NBA Trade News: Josh Smith, who signed with Los Angeles Clippers during the off-season, was supposed to bring veteran leadership and strengthen the team’s second unit. However, Smith and the Clippers haven’t gelled as expected.
Smith, once an All-Star, has played only six minutes in the last two games. Doc Rivers, the Clippers coach, is still unsure of how to utilize the veteran forward/center. When asked if Smith was in the doghouse (a term used for players relegated to warming the bench), Rivers said, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t call it a doghouse, anyway. We’re trying to win games. And I’m just going to keep playing guys I think are best right now to win games for us.”
NBA Trade News: Will Josh Smith find a team that can better utilize his services?
The Clippers, on a three-game winning streak, are currently 19-13 and placed fourth in the Western Conference. Prior to the season, Clippers were projected to win 60 games and emerge as a serious challenger to Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. Thus far, those predictions haven’t held weight as the Clippers have lost to most top-tier oppositions.
While Rivers refuses to address Josh Smith’s usage in detail, he said it was partly to do with the veteran’s shot selection. “I’m not going to get into everything, but that’s part of it,” said the Clippers coach.
In 29 games so far, Josh Smith has been averaging just 5.7 points, 4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks from 14 minutes per night. Last year, with the Houston Rockets, Smith averaged 12 points per game from 25.5 minutes. Was Smith wise to leave a team that still relied on him? In fact, Smith was instrumental in the Rockets defeated the Clippers in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Clearly, the Clippers are unable to find playing time for the former Atlanta Hawks superstar. Josh Smith is still only 30 and has an opportunity to script a career renaissance. The question is: how much longer before Clippers trade Smith to a team that could do justice to his talent?
Stay tuned for more NBA Trade News & Rumors.