Smith, 27, signed a four-year, $54 million with the Detroit Pistons this summer after spending his first nine in the NBA with the Hawks. The Atlanta born-and-raised forward told HOOPSWORLD that his move from Atlanta to Detroit "wasn't as hard as other people saw it":
"It was time for me to experience a different thing in my life, a new situation, new opportunity and I'm happy where I'm at."
The nine-year veteran was selected 17th overall by the Hawks in 2004. He filled box scores -- with career averages of 15/8/3/2 -- in his near-decade span with Atlanta.
Smith said that the young talent -- in Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Tony Mitchell, Peyton Siva, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope -- in Detroit is what intrigued him. He said that Pistons president Joe Dumars -- a Hall of Fame player who spent 14 seasons with Detroit -- could be a Hall of Fame executive:
"Him being able to let a player express himself for who he is. How well he understands the game. How well he is able to breakdown everything; work with a great owner. It’s just a blessing for me to come to this great situation and all I want to do is to show my gratitude, play hard every night and show my appreciation for them wanting me to be here."
Some worry about how Smith, Drummond and Monroe will mesh offensively in the front court together. The thought is that the floor spacing will be cramped with the lack of a knock-down shooter, but Smith thinks the three can work together.
He told Steve Kyler of HOOPSWORLD that he sees the three "working real well," crediting coach Mo Cheeks for being able to put the group in the right positions. He said that as long as the team remains confident, the "sky's the limit."