the floor. On the other hand, Smith is continuing to struggle from three-point territory, shooting 23.9 percent from downtown this season. But after all, he has never been a good three-point shooter, 27.7 percent for his career.
The biggest obstacle the Detroit Pistons will find towards trading Smith away is the $54 million contract they gave him this summer. Although Josh Smith has proven that he is valuable, teams and especially title contenders would think twice committing to a second-tier star for the next three and a half seasons.
Some latest reports state that the Detroit Pistons are in discussions with the Brooklyn Nets around a Josh Smith – Brook Lopez trade. This deal could work for both parties, as the Nets would receive a star that can help them with their championship ambitions this season. Brooklyn is in a win-now mode, as they won’t have more than one or two chances to win it all with this roster. An addition like Josh Smith only makes sense for them at the moment. Smith will add some power and shooting ability in the team’s frontcourt. Plus the Nets won’t get anything out of Lopez this season, so they will only be winners out of such a trade.
On the other hand, the Pistons will clearly aim towards the next season if they agree on this deal. Detroit does have Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe on board and that makes a potential Josh Smith trade easier. Smith currently plays the small forward position, which kind of limits the Pistons. Detroit might be able to get more out of its small forward position if Smith is not in the lineup. Lopez might not be actually the perfect piece for Detroit, as the team has a packed frontcourt. But this deal would be a nice way for the Pistons to get rid of Josh Smith’s big contract. The certain fact is that with Josh Smith and their current roster, the Pistons can’t go much further than a playoff participation.