There's just a few hours left in the 2014 NBA trade deadline and you better believe smarter people than you and I are sitting in an office on Jefferson Ave. thinking long and hard about stuff like this. But hey, we don't get paid to make decisions. We just have fun thinking about them before they happen and opining on them after.
First, the report from Detroit:
Honestly, I can see Josh Smith having value to several NBA teams as a power forward who isn't asked to bear much of the scoring load (Charlotte, Houston, Cleveland, etc.), but at this point the best path forward for the Detroit Pistons is anything that gets them a do-over of its disastrous decision to sign Smith to play small forward alongside young bigs Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.
Smith was just signed to a $54m, four-year contract by Joe Dumars this summer. He obviously isn't a good fit with their other bigs and is miscast as a full time small forward. Who knew!?!
The Suns clearly have the assets to make a run at him and I won't get into the salary cap stuff, but let's just assume it's doable. I'm confident it is and don't feel like playing Trade Machine Wizard. That's not the point here.
The question is about fit.
Josh Smith is both a flawed and incredibly skilled basketball player. As power forward in Atlanta he played at a fringe all-star level. He's super athletic. Plays great defense. Passes the ball and can run and finish.
He gets into trouble when he has to space the floor and when he takes bad mid and long range shots.
But I have to tell you, the idea of Josh playing the four with the Suns Slash Brothers backcourt is intriguing to me. He's still only 28-years-old and would cost $13m/yr for three more seasons. If Smith, Bledsoe and Dragic are your core and you have the role players and picks the Suns have...well, like I said I'm intrigued.
Imagine Frye, Smith, Tucker, Dragic and Bledsoe on the floor. FAST. DEFENSE. SPACING. PASSING. TOUGH. It doesn't work quite as well with Plumlee due to the spacing issues but both Miles and Len have potential to at least stretch to 15 feet and you can play Smith at the three against guys like Durant and LeBron with Frye on the floor for spacing. There's a lot of options here and a much better fit than in Detroit.
Obviously, from the Suns side you don't want to give up too much and honestly, I'd rather have Thad Young in that role if possible.
But guys with Smith's talent don't fall off trees and certainly not at the price the Pistons would likely be asking.
What do you think?