I have to admit coming into the 09-10 season I was not too excited about the acquisition of Rhino. As the season progressed Smith slowly warmed my heart, and he became one of my favorite Clippers from last season. Alas, I believe Craig Smith is a one and done Clipper. Craig has a niche in this league, and can play for any team he wants to, and almost every team in the league would love to have him.
Most big men reserves in the NBA are strictly defenders and rebounders. WIth Baby Shrek Davis (or Glen, or Ronald Davis. I don't really know) showing how important it is to have a big off the bench that can score in the paint, Smith's value is rising.
Let's take a look at the 09-10 Western Conference playoff teams and how (if) Rhino would fit in with that team (I could essentially list almost every single team, but let's just talk about good ones). I am going by the rosters from last year, since I don't know how each team will look this upcoming season.
2. Dallas - Dampier and even Haywood aren't great inside scorers.
3. Phoenix - With Lopez as a starter, Smith would look good when Frye goes 0-9 from deep.
4. Denver - Birdman is a great reserve, but he is only a very poor man's Jerome WIlliams.
5. Utah - One of the few teams that does not necessarily need a backup scorer in the paint .
6. Portland - As much as I love Juwan Howard, Craig Smith would be the second best inside scorer on this team.
7. Spurs - Dejuan Blair is a great rebounder, but no where as good as Rhino is in scoring in the paint.
8. Thunder - If they had ANY inside scoring this team could have beaten the Lakers (or at the very least push it to 7)
So as you can see there are plenty of teams in the Western Conference alone that could use Craig Smith. Adding to the fact Smith will be very affordable, makes the outlook for Smith in a Clipper jersey next season even more bleak. Whatever the case, I will follow Rhino in whatever he chooses to do. Hopefully, he chooses to stay with the Clippers, but I wouldn't blame him for going somewhere else.