Could Michael Malone’s firing re-open Josh Smith-to-Kings trade?

The Pistons and Kings discussed a Josh Smith trade this summer, but it obviously didn’t happen.

Perhaps, the Kings firing head coach Michael Malone could re-ignite talks.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The front office-coach relationship became increasingly strained through Las Vegas summer league in July, especially once Ranadive and D’Alessandro made a play to trade for Detroit forward Josh Smith, sources said. The owner told people outside the franchise that, no, his coach didn’t want Smith, but Ranadive didn’t care. He wanted Smith’s talent, and it was on Malone to make it work.

Most of the coaching staff struggled to believe Smith could fit with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, and management differed. Talks with the Pistons shut down quickly, because Stan Van Gundy didn’t want to make the proposed deals, sources said.

“The Smith situation caused everyone to take sides: Management against coaches, coaches against management,” a source told Yahoo Sports. “Things only got worse.”

If owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Pete D’Alessandro went full steam ahead in trade discussions despite Malone’s objections, it’s unlikely the deal will get put back on the table. In that case, the cards already would have been played.

But if the owner and general manager at all acquiesced to their coach, maybe they’d be willing to offer more for Smith now. The Pistons are reportedly shopping him.

I still doubt a Smith-to-Sacramento trade happens, but I can at least concoct a scenario where it would now after talks died this summer. Combine Malone’s absence from the equation and Ranadive’s apparent zaniness, and Van Gundy should be on the phone trying to get this done.