Houston Rockets bring back Josh Smith in trade with Clippers

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After just eight months at the Houston Rockets, Josh Smith left the Texas franchise for their Western Conference rivals the Los Angeles Clippers in the summer of 2015.

Now, just six months on from his free agency move to L.A., the veteran forward is reportedly on his way back to the Toyota Center.

Back in town

According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowksi, the Texans have re-acquired Smith as part of a trade deal that will save the Clippers around $2 million in luxury tax.


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Aside from sending Smith to rejoin the Rockets, the Clippers will also be covering the remaining dollars on the 30-year-old's salary for the season ($460,000) as well as the draft right to Sergei Lishchuk of UCAM Murcia in Liga ACB.

Houston, for their part, will hand over the rights they own for fellow Euro-based player, Maarty Leunen.

The trade brings to an end a frustrating period for Smith in Los Angeles. Averaging just 14.3 minutes and 5.3 points-per-game in Doc Rivers' rotation, the former Pistons star failed to find a role at the Western Conference hopefuls. He was a healthy scratch for three of the team's last five games.

The benefits for the Clippers are mostly monetary as they look to save on the luxury tax bill. For the Rockets, meanwhile, it is hoped the return of Smith can help galvanize the roster as they look to build on a disappointing 22-22 record.


Smith played a key role for Houston last season and was a standout performer in several playoff games. Per Wojnarowski, "several Rockets players were eager for he team to bring back Smith."

Smith himself has already expressed his pleasure at the move, as well as stating his role moving forward:

Rockets fans: Are you happy to see Smith returning? Have your say in the comments below...

Dwight Howard
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference
L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Chris Paul

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