Stan Van Gundy On Josh Smith Decision

This morning’s news that the Pistons waived Josh Smith certainly qualifies as one of the more interesting and shocking NBA personnel developments in recent memory. It’s also no surprise that teams around the league are preparing their recruiting pitches for the volatile but talented forward, who is still only 29 years old. Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy spoke to the media this afternoon, including Keith Langlois of Pistons.com, and had the following to say about the team’s jarring decision:

On why the team felt the need to move on from Smith:

“Josh is the guy on our team with the highest usage rate. He’s taken the most shots. He’s a high-assists guy. He’s got the ball in his hands a lot. We would have had to reduce his role offensively. I don’t think he would have been happy with that at this point in his career. I don’t think it necessarily would have been fair to him. But I think it’s something we need to do to try to move on.”

On how access to the stretch provision impacted the deal:

“We gain an advantage the next two summers and then the three years after that, he sits on our cap – but with the cap going up, I think you’re looking at that being a very small percentage of the cap. It helps a great deal.”

On how this move improves the future of the team:

“I think this is about a few things. It’s, No. 1, making significant improvement, particularly at the defensive end of the floor. No. 2, it’s about developing our young core of guys. No. 3, it’s about acquiring as many assets and as much flexibility as we can going forward to make the moves.”

On what the Pistons will do with the open roster spot:

“Maybe find a guy off the waiver wire, a D-League guy, something like that. Or in a trade where you send one guy out and get two guys back. It does give you some flexibility and I think flexibility right now in trying to move things forward is important.”

On why they didn’t move Smith when they had the chance in the summer:

“I would rather be where we are right now than having taken back the players we were offered that would’ve sat on our cap for the next three years. That would have slowed down our rebuilding effort. We went into the season expecting much, much better than this. To just continue on the same course and not do anything differently at 5 and 23 would be pretty bad leadership at this point. Looking back, I would rather have this situation than the opportunity we had in the summer.”

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

Get the hottest NBA news and rumors before anyone else! Follow us on Twitter to stay updated: