The Detroit Pistons and the Sacramento Kings have resumed trade discussions on a deal that could send Josh Smith to Sacramento, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
As ESPN.com reported last month, Detroit and Sacramento have engaged in trade discussions that would potentially land Smith in the same front-court with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. Initial talks called for Sacramento to send Jason Thompsonand either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry to the Pistons for Smith, but those discussions reached an impasse and were pushed into July along with the rest of both teams’ free-agent business, sources said.
Sources say the Kings continue to give the addition of Smith serious consideration, largely because the discussions to date have not required them to part with any players in their long-term plans and would also add a versatile and athletic defender to a roster that badly needs one, given how much Kings coach Mike Malone is known to preach defense.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, furthermore, is known to be fond of splashy moves. And trading for Smith, given the lukewarm reviews of his first season with the Pistons, would certainly qualify as bold.
Another potential bonus is Smith’s close relationship with Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, whom Sacramento has been targeting in trade talks for some time.
The Kings, sources say, prefer to trade Terry rather than buy him out of the final year of his contract valued at nearly $6 million, while Terry has said he’s interested in a return to the Dallas Mavericks if he’s ultimately released and can get to free agency.
Now, before I break down how this potential trade could benefit or hurt the Pistons, keep in mind that from the beginning, I never liked the signing of Josh Smith. For starters, they already had great post duo in Monroe and Drummond, who both boast bright futures. Plus, I felt the Pistons really needed a true small forward such as Andre Iguodala who is now playing with the Golden State Warriors. Now to be fair the Pistons did make him an offer last off-season but he decided to sign with the Warriors which is understandable because his career is winding down and he wants to compete for a championship. Nevertheless, my point is that I wanted the Pistons to sign a true small forward. Instead they decided to sign a “hybrid” power forward by the name of Josh Smith and put him at the small forward position, which makes no sense, since he doesn’t have the skill set to play that position consistently.
If you ask me, as long as Smith is with the Pistons, the “triple big-man experiment” in Detroit will continue to fail. As I said before, Smith is not a true small forward, I feel he is more of a power forward. He isn’t a consistent shooter from mid-range or three-point range, which hurts him when he plays the small forward position. Then on top of that, he isn’t able to drive to the basket and finish at the rim due to the paint being clogged up at times.
Plus financially, the Pistons can’t afford to keep Drummond, Monroe and Smith. You have to remember that Smith is owed $40.5 million dollars over the next three seasons. If that’s not enough, Monroe has earned the right to want a lucrative contract and the same could be said about Drummond when his time comes for a contract extension.
Overall, by getting rid of Smith, the Pistons would be in a much better financial position and they would be getting rid of an inconsistent player, who doesn’t fit with the Pistons if they plan to keeping both Monroe and Drummond.
Now, as far as the potential trade between the Pistons and the Kings goes, I see why the Pistons are hesitant to make this move. As of right now, we don’t know the details of who the Kings would like to give up, but if the current talks between the two parties are similar to the previous discussions the Pistons had with the Kings before, the talks could involve the Pistons sending Smith and getting back Jason Thompson and one of either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com did mention that both parties are on the hunt for a third team that could help facilitate the deal but as of right now it is unclear what bringing in a third team would help facilitate.
Plus, I’m not sure there is a third team out there who wants to get involved with this trade and I’m not the only one who feels this way, Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com also brought up his concerns about the Pistons and Kings finding a third team to help facilitate this trade.
“Always leery of failed trade talks that involve a search for a third team. If anyone wanted Thompson or Terry, Sacramento would have traded those two by now. It’s extremely unlikely the Kings can dump their trash on another team when it can’t convince the Pistons to accept it.” – Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com
Once again, I’m inclined to agree Feldman. I have said from the beginning, that when it comes to the Pistons trading Smith, it would be about gaining equal value but most importantly it will be about gaining flexibility. Although, the Pistons would be gaining financial flexibility with this move, they wouldn’t necessary be gaining roster flexibility or gaining equal value.
So, until those conditions change or the Pistons decide anything is worth it to get rid of Smith, a trade between these two teams will continue to be non-existent.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
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