Despite two years and at least $26 million left on his contract after the current season, the Detroit Pistons announced Monday (Dec. 22) that they’ve decided to waive veteran forward Josh Smith.
So far this season, the 29-year-old has averaged 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
“Our team has not performed the way we had expected throughout the first third of the season and adjustments need to be made in terms of our focus and direction,” coach and team president Stan Van Gundy said in a statement.
“We are shifting priorities to aggressively develop our younger players while also expanding the roles of other players in the current rotation to improve performance and build for our future. As we expand certain roles, others will be reduced. In fairness to Josh, being a highly versatile 10-year veteran in this league, we feel it’s best to give him his freedom to move forward. We have full respect for Josh as a player and a person.”
Once Smith clears waivers over the next 48 hours, he will be able to go elsewhere as a free agent.
Smith was acquired by the Pistons after the 2012-13 season as a free agent. During his stint in Detroit, he’s played 105 games, averaging 15.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists.