Archive for the ‘ Detroit Pistons Blog ’ Category

Stan Van Gundy calls out Stanley Johnson“Stan has to become a much better worker and learner,” Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy said Friday before Detroit’s game against the Atlanta Hawks (8 p.m., FSD).

“He just does. He’s a great competitor — if you put him on the floor, he’s going to work really, really hard. But he’s got to get better at all the stuff that leads up to going onto the court.”

Van Gundy specifically pointed to practice and off-days, where Johnson, now 20, sometimes puts in less than 100 percent effort compared to his fellow bench counterparts.

“He’s got to be a better practice guy,” Van Gundy said. “He’s got to be a better workout guy. He’s got to be better with all that stuff. Really working to get better. Once he’s out there competing, you don’t have a problem with that. He’ll play as hard as anybody, but he’s got to understand that’s not the whole thing. It’s preparing to play.”

– Michigan Live

Quick Take: In his rookie season (last year) Stanley Johnson played 23.1 minutes per game and averaged 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds, on just 37.5% shooting. This season, Johnson is playing 14.9 minutes per game and getting just 4.0 points on 41.7% FG. More is expected of him. But as mentioned above, he’s not even 21 years old yet. Plenty of time for improvement.

Andre Drummond fined for elbowing Roy Hibbert

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has been fined $15,000 for striking Charlotte Hornets center Roy Hibbert in the back of the head with an elbow, it was announced yesterday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, for which Drummond was assessed a Flagrant Foul 2 and ejected, occurred with 4:09 remaining in the second quarter of the Pistons’ 112-89 win over the Hornets on Nov. 29 at Spectrum Center.

To view the incident, click on this link.

Pistons will move to downtown Detroit

Pistons owner Tom Gores said Tuesday that the time is right for his NBA team to move out of its suburban home and into the city to share Little Caesars Arena with the Red Wings.

“This is great for the Detroit Pistons. It is the right call. It’s time for us to do it,” Gores said. “It is an incredible arena. Every fan will believe it’s incredible.”

He said the move will greatly benefit the city economically, creating “thousands of jobs” and “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.”

Ilitch Holdings CEO Christopher Ilitch and Mayor Mike Duggan were alongside Gores for the announcement.

“For the first time in 43 years, all four Detroit sports teams will be playing in the city of Detroit,” Duggan said.

– Michigan Live

InsideHoops.com Quick Take: This should help downtown Detroit a lot. And Detroit needs it. Can’t complain about this move.

The Pistons today assigned forward Henry Ellenson and guard Michael Gbinije to the team’s NBA Development League (D-League) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive.

Ellenson has appeared in two games this season averaging 1.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 2.5 minutes per game. He was selected with the 18th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Gbinije has appeared in one game, the season opener at Toronto, and recorded one assist in five minutes of action. He was selected with the 49th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Pistons face rookie extension deadline

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on a few Pistons players, one of whom — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — could be a key building block for the future. Maybe.

Pistons face rookie extension deadline

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot himself out of another mini slump Sunday, helping the Detroit Pistons to a 98-83 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

A day later, he’ll be spending some time on the phone with his agents.

The Pistons face an 11:59 p.m. ET Monday deadline to ink contract extensions with Caldwell-Pope and guard Reggie Bullock. If they fail to come to an agreement — and Pistons president-coach Stan Van Gundy didn’t sound too optimistic Sunday night deals would get done — then both would become restricted free agents at season’s end.

Pistons may move to downtown Detroit

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the Pistons, who may head from the suburbs into the city within the next year:

Pistons may move to downtown Detroit

The Detroit Pistons could have a new home for the 2017-18 season.

The team is positioning itself for a move to the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit, team owner Tom Gores confirmed Friday.

Gores, founder of the Los Angeles-based private equity firm Platinum Equity, said a deal is not in place but he and his representatives have had “really good conversations” with the Ilitch family, owners of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers and investor for the new arena.

“If we do it, it’s going to be soon,” Gores said before what could be the Pistons’ final home opener at the Palace of Auburn Hills. “I’ve always been relatively transparent with you guys, and we’re getting close. We’re getting close.”

The Detroit Pistons have waived Mamadou N’Diaye, Trey Freeman and Lorenzo Brown.

Detroit this season is built around guards Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, forwards Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris and Stanley Johnson, and center Andre Drummond. Jackson is injured, so Ish Smith has an increased role, for now.

In preseason, the Pistons were led by Harris (15.3 ppg), Drummond (14.4 ppg, 14.6 rpg) and Caldwell-Pope (11.8 ppg, though on 35% shooting). Preseason stats shouldn’t be taken seriously, however. Fun to glance at, but the regular season is what counts.

Pistons waive Nate Wolters and Robbie Hummel

The Denver Nuggets waived guard Nate Wolters and forward Robbie Hummel today.

Hummel, 6-8, 215, signed with Denver on Sept. 4, 2016 and appeared in seven preseason games for the Nuggets, averaging 2.4 points and 1.0 rebounds in 10.2 minutes.

Wolters, 6-4, 190, signed with the Nuggets on Sept. 15, 2016 and appeared in four preseason games for Denver, averaging 3.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 11.7 minutes per game.

The Nuggets roster now stands at 15 players.

Pistons sign Mamadou N`Diaye

Pistons sign Mamadou N`Diaye

The Detroit Pistons have signed center Mamadou N’Diaye to a contract.

Our guess is that N’Diaye probably won’t wind up playing for the Pistons, but for their D-League team, the Grand Rapids Drive. At first, at least.

N’Diaye, at 7-foot-6 and 300 pounds, averaged 12.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks during the 2015-16 season at UC Irvine. Following three years of collegiate basketball with the Anteaters, the Dakar, Senegal native went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. N’Diaye played summer league basketball this past July with the Golden State Warriors.

Pistons exercise option on contract of Stanley Johnson

The Detroit Pistons have exercised their team option on the contract of forward Stanley Johnson through the 2017-18 NBA season.

Johnson, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, averaged 8.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 23.1 minutes in 73 games (six starts) during his rookie season.

Tobias Harris suffers broken nose

Pistons forward Tobias Harris averaged 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds for the 49 games he played for the Magic before his midseason trade to the Pistons, for whom he averaged 16.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 27 games. Entering 2016-17, he’s a key Piston. Here’s the Detroit News with an update:

Tobias Harris suffers broken nose

Add forward Tobias Harris to the growing Pistons injury list.

Stan Van Gundy said Harris suffered a non-displaced fracture of his nose in Monday’s exhibition victory over the Bucks.

“It’s not as bad as it could’ve been, but he needs to get fitted for a mask,” Van Gundy said Tuesday. “He’s seeing a specialist and should be ready to go (tonight).”

Van Gundy also said backup center Aron Baynes, who missed last weekend’s exhibition against the 76ers with back spasms and was a game-time decision against the Bucks, took an inadvertent shot to the face from rookie Henry Ellenson early during practice and had to leave.

Pistons waive Nikola Jovanovic

The Detroit Pistons have requested waivers on forward Nikola Jovanovic. He saw action in one preseason game (at Philadelphia on 10/15) with Detroit.

Jovanovic, who was signed as a free agent on September 26, played three years at the University of Southern California and averaged 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 98 games for the Trojans. He averaged 12-plus points and 7.0 rebounds in both his sophomore and junior years and shot better than 50% from the field in all three of his collegiate years. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Jovanovic became the 36th player in USC history to record 1,000-plus points.

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Pistons guard Reggie Jackson will be out of action for the next 6-8 weeks after treatment today. The point guard received platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections on this morning to treat left knee tendinosis and an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain of his right thumb.

The team says his recovery will be monitored throughout the rehabilitation process.

The six to eight week recovery period is an estimate. If it changes, of course we’ll post about it.

Jackson played 79 games last season and averaged 18.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 30.7 minutes per game.

Of course, logic suggests that when a key player is out injured, the team will play differently. But what exact changes they’ll make, that’s the interesting part. Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the Pistons:

With Reggie Jackson out, Pistons offense should change

Ready for a different-looking Detroit Pistons offense?

It won’t be entirely ripped to shreds, but the Pistons are tinkering with the playbook in practice with Reggie Jackson expected to be out for an extended period of time.

Jackson is due to receive a plasma injection Monday to treat tendinitis in his left knee. He could miss as much as six to eight weeks, handing the keys to the offense to backup Ish Smith…

What’s that mean for the offense? According to Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, more ball-screens for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock, more production from the wings, and a concerted effort to get All-Star center Andre Drummond the ball in the post…

Expect more touches for forwards Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris, too.

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson, who is dealing with a lingering knee issue:

Reggie Jackson will receive plasma injection for injured knee

Reggie Jackson has decided on a course of action to help with the pain in his left knee, and it’s a familiar one.

The Detroit Pistons point guard will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection Monday in New York, coach Stan Van Gundy confirmed, the same non-surgical procedure he underwent while dealing with knee tendinitis in 2011.

The procedure culls blood from the body, spins it and injects it into the affected area to help relieve pain. There is no word yet on a timetable for Jackon’s return, but Van Gundy said last week it could be up to six to eight weeks…

Jackson made his final decision on Friday after consulting team doctors, his agent and getting a second opinion, Van Gundy said. He will be on crutches for up to a week after and will not travel with the Pistons next week for preseason games at Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Pistons sign Nikola Jovanovic and Trey Freeman to training camp

The Pistons today signed Nikola Jovanovic and Trey Freeman to contracts that bring those two players to training camp.

Jovanovic, a 6-11, 235 played three years at the University of Southern California and averaged 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 98 games for the Trojans. He averaged 12-plus points and 7.0 rebounds in both his sophomore and junior years and shot better than 50% from the field in all three of his collegiate years. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Jovanovic became the 36th player in USC history to record 1,000-plus points.

Freeman averaged 22.1 points as a senior at Old Dominion University last season. In 135 career collegiate games, he’s averaged 17.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists at Campbell University (2011-13) and Old Dominion (2014-16). A 6-2 guard from Virginia Beach, VA, Freeman earned First-Team All-Conference USA honors in both his junior and senior years.

The Pistons are built around Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond. A good, fun group. And a very young squad. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

The Detroit Pistons enter training camp Tuesday one of two NBA teams with everyone on the roster under the age of 30.

Now, there are benefits to that, like team-friendly contracts and getting players on the upswing of their careers. When it’s difficult to land a big-name free agent, like it is for Detroit, you go with youth.

But it also leaves a void in the locker room, one the Pistons are trying to figure out, president-coach Stan Van Gundy said Friday during a media luncheon at the Palace.

“We don’t have a guy that has ever been in that situation in the league, a guy that people look to,” Van Gundy said. “We don’t have the old, grizzled veterans.”

Pistons front office staff info

Pistons basketball staff info

The Pistons announced today several promotions and four new additions to the basketball operations staff. Pat Garrity (associate general manager), Adam Glessner (director, player personnel) and J.R. Holden (director, international scouting) have been promoted to senior leadership positions within the department.

“We are pleased to complete our basketball operations staff for the upcoming season and look forward to the contributions of those who have been promoted and those who join our organization,” said General Manager Jeff Bower. “Pat Garrity, Adam Glessner and J.R. Holden have been a major part of our staff over the last three seasons and their promotion to senior leadership positions is a natural progression. Their effectiveness and unique skill sets will allow our basketball operations staff to evolve seamlessly moving forward.”

Garrity enters his third season with the Pistons, and first as associate general manager. Previously, he spent two seasons as director of strategic planning and assistant general manager after completing a 10-year NBA career and three-plus years working as a client advisor for a Connecticut-based hedge fund. Drafted 19th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft, Garrity spent one season with the Phoenix Suns and was traded to the Orlando Magic where he played from 1999-2008, including one season with Head Coach Stan Van Gundy (2007-08). A four-year player at the University of Notre Dame, he graduated with a BS in Science, Pre-Professional Studies. Following his retirement from the NBA in 2008, earned an MBA with a concentration in investment finance from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Holden, a college and international scout with the Pistons, enters his third season with the club and first as director of international scouting. The Pittsburgh, PA native played college basketball at Bucknell University from 1994-98 and then embarked on a 13-year pro career overseas playing in Latvia, Belgium, Greece and Russia. His time overseas was most notable while playing for CSKA Moscow (Russia) from 2002-11 where he won 12-of-13 league championships, appeared in eight consecutive Euroleague Final Fours and won one European gold medal. He ended his pro career by being named to the 2001-10 All-Decade Team.

Glessner, a pro scout with the Pistons, enters his third season with the club and first as director of player personnel. His prior NBA experience includes a stint with Charlotte as a coaching associate and six years with the Orlando Magic. During his time in Orlando, he worked under Head Coach Stan Van Gundy from 2007-12 as a video coordinator/analyst.

Additional basketball staff promotions include Jorge Costa to director of research and technology, Aaron Gray to assistant coach, Ryan Winters to scout, Jordan Sabourin to head strength coach, T.J. Saint to head video coordinator and Jordan Brink to assistant video coordinator. New hires joining the Pistons staff include Aaron Blackshear as analytics systems coordinator and Louis Thompson as assistant strength and conditioning coach. Quentin Richardson transitions to a pro scout after serving the last two years as director of player development. Staff additions to the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons NBA D-League affiliate, include Courtney Havens-Mitchell as head athletic trainer and Evarist Akujobi as strength and conditioning coach.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press with an unfortunate update on a former MSU player:

For the third time since May, former Michigan State University basketball player Keith Appling has been arrested and once again a gun is involved, police say.

Appling, 24, was arrested at about 9 p.m. Sunday on Detroit’s east side after first driving away from a traffic stop and then stopping his car following a short pursuit, Detroit police said in a news release this morning.

Pistons sign Ray McCallum Jr

Pistons sign Ray McCallum Jr

The Pistons on Tuesday signed free-agent guard Ray McCallum Jr.

McCallum, 25, played 41 games last season with the Spurs and the Grizzlies, averaging 3.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 11.6 minutes per game. The 36th overall pick in the 2013 Draft by Sacramento, McCallum spent his first two seasons with the Kings where he averaged 6.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 20.6 minutes in 113 games (40 starts).

In 2014-15, he averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 21.1 minutes in 68 games (30 starts) – all career highs.

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