There have been mutterings of Josh Smith possibly on the move this summer due to the fact that the Detroit Pistons‘ front court is loaded. With the likes of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, Smith has had to play out of position in Detroit, and it has affected his play and the play of the Pistons. In order for Detroit to move forward next year, they have spacing and shooting issues they need to address.
Smith is a natural four, and when he is forced to play the three it changes his approach to the game for the worse. When Smith is at his best, he is rebounding, blocking shots, running the floor for dunks and playing near the rim. He has always had a decent mid-range game and the ability to shoot from beyond the arc, but that is not his strong point. That being said, Smith took a career-high 265 three-pointers last year, shooting a paltry .264 percent from downtown.
Those numbers are absurdly bad and are a product of the Pistons’ dilemma of having too many front-court players. As such, somebody needs to go and it is increasingly likely that Smith is that guy. There have been rumors that Detroit should trade Smith to the Boston Celtics for Jeff Green and I actually think that is a trade that would work for the Pistons.
Although Green can be infuriatingly inconsistent at times, his skill set is exactly what the Pistons need. They need a true small forward with length who is athletic, can shoot the ball and is comfortable being a second or third scoring option on the team. Green had a down year with the Celtics last year due to the fact that he was thrust into the role of primary scorer, and was never really comfortable with having to shoulder that burden. His field goal percentage was a lowly 44 percent and his three-point shooting hovered around 34 percent, which isn’t terrible.
This trade also works because it allows the Pistons to shed some salary. Green is due to make $9.2 million next year and Smith is set to rake in $13.5 million. This will allow the Pistons to take that money saved and use it towards signing Monroe, who is a free agent this year.
If I was the Pistons’ GM, I would push hard for this trade to happen. Although Smith is the better of the two players, sometimes you add by subtracting.