Depth was a problem that the Los Angeles Clippers aimed to fix last offseason, particularly with the signings of Josh Smith and Lance Stephenson. Both have been disasters this season, and now Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Clips are sending Smith back to the Houston Rockets in exchange for what is essentially a big fistful of air.
The Clippers will send cash to cover the remaining $460,000 on Smith’s $1.4 million minimum salary this season and the draft rights to Serhiy Lischuk. Houston sends the Clippers the rights to Maarty Leunen. Neither player is expected to play in the NBA.
Maarty Leunen was the 54th pick in the 2008 draft, and he currently plays in the Italian league. There is a half-decent chance Rockets GM Daryl Morey didn’t even know he owned this guy’s rights until the Clippers came calling.
So yeah, this is the kind of trade a team makes when they are just fed the hell up with a guy. Smith has done basically nothing on the court this year, and his minutes have continued to dwindle as the season has worn on. He didn’t even wait a month before getting into an expletive-laden shouting match with one of his coaches.