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Report: ‘No legs’ to trade talks between Pistons and Kings involving Josh Smith

Jul 19, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Josh Smith AP

The small-market, historically-terrible Sacramento Kings can only realistically add talent to improve the roster in one of two ways.

They can either draft it (which hasn’t worked out all that well), or they can trade for players of questionable talent with unfavorable contract situations in hopes that they see a career resurgence with the Kings.

That last part did work out in Sacramento’s favor, when they dealt for Rudy Gay last season — an inefficient scorer who seemed to find his way with the Kings, and opted in for the final year of his contract (for $19.3 million) to play there for at least one more season.

Sacramento has had its eyes on a similar reclamation project in Josh Smith, but it appears as though the interest there in getting a deal done is one-sided for now.

From Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (via Matt Watson at Detroit Bad Boys):

The Sacramento Kings made another run at Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith during this week’s league meetings in Las Vegas, but they were rebuffed again.

A person with firsthand knowledge of the situation confirmed ESPN’s Marc Stein’s report that the Kings were interested in Smith. Another source said Thursday morning that there are “no legs” to the report — suggesting that nothing was imminent. …

The Kings believed that the Pistons would get rid of Smith without seeking valuable assets in return, but the Pistons have been adamant that that’s not the case, and they are prepared to bring him back for his second season in Detroit.

Sacramento was looking to send nothing of value in return for Smith, which almost seems fair when considering he’s guaranteed $40.5 million over the next three seasons.

But there’s a new regime in Detroit with Stan Van Gundy acting as head coach and president of basketball operations, and he obviously wants to see if he can properly utilize Smith’s talents before shipping him out in exchange for nothing more than financial flexibility.

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