The Kings spent a good part of July trying to convince the Detroit Pistons to take two of their power forwards in a deal for their power forward, Josh Smith.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive wanted Smith to join DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay in the team’s frontcourt, even if skeptics wondered how the trio would play together.
The Kings’ offers were rebuffed, but there’s renewed hope because Smith was released by the Detroit Pistons today. He’s averaging 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds.
If Smith clears waivers, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Dallas and Houston will pursue Smith, ESPN has reported, putting the Kings at a disadvantage, assuming Smith is leaning toward teams that are playoff contenders.
The Mavericks and Rockets also would offer stability, because the Kings fired their coach eight days ago and have a losing record.
The Kings could offer a starting job but only pay Smith the veteran’s minimum of about $1.4 million.
Smith, who signed a four-year, $56-million contract before last season, still would be paid by the Pistons to make up the difference in salary.
Houston still has it’s bi-annual exception (worth $2.1 million), and the Rockets would give Smith a chance to play with James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Smith would likely be a reserve in Dallas for the veteran’s minimum, but joining the Mavericks would be in position to contend for an NBA title.