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Rockets Acquire Josh Smith from Clippers

Josh+Smith+averaged+12.0+points+and+6.0+rebounds+with+the+Rockets.
Josh Smith averaged 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds with the Rockets.

Josh Smith averaged 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds with the Rockets.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Josh Smith averaged 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds with the Rockets.

Sahil Bhutani, Online Editor

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In exchange for the rights to foreign players Marty Leunen and Serhiy Lishchuk, the Clippers sent Josh Smith and cash (to cover his remaining salary) to the Rockets. The deal comes just past the halfway point of an underachieving season for the Rockets, who currently hold a 22-22 record and seventh place in the Western Conference.

“I’m excited. I feel great,” Smith said about the deal, according to Fox 26 Houston. “[Houston] is a place that I probably should have never left.”

Although the Rockets offered him more money, Smith left for the Clippers in free agency last year. ESPN reported that Smith was choosing “winning and a defined role over money.” The Clippers are certainly winning more than the Rockets this year, but Smith’s “defined role” could be considered “benchwarmer.” He averaged 14.3 minutes and 5.7 points with the Clippers, both career lows.

According to ESPN, Smith averaged 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds with the Rockets after the Detroit Pistons traded him to Houston. He was an integral part of the historic comeback against the Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals last year. In addition, he and Dwight Howard have great chemistry, as they were AAU teammates in their youth.

The Rockets are disappointingly .500 despite keeping essentially the same group of players from last year. The only notable loss was Smith. So, it will be interesting to see if his return to the team can boost the Rockets’ chemistry and place in the standings.

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