Ex-Piston Josh Smith bemoans $6.9M salary

The Detroit News
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Josh Smith

Josh Smith's financial adviser must be Latrell Sprewell.

The former Pistons free-agent bust -- he signed for four years and $54 million before the 2013-14 season -- has a new one-year deal with the Clippers for a mere $1.5 million.

The Pistons cut Smith last season, but they're still on the hook to hand him a reported $5.4 million check annually through the 2019-20 season.

That's $6.9 million Smith will make this season. Apparently, it's not enough to pay the grocery bills.

"At the end of the day, you know, I do have a family," Smith said. "So it is going to be a little harder on me this year. But I'm going to push through it and, you know, try to do something long term after this year. But I think this year focusing on doing something special with this group of guys."

Smith, 29, averaged 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 28 games with the Pistons last season before being cut. He shot 39.1 percent from the field and -- amazingly -- a career-low 46.8 percent from the free-throw line.

He finished the season with the Rockets.

A reporter in Los Angeles asked Smith what he learned playing for the Pistons.

"I learned what 'waived' meant," he said.

He called being cut a "blessing in disguise."

No doubt many Pistons fans agree.

Sprewell, of course, drew everlasting fame for choking P.J. Carlesimo, his head coach, during a Warriors practice in 1997. In 2004, insulted by a three-year, $21 million contract offer by the Timberwolves, responded, "I have a family to feed. ... If (owner) Glen Taylor wants to see my family fed, he better cough up some money. Otherwise, you're going to see these kids in one of those Sally Struthers commercials soon."

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