After signing a monstrous deal in free agency, one that will pay him $40.5 million over the next three seasons, Smith came to the Motor City and completely flopped, largely because he was asked to play out of position throughout the year. Small forward simply wasn't his cup of tea, as playing him on the perimeter led to some horrific numbers from outside the three-point arc.
For the sake of keeping this article safe for work, I won't print his exact statistics here, but you can check them out on his Basketball-Reference.com page...if you dare.
The losses piled up, to the tune of a putrid 29-53 record, and now Smith's future during the Stan Van Gundy era in Detroit is up in the air. He's just not a great fit for a roster that also boasts Andre Drummond and still seems likely to retain the services of restricted free agent Greg Monroe.
So, where does he fit?
Detroit isn't being forced to trade Smoove. In fact, as Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reports, Van Gundy is telling Smith not to expect a move:
Detroit Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy reached out to forward Josh Smith to tell him that reports of the franchise engaging in substantive trade talks with Sacramento centered on Smith have been inaccurate and – barring an unexpected turn of events – Smith will be in training camp with the Pistons this fall, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
However, it's still in the team's best interest to deal him, just for the right package. Given his ridiculously large salary, the asking price can't be as high as it would be otherwise, but the Pistons can still get back pieces that fit in with SVG's stylings in much better fashion.
Smith, despite the bad reputation he earned in 2013-14, isn't some washed-up player. He's a 28-year-old forward with elite athleticism and a versatile set of skills, even if that includes clanging ill-advised perimeter jumpers off the rim.
Under the right coaching, surrounded by the right players, he could prove that he's worth most of the money he's earning.