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Ex-Piston Josh Smith will join Howard with Rockets

Vincent Goodwill Jr.
The Detroit News
Houston will be Josh Smith's third NBA team.

Once Josh Smith clears waivers at the end of business Wednesday, he'll sign a deal with the Houston Rockets for the rest of the season, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

The source requested anonymity because the deal had not been finalized.

Smith was released by the Pistons Monday, and he had no shortage of suitors from contending teams that wanted to acquire him on the cheap.

In Houston he'll reunite with childhood friend Dwight Howard, likely starting alongside Howard at power forward. The two are Atlanta natives and played AAU basketball together before entering the NBA in 2004 as high-school entrants.

Dallas, Sacramento, the Lakers and Clippers along with the Miami Heat made overtures with Smith in recent days to inquire about him joining their teams for the playoff push.

The deal is expected to be for the veteran minimum, so the Pistons will likely still be on the hook for most of Smith's $13.5 million contract for this season.

After this season, any deal Smith signs that's over the veteran minimum will give the Pistons some cap relief from the $5.4 million slot he'll take up for the next five years, per the collective bargaining agreement rules.