Good morning. Josh Smith is suddenly very popular.
Good morning. Josh Smith was the second domino to fall in the NBA trade season, except he wasn’t traded, he was waived. With three full years left on his onerous contract. Needless to say, the decision was stunning — rarely do players with guaranteed deals beyond the current season get waived in-season because that prevents said player from getting traded and the salary coming off the books. The Pistons will use the stretch provision, so the cap hit will be extended over five years beyond this season. Most teams would just try a little harder to waive him, even taking back a similarly nasty deal. Detroit Bad Boys has a clear look at the cap ramifications.
Alas, Stan Van Gundy decided to cut ties. And of course teams are lining up to land a Smith on a low-dollar deal, including the Rockets, Clippers and Mavericks. Houston has one of Smith’s best friends Dwight Howard; Dallas has another close friend of Smoove, Rajon Rondo. (Does this mean that Dwight and Rajon are kinda friends by association? If so, WEIRD.) There’s no rush for Smith to make a decision, and you know he’ll be motivated to prove the Notorious S.V.G. wrong after being made an example in this fashion.
Alright. Let’s basketball.
LAST NIGHT IN ONE VERSE OF JINGLE BELLS: The Hornets destroyed the Nuggets though one fan found no joy in it. The Bulls had a 49-point fourth to beat Toronto. Joakim Noah learned a defensive technique from Vinny Del Negro; it still does not work at all. James Harden dropped 44 on Portland in a Houston win. Utah surprised a shorthanded Memphis. New Rondo Dennis Schroder beat Old Rondo Rajon Rondo. The Clips let the Spurs drop 125 on them in victory, and triple overtime was not involved. The Warriors crushed the Kings.
YOUR RECAPS: At the NBA Scores hub.
IT PAYS TO DATE A POP STAR: Swaggy P got a ’62 Pala for Christmas.
POWER RANKINGS: The Warriors might never leave the No. 1 spot.
MRS. CLICK AND ERIC G: Really cool story by Gregg Doyel on Eric Gordon and his childhood music teacher from Indiana, who takes her kids to sing the anthem at a Pacers game every year when Gordon’s team visits.
SAVE THOSE DRAFT PICKS: LeBron James Jr. is going to be amazing.
LOTS OF LONGFORM: Here’s the year in SB Nation Longform. There are some ridiculously good pieces in there. Enjoy.
Happy Tuesday. See you next time.
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