It is clear that Josh Smith is just taking up space on the Pistons’ roster.
The team needs to do some major overhauling this upcoming offseason because Joe Dumars got burned last year with the Smith signing. This year, the front office needs to be smarter in its decisions. Detroit may not be a huge basketball market anymore like Miami or Los Angeles, but as long as it markets itself well, it may be able to draw in big names.
After this season, Eric Bledsoe, Isaiah Thomas, Greg Monroe, Luol Deng and Zach Randolph will all be free agents and, therefore, potentially useful weapons for Detroit. Greg Monroe has been a somewhat useful member of the team, but Monroe and Andre Drummond still had spacing troubles in learning to play together. Re-signing him would be a toss-up. The team would benefit from keeping him around as long as they can get him for the right price.
In last year’s offseason, a 27-year-old Smith signed a four-year contract for the Pistons. He seemed like a promising addition to the team. At the same time though, there were cues that Smith’s career was on the decline. One of those cues was a decline in his numbers. Once in Detroit, those numbers have been worse than ever. Dumars or his replacement need to be weary of this and look out for another rotten veteran.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, currently tenth place in the Eastern Conference, took a chance on nine-year pro Deng this season. So far, that deal has not been the best for them as Deng’s numbers have been down. Hopefully Detroit will stay away from him this upcoming offseason.
Zach Randolph, part of the Memphis Grizzlies, is playoff bound as long as Phoenix does not catch up. The Grizzlies’ momentum in the past years make Randolph desirable for outside teams. Especially if Greg Monroe ultimately decides to leave, Randolph would be a quality veteran to help lead this team, not to mention the added bonus of a Spartan on the Pistons roster. The downside to winning Randolph would be the huge price tag that comes along with him.
This season, the Grizzlies are paying Randolph upwards of $18 million. That would be way more than Josh Smith currently gets, and Randolph is older.
Once the season ends, other trade opportunities will open up for Detroit as well. Especially once front office management issues are cleared, chances to build a better team will expand.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.