Bernucca: Kyle Korver, Josh Smith among summer's worst signings

Kevin C. Cox

Chris Bernucca of SheridanHoops.com rates the deals given to Kyle Korver and Josh Smith as the two worst of the summer.

SheridanHoops.com's Chris Bernucca counts down the summer's worst free agent signings and a pair of really familiar names top the list. Bernucca ranks Kyle Korver's 4-year, $24 million deal the second worst given out by NBA teams this summer. On Korver, Bernucca writes:

Perhaps the best thing about Korver's deal is that it decreases annually to a somewhat manageable $5.24 million in 2016-17. But Korver turns 36 that season and will be much more of a defensive liability than he is now, which is saying a lot. There is no doubt that Korver is one of the top two or three pure shooters in the game, and we don't expect that skill to disappear. But $6 million per year is way too much to pay for a one-dimensional player, no matter how good he may be at that dimension.

I just spelled out my feelings about the deal in a post earlier this month and I am not going to rehash every thought again here. I understand the concern due to Korver's age but I think Bernucca is not taking into account what the market was for shooters this offseason. I think Korver's deal is still movable as long as he is healthy and his shooting is a skill that should continue to age well.

The only deal on Bernucca's list that was worse than Korver's went to former Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith. Detroit gave Smith a 4-year, $54 million this offseason despite a somewhat cool market for his services. Here is Bernucca's take on Smith:

The only player to change teams this summer and get a bigger deal than Smith was Dwight Howard, his former AAU teammate. And while Howard's deal dwarfs Smith's package, you have to wonder about Pistons GM Joe Dumars spending $13.5 million per year to play Smith out of position. Anyone associated with the Pistons envisions bigs Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond playing next to each other for a long time. That relegates Smith to small forward, where he doesn't shoot well enough and isn't quick enough to guard wings such as Luol Deng, Paul Pierce and LeBron James - and that's just in the Eastern Conference. Smith still is just 27 and may figure it out. But as he has shown during his first nine seasons, his learning curve is not exactly accelerated.

In contrast to Korver's deal, Smith's is not going to be as movable. It could also potentially lead to problems down the road for the Pistons who will have to deal with Greg Monroe in free agency and eventually Andre Drummond. I don't think all three are likely to share the court for long stretches next season but as Drummond demands more playing time its going to be interesting to see how the Pistons handle the situation.

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