Josh Smith, the 12-year veteran forward, has failed to attract free agent suitors this summer. But it seems like Cleveland Cavaliers, the reigning NBA champions, could ink him to a one-year contract, per sources.
Smith hasn’t been an elite player since the Detroit Pistons waived him two years ago. Since then, Smith has gone back-and-forth between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers before falling out of favor with both teams.
However, the Atlanta native is still a capable of contributing on both ends of the floor, especially for a championship contender in the postseason.
When the Clippers collapsed against the Rockets during the 2015 playoffs, it was Smith’s defense on Blake Griffin which helped Houston bounce back from a 3-1 series deficit.
Josh Smith + Cavs: A good fit?
This Kings Gospel writer is of the opinion that Smith is a low-risk, high-reward option for LeBron James’ team since he could be had for a veteran minimum contract that won’t eat into the Cavs’ salary cap room.
Despite Smith’s toughness on defense and ability to knock down perimeter shots, the 30-year-old is viewed as a liability by several general managers and coaches due to his inconsistent shooting percentages.
Last season, J-Smoove shot a mediocre 36 per cent from the field and 28 per cent from three-point range during his stints with the Clippers and the Rockets. To make matters worse, he shot 55 per cent from the free-throw line.
It begs the question: why would any team waste a roster spot on such an inefficient shooter? “At 30, Smith still is one of the quickest leapers in the NBA. This has helped him force opponents to shoot 5.9 percent less on their field goals from six feet and in while mainly matched up against power forwards and centers,” reasons Cavs beat writer Quenton Albertie.
After inking LeBron James to a three-year contract, the Cavaliers still need to take care of starting shooting guard J.R. Smith, who is reportedly in the middle of a contract dispute with the Cavs front office.
While Smith is surely expected to be brought back, the Cavs could still have a roster spot open for Josh Smith. However, is he worth the risk?