Detroit, MI – The Detroit Pistons have officially agreed to terms on a four-year deal with free agent forward Josh Smith.
His contract was finalized when the NBA's signing period for free agents and trades was lifted Wednesday. The deal will reportedly pay the 27-year-old Smith $56 million.
"He was the number one guy we were after in free agency," said Pistons' President of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars. "We looked at all of the free agents out there who could elevate us and Josh checked out. We're extremely pleased.
"He plays both ends of the floor. He's had success both individually and team- wise in Atlanta. It's a good day for us. A very good day for the Pistons."
Smith was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by Atlanta, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career. He averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Hawks last season.
"I'm very excited," said Smith. "When I first met with Joe, he had me sold from the word 'go.' I've always wanted to be part of a good organization that has a lot of die-hard fans. I'm excited to be able to get things started. We have a lot of potential."
Smith will join an up-and-coming frontcourt in Detroit that includes forward- center Greg Monroe and center Andre Drummond. The Pistons selected Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the first round of this year's draft and he's expected to team with Brandon Knight, Detroit's first-round pick in 2011, in the back court.
"I see myself trying to fill that leadership role, be vocal and make sure we're going in the right direction," Smith said.
His name was bandied about in trade rumors over the past seasons, especially at the deadline. In February, it looked like the Hawks were going to ship Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks, but the deal never materialized.
Smith, who has never made an All-Star team, led the Hawks to three straight playoff appearances. He's averaged 15.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 2.1 bpg in his nine- year career.
Smith is versatile, playing both forward spots. Following the 2009-10 season, he was named to the All-Defense Second team, although his reputation is someone who may settle for too many long-range jumpers.
After Dwight Howard, one of Smith's closest friends, and Chris Paul, Smith was perhaps the best available free-agent.
"This was my option. This is the team I wanted to play for," said Smith. "Everything else, I wasn't worried about it."