Josh Smith was Dumars' answer to a half a decade of irrelevancy. Shortly after meeting with Smith at midnight on the day free agency began, Dumars inked Smith to the largest per annum contract in Pistons' history. The result? More of the same.
Josh Smith Must Reads
Josh Smith: Another Joe Dumars free agency failure
In signing Josh Smith, Joe Dumars has repeated the failed free agent strategy that cursed the Detroit Pistons in 2009. It is the third significant free agent purse Joe Dumars has spent in four years, with each of them costing the team dearly.
Josh Smith Must Reads
Josh Smith: 0.31
brgulker: Dick minus, because tradition, and because if ever a Piston deserved such a grade, it is Josh Smith.
Shortly after the Pistons acquired Allen Iverson in 2008, he acquired the nickname "The Canswer," because of his toxic locker room presence and selfish play on the court. The paralells between AI's tenure in Detroit and Josh Smith's are eerily similar.
AI was brought in to play shooting guard, a position the Pistons already had covered, and as a result, several players were forced to play out of position to accommodate him. Josh Smith is a natural power forward, a position the Pistons already had covered, and several players were forced to play out of position to accomodate him.
Highly-priced Iverson was touted as a star that could rejuvinate the franchise - remember the Fiverson pacakage? As the highest-paid player in Pistons' history (per annum), the franchise tried desperately to sell Josh Smith to the fans as a similar kind of star (any Fox Sports Detroit broadcast is evidence of this), in spite of his on-court performance.
Allen Iverson's selfish brand of offense alienated teammates and stunted their performance, and his mail-it-in defense left teammates to bail him out. In spite of putting up historically bad numbers on offense, Smith insisted on taking shot after shot from his teammates, stunting their growth and damning the team's offense. And defense? Fire up the gif machine.
Eventually, Iverson was banished, the Pistons paying him to go away. Josh Smith's offensive offense was historically bad, his perimeter defense wasn't far behind, and he's a locker room problem as well. #MoveSmoove2014 however possible, new GM, before this situation becomes too toxic to fix.
revken: Smith did not adapt well to playing small forward, though the team bears some responsibility for signing him for this role. But he did not play more efficiently when he was used at power forward, either. Clearly his worst season in years.
Mike Payne: Told ya. (editor's note: yep, he did!)
Packey: Passed gym class and failed everything else that mattered.
Shinons*: F is too generous of a grade. While those responsible for Smith's carte blanche also deserve a matching grade, when Smith received an opportunity as a franchise player he turned in one of the most selfish, damaging performances in NBA history.
Sean_Corp: Not a good leader. Not a good defender. Not a good passer. Not a good shooter. Not a good dribbler. Not a good decision maker. Single-handedly set back the development of several member of the team because everything ran through him.
He has God-given skills that allow him to be an extremely effective offensive force in transition and in the paint in the right situations, but he can't or won't exploit them. Instead he settled and delivered perhaps the most unpleasant individual season of Pistons basketball in my memory.
He had a chance to supplant Greg Monroe as the best power forward on the Pistons and make the future of Monroe at least debatable. But Smith's awful play shut down that debate really fast. Monroe might not be perfect but he is certainly much better than Smith and therefore has more of a future in Detroit.
Hopefully the team can move Smith to a team where he can be put in check by the coaching staff and more dominant and effective scorers. If he is a member of the Pistons it sure as heck better be as someone coming off the bench.
For those keeping track, this is the harshest grade handed out to date. How would you grade him?