In a shocker, Detroit Pistons waive Josh Smith
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.” And according to Yahoo Sports, “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.”
The 5-23 Pistons are having a miserable season, and while Smith is a flawed player, he is still considered to have value in the right situation. This was an unexpected move for Detroit to make, but it is understandable that they would want to part ways, especially taking Smith’s contract into account.
Smith this season is averaging 13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.7 bpg, shooting 39% FG, 24% just threes, and a very bad 47% from the free throw line.
“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.”
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward has averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 39.1% from the field, 24.3% from three point range and 46.8% from the free throw line. In 105 games with the Pistons, the Georgia native averaged 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Smith was acquired by the Pistons as a free agent on July 10, 2013. Drafted with the 17th overall selection in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, the former Oak Hill Academy product has averaged 15.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 blocks and 34.2 minutes in 781 career games (758 starts).