Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

NBA trade rumors: Pistons, Kings discuss Josh Smith trade

For the second time this summer, the Pistons and Kings are engaged in trade talks centered around Josh Smith, who signed a four-year, $54 million deal with Detroit last summer.

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11 Total Updates since July 17, 2014
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Stan Van Gundy doesn't expect to trade Josh Smith

The 'Josh Smith to the Kings' rumors appear to be dead in the offseason water... again.

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Will Smith Trade Dictate Monroe's Future?

All credit to DBB reader W. Stones for the photoshop, originally posted in the comments here, and Quellish for the accompanying rhyme:

"Josh Smith was chilln’ out maxin’ (or near-maxin’) relaxin’ all cool… Shooting some airballs outside of the school…

One particular brick hit a couple of guys (Sheed and Big Ben) who were up to no good. One little fight ensued (Smith being twirled above Ben’s fro)…. And now he’s moving to cowbell-air!"

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Smith rumors have "no legs", source tells Ellis

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press confirmed that the trade talks between the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons seem to be a one-sided affair at this point. The Kings clearly want Josh Smith, but the Pistons aren't interested in what Sacramento can offer:

The Sacramento Kings made another run at Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith during this week’s league meetings in Las Vegas, but they were rebuffed again.

A person with firsthand knowledge of the situation confirmed ESPN’s Marc Stein’s report that the Kings were interested in Smith. Another source said Thursday morning that there are "no legs" to the report — suggesting that nothing was imminent.

[...] The Kings believed that the Pistons would get rid of Smith without seeking valuable assets in return, but the Pistons have been adamant that that’s not the case, and they are prepared to bring him back for his second season in Detroit.

I included the "no legs" reference in Thursday's update, but when I originally published, the Free Press article didn't have Ellis' byline. (Instead, it was Anthony Fenech, who primarily covers the Tigers.) Now that it does (and has been re-written and supplemented with a bit more context), I'm giving it a bit more weight. So even though a Josh Smith trade is fun to think about, I'm taking Ellis' word that it's unlikely -- for now.

But things move fast in the summer -- last year at this time, Joe Dumars adamantly denied rumors the Pistons were inquiring about Brandon Jennings ... only to pull the trigger 15 days later. Maybe Dumars was telling the truth and talks started only after the initial rumor, or maybe he simply put on his best poker face while discussing an incomplete deal. We'll never know.

What we do know, though, is that the Kings are very interested in upgrading at the power forward position, and see Smith as a complement to a frontline that already includes Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. From Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:

The Kings’ quest to upgrade at power forward has led them back to talks with the Detroit Pistons about Josh Smith, league sources said, though a deal is not imminent.

The Kings have several power forwards, but they do not believe they have a starter they can build around and who will help them reach the playoffs.

Smith, 28, would be an improvement, the kind of athletic presence with shot-blocking ability Sacramento covets to play next to center DeMarcus Cousins.

But acquiring Smith won’t be easy, even if the Pistons would like to shed the $40.5 million owed to him over the next three seasons.

Maybe talks die yet again, maybe the mythical third team steps forward in the coming weeks, or maybe Stan Van Gundy truly believes the best option is to wait and allow Smith to rebuild his value playing in a more disciplined offense.

We'll just have to wait and see.

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Berger: Pistons, Kings not yet close to deal

From Ken Berger of CBS Sports:

But ... at least they're still talking? That's a start. As Vincent Goodwill points out at the Detroit News, the difference between the current talks and the ones from several weeks ago is the fact that the Kings now have another bargaining chip: a trade exception:

When the Pistons and Kings engaged in talks a few weeks ago, negotiations centered around trading Smith for Jason Thompson and possibly Derrick Williams or Jason Terry. But according to sources, Pistons president Stan Van Gundy balked at dealing Smith for what essentially came down to spare parts.

However, the Kings have a trade exception they acquired when point guard Isaiah Thomas signed with the Phoenix Suns for $7 million last week, and although it can't be used to absorb Smith’s remaining three years and $40 million, perhaps it can be a chip to entice a third team.

The Kings also are looking for a third team to help facilitate a deal, from a talent standpoint or a money standpoint.

I think a third team is an absolute necessity if the Kings are determined to unload Terry -- the Pistons simply have no need for yet another point guard after signing D.J. Augustin, and in fact are probably looking for a way to dump Will Bynum, either in this deal or a separate down the road.

The Detroit Free Press, for what it's worth, is denying that talks are even happening:

A source with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press this morning that there are "no legs" to the report ...

I'm going to pretend I didn't just read that, not just for my own sanity but also because other local and national outlets are stating the opposite.

Update: The original Free Press report didn't have Vince Ellis' byline -- now it does. Read more here.

Last but not least, this was funny:

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Pistons, Kings talking Josh Smith again

Teams looking for third team to help facilitate a deal.

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Josh Smith to Sacramento? Kings, Pistons talking

There's really no such thing as an immovable contract.

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'Josh Smith is dying to be coached': Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski chatted with Matt Dery of 105.1 Detroit Sports to talk about the Jeff Bower hire and the future of the Detroit Pistons.

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Who might want Josh Smith?

If the Pistons decide to part ways with their most highly paid player, what teams might be interested?

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Rumor: Pistons officially shopping Josh Smith

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY????

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