The Houston Rockets, in order to stage a comeback, acquired Josh Smith in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. Forward Maarty Leunen’s draft rights were sent to the Clippers to secure the services of Smith.
Smith spoke to the reporters after returning at the Toyota Center during the Rockets’ 102-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I am glad to be here, I’m excited just being able to get an opportunity to get back on the floor and contribute and play for some guys that were newfound brothers to me last year and just being able to play with the excitement and happiness that’s needed to be successful in this business,” a smiling Smith said before the game.
“I just want to be the glue and contribute in any way possible, I don’t want to throw out any predictions out there. I just want to put my best foot forward and hopefully add some success to this team,” Smith, who posted averages of 12 points and 6 rebounds, also added. The Clippers sent the draft rights of Sergei Lishouk and cash cover of $46,000 of Smith’s $ 1.4 million minimum salary.
Smith hasn’t featured in games before playing on Friday. He got very little playing time with the Clippers. After the game he revealed that he yearns to return at court.
“I wanted to play bad, man,” Smith said after scoring two points in 20 minutes on Friday’s win. “I haven’t played in like a month, month and a half, so being able to touch that hardwood makes you appreciate a lot of things. Being able to be around a group of guys and coaching staff that is confident in you is definitely helpful for my game.”
The Rockets General manager also announced the trade in his tweet.
Welcome back Josh Smith! #bandbacktogether
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) January 22, 2016