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Pistons announce basketball operations staff changes

Detroit Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy a few days ago announced promotions and restructuring within the basketball operations staff.

Pat Garrity has been promoted to assistant general manager, Andrew Loomis to chief of staff and Bob Beyer to associate head coach. Otis Smith joins the Pistons’ staff as director of player development/assistant coach while assistant coach Brendan Malone will transition to a special assignment scout, residing in New York. Quentin Richardson is leaving the organization for personal reasons.

“I’m proud to announce the restructuring of our basketball staff knowing that we have great people expanding their roles while maintaining continuity within our department,” said Van Gundy. “Pat, Andrew and Bob are well deserving of new responsibilities and we welcome Otis to Detroit on a full-time basis. Brendan is moving away from the bench and returning to his New York roots, but will continue to provide great basketball counsel and insight that has made him a great basketball mind for decades. We thank Quentin for his hard work over the last two seasons and respect his desire to spend more time with his family in Orlando.”

Garrity, formerly director of strategic planning, joined the Pistons in 2014 following a 10-year NBA playing career and three-plus working as a client advisor for a Connecticut-based hedge fund. Drafted 19th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Garrity was sent to the Phoenix Suns in a draft-day trade. After one season with the Suns, he was traded to the Magic where he played from 1999-2008. He played for Van Gundy in 2007-08 and posted career averages of 7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 552 NBA games.

A four-year player at the University of Notre Dame, Garrity averaged 18.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 111 games for the Fighting Irish. He graduated with a BS in Science, Pre-Professional Studies from Notre Dame and, 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.

Loomis served the last two seasons as executive director of basketball operations for the Pistons. Previously, he spent three-and-a-half seasons with the Golden State and Santa Cruz Warriors. Over the last two seasons, he’s helped in the management of the basketball operations of the Grand Rapids Drive – the NBA D-League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons. Prior to joining the Pistons, Loomis led the player development efforts for the Golden State Warriors while also serving as the assistant general manager of the Santa Cruz Warriors. He also spent eight seasons with the New Orleans Hornets in various capacities including; researching and compiling statistical information on prospective players, evaluating salary cap implications for potential trades and free agent signings, ensuring compliance with the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and assisting with the implementation of player development initiatives and community relations activities.

Beyer recently completed his second season as an assistant coach with the Pistons after serving as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2013-14 season. A coaching veteran with over 30 years of experience at the NBA and collegiate levels, Beyer spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach with Golden State. Prior to that, he spent five seasons on Van Gundy’s staff with the Orlando Magic from 2007-12. Beyer’s NBA coaching career began with the Toronto Raptors, when he served as an assistant coach in 2003-04 and as the team’s advance scout in 2004-05. At the college level, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Tech University under legendary Coach Bob Knight from 2001-03 and served as head coach at Siena College from 1994-97. His college coaching career also includes stints as an assistant coach at the University of Albany (1985-89), Siena (1989-93), the University of Wisconsin (1994-97), Northwestern University (1997-2000) and the University of Dayton (2005-07).

Smith joins the Pistons staff after serving as head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive for the last two seasons. A veteran of 25-plus years of basketball experience, Smith served as president of basketball operations/general manager of the Orlando Magic from 2010-12. He first joined the Magic as director of player development in 2003-04 and was promoted to assistant general manager in 2005-06 before being named general manager in May of 2006. Under Smith’s leadership Orlando made the playoffs six times, recorded a franchise-record four straight seasons with 50-plus wins (2007-11), won three Southeast Division Titles (2007-10) and reached the NBA Finals in 2009. During his time with the Magic, the team accumulated a record of 299-177 (.628).

Prior to his time with Orlando, Smith spent the 2002-03 season as executive director of basketball operations with the Golden State Warriors. He also served as director of community relations/Warriors foundation for Golden State from 1999-02 and as community relations manager with the Orlando Magic from 1996-98. As a player, Smith appeared in 375 career NBA regular-season games with Denver, Golden State and Orlando, averaging 10.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 20.6 minutes.

Malone recently completed his second year of his second stint as an assistant coach with the Pistons. He previously served as an assistant coach in Detroit from 1988-95, including four seasons (1988-92) on Hall-of-Fame Coach Chuck Daly’s staff when he helped the Pistons win back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. Malone has 30-plus years of NBA coaching experience. He was named the first ever head coach of the expansion Toronto Raptors in 1995 and served as an assistant coach on Van Gundy’s staff in Orlando from 2007-12.

A New York native, Malone’s NBA coaching career began with the New York Knicks as an assistant coach in 1986. He later had two more stints with the Knicks (1997-00 and 2003-04). He’s also served as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers (2000-03) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2004-05), where he took over as head coach for the final 18 games of that season. Collegiately, Malone worked as an assistant coach at Fordham (1976-77), Yale (1977-78) and Syracuse (1978-84) before becoming the head coach at the University of Rhode Island (1984-86).

Richardson joined the Pistons in 2014 as director of player development following a 13-year NBA playing career.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an NBA trade. The Detroit Pistons have acquired forward Cameron Bairstow from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Bairstow, 25, appeared in 18 games (two starts) with Chicago last season, averaging 1.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 5.7 minutes. The two-year NBA pro was drafted out of the University of New Mexico with the 49th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. As a senior for the Lobos, he averaged a Mountain West Conference-high 20.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 32.9 minutes in 34 games (all starts). A native of Brisbane, Australia, Bairstow holds career averages of 1.2 points, 1.0 rebounds and 4.6 minutes in 36 NBA games (three starts) all with the Bulls.

Dinwiddie, 23, completed his second NBA season with averages of 4.8 points, 1.8 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.3 minutes in 12 games. Drafted by the Pistons with the 38th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Colorado, Dinwiddie owns career averages of 4.4 points, 2.7 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.3 minutes in NBA 46 games (one start).

Bower has been Pistons general manager since June, 2014

Pistons sign GM Jeff Bower to contract extension

The Detroit Pistons have signed general manager Jeff Bower to a contract extension.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the job Jeff has done for our organization,” said Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. “He’s been at the forefront of all the moves we’ve made over the last two seasons and has implemented much of the strategy and structure throughout our basketball operations department. The confidence I have in his ability allows me to go out and coach during the season knowing that he’s always looking to make our team better.”

Pistons Owner Tom Gores praised Bower’s work shaping the roster and contributing to a cohesive leadership team.

“Jeff has been a key link for Stan and me and the whole organization to accomplish many things in a very short period of time,” said Gores. “His ingenuity, along with having a deep understanding of Stan’s basketball vision, has very quickly helped us toward our goal of long term sustained success. He deserves a lot of the credit for getting us to the playoffs and assembling a cohesive, young team that will continue to grow.”

Bower was named general manager on June 3, 2014. His tenure coincides with the team’s improved record over the last two seasons and its return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. In Bower’s first year as the Pistons general manager, the club went 32-50 and posted a three-game improvement from the previous season. Detroit moved to 44-38 in 2015-16, marking the team’s most wins and first above-.500 record since 2007-08.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on the Pistons, who were eliminated yesterday by the Cavs in the first round of the 206 NBA playoffs:

Cold-blooded threes by Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith were monumental in the Cavaliers sweeping the Pistons with the 100-98 victory Sunday night at the Palace.

For the series, Cleveland made 57 threes for the series, a little more than 14 per game.

Irving’s triples were of the spectacular variety.

His final one, with 43.2 seconds left and the shot clock running down, gave the Cavaliers a 100-96 cushion.

As the buzzer sounded, Irving waved good-bye to the Pistons crowd as he finished with 31 points and averaged 27.5 points per game for the series.

“For our team it doesn’t matter who is the leading scorer,” said LeBron James, who finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds Sunday. “The fact that he was in a great groove throughout this whole series. … We rode his coattail, we rode Kev’s (Kevin Love).

The Pistons were eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs Sunday, losing in a 4-0 series sweep to the Cavaliers. Here’s the Detroit Free Press on the future of the squad, which if all goes according to plan will revolve heavily around big center Andre Drummond:

Andre Drummond will likely get max deal from Pistons

Pistons owner Tom Gores stood in the middle of the locker room, talking about the future, about his desire to extend Andre Drummond and give him a max deal, despite the obvious free-throw issue, despite the fact that caused Drummond to be on the bench at the end of a must-win game.

Gores said he has no hesitation to give Drummond the money. None at all. He wants Drummond back for the long haul; there’s no question in his mind.

“I think he’s a great player,” Gores said. “He deserves it, without a doubt. He’ll figure it out.”

Gores was recapping the season, talking about the addition of Tobias Harris.

“The good news is, the bet they made on Tobias worked,” Gores said. “He’s a good man.”

As he spoke, Stanley Johnson walked by.

“How about that guy?” Gores said, shaking hands with Johnson, the 19-year-old rookie forward, who seemed to grow up in these playoffs.

Jonas Jerebko buys house from Ben Gordon

Here’s Realtor.com with an update on the sale of a house that is apparently cool enough for pro ballers to buy from other pro ballers:

Jonas Jerebko buys house from Ben Gordon

Former Piston Ben Gordon‘s baller Detroit-area mansion is staying in the family. Current Celtics forward (and Gordon’s former Pistons teammate) Jonas Jerebko has purchased the massive six-bedroom home complete with an indoor gymnasium and three-section pool with a fountain for $2.2 million.

Jerebko (pictured above) was traded from the Pistons to the Celtics more than a year ago, but the Swedish star is keeping his roots in Michigan—and getting a great deal in the process.

Gordon’s home was originally listed at $4,189,000 in 2014, which means Jerebko waited in the weeds for a couple of years and saved almost $2 million from the mansion’s peak price.

Cavs win Game 1 vs Pistons

The Cavaliers took a 1-0 first round playoff series lead againts the Pistons Sunday. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

There is a distinct difference between a team that knows how to win in the playoffs and one finding its way.

The Detroit Pistons might work their way to the positive side of that equation in time, but in Game 1 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, it was the heavily favored Cleveland Cavaliers whose superstars closed the show in the fourth quarter for a 106-101 victory Sunday.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night here but the opener had to leave the Pistons with a gnawing feeling that this was their chance to steal home-court advantage — whether they could have kept it is a separate debate — and they let it get away…

The “Big Three” — James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love — combined for 21 of the Cavs’ 30 fourth-quarter points. They totaled 81 points for the game — 31 for Irving, 28 for Love, 22 for James.

Love (13 rebounds) and James (11 assists) had double-doubles.

Pistons sign Lorenzo Brown

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a contract.

Brown, a 6-5, 189-pound guard, signed two 10-day contracts with the Pistons this season (March 18 and March 28) but did not appear in a game with Detroit. He also signed to two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns earlier this season and averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 7.6 minutes in eight games.

A native of Roswell, GA, Brown holds NBA averages of 3.3 points, 2.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 13.2 minutes in 63 career games with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.

Brown was a second-round selection (52nd overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2013 NBA Draft. Prior to his two 10-day stints with the Pistons, he played for the Detroit Pistons NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. In 25 contests with the Drive, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals.

Detroit Pistons on a hot streak

The Pistons (40-35) have won six of seven games to move into seventh place in the East, a half-game ahead of the Pacers (39-35) and two games in front of the Bulls (37-37). Detroit needs two wins to secure its first winning season since 2007-08. Stan Van Gundy’s crew is seeking its first trip to the playoffs since 2008-09. Andre Drummond, who leads in the NBA in rebounding (14.9 rpg) and double-doubles (62), is on pace to average at least 13.0 rebounds for the third consecutive season. The last player to accomplish this feat was Dwight Howard, who did it in five straight seasons with the Magic (2007-12). The Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, who ranks second in the NBA in rebounding (13.9 rpg), is also on pace to average at least 13.0 boards for a third straight season.

– NBA News

Pistons sign Lorenzo Brown to second 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a second 10-day contract.

Brown, a 6-5, 189-pound guard holds NBA averages of 3.3 points, 2.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 13.2 minutes in 63 career games with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. He was signed to two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns this season and averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 7.6 minutes in eight games.

A second-round selection (52nd overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown most recently played for the Detroit Pistons NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. In 25 contests with the Drive, he averaged 18.3 points, 5.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals.

Help coming soon for the Pistons

The Detroit Pistons are 38-34 and one game ahead of the Chicago Bulls for the 8th spot in the Eastern conference. We’re down to the wire in the 2016 NBA playoff race. For this squad especially, each remaining win/loss matters. Here’s Michigan Live with a health update:

Help coming soon for the Pistons

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock were back at the Detroit Pistons’ practice facility today and presumably will be recovered well enough from their illnesses to play Friday against the Charlotte Hornets.

The two guards both fell ill Wednesday and missed that night’s 118-102 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Darrun Hilliard got his first NBA start in their absence.

Pistons guard Jodie Meeks remains out

Pistons guard Jodie Meeks remains out

He was supposed to have returned by now.

Instead, guard Jodie Meeks remains sidelined and could stay that way as the Detroit Pistons bid for their first playoff berth since 2009.

Acknowledging but choosing not to elaborate, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said Monday he doesn’t expect Meeks back in game-ready shape before the end of the season.

“No, I don’t,” Van Gundy said. “Unfortunately.”

– Michigan Live

Pistons sign Lorenzo Brown to 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Lorenzo Brown to a 10-day contract.

A 6-5, 189-pound guard, Brown’s NBA average is 3.3 points, 2.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 13.2 minutes in 63 career games played with the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns. He was signed to two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns this season, with whom he averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists, 0.9 rebounds and 7.6 minutes in eight games.

A second-round selection (52nd overall) by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2013 NBA Draft, Brown most recently played for the Detroit Pistons NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive.

Pistons sign Justin Harper to second 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons signed forward Justin Harper to a second 10-day contract.

Harper in three games with Detroit this season is averaging 3.3 points and 0.3 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per outing.

Harper, 6-10, 225, averaged 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 34 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders (D-League) this season. He shot an impressive 48.5% from the field, 40.3% from beyond the arc and 88.5% from the free-throw line.

A second-round pick (32nd overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA Draft, Harper saw action in 14 NBA games with the Orlando Magic during the 2011-12 season.

Pistons rookie Stanley Johnson still out

Detroit Pistons rookie Stanley Johnson’s shoulder is still not feeling right and the forward, averaging nine points per game, will not be available for the Pistons against the Knicks on Saturday in Madison Square Garden or Sunday, against the Trail Blazers, at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

But guard Jodie Meeks practiced for the first time in weeks after breaking his toe, and the team also gave forward/center Justin Harper a second 10-day contract, coach Stan Van Gundy said.

“(Johnson) didn’t do anything today,” Van Gundy said, as the Pistons concluded drills in their practice facility. “So, he won’t be ready to go this weekend.”

– Detroit News

Pistons sign Justin Harper to 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons have signed forward Justin Harper to a 10-day contract. This after the team just announced that forward Stanley Johnson is out for perhaps one week with a shoulder injury.

Harper, 6-10, 225, averaged 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 34 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League this season. He shot 48.5% from the field, 40.3% from beyond the arc and 88.5% from the free-throw line.

A second-round pick (32nd overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA Draft, Harper saw action in 14 NBA games with the Orlando Magic during the 2011-12 season.

Stanley Johnson out with shoulder sprain

Stanley Johnson out with shoulder sprain

An MRI performed yesterday on Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson confirmed a right shoulder sprain. Johnson will begin rehabilitation immediately and will be re-evaluated in a week.

Johnson suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Detroit’s win at Cleveland on 2/22.

pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has rescinded a trade that acquired forward/center Donatas Motiejunas and guard Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets in exchange for center Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first-round draft pick.

“Standard with all trades, medical clearance on all players involved is required for completion. Medical clearance was not given on all players and the trade is being rescinded,” said Jeff Bower, General Manager of the Detroit Pistons. “In view of privacy considerations relating to medical information, we will have no further comment.”

The Pelicans are having a mess of an NBA season, but their star Anthony Davis will make fans forget that for a day, unleashing an epic performance against the Pistons Sunday. Here’s Michigan Live reporting:

Anthony Davis scores 59 points against Pistons

Davis had a career-high 59 points, the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, to go with 20 rebounds, and willed the New Orleans Pelicans to a 111-106 victory Sunday.

Davis became the first NBA player ever to record a 50-point game at The Palace of Auburn Hills, He also became just the third player in the last 30 years with a 50-20 game, along with Shaquille O’Neal in 2000 and Chris Webber in 2001.

The Pelicans’ power forward was 24 of 34 from the field, including making both his 3-point attempts, and 9 of 10 from the free-throw line.

Meantime, the Pistons (27-29) have major problems after slipping two games under .500 for the first time.

rockets trade

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired forward/center Donatas Motiejunas and guard Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets in exchange for center Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first-round draft pick.

“We’re happy to welcome Donatas and Marcus to the Pistons family,” said Jeff Bower, General Manager of the Detroit Pistons. “We like Donatas’ size, his skill level and his ability to play two frontcourt positions. Marcus adds scoring punch to our bench with his ability to create his own shot and make plays. We thank Joel Anthony for his professionalism throughout his time here and we wish him the best going forward.”

Motiejunas, 7-0, 222, has appeared in 191 games in his four-year NBA career and averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists with the Rockets. He averaged career highs in points (12.0 ppg), rebounds (5.9 rpg), assists (1.8 apg), minutes (28.7 mpg), field goal percentage (.504) and games (71) last season.

A native of Lithuania, Motiejunas, 25, was the 20th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played professionally in the Polish League during the 2011-12 season and led Prokom Gdynia to the Polish League Championship averaging 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds. He’s also played professionally in Italy and Lithuania and has been a member of the Lithuanian national team at both the youth and senior levels.

Thornton, a six-year NBA veteran, averaged 10.0 points and 1.4 assists in 47 games with the Rockets this season. In 436 career NBA games, he’s averaged 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists with New Orleans, Sacramento, Brooklyn, Boston, Phoenix and Houston. He averaged a career-high 18.7 points per game during the 2011-12 season as a member of the Sacramento Kings. Drafted 43rd overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Thornton’s draft rights were traded to the New Orleans Hornets.

Anthony, 33, saw action in 62 games as a Piston and averaged 1.5 points and 1.7 rebounds. He was acquired from the Boston Celtics on October 17, 2014 in exchange for Will Bynum and re-signed with the Pistons on July 20, 2015. An eight-year NBA veteran, Anthony has averaged 2.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 465 career games. He was a member of the HEAT’s 2012 and 2013 NBA Championship teams.

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