Josh Smith signs with Detroit Pistons, won’t join Dwight Howard in Houston


Josh Smith

With Dwight Howard choosing the Houston Rockets, the rest of the dominoes are start to fall in place for the rest of the NBA free agents.  Josh Smith was rumored to be heading to Houston in a sign-and-trade deal but has instead signed with the Detroit Pistons.  The Atlanta Hawks replaced Smith with former Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap while O.J. Mayo inked with the Milwaukee Bucks and Jose Calderon is heading to the Dallas Mavericks.  Here is the latest on the NBA free agent front.


Detroit Pistons sign F Josh Smith to 4-year, $56 million deal

After Dwight Howard signed with Houston, there were rumors that the next play for the Rockets was to try and acquire Josh Smith via a sign and trade. I guess that option didn’t work out as Smith will be heading to Detroit.

The Pistons entered the off-season with a ton of cap flexibility and were hoping to make a big spalsh. Signing J Smoove does just that. Detroit’s frontcourt now features Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond meaning all three could start with Smith playing the three or they can play Smith at the four and bring Drummond off the bench.

I’m not a huge Smith fan because I think he is a bit of a headcase but this signing certainly makes Detroit a better team and increases their likelihood of becoming a playoff team in a weak Eastern Conference.

Grade: B+

 

Milwaukee Bucks sign SG O.J. Mayo to 3-year, $24 million deal
With all their cap space and a gaping hole at shooting guard, the Bucks had to do something and finalize a deal with Mayo.  I like Mayo, I just don’t like he and Brandon Jennings being the lead guards and best two players on the same team. This fills a void and really was the best realistic option for Milwaukee but keeps them a less than a erage Eastern Conference team.
Grade: D+
Indiana Pacers sign F Chris Copeland to 2-year, $6.1 million deal
Copeland came from nowhere to be a solid role player for the Knicks last season and earns a well-deserved guaranteed deal with Indy. He will provide depth at both forward positions and as the roster looks now, be the primary backup to David West at power forward which would give Indy a smaller, more athletic lineup. His signing could also increase the possibility of Danny Granger getting dealt.
Grade: A
Dallas Mavericks sign PG Jose Calderon to 4-year $29 miilion deal
For the second straight off-season Mark Cuban struck out on the major free agent prizes and has to change course by filling out the roster. Dallas needed a point guard and Calderon immediately becomes their starter and comes at a reasonable $7 million per year. What I don’t like about the deal is the length of it. This means Dallas is pretty much tied to Calderon as their lead guard for the next few years and I’m not sure that was entice any future free agents to Dallas.
Grade: C+
Pelicans re-sign SF Al-Farouq Aminu to 1-year, $3.7 million deal
Aminu had his best season as a pro last year in New Orleans as their starting small forward.  He likely returns in a backup role to the newly acquired Tyreke Evans which is the best fit for Aminu since he really isn’t a starting caliber small forward in the league.
Grade: B-
Atlanta Hawks sign PF Paul Millsap to 2-year, $19 million deal and F DeMarre Carroll to 2-year, $5 million deal
With the dream of Dwight Howard returning home now extinct, the Hawks start turning towards a Plan B. Millsap is a quality acquisition and more than likely a replacement for free agent Josh Smith since it seems his days in the ATL are over. Carroll is a nice energy player to add off the bench but really nothing more than that. The Hawks had the cap space to make some moves and while they missed out on the big prizes, these deals strengthen the roster without breaking the bank.
Grade: B
Portland Trail Blazers sign SF Dorrel Wright to 2-year, $6 million deal
As I’ve written numerous times this off-season, the Blazers had the worst bench in the NBA last year and have made a few minor to moves to upgrade their depth including adding Wright. He will add some three-point shooting off the bench and allow Portland to use a smaller frontcourt at times with he, Nicolas Batum, and LeMarcus Aldridge.
Grade: A-
Rockets re-sign SF Francisco Garcia to 2-year, $2.6 million deal and sign SF Omri Casspi to two-year deal
Now comes the part of the off-season where Houston tries to add veteran players for the league minimum and add depth to their new star tandem of Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin. Garcia was a pesky defender/almost enforcer-like role player in the post-season series against OKC and figures to provide that same type of play next year.  Casspi fell out favor in Cleveland next season and will try to save his NBA career in Houston.
Grade: B

OTHER NBA OFF-SEASON MOVES:

NETS ACQUIRE GARNETT, PIERCE

KNICKS MAKE RISKY TRADE FOR BARGNANI

BLAZERS GET ROBINSON FOR PICKS

7/1 FREE AGENT RECAP (PAUL, DUNLEAVY RE-SIGN)

SUNS LAND BLEDSOE IN 3-TEAM TRADE

T-WOLVES ADD SHOOTERS WITH MARTIN AND BUDINGER

7/2 FREE AGENT RECAP (WEST, SPLITTER, ALLEN)

EVANS TO PELICANS IN SIGN-AND-TRADE DEAL

7/4 FREE AGENT RECAP (JEFFERSON, GINOBLI, KORVER, J.R. SMITH)

WARRIORS CREATE CAP SPACE TO SIGN IGUODALA

CLICK HERE FOR OUR CENTER RANKINGS
CLICK HERE FOR OUR POWER FORWARD RANKINGS
CLICK HERE FOR OUR NBA FREE AGENT SMALL FORWARD RANKINGS
CLICK HERE FOR OUR NBA FREE AGENT SHOOTING GUARD RANKINGS
CLICK HERE FOR OUR NBA FREE AGENT POINT GUARD RANKINGS

2013 NBA DRAFT: EASTERN CONFERENCE TEAM GRADES
2013 NBA DRAFT: WESTERN CONFERENCE TEAM GRADES

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

Speak Your Mind