LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Josh Smith will be playing for his third team in the last two seasons, as the forward has indicated on Thursday that he will sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Can confirm Josh Smith to Clippers, as reported by Real GM & others. Told he was swayed by “defined role” offered by LAC/Rivers.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 16, 2015
Smith played for the Pistons last season before being waived after an unimpressive one and a half seasons in Detroit. The Houston Rockets signed him after he cleared waivers last season and in 55 games for them, he averaged 12.0 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, and 2.6 assists per game in 25.5 minutes played per game.
Smith had an abysmal year in the 2013-14 season with the Pistons, as he shot 26% from the three point line while averaging a career-high 3.4 three pointers attempted per game. That same season, he shot a career-low 41% from the field, and in the 2014-15 season with the Pistons, shot 39% from the field in 28 games before he was waived.
Smith signed a four-year, $54 million dollar deal in the summer of 2013, but has not found a home yet since leaving the Atlanta Hawks, where he was a productive and versatile big man.
Smith played nine seasons in Atlanta, where he averaged a career high 18.8 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game in the 2011-2012 season.
After re-signing DeAndre Jordan and Austin Rivers, trading for Lance Stephenson, and signing free agents Paul Pierce, Wes Johnson and Cole Aldrich, Smith is just another piece added to the Clippers’ team that lost in the Conference Semi-Finals to the Houston Rockets.
The Clippers certainly added depth this off-season, and look to give the core three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan some scoring help with their new additions. The team’s projected starting lineup is Chris Paul, JJ Redick, Paul Pierce / Lance Stephenson, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan.
That means the Clippers have either Pierce or Stephenson coming off the bench, with Johnson, Aldrich, Jamal Crawford, rookie Branden Dawson, Austin Rivers, and Glen Davis also in reserve for the new-look Clippers.
With their new logo an all, the Clippers will continue their pursuit of that elusive first championship in the 2015-16 season, and are prime contenders to win the talented Western Conference.
According to sources close to the Rockets, Smith was offered a $2.5 million deal to stay with his former team, but elected to take less money to go to Los Angeles.
The Clippers could make Josh Smith signing official tonight. It’s a 1-year deal for the veteran’s minimum.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) July 16, 2015