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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Report: Rockets get Josh Smith back from Clippers via trade

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The Rockets have reportedly completed a trade with the Clippers that will send veteran forward Josh Smith back to Houston.

ESPN’s Calvin Watkins reports that the Rockets gave up the draft rights to former second-round pick Maarten Leunen to acquire Smith, who was with Houston for the latter half of the 2014-2015 season after he was waived by the Detroit Pistons.

Smith averaged just 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 32 games with the Clippers. He never seemed like a good fit from the time he signed with them, playing just 14.3 minutes per game — the lowest total of his career. As Watkins notes, Smith believed he would get more playing time with the Clippers than Houston but that did not end up being the case.

Things started to look dicey for Smith in Houston back in November when he reportedly got into it with an assistant coach after a loss.

Smith has maintained good relationships with players in Houston, especially Dwight Howard. Smith and Howard were childhood friends and played AAU ball together, so the 22-22 Rockets are hoping he can improve their locker room environment and help turn around what has been a disappointing season thus far.

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