It didn’t take long for Ish Smith to find a home. Two days after the Phoenix Suns formally waived their backup point guard, the man dubbed the fastest player in the league by reigning MVP Kevin Durant agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.
Smith started his career playing for the Houston Rockets in 2010-11 before stints with the Grizzlies, Warriors, Magic and Bucks. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough picked Smith up the the trade that sent Caron Butler to Milwaukee last offseason, and it turned out to be more than a salary-shedding move. The point guard played third string to Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, earning the trust of Jeff Hornacek to ignite stagnant offenses.
Clearly, playing a part for a 48-win team only helped Smith’s free agency value. While he may only be receiving a one-year, minimum contract, according to Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen, Smith will likely have a big role for a very good team. Smith will fit a Houston squad that, like Phoenix, focuses on getting easy opportunities through early offense.
The Rockets took a hit when they traded Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers because they were expecting Chris Bosh to sign as a free agent. That move leaves Patrick Beverley as the lone NBA-tested point guard on the roster.
Smith might be competing with former Arizona guard and 42nd pick Nick Johnson for minutes, though the Rockets’ other point guard project, Isaiah Canaan, has been taking the most reps at point during the Las Vegas Summer League.