The Detroit Pistons stunned the NBA world Monday when they waived Josh Smith.
Many teams likely will be interested in landing the talented 6-foot-9, 225-pound power forward, but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hasn’t decided if Dallas is one of them.
The Pistons made the move despite owing Smith approximately $34 million, including $27 million in the next two seasons.
Smith has 48 hours to clear waivers, and the Mavericks have a roster spot available that came open in the wake of Thursday’s Rajon Rondo trade. However, Cuban noted he hasn’t gauged if he’ll pursue Smith.
“I haven’t talked to everybody yet,” Cuban said. “We’ll see.
“He’ll have to clear waivers first. There’s still teams with cap room.”
After losing Brandan Wright in the Rondo trade, the Mavs are in dire need of a backup center. If the Mavs decide Smith is their man, Cuban believes the 10-year veteran can play both power forward and center.
“I think Josh is super talented,” Cuban said. “He fits the profile of the type of guy we love to bring in here.
“He’s one of those guys that gets a bad rap. We have a great track record that has proved out about guys like that — Monta [Ellis], [Jerry] Stackhouse, Jet [Jason Terry]. Tyson Chandler, when he was a free agent.”
Smith and Rondo were high school teammates at Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and always wanted to play on the same NBA team.
“He’s a player whose ability I respect a lot,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of Smith. “He’s had enough big games against us to where he’s the kind of guy that can put a team on his back and beat you.
“He’s done it to us a lot of times. I don’t know the details of what happened there, but he’ll be picked up soon, I know that.”
Smith, 29, averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists in 28 games this season.
Houston and Sacramento are among the teams that have expressed an interest in Smith.
Brand’s new world
A lot has changed since Atlanta Hawks forward Elton Brand last donned a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
Brand played for the Mavs during the 2012-13 season and averaged 7.2 points and six rebounds in 21.2 minutes per game. The Mavs since have made so many changes that the only current Maverick that Brand played with is Dirk Nowitzki.
“It’s changed a lot,” Brand said. “They’ve got some really talented pieces.
“But you know this [Mavs] organization is all about winning, so they’re trying to make it happen as you’ve seen with the recent trade [in acquiring Rajon Rondo]. They always try to make it happen with the best.”
Adapting to Rondo
One byproduct of acquiring a point guard as crafty as Rajon Rondo is that he takes the ballhandling responsibilities away from other players.
“Obviously when you have one of the best passing point guards in the league you’re not going to do as much playmaking,” forward Chandler Parsons said. “But you go to cut, you go to move the ball, you go to get more shots.
“Our job may shift a little bit to score now that we got a playmaker as good as he is.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760