AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons put on a full-court press to recruit Josh Smith when they figured the top two free agents, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, wouldn't be interested in playing in the Motor City.
Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars met with Smith for five hours in Los Angeles on July 1 when the NBA's free agency period began.
"I was selling, selling hard," Dumars said.
And, Smith was buying.
The Pistons signed Smith to a $54 million, four-year contract Wednesday, when he raved at a news conference about his long talk with Dumars last week (see full story).
Heat: "Birdman" re-signs with one-year deal
MIAMI -- Chris Andersen is returning to the NBA champion Miami Heat, and at a bargain price.
Andersen signed a $1.7 million, one-year deal Wednesday, becoming the latest in a long line of current Heat players who were willing to sacrifice some salary. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier and Ray Allen are among those who could have gotten more money either from the Heat or elsewhere when signing their current deals.
And now, Andersen has done the same, a move that lessens the luxury tax burden the Heat will face this coming season. Andersen could have commanded $3.2 million from the Heat this season, but by taking the lesser deal, he saves the Heat more than $1.5 million on that looming tax bill (see full story).
Warriors: Jackson to stay through 2014-15
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors have picked up the option on coach Mark Jackson's contract for the 2014-15 season.
The team announced the move Wednesday.
Jackson took the Warriors from a 23-43 record during the lockout-shortened season his first year to a 47-35 team that earned the Western Conference's sixth seed and eliminated Denver in the first round of the playoffs. The eventual conference champion San Antonio Spurs knocked Golden State out in six games in the second round.
The Warriors and Jackson could still work out a long-term extension this summer. But picking up the option at least ensures Jackson won't enter next season with an expiring contract (see full story).