Josh Smith
USA Today

Los Angeles Clippers Sign Josh Smith To One-Year Deal

USA Today

USA Today

The Houston Rockets have lost another important piece to the championship puzzle with veteran forward Josh Smith deciding to take his talents elsewhere.

According to ESPN, Smith has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers:

The Los Angeles Clippers have signed free-agent forward Josh Smith, who helped eliminate them from last season’s playoffs when he was with the Houston Rockets. The Clippers announced the deal Thursday.

Not only will losing Smith to the team they eliminated during the NBA playoffs sting, but the deal was for much less then the Rockets were offering. Apparently, Smith is convinced the Clippers have a better chance at winning a championship next season than James Harden’s Rockets do, via ESPN:

Smith reportedly signed a one-year contract for the veterans minimum worth $1.5 million. A source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Smith “chose winning and a defined role over money.”

With the Detroit Pistons still paying Smith’s enormous salary as a result of parting ways with the troubled forward last year, it isn’t really all that surprising he’d bolt to Los Angeles for less money. Obviously, no other teams around the league valued Smith on the free agent market and that gave the Clippers the perfect opportunity to get him on a one-year rental for an incredibly cheap price.

Although the Clippers’ championship odds are bound to change from now until the start of the 2015-16 NBA season, the team is currently sporting 13/1 odds to win it all, according to Sportsbook.ag.

As expected, the Oklahoma City Thunder (17/2), Golden State Warriors (6/1), San Antonio Spurs (4/1) and Cleveland Cavaliers (5/2) still sit ahead of the Clippers (13/1). Houston Rockets currently sitting at 25/1.

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