The Golden State Warriors could give Josh Smith the career revival he desperately needs. The enigmatic power forward is worth the risk, as he can defend multiple positions and provide athleticism off the bench.
J-Smoove used to be a $54 million-type player. Now, NBA teams are hesitant to employ his services. Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher thinks Smith’s age and attitude have alienated potential employers.
“There is an image now of Josh Smith, some of it self-inflicted, that he is surly, grumpy and people question what he is bringing now,” he said. “He is at a stage where you are supposed to be a veteran, bringing along younger players in the right direction. There is a lot of question out there whether Josh Smith would do that.”
Bucher clarified that Smith isn’t all that bad. In the right system, he can blossom into a very effective sixth-man. As to why the 30-year-old veteran remains to be a free agent, the NBA analyst believes that teams are playing the waiting game. They want to first build an identity with the core group they have, before filling the roster with players such as Josh Smith.
The Warriors fit that description perfectly. Fresh off the 2016 Rio Olympics, gold medalists Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are ready to join back-to-back league MVP Stephen Curry in team practices.
Head coach Steve Kerr is currently busy figuring out how his new nucleus would work. That’s only one of his problems as the arrival of Durant has booted off Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Leandro Barbosa from the roster.
The Warriors bench isn’t as intimidating as in previous years. Due to the team’s financially-stricken cap situation, Bob Myers and his crew can’t afford to be picky with free agents.
Smith knows what it’s like to have a veteran’s minimum contract. He signed a one-year $1.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015. He surely won’t mind a similar bargain with absurdly-talented Warriors squad.
Hoops Habit indicated that Smith is just the guy who can give Draymond Green a breather from defending the likes of LeBron James. Smith isn’t a good passer, but a simple albeit clearly-defined role with the team would be a win-win situation for both him and the Warriors organization.