The Clippers can cross one potential item off their last-minute Christmas shopping list.
Free agent forward Josh Smith has agreed to sign with the Houston Rockets, a person with knowledge of his decision told the Associated Press, only two days after he was waived by the Detroit Pistons.
Yahoo Sports reported that Smith would sign a one-year, $2-million contract with the Rockets after he cleared waivers to reunite with longtime friend Dwight Howard, a fellow Atlanta native. Detroit will be responsible for paying the balance of Smith’s $14-million contract for this season.
The Rockets are expected to use the 6-foot-9 Smith as their starting small forward; the Clippers’ biggest need is at small forward, a position Smith has played previously with mixed success. However, Smith had his best seasons playing for Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson in Atlanta before signing with Detroit in the summer of 2013.
Smith was part of Detroit’s ill-fated massive front line that also included Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond; the Pistons were even bigger underachievers with the lineup, missing the playoffs last season and losing 23 of their first 28 games this season.
Smith, 29, is averaging 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season, below his career averages of 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds.