SVG tells Josh Smith that he’s most likely to remain a Piston

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Yahoo! sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Detroit Pistons coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy assured Josh Smith that he will most likely remain with the Pistons. This comes after reports that the Pistons and Sacramento Kings were discussing a trade that would send the talented, but troublesome, forward to Sacramento. It sounds like those talks have broken off.

Wojnarowski is one of the most respected reporters in basketball so I take whatever he says seriously. If this report is true, then this signals either one of two things to me. Either Greg Monroe is on his way out or Van Gundy will try his hand at trying to make the “jumbo front court” work along with Andre Drummond.

The Smith/Monroe situation will decide whether the Pistons are playoff contenders this season. Anybody with a brain can see that the Smith-Monroe-Drummond front court was a flop and things have to change there. Drummond in untouchable so that leaves either Monroe, the restricted free agent, or Smith, who has 3-years and $40 million left on his contract, to be moved. Both of them play the power forward and Smith was way out of position at small forward and he would better serve the team as the power forward. However, both are talented players and Van Gundy has a tough choice to make.

Monroe seems to be the wise choice to be retained due to his age, his friendship with Drummond, and his skill set that complements Drummond. Monroe is also younger and with Drummond, the star player, voicing his opinion to keep Monroe in Detroit it seems that he would be the easier choice to keep. However, Monroe’s defense is not up to par with Smith’s and that could be a big factor in Van Gundy’s decision making. Smith is also versatile, able to impact the game in many ways without having to score. Twice this past season Smith came up just one statistic shy of a rare 5X5 game, which is 5 of 5 statistical categories(e.g. 5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and 5 steals).

It is going to be interesting to see what Van Gundy does this situation. He could let Monroe walk and move Smith to his natural power forward spot and try to win now. Or he could take whatever he can get in a Smith trade and try and keep Monroe and Drummond together for the future. Very interesting decision coming up for SVG and we all will have to sit back and wait to see what happens.

-Ky Carlin

Twitter: @gettinbuckets91/@Ky_Carlin