Summer Reading is a series on what each Philadelphia Seventy-Sixer needs to do this off season in order to bring the Sixers back to the playoffs in ‘07–08. Each member of the Sixers will get a reading list, we’ll start with Bobby Jones, and end with Andre Iguodala (Least minutes per game to most).
Suggested reading: One More Year by Bertha B. Moore, The Politics of Minimum Wage by Jerold Waltman, The Veteran by Frederick Forsyth.
Extra credit: Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.
Suggested viewing: Dirty Work
The Rub: When the Allen Iverson trade was made, Joe Smith the player wasn’t a consideration. Joe Smith the expiring $6.8M contract was the asset coveted by the Sixers. Honestly, when the deal was made I wasn’t even sure Smith would play a game in Philly. He was injured when they got him.
It’s funny how things turn out. By the end of the season, Smith was playing heavy minutes, and contributing a solid double-double just about every night. Smith thrived with playmakers Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala feeding him for his patented 15–foot jumper. The most surprising thing about Smith’s season was his tenacity on the boards. He was a hustle guy, scraping for every loose ball, and playing tough low-post D. In the month of April, he averaged 30 minutes/game 14.5 points and 9.0 rebounds.
Was he just playing for a contract? It didn’t look like it. Joe looked like he was having fun out there, playing the role of the sage veteran in the front court. I, for one, would like to see him back in Philly, on a one-year deal. I think the odds on this are probably slim, some team is going to offer him decent money for a couple of years. The Sixers would probably only offer him their veteran exception, but if I were Joe, I’d take it. He found a home in Philly during his second tour of duty, and he could be a valuable asset coming off the bench.
Up next: Kyle Korver