HoopsHype Josh Smith rumors


December 23, 2014 Updates

"The reason nothing was done in the summer…you've got to know your team and players before you start shipping people around," Van Gundy said after a two-hour practice Monday. "At that point, I didn't know. And I didn't anticipate this. We went into the season expecting to be much better. It hasn't worked out that way. To stay on the same course would be bad leadership." Detroit News

Van Gundy said the team's underperforming — numerous times citing the Pistons' 5-23 record—led to Smith's release more than anything else. He said there was no confrontation that led to the surprising move, which caused ripples through the NBA. "We all know in this league and there's no hiding it, when you're making the big bucks and you're the guy, and you don't produce, fans and media look at you like what's going on?" said point guard Brandon Jennings. "And that goes for anybody in this league." Detroit News

Sources say the Rockets, with Howard leading their recruiting pitch, believe Smith will ultimately choose Houston over Miami and the Dallas Mavericks, whose recruiting effort is being spearheaded by another one of Smith's close friends: Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo. "He's just as close to Dwight as he is to Rondo," one source said late Monday, "and Dwight wants him." ESPN.com

Agent Wallace Prather told me earlier today that the Heat is among teams that have called to express interest in forward Josh Smith, who was surprisingly released by Detroit on Monday. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported tonight that the Heat has formally applied for its $2.65 million disabled player exception, as expected, and hopes to get that money to offer it to Smith. Miami Herald

"I think we can use an athletic big," Rondo said after the Mavs' 105-102 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. "They traded me for Brandan Wright. Besides Tyson [Chandler], our other bigs are perimeter shooters. Josh brings a lot to the game -- his intangibles, he can make plays, rebound, defend. He'd be a good fit anywhere, but especially here I think he'd be a good fit." ESPN.com

The Wizards front court is as deep as any in the NBA so it was no surprise when a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed that Washington is not pursuing Josh Smith after the Detroit Pistons shockingly waived him Monday. Washington Post

Van Gundy acknowledged there was a trade opportunity for Smith last summer without mentioning the team or the players involved, though a deal with Sacramento that would have brought three players back to the Pistons was widely reported last June. Van Gundy said he had no regrets about not making that deal. "I would rather be where we are right now than having taken back the players we were offered that would've sat on our cap for the next three years," he said. "That would have slowed down our rebuilding effort. We went into the season expecting much, much better than this. To just continue on the same course and not do anything differently at 5 and 23 would be pretty bad leadership at this point. Looking back, I would rather have this situation than the opportunity we had in the summer." NBA.com

Van Gundy said he broke the news to Smith in person Monday morning before practice and said Smith "understood" and "handled it very professionally." "I truly have great respect for what he's done in the league over the last 10 years and we weren't going to mess around with him. I hope he finds a great situation." NBA.com

December 22, 2014 Updates

The Dallas Mavericks never had any interest in Josh Smith when he was a jumper-happy forward seeking a starting job and a high salary. But they’d love to have Smith as a bargain-priced bench player, in particular as a replacement for traded backup big man Brandan Wright. ESPN.com

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.