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Dwight Howard was the major talk of free agency but once he made his choice, teams turned their sights to who was left.  Josh Smith was also one of the big names and while I assumed he would be courted by several teams and weigh his options, he says the Detroit Pistons were the only one.  Read more after the jump.

Shay Marie

Smith not only grew up in Atlanta, he also spent nine seasons with the Hawks before deciding he needed a change of scenery.  The 6-foot-9 Smith averaged 15.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.1 blocked shots and 1.3 steals as a Hawk.

Smith was expected to draw several suitors but in a strange turn of events he was trying to convince the Pistons to take him while the Pistons were trying to convince him to pick them.

At one point last week, Joe Dumars’ five-hour meeting with free agent Josh Smith came to an abrupt halt.

“He was trying to sell me on him, and I was trying to sell him on us,” Dumars, the Detroit Pistons’ president of basketball operations, said today.

“I said, ‘Hold on, you don’t have to sell me; we’re trying to sell you on us.’”

Obviously, both sides succeeded, as the veteran forward officially signed a four-year deal with the Pistons Wednesday. The contract is worth $54 million.

“This was my only option,” Smith said. “I didn’t have any other options. This is where I wanted to be. We’re definitely a playoff team, and we’re definitely a contender.”

The Pistons haven’t been close to the playoffs since they were swept by top-seeded Cleveland during Michael Curry’s only season as head coach in 2008-09. But Smith is familiar with the Pistons’ past.

“They’ve won championships here,” he said. “(Dumars) has had success as a player and as an executive. I’ve been in the second round of the playoffs three times.”

“We looked at all of the free agents out there that could come in and help elevate us, elevate our talent level, elevate our ability to have chances to win games, and Josh was that guy for us,” Dumars said. “It’s a good day for us.”

Dumars likened the acquisition of Smith to that of landing Rasheed Wallace during the 2004 championship season.

“We have a lot of nice guys, but he has an edge,” Dumars said of Smith. “I think we need that. He definitely has an edge to him.”