I know there are a lot of you out there who want Josh Smith on the Warriors roster. Well, the AJC is reporting that he signed a five-year, $58 million offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Of course, that begs the question, would you want Josh for $58 million?
Now, obviously several factors played into that number. For starters the Grizzlies are the only team left with money, so they have the negotiating edge. Second, he’s signing fairly late, so the market has already been set and Josh is running out of options. Neither was the case when the Warriors were perusing Free Agent Mall, so one could argue they couldn’t have gotten Josh Smith for $58 million in early July.
But, if they could’ve, I think it certainly would’ve been a better move to get sign Josh instead of Maggette (for less than $2M more a year than what they paid Maggette). They probably wouldn’t have been able to keep Azubuike. I think they could’ve, it’s just they would’ve been even closer to the tax. But I’d sacrifice Buike to get Josh.
Here’s what the lineup would look like if the Warriors signed Josh (and the Hawks declined to match), compared with the current lineup:
PG Monta Ellis PG Monta Ellis
SG Stephen Jackson SG Corey Maggette
SF Al Harrington SF Stephen Jackson
PF Josh Smith PF Al Harrington
C Andris Biedrins C Andris Biedrins
I like the lineup with Josh Smith better. Harrington would get to play his more natural position, which is small forward. Marco Belinelli would get a clear path to back-up shooting guard minutes (might as well find out what can do now), instead of Kelenna Azubuike, who is better at this point. The Warriors get a defensive presence in the lineup and are more athletic (can you imagine Monta and Josh on the break?).
Corey is a better scorer than Josh, so they would be losing some much-needed offense. But Josh fits the future formula better. He and Monta and Andris could’ve been the core for years to come (and don’t forget Randolph).
To be sure, the Warriors probably couldn’t have gotten Smith for $58 million back then, especially with the numbers that was being thrown out back then. And there is no guarantee the Hawks won’t match, even though Smith wants out. But if they could’ve gotten him for that price, would it have been a good move, or do you like the team as currently constituted better?