Report: Rockets clear front-runner to sign Josh Smith

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James Harden and Josh Smith

James Harden and Josh Smith

Report: Rockets clear front-runner to sign Josh Smith

When now ex-Piston Josh Smith clears waivers at 5:00 PM EST on Wednesday, several significant teams are in line to make him an offer. The Miami Heat were the latest to join the mix after applying for a disabled-player exception on Josh McRoberts so they could increase their offer for Smith. Dallas, Sacramento, and the Clippers are among other teams interested in Smith’s services, but the Houston Rockets are reportedly the clear frontrunner.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Josh Smith won’t clear waivers until 5 pm ET tomorrow, but Rockets still very confident he’ll come their way. Next game Friday v. Memphis.

From Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

Virtually every team in the league checked in on Josh to understand whats going on — Houston still seen as the front runner.

Josh is expected to clear the NBA waiver process tomorrow at 5pm EST, although that does not mean he’ll make a decision quickly.

Josh is seeking a good fit for him as a player first, after a bad fit in Detroit, he’s much more focused on fit and his career than friends.

While somewhat obvious – sources close to Josh Smith say friendships with players will not be a key factor in his decision.

The relevant friendships referenced for Smith are Rajon Rondo (Dallas) who played AAU with Smith and Dwight Howard (Houston) who was Smith’s high school teammate in Atlanta. 

In terms of the fit, it comes as no surprise that Houston would be the frontrunner. The Rockets have been void of a true, stable power forward a la their pursuit of Chris Bosh in free agency. Terrence Jones has played well but is hurt and Donatas Montiejunas has played well for Kevin McHale as a stretch forward in their four-out offense.

Smith is best suited at the four. Defensively he brings more athleticism and versatility, and with players like James Harden and Dwight Howard to lean on, all he’d have to do is be solid and active on the offensive end. In my estimation adding Smith would put the Rockets as close to formidable as they’ve been. Something has them confident it will come to pass.

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Martin is the Founder, Chief Editor, and Head Skills Development Trainer for Basketball Society. He has work experience in digital media and marketing, radio, and journalism. Currently, he does freelance work as a videographer and content creator. He has been featured as a writer on sites such as Def Pen, TV Film News, All Hip-Hop, and more. Martin played high school basketball at South Brunswick High School (NJ) where he graduated in 2007. He is a 1,000-point scorer at SBHS and an All-Middlesex County performer as a 3-year varsity starter. He helped lead SBHS to their first-ever Central Jersey Group 4 sectional state championship in 2007. Martin played college basketball at Eastern University, where he graduated (BA, Communications) in 2012. Martin was a four-year starter and a 1,000-point scorer at EU. Follow Martin on Twitter @Marsoaries and on Instagram @martin_soaries

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