Detroit Pistons waive forward Josh Smith

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The Detroit Pistons have waived their starting power forward Josh Smith. ESPN’s Marc Stein was the first person to report the story.

Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy had this to say about the waiving of Smith:

“Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction,” said Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons. “We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve performance and build for our future. As we expand certain roles, others will be reduced. In fairness to Josh, being a highly versatile 10-year veteran in this league, we feel it’s best to give him his freedom to move forward. We have full respect for Josh as a player and a person.”

According to Stein, Smith is expected to be courted by the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings. Sacramento had tried to acquire Smith this past summer, offering packages that included players such as Carl Landry, Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams, but Detroit continued to rebuff Sacramento on all trade fronts. 

This comes as a surprise, as Josh Smith was Detroit’s second leading scored at 13.1 points per game as well as averaging 7.2 rebounds per game. The 17th overall draft pick in the 2004 NBA Draft came to Detroit in 2013 hoping to bring a spark to their franchise, but things have gone far from well as the Pistons have gone 34-74 over the past year and a half.

 

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