The Lakers picked up a big man and dumped a few bucks. The deal became official on December 15th, the day players who were signed during the off-season can finally be traded. The former 1st overall pick in 1995 was sent to the Lakers from the New Jersey Nets in a multi-player and team deal. Player included were Sasha Vujacic (Lakers to Nets), Terrence Williams (Nets to Rockets) which I totally think is a steal, Joe Smith (Nets to Lakers), and Rockets’ 2012 first-round pick and Lakers’ 2011 first-round pick will be shipped to New Jersey.
What will Joe Smith bring to the Lakers?
The Lakers are in desperate need of a back-up big man after Theo Ratliff (who was also a 1995 draftee) went out with a knee injury that has been hindering him all season. Bynum finally played his first game of the season last night against the Wizards, but it seems the Lakers are extremely cautious with his knee by playing him only a certain amount of minutes. Pau Gasol has looked exhausted and has been playing heavy minutes in place of Bynum. The Spaniard also hasn’t been looking so fresh on the floor in late game situations.
Smith has bounced around the league in many teams. His recent years, Joe has been nothing more than just a trade chip asset. At 35, Joe has still got game. A season ago, Joe was on the Atlanta Hawks and played an average 9 minutes in 64 games. The Lakers are looking for Smith to probably play garbage minutes down the stretch, be a big body down low when Bynum and Gasol are getting rest, and use his veteran skills to mesh in with this experienced championship team.
On another note, Smith is also a rapper? Let’s hope he makes a Lakers anthem when the playoffs come around. Maybe a collaboration with Ron Ron? Maybe…. just maybe.