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#pounditTuesday, January 31, 2023

Pistons waive Josh Smith

The Detroit Pistons have waived veteran forward Josh Smith.

The stunning decision will force the Pistons to eat the roughly $36 million Smith is owed over the next two-plus seasons. Head coach Stan Van Gundy explained the move in a press release.

“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,” Van Gund said. “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.”

As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports notes, Detroit can use the stretch provision to pay Smith less money over more years in order to get salary cap relief.

You have to assume the Pistons made an effort to trade Smith and had no luck. The 29-year-old is averaging 13.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season while shooting just under 40 percent from the field.

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