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  • BASKETBALL

    Source: Pistons, Josh Smith agree to $54 million deal

  • DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons have addressed their biggest need with one the best free agents available.
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  • DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons have addressed their biggest need with one the best free agents available.
    Josh Smith and the Pistons have agreed to a $54 million, four-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been announced.
    NBA rules prevent confirmation of moves until July 10, when Smith is expected to sign his deal.
    The 6-foot-9, 225-pound small forward scored a team-high 17.5 points last season for Atlanta and also averaged 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 steals.
    Smith has only played for his hometown Hawks, who drafted him No. 17 overall out of high school in 2004 — soon after the Pistons won their third championship.
    He has averaged 15.3 points, eight rebounds and more than three assists, two blocks and a steal during his career, which has not included an All-Star appearance. Smith had his best season — averaging career highs in points (18.8) and rebounds (9.6) — during the 2011-12 season. In 52 playoff games over the last six postseasons, he averaged slightly more points and rebounds for the Hawks.
    The Pistons fired coach Lawrence Frank in April, a day after they finished 29-53, and hired Maurice Cheeks in the hopes that he could help end the franchise's four-year postseason drought.
    Better players, of course, will help Detroit win more than any coach can from the sideline. At a steep cost, Smith seems to upgrade the team's collection of talent immediately.
    Detroit will likely start the 27-year-old Smith it its frontcourt with 23-year-old power forward Greg Monroe and center Andre Drummond, who turns 20 next month. Barring another major move this offseason, the backcourt will include point guard Brandon Knight and perhaps shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the No. 8 overall pick in last month's draft.
    The Pistons went into the offseason with $20-plus million in cap space, and desperately need to take advantage of the financial flexibility unlike the last time they had a lot of money to spend in the summer.
    Detroit signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to a $55 million, five-year contract and $35 million, five-year deal, respectively, in 2009 and both failed to provide a positive return. The Pistons ended up trading Gordon last summer to Charlotte for a first-round pick and Corey Maggette to cut about $15 million in salary. Detroit could still deal Villanueva, who is entering the last year of his deal, to a team that might want to take on his expiring contract.
    Cavaliers
    A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cleveland Cavaliers and free-agent guard Jarrett Jack have agreed to a four-year contract.
    The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not yet been announced, says Jack's deal is worth $25 million and includes a team option in the final year.
    Teams must wait until July 10 to announce any signings during the NBA's free agency period.
    The 29-year-old Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists this season for Golden State. The Warriors renounced their rights on Jack, a restricted free agent, earlier this week.
    Jack also has played for Portland, Indiana, Toronto and New Orleans. He helped the Warriors go from a 23-43 team during the lockout-shortened season to a 47-35 record this year.
    Kings
    Carl Landry believes his second stint with the Sacramento Kings will be better — and last longer — than his first time around.
    With an aggressive new regime in place, Landry and the Kings agreed to a four-year deal worth at least $26 million on Saturday that will bring the power forward back to California's capital city.
    Landry's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said that final details of the contract were still being worked out and it could reach $27 million over the life of the deal. He said Landry is excited to return to Sacramento under new owner Vivek Ranadive, who bought the franchise from the Maloof family in May.
    Teams must wait until July 10 to announce any moves during the NBA's free agency period.
    "They've got a great new ownership group that's committed to building a winner, and Carl was thrilled to be a part of it," Bartelstein said. "Carl loved the city before and the Kings made a strong push to get him back."
    Landry played parts of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons with the Kings.
    He was a key piece in the three-team trade that sent Kevin Martin to the Houston Rockets, Tracy McGrady to the New York Knicks and Landry to Sacramento in 2010. The following season, the Kings dealt Landry to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton.
    The 29-year-old Landry averaged 10.8 points and six rebounds in 23.2 minutes off the bench to help the Warriors reach the second round of the playoffs last season. He opted out of the final year of his two-year, $8 million deal with Golden State last month to become a free agent.
    At the time, Bartelstein said his client was coming off a big season and it only made sense for him to hit the open market in hopes of landing a long-term deal. And indeed, he did.
    Landry's time with Golden State was officially sealed after the salary-cap strapped franchise agreed to terms with free agent Andre Iguodala on a four-year, $48 million deal Friday. Fellow Warriors free agent Jarrett Jack also agreed to a four-year, $25 million contract with Cleveland on Saturday. The final year of Jack's deal is a team option.
    Landry will be reunited in Sacramento with coach Mike Malone, who was an assistant with the Warriors the past two seasons. While he played mostly as a reserve for Golden State, it's unclear what Landry's new role will be in Sacramento.
    The Kings frontcourt already includes centers DeMarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes and forwards Patrick Patterson and Jason Thomspon.
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