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Sixers want Ish Smith to return as backup

Update: The Detroit News reported Friday morning that Ish Smith had agreed to a three-year contract with the Pistons.

The 76ers want to bring Ish Smith back.

The point guard, who will become an unrestricted free agent at 12 a.m. Friday, has been informed of the Sixers' interest. The only thing is, they are looking at him in a backup role.

Smith doesn't have a problem with that. He intends to battle for the starting position wherever he goes.

"I would like to come back," Smith said. "Philly has been my home. The fans have been great. Everybody has been great."

The Sixers erred by not re-signing him last summer. They, sort of, rectified the situation by acquiring him in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 24. The Sixers even sent the Pelicans two coveted second-round picks in exchange.

The results were instant. The Sixers lost 30 of their first 31 games before Smith returned. They went 6-9 in the first 15 games after his arrival.

The six-year veteran averaged a career best in points (14.7 points) and assists (7.0) in 50 games this past season with the Sixers.

Follow and contact 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers and on Instagram at PompeyOnSixers