Josh Smith agrees to join Detroit Pistons
Coveted free agent forward Josh Smith is poised to join Detroit Pistons after leaving Atlanta Hawks
Josh Smith has agreed to join the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPN.
Forward Smith, who has been the subject of strong interest from numerous teams since becoming a free agent this month, has reportedly agreed to sign a four-year contract worth $56m.
The deal cannot be officially completed until July 10, when the league's moratorium on off-season deals is officially lifted.
The move ends Smith's long association with the Atlanta Hawks, who selected the player straight out of high school with the 17th pick of the 2004 NBA draft.
Smith averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.8 blocks last season as the Hawks eventually fell to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.
Reports suggested the Hawks were initially keen to re-sign Smith, but the player was evidently focused on continuing his career in a new destination. While the Pistons were quick to establish their interest at the very start of the 2013 free agency period, rumours had begun to circulate that Smith would likely be heading to the Houston.
After the Rockets were announced as the winners of the Dwight Howard sweepstakes last week, several reports surfaced suggesting that general manager Daryl Morey's next move could be to bring in Smith to play alongside his childhood friend and also All-star guard James Harden.
However, as reported by USA Today, Morey was unable to successfully devise any realistic sign and trade scenarios that would have made such a deal possible.
After joining the Pistons, a team in the midst of a major rebuild having failed to make the postseason since they were swept 4-0 in the Eastern Conference first round by LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009, Smith's central role within such an organisation would appear to be in adding some crucial experience to an otherwise youthful setup that finished the 2012-13 season with a 29-53 record.
Providing the franchise do not make any more significant changes to their roster in the coming months, 27-year-old Smith will likely start next season in the frontcourt alongside 23-year-old Greg Monroe and 19-year-old Andre Drummond.
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