Josh Smith, one of the top free agents available on the open market this summer, has signed a deal with the Detroit Pistons.
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 10, at 1:20 p.m. ET by Tom Kinslow
The Pistons have officially announced the signing, with Smith speaking to the local media today.
---End of update---
According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is for four years and worth $56 million.
The versatile forward is certain to make an instant impact in all facets of the game.
ESPN Stats and Info puts Smith's numbers into perspective:
He holds career averages of 15.3 points on 46.5 percent field goal shooting and 28.3 percent from three, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.
Smith spent the last nine seasons playing for the Atlanta Hawks, the team that drafted him No. 17 overall in 2004 as an 18-year-old right out of high school.
J-Smoove, as he’s affectionately known around the league, has done quite a bit maturing, and the 27-year-old has greatly enhanced and expanded his game over the past few seasons.
He still possesses the elite athleticism that intrigued the Hawks when he was starring at Oak Hill Academy, but he has improved drastically as a defender.
At 6’9”, 225 pounds, Smith has the size, bulk and quickness to lock down both forward positions.
While Smith tends to shoot far too many three-pointers (hoisting up a ridiculous 2.6 attempts while connecting on an atrocious 30.3 percent of them in 2012-13) and is reluctant to play in the post, perhaps some tutelage under Maurice Cheeks will help him further his game.
Although he’s a longtime veteran in this league, Smith is still a player in the early stages of his prime. He could easily be the second- or third-best player on a championship roster, which is what the Pistons' president of basketball operations, Joe Dumars, is trying to build right now.
There are going to be some lofty expectations for Smith to live up to that come with this contract, but the superstar forward should be able to exceed them now that he has been given a fresh start and motivation to play harder than ever.
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