Pistons Notes: Smith, Drummond, Van Gundy

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy spoke earlier this month of a four-day break in the team’s schedule as the point at which he’d examine where the team was and make changes, if necessary. Monday was the first of those four days, and Van Gundy wasted no time, waiving Josh Smith and using the stretch provision to somewhat ease the pain of the remainder of his four-year, $54MM contract. Here’s more on the upheaval in the Motor City:

  • The Kings offered weaker proposals to the Pistons for Smith in recent weeks than they had over the summer, as Sacramento began to insist on receiving a first-rounder in the near future instead of one that wouldn’t come until a few years from now, reports Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The Pistons countered with second-round picks that would end up with Sacramento in the near term, but the Kings weren’t receptive to that, Ellis adds.
  • Jeff Schwartz, who recently became the agent for center Andre Drummond, will be keeping a close eye on how the Pistons’ situation develops to ensure his newest client has a bright future in Detroit, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter links). Drummond will be up for a rookie scale extension this coming summer.
  • Former Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars approached owner Tom Gores a few years ago about using the stretch provision to rid the team of Ben Gordon instead of trading him, but Gores wasn’t willing to go along, Free Press scribe Drew Sharp writes. This time, Gores didn’t make the same mistake, as Sharp argues.
  • Releasing Smith is an expensive proposition and a painful admission of a mistake, but it’s the right decision for the Pistons, MLive’s David Mayo believes.
  • The passion and temerity that makes Van Gundy a successful coach didn’t serve him well in the way he handled Smith as an executive, SB Nation’s Tom Ziller believes.

Alex Lee contributed to this post.

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