Detroit Pistons waive forward Josh Smith

December 22, 2014

In a shocking move, the Detroit Pistons (5-23) announced today that the club has requested waivers on veteran forward Josh Smith.

The surprise was not so much that the Pistons might part ways with Smith, but that they could not trade him for some return value.  The likely obstacle to completing such a deal was probably his high salary.

Smith was acquired by the Pistons as a free agent on July 10, 2013, after signing a pricey multi-year deal, but the team has struggled since his arrival.

“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.

The Pistons tried using Smith at the 3 while pairing him up on a big frontline with Greg Monroe at the 4 and Andre Drummond at the 5.  The lineup has not translated into wins.

Nevertheless, Smith remains an excellent talent, who can rebound, block shots from the weak side, throw down some thunderous dunks, and hit a fair amount of three-point shots to keep the defense honest.  He is still a very athletic player who probably is best suited to play at the 4 in today's undersized NBA.

Assuming Smith clears waivers, expect several playoff-bound teams to seek his services.  A front-runner could be the Houston Rockets, considering that center Dwight Howard and Smith are friends from their days in Georgia.

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).

By Staff of and news services

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...