With Dwight Howard off the table, the dominoes continue to fall in NBA free agency. Forward Josh Smith, arguably the top player remaining on the market, reached an agreement Saturday with the Detroit Pistons on a four-year contract worth up to $56 million, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Entering free agency as one of the top players on the market, Smith fell short of the max contract he was reportedly seeking, but the deal he got from Detroit isn't a cheap one. At up to $14 million million per year, it's a slight raise from his 2012-13 salary with the Atlanta Hawks.
Smith only receives $54 million guaranteed in the deal, but Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News says performance incentives could boost the final payout to $56 million.
For many of the teams attempting to acquire Howard this summer, Smith was referred to as a Plan B of sorts. By signing with the Pistons, he leaves teams like the Dallas Mavericks scrambling to effectively spend their available cap space. After spreading the money around during Detroit's last spending spree, Joe Dumars opted to go big with one player this time.
Still in his prime, the 27-year-old Smith averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals per game with Atlanta last season. A versatile player on both sides of the floor, he'll probably forever bother analysts with his shot selection, but the skills he brings to a young Detroit team are undoubtedly intriguing.
Joining a roster featuring Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Andre Drummond and rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as its core, Smith becomes the most-experienced and highest-paid player on the Pistons. We'll see if he can lead the team back to postseason action soon.