Eric Chase Blog

 

Smith or Iguodala. Iguodala or Smith. How About Neither.

Josh Smith or Andre Iguodala. 

I wanted no part of Smith when he hit restricted free agency several summers ago. (As a Sixer fan, we enjoyed the carnage that was Elton Brand over yanking Smith from the Hawks)

When rumors surfaced that Iguodala might opt out of his current deal with the Nuggets, I also panned the idea of the Pistons adding him to the roster. 

Those reasons I disliked Smith back then, still reside in my NBA cerebrum. You expect Monroe at the 4, so that bumps Smith (happily I think, in his mind ) to the 3. From there you have spacing issues between he, Monroe and Drummond or ask him to roam the wings and the perimeter, which is probably reason number one he's a very risky signing. The very valid criticism of Smith throughout his career is that he's too in love with taking 3s. Even worse, he misses...a lot of them. He's never made more than 33% of them in a season, and this past year, he shot more of them than he has at any time in his career (2.6 per game) and failed to hit 30% of him. 

And you wanna give that guy the freedom to play the wing? Ugh.

Signing Smith likely means less of Drummond and Monroe on the court together. Drummond off the bench isn't the worst of strategies, but maximizing his size with Monroe's is probably the Pistons best bet to better fortunres. 

Another reason to stay the hell away from Josh Smith is the potential for attitude issues; depending who you talk with and what you Google. The Pistons have enough issues when it comes to their level of talent, they surely don't need anymore malcontents rocking the ship, especially under Mo Cheeks who isn't the fiery, domineering authoritarian type as a head coach. It shouldn't be totally definitive as to his ability to control the asylum, but Iverson and Chris Webber DID NOT SHOW UP to Fan Night at the end of the '06 season under Cheeks.

Alright, so Iguodala is the way to go right?

Well, no.

I'm certain one way or another Josh Smith would help remedy the Pistons inability to get easy points. It wouldn't be the most efficient 18 to 20 (or more) a night, but I think Smith would be a viable weapon in a variety of ways for the Pistons. 

Iguodala on the other hand, who's built more like a traditional 3, doesn't have a way to get easy points outside of vicious transition dunks. He's one of the league's five or so most explosive players on the break, but in the halfcourt he's got difficulty creating his own shot and knocking down open jumpers. '11-'12, his final year in Philly, Iguodala had a flukishly astonishing year hitting 3s when he hit 39% of them. In Denver, he crashed back to reality around the 31% mark that personifies his career. 

Further data about Iguodala porous jumpers.

The last three years from 10-15 feet he's hit 36% of those shots. Including his scalding hot '11-'12 where he was at 47%, that obviously inflates that 36.

From 16-23 feet, same time span, Iguodala's hit 33% of those shots.

For comparison, we'll use Lebron's last three years. 

10-15 feet 44%

16-23 feet 43%

Jumpers were so clanky at times in Philly, this is what you get from Sixers fans about Iguodala, as the best part of the Bynum trade (before he missed the year) was getting rid of Iggy's rim bangers...

In a conference with Rose, James, Anthony, Wall, George, etc...Iguodala's sensational defense - and his stoic veteran presence - would be an immense asset to the Pistons. 

Even recognizing that it's going to take the Pistons more than a summer to make enough transactions to get back in the East's top four, if Iguodala is the big money, splash signing, the Pistons are still going to struggle to score. Especally late and close when you're stuck in the half court and SOMEONE ANYONE!!!!! has to get a bucket. 

Smith and Iguodala certainly have strengths, but after considering their weaknesses and playing 'which would I rather' for the last 36 hours I've come back to this footnote thought I've had.

But first...

While the Rondo rumors are alluring, know that you're going to give up some of the few assets you own AND you're likely getting stuck with Gerard Wallace's problematic contract - though, he may not be the worst thing in the universe at the 3. 

Oh, that footnote. 

Go buy restricted free agent Jeff Teague out of Atlanta. 

Based on PER, Teague's improved each of his four seasons with the Hawks. He's an excellent free throw shooter, an acceptable overall shooter from the field and 3, and I think you're looking at a player who is now, what the Pistons hoped Brandon Knight would be. 

#2 free agent PG here. #2 here as well. 

Yes, I know they'd still need a 3. I can only solve one conundrum a day. 

If you've got a better idea, I'm all ears. 

 

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