Should the Boston Celtics Trade For Josh Smith (part 4,687)?

With the recent news that the Detroit Pistons might be looking to part ways with Josh Smith, and if we're being honest the lack of things going on in the Celtics world right now, we figured it's time to take that old record off the shelf one more time.

Myself and Padraic O'Connor debate-

Matt Richissin:

For such an interesting player, it really doesn't seem like we talk about Josh Smth a whole lot around these parts, eh padraic?

I kid, of course.

While an outright swap between Smith and Green wouldn't work, throwing - and this'll be tough for Boston fans to swallow - THE Keith Bogans in the mix does. While Bogan's contract is for two additional seasons, it's completely unguaranteed past this season.

Smith unquestionably has his warts. But I think, and this is kind of similar with Rondo at times, people have a tendency to focus on what he's not, as opposed to see him for what he is.

The guy's unquestionably talented. He's a very good defender, elite shot blocker, and actually quietly a pretty good distributor. Absolutely terrific in the open court.

His shot selection will scare the bejeezus out of fans. He notoriously would get audible groans in Atlanta, and finds himself taking a lot of those shots (at a higher volume) in Detroit. Whether that's out of neccessity based on the ill-fit is questionable.

Still, he has shown that he can be an effective player, and has made a strong case for all star candicy in the past. That's something Jeff Green hasn't done, and really just isn't capable of.

Green's a nice player. Paul Flannery pointed this out on a podcast, but, at this point in his career - haven't we seen enough of a sample size to figure out what he is. A nice player. Above average role player. Diet Luol Deng.

That's it though. He works well as a guy who can defend, space the floor and occasionally gets hot. But he's just absolutely not an impact player.

Smith might not be either, but he's a much better overall player, and his ceilings higher; it'd be interesting to see the impact a pass first point guard like Rondo could have on his game (yes, commenters we've become VERY much aware they played together) as opposed to a point guard like Brandon Jennings who is looking to shoot first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh.

What say you, Padraic? Am I completely out of my mind, or just kinda out of my mind and playing too much 2k these days?

Padraic O'Connor:

This is 100% a perfect 2k14 trade that goes perfectly with my Kris Humphries/Gerald Wallace for LeBron Trade which also works in the ESPN Trade Machine and makes the Celtics a 2k14 NBA Championship LOCK. In real life, this trade doesn't make much sense for the Celtics.

The entire 2013-14, despite our unlikely run as Atlantic Division Champions in the few months, has been about getting ready to clear as much space as possible, accumulate assets, draft smart, and make one or two draft night deals. For as explosive as J. Smoove is, he doesn't fit into that puzzle.

To take on Josh Smith would be taking on an additional $40.5M after this season. That's a lot of money for a guy who occassionally gets hot. If he was making Jeff Green money (around $9M a year) I'd be much more inclined to go for this, but even at that level, you're tying a lot of precious cap space to a question mark. In this scenario the Celtics would still have Gerald Wallace at $10M a year through 2016, so just between Wallace and Smith alone, you're talking about $47M of forwards you cannot bank on to be the scoring machine you need.

The idea of Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith making Boston Lob City East is super enticing, but not at the monetary levels we're dealing with. Stick to their Oak Hill Youtube highlights.

Don't do it, Danny.

Matt Richissin:

You make some great points there, Padraic. Part of my concern is the contract, and their lengths. Green's third year is an option. He'll be 29 that season, and me-thinks he's probably going to want to spring to make sure he's got another multi-year deal.

One thing you said that I took slight issue with -

I don't see Smith as 'not fitting in' to our rebuild effort. Yes, collecting picks is absolutely apart of the game. And, as you rightfully pointed out, so is assets.

Smith doesn't take you the promiseland, nor does he even help you sniff it. But he's a better asset than Green is.

I see it like this: If you need a dollar for a twix, and someone offers you a dime, you don't turn him down because you need more, right? Smith's a significantly better player now, with a significantly better upside. It's worth the money.

If it works out, and Smith improves you move him again for picks and a player. If he doesn't work out, you dump him like the Raptor's did with Rudy Gay. Either scenario gets you the return you're likely going to get from Jeff Green.

Still no?

Padraic O'Connor

Still no.

1. Josh Smith is currently putting up 15 points and 7 rebounds per game in Detroit. His last year in Atlanta was only slightly better at 17 points and 8 rebounds per game. The knock on him this year is that he has been playing out of position for Detroit, but his numbers aren't dramatically different from his former position of power forward in Atlanta. Jeff Green is averaging 16 points and 5 rebounds per game. I don't think a 1 point and 3 rebound difference is enough to take on an additional $4M a year in salary.

2. In order to dump a player that isn't panning out you need a market for him, so I don't think we could just dump him like the Raptors did with Rudy Gay. I'm not sure what the market is going to be for a close-to-30 power forward who has always been over paid is going to be. I definitely don't think we'll get back the amount of assets that Toronto got for Rudy this year if this were to all come to pass and we try to dump him in the second year of the experiment.

3. For the production that you can expect out of Josh Smith, you are already getting it from Jared Sullinger, Brandon Bass, and Jeff Green. All of which are making far less money than Smoove.

4. He's not a better asset than Green because Green's contract is much less, it's shorter, and their production is nearly identical.

5. If I have a Twix and the asking price is a dollar and someone offers me a dime, I would tell them to pound sand or come up with another $.90. You know how good a Twix is. You've seen Twix dominate the candy with a cookie crunch game for years. If you think I'm parting with my Twix for less than a dollar you're out of your mind.

6. The Celtics have a lot of assets of which Jeff Green is one. You can package those together for something much better than just Josh Smith.


Who is wrong, and who is right? Comment below and don't forget to turn your caps locks on!