Smith was handed the Sixth Man Award last season, but he is currently recovering from an off-season knee surgery.
The head coach told reporters: "I'm going to let [Smith and Shumpert] fight it out. I want [Smith] to be past that Sixth Man. Let somebody else get the Sixth Man if he deserves to get that starting job. Last year was last year.
"That's not to say he's going to win it, but I'm not telling him he's not going to start. [Starting] frees him up to maybe expand his game and be better for our ballclub. I don't know, but we'll see."
Shumpert scored 18 points during the 103-102 win over the Boston Celtics last night.