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NBA Rumors for Monday, Dec. 22
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The Detroit Pistons announced today the club has requested waivers on forward Josh Smith. According to ESPN.com, Smith “still had two years and $26 million remaining on his contract after this season.” InsideHoops
“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.” InsideHoops
If Smith clears waivers over the next 48 hours, he will have the right to go elsewhere as a free agent. The Pistons acquired Smith as a free agent after the 2012-13 season. In 105 games with Detroit, he averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists. ESPN.com
The Pistons will use the stretch provision on the remaining $26 million, league sources told Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. The provision allows the Pistons to stretch the money owed to Smith over a longer period of time for salary cap relief.
Smith and first-year Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy often did not seen eye to eye this season. Smith was averaging 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season for the Pistons. Yahoo Sports
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They are the three words in the same sentence that make Miami Heat fans cringe: Wade. Knee. Sidelined. Sunday, for the first time this season, that was the case, with Dwyane Wade sidelined Sunday against the Boston Celtics at AmericanAirlines Arena due to a knee injury sustained during Wednesday's loss to the Utah Jazz and exacerbated in Friday's loss to the Washington Wizards. South Florida Sun Sentinel
The Heat listed Wade as being out with a "right knee contusion." It is the first game Wade has missed this season due to a knee issue, after missing seven previous games due to a hamstring injury. South Florida Sun Sentinel
The Heat entered without center Chris Bosh, who missed his fifth consecutive game with a strained left calf, and without forward Josh McRoberts, who is scheduled for likely season-ending knee surgery this week. South Florida Sun Sentinel
Rockets guard James Harden left Saturday night’s game against Atlanta briefly with a strained left hamstring. He went through most of Sunday’s practice and is probable for Monday night when the Rockets host the Trail Blazers. After the game Saturday, Harden said he was feeling okay and that he would just keep an eye on the injury over the next few days. Houston Chronicle Blog
Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart drew his first career start in Sunday's game against the Miami Heat. Three days after the Celtics traded All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, Smart shuffled into the starting role. Evan Turner, who started Friday's game, will come off the bench, where coach Brad Stevens thinks he can better utilize Turner's versatility. ESPN Boston
Four Knicks were in position to go after a defensive rebound, but none of them did. Toronto forward Tyler Hansbrough went after the ball and got the offensive board as all the Knicks looked on. That was just one moment in a season filled with bad and lackluster play by the Knicks, but it typified why they have 25 losses after 30 games. They're not as talented as many teams, and they compound that by not always working hard or giving extra effort. NY Newsday
It will be interesting to see how much Anthony can take physically and mentally. The Knicks are three losses from matching their entire total from two years ago. Anthony is playing on a bad left knee that could require surgery. After missing Thursday's game in Chicago to rest his knee, Anthony played 40 minutes in Saturday's loss to Phoenix and 38 Sunday. NY Newsday
Dalembert was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas, which is automatic ejection. The NBA will review it to see if Dalembert deserves a suspension. NY Newsday
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