It’s been a while since we’ve seen Josh Smith in a NBA uniform, but might the former All-Star be on his way to making a comeback? On his podcast Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the New Orleans Pelicans recently had Smith and a few other veterans in for a workout.
Wojnarowski said, “They have a workout there, with, I’m told, Josh Smith, Chase Budinger, Martell Webster.”
Smith, who is still only 31, spent last season playing in China for the Sichuan Blue Whales. He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season when he split time with the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. Originally a first-round pick in 2004 out of high school by the Atlanta Hawks, Smith has career averages of 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and just under two blocks per game over the course of 12 NBA seasons.
Smith spent the first nine years of his career in Atlanta before inking a massive four-year deal worth $54 million to join the Detroit Pistons. Smith quickly fell out of favor in Detroit, however, and the team made the bold decision to release him despite still owing him millions. The Pistons will still pay Smith more than $5 million next season, regardless of where he plays.
The Pelicans’ potential interest in Smith makes some sense. The team recently announced that swingman Solomon Hill will be sidelined for much of next season after tearing his hamstring. If Smith can show that he’s not completely washed up, a team like the Pelicans, who are almost completely devoid of wing depth, would make plenty of sense as a suitor.