Josh Smith’s time with the Pistons is over much earlier than anyone could have predicted.
The Detroit Pistons have decided to waive Josh Smith, who signed a 4-year $54 million contract prior to last season.
He still has two-years and $26 million left on his deal after this season. Once Smith clears waivers, Detroit will pay him $36 million to not be apart of the team.
Pistons head coach and president Stan Van Gundy personally delivered the news to Smith this morning, and released a statement shortly thereafter.
“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. 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.”
Smith has struggled mightily this season and is on pace to become the first player in NBA history to shoot below 40 percent from the field, and below 50 percent from the free throw line while attempting at least 12 shots per game.
He was averaging 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds on the season. Several teams have already expressed interest, including the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and Sacramento Kings, among others.