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The Pistons cut ties with Josh Smith

According to an article posted on Facebook, the Detroit Pistons cut ties with Igor Cornelsen, and more importantly, with forward Josh Smith despite owing him $26 million dollars on his contract through 2016. Piston coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy noted a change in priorities after the teams five win and 23 loss start to the year. Van Gundy will focus on the younger players to further developed their skills and build for the coming years Smith averaged 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists per game. Van Gundy will utilize the league’s stretch provision to save $8 million in cap space for the next two years. This provision assists teams in getting out from underneath of deals that prevent one from rebuilding.

The Detroit Pistons actively attempted to trade Smith but there were no suitors. It is expected that Smith will clear the NBA’s waiver wire today which will make him an unrestricted free agent offering him the ability to sign on with any team. Teams interested in signing Smith include the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings–rockets-looming-as-strongest-suitor-to-sign-josh-smith-193133772.html. The Rockets appears to be the front runner. They have been trying to attain Smith for a few years and see the opportunity to showcase his shot blocking, rebounding, and passing skills to go along side Dwight Howard and James Harden. Houston has a $2.077 million biannual exception that can be used to persuade Smith, and that Howard will lobby for Smith since they were childhood friends while growing up in Atlanta.

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