The Sacramento Kings continue to look for an upgrade at power forward to play alongside DeMarcus Cousins, and Josh Smith is a name that keeps popping up on the Kings' radar. After engaging in trade talks with the Detroit Pistons last month, Sacramento is once again trying to find a way to land Smith, according to ESPN's Marc Stein.
When the teams first talked, the proposal reportedly involved the Kings sending Jason Thompson and either Derrick Williams or Jason Terry to Detroit. Those talks broke down, but now that free agency has settled a bit, negotiations have resumed. The teams are looking for a third team to help facilitate a deal.
Smith could act as a complimentary piece to DeMarcus Cousins/Photo credit: Ezra Shaw, Getty Images
Why this makes sense
The Kings are on the hunt for either a rim protector or a stretch 4 to play alongside Cousins. Smith doesn't fall under the stretch 4 category, but he could be a quality rim protector for Sacramento. The 28-year-old has blocked 2.1 shots per game over the course of his career. While those numbers were down last year, that was more of a function of being forced to play the 3 in Detroit. That, of course, turned out to be a disastrous move.
The train wreck that was the three-big lineup is a reason the Pistons are looking to move Smith. It would be nice to get out from under the three years and over $40 million remaining on Smith's contract, which would pave the way for Detroit to move forward with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Those two are both younger and boast a brighter future. Monroe, a restricted free agent, has been in limbo since free agency started.
Why this doesn't make sense
A trio of Smith, Cousins and Rudy Gay would be a talented one, but the fit may not be the best. Having Gay around would allow Smith to play the 4, however, shot selection could be a problem. Those three would also combine to make $48 million next year, and they would cost a ton of money long term if the Kings want to bring back Gay once his contract expires.
It makes sense for the Pistons to want to move Smith, but Sam Amick of USA TODAY did report earlier in free agency that the team values the forward and there's no rush to dump him. While that could have been posturing, Detroit likely won't just dump Smith for anything, as he still holds value. The players the Kings have discussed sending aren't all that enticing, which would help explain why the parties are looking to get a third team involved.
New Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is said to be "fond of splashy moves," and this would certainly qualify as one. It could also serve as a precursor for another attempt for Rajon Rondo, who is close friends with Smith. Sacramento has engaged the Boston Celtics in Rondo trade talks, but nothing has come to fruition. The Kings seem to like Smith, but it may be tough to find the right deal, so I'll say there's a 4/10 chance of Smith ending up in Sacramento.