Brandon Jennings will be the runner-up in the MVP voting to Smith while Andre Drummond, still a kid at age 20, will come in third. It could be a close vote between Smith and Jennings; but in the end, Smith will prove how valuable of a pickup he was for the Pistons. Jennings will also prove his worth, but Smith will especially carry the load in making the Pistons strong playoff contenders.
Drummond’s time will come, but his MVP award will have to wait for another season.
The key for Smith will be working with Drummond and Greg Monroe so that each player has enough room inside to do his work. Smith was up in just about every category with his 2012-13 performance compared to his career marks. He averaged 35.3 minutes, 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, and shot 46. 5 percent from the floor.
His career marks are 34.1 minutes, 15.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game. His 3-point shooting last season of 30.3 percent was higher than his 28.3 percent career mark. His career free throw accuracy is 65.4 percent, but that’s higher than his 51.7 shooting accuracy in foul shots last season.
It may take a while for Smith to adjust to his new surroundings, but once he does adjust, he’s on his way to being team MVP.