Clippers discuss acquiring Josh Smith off waivers

Clippers look into picking up Josh Smith, who is waived by the Pistons

The Clippers have had internal discussions about acquiring forward Josh Smith, who was waived Monday by the Detroit Pistons despite having two years and $26 million left on his contract.

The Clippers have been doing their background research on Smith by turning to Clippers assistant Mike Woodson.

When Woodson was the coach with the Atlanta Hawks from 2004 to 2010, he coached Smith during his first six seasons in the NBA.

Woodson and Smith, 29, still have a relationship.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, who also is the team's president of basketball operations, was coy when asked if his team would explore bringing Smith to the Clippers.

"I don't know," Rivers said, smiling. "It's up to you. You're the reporter."

The fact that Smith was released with so much money remaining on his contract has left some inside the Clippers organization concerned about picking him up.

If Smith clears waivers, he would be able to sign with any team of his choosing by Wednesday.

The Clippers would have only the veteran minimum of $1.4 million to offer Smith to play for them.

Also, because the Clippers have a 15-man roster, they would have to waive a player before they could sign Smith.

Kevin Eastman, vice president of basketball operations for the Clippers, is with the team in San Antonio, and he was seen talking on his cell phone Monday after the media talked to Rivers during the team's shoot-around about Smith.

The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings also reportedly are interested in the 6-foot-9 Smith, who averaged 13.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists for the Pistons this season.

Clippers bench produces

Finally, Rivers got the kind of bench play he had been seeking from his reserves.

And it was more than Jamal Crawford, who had 18 points. It was the play of Jordan Farmar (seven points), Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis and Reggie Bullock that impressed Rivers.

They helped the Clippers climb back from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter and into a 102-102 tie early in the fourth.

"They were great," Rivers said. "Baby [Davis] played with amazing energy. Jordan Farmar had a good game for us. Reggie I thought played great defense. They stayed within themselves."

CLIPPERS TUESDAY

AT ATLANTA

When: 4:30 PST.

Where: Philips Arena.

On the air: TV: Prime; Radio: 980, 1330.

Records: Clippers 19-9, Hawks 20-7.

Record vs. Hawks (2013-14): 1-1.

Update: The Clippers and the Hawks will meet after each team played consecutive games in Texas, with Los Angeles at San Antonio on Monday night and Atlanta at Dallas. The Hawks are perhaps the hottest team in the NBA, having won four consecutive games and 13 of 14.

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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