In their off-season communication, Stan Van Gundy and Josh Smith have focused more on big-picture stuff: team culture, leadership, chemistry. It was lighter on the specifics, but Smith heard enough to tailor his summer workout regimen.

“I’m ready to play whatever position is asked of me,” said Smith, noticeably thicker in the chest and shoulders, in his first day back at the Pistons practice facility on Tuesday. “But I’m going to play a lot of (power forward) and that was my main focus on being able to get more in the weight room and put some more muscle on my body to be able to withstand that physicality in the paint. I played that position so much, so long in the league that I know how big you have to be in order to be able, night in and night out, to withstand that impact and that physical nature inside the paint.”

Van Gundy is known for innovative lineup combinations and has said he’ll experiment liberally in the preseason with everything from playing small with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, perhaps, at small forward to playing big with the staple of last season’s starting lineup – the frontcourt of Smith, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. But he’s said consistently since his mid-May hiring that he doesn’t anticipate playing big, with Smith at small forward, for long stretches.

Smith also saw the way Van Gundy teams played in Orlando, in the same division as the Atlanta team that was home for the first nine seasons of his career, and noticed the shooters – Jodie Meeks, D.J. Augustin, Caron Butler and Cartier Martin – added to the Pistons roster over the summer.