With Josh Smith Gone, What’s The Next Step For The Detroit Pistons?


After starting 5-23 and past the quarter point of the NBA season Head Coach Stan Van Gundy looked like he had enough with this team. So he finally waived Josh Smith yesterday releasing him from the organization.

Josh Smith was by no means a popular player for the Pistons. He was constantly booed by the fans because of his long 2’s and his insistence of taking 3’s. Many questions arose of why he was given so much playing time even though there were often more efficient options on the bench.

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The Pistons will use the stretch provision to pay Smith the rest of his $25+ million contract these next 5 years. This stands to be the last aftermath effect of Joe Dumars’ time as the General Manager.

Where will the Detroit Pistons go from now though?

The first thing Van Gundy has to look at is his front court of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Both have the potential to be top-10 players in their respective positions.

Though Monroe signed the qualifying offer becoming a free agent after the 2014-2015 NBA season, still plenty of positives to look at from the Power Forward position.

In the short-term Piston fans will finally be able to see what they’ve wanted for a long time. A front court of Monroe at Power Forward and Drummond at Center.

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  • Though fans have been given mere glimpses at this potential top-5 front court there was always some cause hindering them from doing so. Now Van Gundy has the chance to sell his idea to Monroe about this potential deathly front court.

    If Monroe and Drummond wreak havoc these next few months Monroe may be more inclined to sign with the Pistons. This should be one of Van Gundy’s goal for the rest of the season.

    While also pitching his new idea to Monroe Van Gundy must cultivate and develop his young talent. The Pistons still have young potential superstars in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie.

    If Van Gundy wasn’t to capitalize and develop some of the younger players this entire season will be a waste. With the way Brandon Jennings and D.J. Augustin has struggled this would be the perfect opportunity to see how Dinwiddie adapts to extended playing time.

    Dec 7, 2014; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) draws a charge on Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

    In Caldwell-Pope he’s struggled this year but that’s partly because of the extended workload. He had to adapt and harness the extra shots because of the absence of Jodie Meeks. Now that Meeks is back Caldwell-Pope can play more to his strengths taking open 3’s and flying around on the fast break.

    A side effect of releasing Smith will be the many minutes he took from the now current Pistons squad. Jonas Jerebko stands to be the player to receive most of Smith’s minutes. Though he isn’t necessarily the scorer Monroe or even Smith is there is a case for him to get his playing time.

    By dispersing Smith’s 14.0 FGA per game to a variety of more efficient players on the Pistons they will see a net increase in their rather disappointing offense.

    But if the Pistons do get better they will have to make a decision about their future. Should they stay competitive and aim for a lower seed in the playoffs or should they just actively tank while playing their younger players? With their abysmal record the playoffs seem like a long ways away. Even the idea of them getting better to make the playoffs seems borderline insane.

    And if the Pistons do go ahead and tank (which at this point they should) there are plenty of NBA Draft Prospects that can fit on their roster. With the likes of Emmanuel Mudiay and Jahlil Okafor in the upcoming draft this might be their chance to cash in on a game-changing prospect.

    Whatever the case many fans should be rejoicing of the release of Smith. He will take up some cap space which might hinder the potential future of the Pistons. Except it shouldn’t be as big a hit as some fans expect it to be as the cap is likely to go up in the upcoming years.

    Now, your thoughts. What do you think the Detroit Pistons should do with their future? Tank? Be competitive? Play their younger players? Whatever the case these next few Pistons games should be a lot more watchable without a brick-shooting Josh Smith.

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