I love my KettlePizza, and this looks like a nice build. I would do what you are thinking of. Cut it down to 7", and then follow the "how-to" of the KettlePizza and build a "C" of charcoal along the back, add a couple pieces of chunk wood, and use a pizza stone to help even it all out. Overall it's good looking (and affordable) alternative!
Yoder Smokers YS640 & Yoder Smokers Wichita (Serial Number 1)