Detroit Pistons hire David Mincberg as assistant GM

The Detroit Pistons have named David Mincberg as assistant general manager.

Mincberg comes to Detroit from Milwaukee where he spent three seasons with the Bucks, including this past season as Vice President of Basketball Strategy. Prior to joining the Bucks, Mincberg spent five seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies where he started as Team Counsel before becoming the Grizzlies’ Director of Scouting.

A native of Washington, D.C., Mincberg holds an undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Pistons sign center Justin Patton

The Detroit Pistons have signed center Justin Patton to a contract.

Patton, 6-11, 241 was drafted 16th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls and was part of a draft-night trade which sent him and Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In nine career NBA games, Patton has averaged 1.8 points and 1.2 rebounds with Minnesota, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City.

A native of Riverside, GA, Patton, 23, played one season at Creighton University where he averaged 12.9 points (68% FG), 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 35 games. He was named Big East Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman team. Patton also earned All-Big East Second Team honors.

New Detroit Pistons general manager is Troy Weaver

The Detroit Pistons hired Troy Weaver as their new General Manager today.

“Troy is an outstanding executive with an exceptional track record for identifying and developing talent,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “In talking with Troy, he’s got both the skill and temperament to lead, and the confidence and creativity to work collaboratively with others. We’re excited for him to take the reins as General Manager of the Pistons at this important moment. Ed and the team have done excellent work creating flexibility with our roster and establishing a clear direction. Troy comes aboard to help take us to the next level.”

Weaver, 52, joins the Pistons after spending the past 12 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC), including the last three-plus years as the club’s Vice President of Basketball Operations. Previously, he served eight seasons as Vice President/Assistant General Manager with responsibilities that included coordinating player-personnel matters, NBA Draft preparation, free agency planning and summer league roster construction.

Per the Detroit Free Press, “Weaver’s reputation for spotting talent in the NBA draft and facilitating an environment to help young players develop stands out. The Pistons will potentially have a top-five draft pick and more than $30 million in cap space, so Weaver will have ample opportunity to reshape the roster this offseason.”

“It’s an honor for me to join a franchise with the history and tradition of the Detroit Pistons,” said Weaver. “I’m excited for the challenge of building this team into a consistent winner and assembling the pieces to compete at a very high level. We’ll get to work right away, evaluating opportunities and installing systems that will make us all successful.”

And per the Detroit News, “Weaver is regarded for his decisions in player personnel, which starting in his first season with the Thunder in 2008, as he pushed for drafting Russell Westbrook with the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft. At the time, Westbrook wasn’t projected as an elite NBA prospect, but Weaver identified him as a breakout star.”

Ed Stefanski, Senior Advisor to Tom Gores, noted that Weaver’s experience over multiple years in Oklahoma City and around the NBA make him a great fit to help move the Pistons franchise forward.

“Troy’s basketball knowledge and experience will help this organization in all facets of strategic planning and roster development this coming season and beyond,” said Stefanski. “He has a good eye for talent, is a great communicator and is team oriented. I look forward to working with him as we focus on achieving our collective goals.”

Pistons forward Christian Wood almost fully recovered from coronavirus

The bad news is, this is another coronavirus item. The good news is, it’s about a player’s near-full recovery. Here’s the Detroit News reporting:

The Pistons cleared the first wave of COVID-19 testing on Wednesday, with only one positive test.

Christian Wood, one of the first NBA players to test positive for coronavirus, is almost fully recovered. In order to be cleared, a person needs two negative tests, spaced at least 24 hours apart. Wood passed the initial test Wednesday and will take the second test on Thursday, a league source told The Detroit News.

The Pistons also tested 16 other members of their traveling party of more than 50 people, which included players, coaches, front office members and support staff. That group traveled to road games against the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on March 8 and 11, respectively.

Here’s to more good news coming soon, we hope.

Pistons scout Maury Hanks hospitalized due to coronavirus

The coronavirus bad news continues, and has now put a Pistons scout in the hospital. Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting:

A Detroit Pistons scout has been hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, a person with knowledge of the situation told the Free Press early Thursday.

“One of our scouts, who works out of his home office in another state, has been hospitalized with COVID-19 in that state,” the source said. “We do not have any information as to the potential vector of exposure.”

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of health privacy rules. East Tennessee State basketball coach Steve Forbes tweeted Wednesday that the scout’s name is Maury Hanks, a college scout in the Pistons organization since 2014.

We wish all the best to Hanks.

Pistons add guard Jordan McRae off waivers

The Detroit Pistons claimed guard Jordan McRae off waivers today.

McRae, 6-5, 179, averaged career highs in points (11.5 ppg), rebounds (3.3 rpg), assists (2.6 apg) and minutes (20.8 mpg) in 33 games (four starts) with Washington and Denver this season.

The Detroit News adds this:

Jordan McRae had a busy first 24 hours on the job after joining the Pistons on Wednesday. He barely had time to process that he was joining his third team this season before he was off a plane from Denver and headed to Little Caesars Arena.

He warmed up for the game and while team equipment manager John Coumoundouros was still preparing McRae’s jersey, the newest Piston, who was claimed off waivers, was still trying to find his way around Little Caesars Arena and get his bearings before Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In 119 career NBA games (nine starts), the Savannah, GA native has averaged 6.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists with Phoenix, Cleveland, Washington and Denver. He was drafted 58th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.

McRae played four years at the University of Tennessee, where he averaged 13.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 114 games and was a two-time All-SEC selection. He averaged 18.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists as a senior.

Pistons sign Donta Hall to another 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons today signed forward/center Donta Hall to a second 10-day contract.

Hall has played three games for the Pistons so far, averaging 1.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game.

Listed at 6-foot-9, 229 pounds, Hall has spent most of this season playing in the G League for the Pistons’ G League affiliate team, the Grand Rapids Drive. For the Drive, Hall averaged 15.4 points (66% FG), 10.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in 28.6 minutes per game.

Hall played four seasons of college basketball at the University of Alabama, where he put up modest stats: 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 135 games. Those sort of numbers usually point to a career overseas. But Hall has earned himself a good opportunity lately.

Pistons sign Donta Hall, from G League, to 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons signed forward/center Donta Hall to a 10-day contract today.

Hall, 6-9, 229, appeared in 36 games (35 starts) this season with the Grand Rapids Drive, the NBA’s G League affiliate of the Pistons. He’s averaged 15.4 points (66% FG), 10.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals in 28.6 minutes per game.

Collegiately, Hall played four seasons at the University of Alabama where he averaged 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 135 games and was named to the SEC All-Defensive as a junior.

The Luverne, AL native was a member of the Pistons 2019 Summer League team and was also in training camp with Detroit this season.

Pistons waive Markieff Morris, as two sides reach buyout agreement

The Detroit Pistons and Markieff Morris have reached an agreement to buy out the veteran forward’s contract. The Pistons have requested waivers on Morris.

Morris signed as a free agent with the Pistons on July 6, 2019. He averaged 11.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting .450 from the field and a career-best .397 from three-point range in 44 games (16 starts) during his time with Detroit.

On this move, today reported the following: “Morris had signed a two-year contract with Detroit in July that was to have paid him $3.2 million this season and included a $3.36 million player option for next season. Morris had a total of $4.3 million remaining over the length of the deal. In order to secure a buyout, Morris relinquished the rights to the full amount he was owed, sources told ESPN’s Bobby Marks.”

Pistons sign Derrick Walton Jr. to 10-day contract

The Detroit Pistons signed guard Derrick Walton Jr. to a 10-day contract today.

Walton Jr., 6-0, 189, last played for the Los Angeles Clippers this season. In 23 games (one start), he averaged 2.2 points, 0.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists before being traded to the Atlanta Hawks on February 6. He was then waived by the Hawks. In 39 career NBA games with Miami and the Clippers, Walton Jr. has averaged 2.0 points, 0.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

A native of Detroit, MI, Walton Jr. starred collegiately at the University of Michigan where he guided the Wolverines to back-to-back NCAA tournaments in 2016 and 2017. He also led Michigan to the 2017 Big Ten Championship and was named the tournament’s MVP.

Walton Jr. played high school basketball at Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods, MI, where he was coached by his father, Derrick Walton Sr.