In need of a bailout plan, the Detroit Pistons on Monday waived power forward Josh Smith. A former Hawk, Josh Smith was in the second year of a four-year, $54 million deal. Though considered a big signing by former Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars at the time, it was like watching someone try and fit a rectangle peg into a circle hole. Dumars drafted power forward/center Andre Drummond and power forward Greg Monroe in the 2012 and 2010 NBA Drafts respectively. With the Hawks, Josh Smith played his best ball at power forward, blowing past bigger opponents and using his athleticism to block shots. Though endowed with a Swiss army knife assortment of offensive skills, defensive play-making ability and tantalizing athleticism, Smith flashes brilliance but is bankrupt in consistency. Smith is infamous for his poor outside shooting; he shot 42% last season and only made 70 of his career-high 265 three point attempts. He’s off to a frigid 39% shooting start this season. With the continued development and payoff of Andre Drummond and steady play of Greg Monroe, Josh Smith was pushed more toward the outside where his game suffers. Current Pistons head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy tried to trade Smith during the off-season but with no takers, he was not willing to keep pouring money into this failing investment. Van Gundy wants to rebuild this team in his own image. At the end, it is a win-win; Stan Van Gundy can focus on developing the young big men already at his disposal. Josh Smith will still gets his money (Pistons still owe him the reminder of his contract) and he takes his talents to a team better suited for his style of play.
(Note: ESPN reports that Josh Smith will sign with the Houston Rockets.)