Report: Stan Van Gundy tells Josh Smith, barring unexpected trade, forward will start season with Pistons
Jul 21, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
It seemed these repeated negotiations reflected new Detroit president/coach Stan Van Gundy’s desire to clear up his frontcourt, which included Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe as starters last season. Van Gundy has repeatedly indicated that trio didn’t work together – something already evident to anyone who watched the team last year beyond Maurice Cheeks, John Loyer or whoever was in charge of the lineup.
But Van Gundy’s plan for change might not involve Smith, whom Sacramento apparently just coveted that badly.
Detroit Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy reached out to forward Josh Smith to tell him that reports of the franchise engaging in substantive trade talks with Sacramento centered on Smith have been inaccurate and – barring an unexpected turn of events – Smith will be in training camp with the Pistons this fall, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Sacramento had made calls about Smith in June, but Detroit never heard an offer that remotely interested them and never seriously engaged in discussions, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Since his hiring in the spring, Van Gundy has had productive discussions with Smith and sources say that Smith has been enthusiastic about moving forward with Van Gundy as coach.
Monroe is a restricted free agent, and indications are Van Gundy would match any offer for the big man – though Monroe might not be eager to share a team with Smith again. I would definitely match any offer for Monroe with the intention of starting him and Drummond together in the frontcourt.
So what about Smith?
Smith is far superior to any backup the Pistons have. But he surely knows that too. I’m not convinced he’d be content – and undisruptive – coming off the bench.
Personally, I’d just trade Smith for Sacramento’s spare parts (Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams or Jason Terry) and gain the salary flexibility. One season of Smith in Detroit turned toxic regardless of who was at fault, and I wouldn’t risk a second.
Van Gundy seems to believe he can rehabilitate Smith’s value, and there’s certainly that potential. But that will require either losing Monroe or treading carefully with Smith’s feelings for a full season.
The Pistons shouldn’t drop Monroe without full value in a sign-and-trade, and I don’t trust the sometimes-abrasive Van Gundy to handle Smith gently for that long.
But if a Smith trade happens, it sounds as if it won’t be with the Kings. I can’t imagine other teams are lining up to deal for the final three years and $40.5 million remaining on Smith’s contract.
That’s why you should expect him in Detroit’s training camp.
Aug 5, 2015, 1:24 AM EDT
At least it’s Tupac, it could have been worse.
Aug 4, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT
Nike’s KD8 Suit goes on sale August 14.
Aug 4, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
Aldridge has too many pairs to fill his closet as it is.
Aug 4, 2015, 9:56 PM EDT
Exum suffered the injury in an exhibition game in Slovenia.
Aug 4, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Bradley Beal also headed to Las Vegas
Aug 4, 2015, 8:01 PM EDT
That would derail a lot of the Jazz’s positive momentum
Aug 4, 2015, 7:02 PM EDT
Aug 4, 2015, 6:02 PM EDT
Everything good now between the Kings franchise player and coach?
Aug 4, 2015, 5:13 PM EDT
This is the real deal
Aug 4, 2015, 4:18 PM EDT
Exum was playing for Australia against Slovenia
Aug 4, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT
Will former Iowa State star make Orlando’s team?
Aug 4, 2015, 2:44 PM EDT
If you don’t get it, ask someone younger
Aug 4, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT
Kobe doesn’t know how he’ll feel next summer. You can’t blame him for that.
Aug 4, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT
No. No they will not.
Aug 4, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
The Serbian national team is expected to protest it.
Aug 4, 2015, 11:57 AM EDT
He will battle Kyle O’Quinn to backup Robin Lopez.
Aug 4, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT
Lawson and Brewer put up impressive offensive numbers together in Denver.
Aug 4, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
I’m no fashion critic, but they’re not bad.
Aug 4, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT
Somehow I bet he still cashes his paychecks rather than actually playing for free.
Aug 4, 2015, 8:34 AM EDT
Even if he could sign an extension, he wouldn’t.
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