HOUSTON — Josh Smith is headed back to Houston after the Los Angeles Clippers traded him to the Rockets on Friday.
Smith finished last season with the Rockets before signing with the Clippers in the off-season. Houston also received the draft rights to forward/centre Sergei Lishouk and cash considerations in the deal that gave Los Angeles draft rights to forward Maarty Leunen.
Clippers coach and president of basketball operations Doc Rivers said Smith was a good teammate, but that the team wanted to go in another direction.
"I wanted Josh to work out. It just didn’t for us," Rivers said.
Smith signed with Houston in December 2014 after being released by Detroit. He played 55 games for the Rockets last season where he averaged 12 points, six rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.24 blocks. The 12-year veteran, who was the 17th overall pick in the 2004 draft, has averaged 14.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in his career.
He played in 32 games for the Clippers this season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. He had fallen behind backup centre Cole Aldrich in the rotation.
"We decided to go in another direction and play Cole. Cole performed well," Rivers said. "We started winning games and you know Josh was great in the locker room, he was great in practices. He was a professional."