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.
Oct 1, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
Two young players trying to prove to new coaches they deserved minutes. This is a real setback for both.
Oct 1, 2014, 5:50 PM EDT
The show is on Disney XD. I suppose there are worse things your child could watch.
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Oct 1, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
A Madison Square Garden spokesman called the lawsuit “frivolous.”
Oct 1, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT
Dirk loves him some Hoff.
Oct 1, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
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Oct 1, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT
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Oct 1, 2014, 2:21 PM EDT
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Oct 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
I list my personal picks for top five backcourts.
Oct 1, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
Second round pick foregoing additional guaranteed dollars in order to bet on himself.
Oct 1, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT
Reminder not to believe everything you read, especially if it’s attributed to ‘a source.’
Oct 1, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Cousins was tied for the league lead with 16 last season.
Oct 1, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT
The new-look Hornets, with Lance Stephenson in tow, are hoping to build on a playoff run and a promising young core.
Oct 1, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT
Kobe wants to shake the rust off before the games count for real later this month.
Oct 1, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
Good of you to ask, but it’s not that simple.
Oct 1, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT
“I approach scoring like apple picking,” says Durant. “Keep the good ones and leave the rotten ones.”
Oct 1, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Jackson is out for the season due to injury, but will be getting a nice payday from Philadelphia nonetheless.
Oct 1, 2014, 12:06 AM EDT
New floor should be in place for the start of the 2014-15 season.
Sep 30, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT
Professional sports franchises are businesses above all else, and typically would rather avoid politics.
Sep 30, 2014, 9:44 PM EDT
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