NBA / Sep 10, 2010 / 1:30 pm

Nets sign No. 1 NBA Draft pick

Earlier this week, the New Jersey Nets waived Sean May, who they’d just signed weeks before. The 26-year-old former Final Four M.O.P. at North Carolina broke his foot in a workout, making himself unavailable to contribute to a team that is trying to build a solid foundation to rebound from one of the worst seasons in NBA history.

Still needing depth in the frontcourt to bolster its young core of Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors, today the Nets are expected to sign Joe Smith. The 35-year-old vet has been with seven teams in his career, always able to slide into a role as a dependable backup power forward who can play a few minutes at center. He’s the definition of “solid yet unspectacular” as he reaches the end of his career.

It seems like more than 15 years ago when Smith was the No. 1 overall pick out of Maryland, and he’s been one of the hardest guys to peg in the “bust” argument when it comes to draft arguments. He’s averaged 11.0 points and 6.5 boards for his career, topping out at 18.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg in his second year with the Warriors. He hasn’t been a colossal bust, but he’s had a decent NBA career.

The good news for the Nets? Smith can help mentor Favors and Lopez on the tricks of the trade and toughen them up a little in practice. The overly optimistic outlook? Smith has been in the playoffs in nine of his 15 pro seasons. That means New Jersey could have a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs.

OK, let’s not go that far. But this is still a good move for a developing team.

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  • JA

    Great signing for the Nets. Smith is at the tail end of his career where he is ready to mentor/coach the next generation.

  • JBaller

    That’s True JA. Joe Smith has been heralded as a savvy vet and an excellent presence in locker rooms for years now. He might be getting old, but his experience would be invaluable to any team looking for locker room leadership and mentoring for young bigs.

    I didn’t know that he was a #1 pick 15 years ago, and I can understand where the “bust” angle comes from, since teams gamble on #1 picks for franchise players. Viewed through that lens he may be a bust, but the league needs character guys who give workman-like efforts every time they get on the court, and I think that’s what Joe S. has going for him.

  • Swiss Chocolate

    He’s a bust when you look at who was drafted after him: McDyess, Stackhouse, Rasheed, Garnett.
    Rasheed and Garnet are future Hall of Famers!
    He’s even more of a bust since I’m a Warriors fan.

  • JBaller

    JBaller needs to check out Joe Smith’s rookie year in the Rookie All-Star East vs West game

  • http://www.netshype.blogspot.com netstar

    called it.

    joe smith should have been a perennial all-star, i just dont know what happened after his first trade.

    great pick up for the nets

  • Mike “Yahoo! Exclusive” Mihalow

    “Former” NBA No. 1 draft pick

  • sh!tfaced

    At least he’s better than Kwame…