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While Dwight Howard was meeting with the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles as free agency opened, sources confirmed to ESPN.com that his former AAU teammate, Josh Smith, was sitting down with the Detroit Pistons across town.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported early Sunday that the Pistons would make a strong push for Smith. The news of the meeting, which took place shortly after free agency became official at 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday, was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
The 6-foot-9 Smith has spent his entire nine-year career with the Atlanta Hawks after being drafted out of high school in 2004, and the team remains in the mix to sign him.
Smith, 27, averaged 17.5 points and 8.4 rebounds this past season while earning $13.2 million and likely will be highly sought after on the open market, especially in a lackluster free-agent class.
He would be a huge addition for a Pistons team that already features a pair of young and talented players in the frontcourt with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.