Josh Smith remains unsigned this offseason as executives believe his disposition and not his talent is keeping him from receiving an offer.
Smith received interest last offseason from the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers but ultimately decided to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers. Smith was expected to be the Clippers' third big man but the experiment didn't work and he was traded back to the Houston Rockets.
“I’m not a guy that is oblivious to my surroundings, I know that changes need to be made,” Smith told The Vertical. “It’s something that I have done wrong to now be figuring out my next move and figuring out what I need to do to be better. Even yoga this summer has helped me become one with my spirit, body and mind. I’ve done things to take steps toward bettering myself, having patience.
“I have a lot left to give to this game. I’m ready to go now. I feel like I’m in the best shape, and I’ve worked extremely hard this offseason. I’m ready.”
Smith was waived by the Detroit Pistons in December of 2014 just one season into a four-year, $58 million deal.
“The perception of me seemed to start early on with Atlanta, but after Detroit, it left people completely puzzled,” Smith said. “People didn’t understand how it happened, how I was let go. It just didn’t fit. But wherever I have gone in development situations, I have been able to be on winning teams.
“When I came to Atlanta, we were at the bottom. Al Horford came, and we made it a consistent playoff team. When I went to Houston [in 2015] after Detroit, we made it to the Western Conference finals, something that they hadn’t done since the ’90s. I played impactful minutes for us to get to those platforms.”
Smith has received interest from teams in China but he wants to remain in the NBA.
“My main goal is that I am an NBA player,” Smith said. “Being able to go overseas, people are professional, but the NBA is what I have built myself to do. I’m still hungry. If I jumped to leave my NBA chances behind, I feel it would’ve been an act of desperation.
“I’m not a guy who feels like I have to start or play 30 minutes a night anymore. I wish for an opportunity to be able to contribute, to be a positive guy around the locker room. It has been missing from me. I’m not doubting it. I felt I have always showed support for my teammates, cheering for them, but I have to do a better job.
“I feel I have something to give the NBA, period.”