Monday, March 02, 2009

Joe Smith Waived, Cleared to Join Contender

Last night, Joe Smith (1993-95) was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder, which will allow him to be signed by a contending team. The Oklahoman has the story:
For the second consecutive year, Joe Smith might be joining Cleveland at midseason to try and help the Cavaliers make a run at an NBA championship.

The Thunder waived Smith on Sunday — or bought out his contract — hours before the deadline in which teams must have a player on the roster to be eligible for the playoffs. [...]

Cleveland is believed to be the leading candidate to sign Smith, especially after Ben Wallace suffered a broken leg Friday. The injury is expected to sideline Wallace four to six weeks.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer believes that Joe is a lock to play for the Cavs again this year:
With just hours to spare before Sunday's midnight deadline, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Joe Smith reached terms on a buyout agreement. He will be put on waivers Monday morning and is expected to clear them 48 hours later. Several league sources said Smith is then expected to sign with the Cavs for the rest of the season. [...]

Smith averaged 6.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 19.2 minutes in 36 games for the Thunder this season. He has not played since Feb. 10 as the Thunder has gone with younger players. He did miss some time this season with a sore knee. [...]

There isn't expected to be any drama as Smith moves through waivers. The only team with the salary-cap space to claim Smith is the Memphis Grizzlies, and that is not expected to happen.

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