Ish Smith heads to Wizards after Pistons add Derrick Rose
With the Detroit Pistons’ addition of Derrick Rose on the first day of free agency, they are making the first steps to reshaping their roster for next season.
Rose’s arrival also means the end of their run with point guard Ish Smith, who spent three years with the Pistons after signing for $18 million in 2016. Smith will join the Washington Wizards, for a reported $12 million over two years, a league source confirmed.
Smith, who turns 31 on Friday, was a stalwart for the Pistons as a sparkplug for the second unit. He was pushed into starting duty when Reggie Jackson was injured in 2016-17 and again in 2017-18, when Smith started a combined 67 games.
Smith suffered an injury last season and missed 26 games — and the Pistons went 8-18 in that span — and Smith had his worst statistical season in Detroit, with 8.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists, while shooting 33 percent from 3-point range.
In Washington, Smith appears to have a pathway to plenty of playing time — and potentially a short-term starting role. John Wall’s injury likely will keep him out of most, if not all, of the season, and after trading Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls on Monday, they don’t have a better point guard on the roster.
The Pistons still have a couple of moves left to fill out the roster, likely seeking a backup center and a forward. They reportedly had a meeting Sunday with former Nets forward Jared Dudley and were scheduling a meeting Monday with center JaVale McGee.
Those players likely would be paid salaries close to the veteran’s minimum of about $1.6 million.
After the Rose agreement of $7.5 million per season, which would come out of the $9.3 million in the midlevel exception, the Pistons would have about $1.8 million left in that option, plus the $3.6 million in the bi-annual exception at their disposal.
McGee, a Flint native, could be looking to find a good fit behind Andre Drummond in the rotation, and Dudley would be a good versatile fit who could play both of the forward spots.
Ex-Pistons get raises
In addition to Smith, two other former Pistons agreed to new deals, both with the Knicks. Reggie Bullock reportedly is getting $21 million over two years and Wayne Ellington $16 million for two years.
Both got hefty raises over last season and fit into the Knicks’ alternate plan after they missed out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who instead opted to go to the Nets at the start of free agency.