Archive for the ‘ Detroit Pistons Blog ’ Category

Kyle Singler looking to prove himself on Pistons

Enter a new coach — the Pistons’ fourth in six seasons. It means proving time again for Singler — especially when considering the addition of Smith, Caldwell-Pope and even Chauncey Billups.

“Every year you kind of have to prove yourself again,” Singler said. “Last year was last year for a lot of players and, for me personally, I thought I had a decent year. But this year I have to prove that I belong out on the floor.”

Singler, 25, doesn’t mind the competition.

“It just makes us more dangerous as a team,” Singler said. “I still view myself as a very good player and an asset to the team.”

Singler spent most of the off-season relaxing in the outdoors before beginning preparations for the season. He struggled against the elite small forwards last season, but maybe he can match up better against second-teamers. He can finish in traffic better, and he can probably improve his deep stroke as well.

“I just want to be a guy that can move, create havoc on both sides,” Singler said. “That’s basically the vision that I have for myself and that they have for me.”

Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons conduct an open-to-public workout annually, but this year decided to bring it back into their own home arena because getting people back to The Palace of Auburn Hills is one of their chief priorities.

“I think that the number-one priority objective is to get them back in that seating bowl and see the product,” said Dennis Mannion, president of Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Pistons.

The 11 a.m. Saturday practice is free.

Doors open 10 a.m.

Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

“Kentavious as a rookie doesn’t get wide-eyed,” said [Pistons coach Maurice] Cheeks, trying to resist a smile. “He has a poise about him when he plays. He doesn’t get stressed out, doesn’t get nervous. Today he had an excellent day. (Rodney) Stuckey had an excellent day.”

Caldwell-Pope and Stuckey went head-to-head in the team scrimmages Thursday, in the part the media was allowed to watch. While Stuckey beat him on a cut to the rim, he lost the rookie in the set offense, where Caldwell-Pope was able to probe the perimeter and make himself available for open threes, which he made with ease.

On a three that came up short, he timed the rebound and beat everyone to it for a layup, impressing his coach with the simplicity of the play.

“The thing about him — he plays defense and plays hard,” Cheeks said. “He runs the floor and does a lot of things well.”

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

Larry Sanders

Milwaukee center Larry Sanders raised eyebrows during Bucks media day when asked about former teammate Brandon Jennings, who is now with the Detroit Pistons.

He was asked by Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Andrew Gruman to comment on Jennings saying he was going to play with better bigs in Detroit.

Sanders said: “He has to pass it to them first.”

Ouch!

Jennings, acquired in a trade that sent Brandon Knight and Khris Middletonto the Bucks, has a shoot-first reputation.

Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

It is the Detroit Pistons’ only apparent open position in the starting lineup, largely because many of the potential shooting guards don’t fit the spot.

Chauncey Billups really doesn’t want the job.

Rodney Stuckey professed indifference, which he proved last year.

Kyle Singler started most of last season at the position. But he’s probably in a competition for backup small forward moreso than starting shooting guard.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope wants the job. But the rookie first-round draft pick has some proving to do first.

Of the several points of intrigue as the Pistons open training camp this morning, only one involves a starting role, with as many varied styles as candidates.

Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

Some thoughts on new Pistons Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith

Jennings sat on the outside looking in during this summer’s free-agency frenzy, arriving in Detroit in a three-year deal via sign-and-trade. The Pistons believe he’ll return to his prep school mode of being a distributor first, rather than primarily looking for his own offense, as he’s done during his first four years in the NBA.

Jennings represents an upgrade over Brandon Knight in terms of point guard aptitude, but he must be willing to buy into the system and set up his teammates.

Rumors of the Pistons pursuing Boston point guard Rajon Rondo won’t amount to anything anytime soon. Jennings can quiet them with steady play.

Josh Smith: The shiny new, $54 million signee gets a fresh start away from the sometimes-unfair scrutiny he faced in his hometown Atlanta. There’s no denying his talent, and he and Drummond can raise terror defensively and in the open floor with their length and athleticism. He’ll be the starting small forward, but is expected to see time at power forward as well, so his role in the offense remains to be seen.

Smith will face a bit of a culture adjustment this season, moving from the pressure of playing for his hometown team to the pressure of playing for a franchise with more of a winning tradition and the resulting higher expectations.

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

Greg Monroe deflecting questions about future with Pistons

Greg Monroe’s restricted free agency figures to dominate Detroit Pistons news in summer of 2014, which is precisely where the forward-center plans to keep it.

Monroe made it clear today that he has no intention of fielding questions about his contractual future.

When it was suggested that such questions are precisely what he figures to face throughout this season, Monroe declared, “No, I’m not.”

He answered the question preemptively, with the caveat that he has no intention of addressing it again.

Reported by David Mayo of Michigan Live

Detroit Pistons have some trade pieces

Detroit Pistons have some trade pieces

If the Pistons plan on being dealers before the February 2014 trade deadline, they have a glut of small forwards and guards to possibly offer, if that’s team president Joe Dumars’ plan.

“We have a lot of flexibility,” newly acquired Josh Smith said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if guys played different positions in the backcourt or along the front line, depending on matchups.”

Smith is expected to start at small forward and also see time at power forward. Also on the roster are Kyle Singler, Jonas Jerebko and rookie Luigi Datome, who made a splash overseas with his shot-making ability and athleticism.

That’s four small forwards, and there aren’t enough minutes to play them all.

Reported by Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press

It sounds like his failure to land a top job in the NBA has more to do with his personality – and perhaps his past – than his coaching abilities.

Kate Fagan of ESPN.com wrote a lengthy feature story about Laimbeer that offers some insights as to why NBA general managers are turning their backs on the man who was perhaps the baddest of the Pistons legendary Bad Boys.

Under the headline “The Feminization of Bill Laimbeer,” Fagan discusses Laimbeer’s success in the WNBA – he won three titles with the now-defunct Detroit Shock – his brief tenure as an NBA assistant and some of the reasons he has failed to land a job as a head coach in the NBA.

Basically, it sounds like nobody wants to give Laimbeer a shot as a head coach because he’s the same guy who was despised as a player while helping the Pistons win back-to-back NBA titles in 1989-90.

Reported by Brendan Savage of Michigan Live

maurice cheeks

Detroit Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks will not be charged in a domestic incident that occurred Aug. 30 in Birmingham, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper told the Free Press today.

Cheeks went to the Birmingham police station for questioning and was released after police were called to a Woodward Avenue address. He was not arrested. Birmingham police conducted an investigation and presented its findings to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cooper said the witness in the investigation was uncooperative with prosecutors and refused to press charges.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons said this morning that there is no change in Maurice Cheeks’ status as the team’s coach after reports surfaced that he was questioned in a domestic incident Friday night in Birmingham.

Cheeks, 56, was brought to the Birmingham police station, questioned and released but not arrested after police were called to a Woodward Avenue address, according to WXYZ-TV.

“He’s our head coach, so nothing changes with his status,” Pistons spokesman Kevin Grigg said today. “We are not commenting on the situation.”

Reported by Tammy Stables Battaglia of the Detroit Free Press

Pistons forwards Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome will play for their respective EuroBasket 2013 teams this week in Slovenia.

Datome and Italy open with Russia on Wednesday. Jerebko and Sweden play Greece the same day.

Pistons president Joe Dumars and assistant general manager George David were scheduled to leave for Slovenia on Monday to watch both in the tourney, according to pistons.com.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press staff

The Pistons are now offering four separate 10-game ticket plans for the upcoming season.

Plan A features games against nine playoff teams from last season, including Houston, now with Dwight Howard, the new-look Nets with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Clippers with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and the Heat.

Plans B and C includes many Friday, Saturday and Sunday games, the latter of which will have the Pistons wearing their new blue “Motor City” uniforms.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press

Detroit Pistons sign Josh Harrellson

Detroit Pistons sign Josh Harrellson

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent forward/center Josh Harrellson to a contract.

Harrellson will provide bench depth in the frontcourt. He will likely play limited minutes for the Pistons.

Harrellson was drafted 45th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets and traded to the New York Knicks on draft night. In 37 games with the Knicks in 2011-12, he averaged 4.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 14.6 minutes. He also saw action in four playoff games where he averaged 2.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 6.3 minutes per game.

A 6-10, 275-pound native of St. Charles, MO, Harrellson played six games with the Miami HEAT last season and also played in Puerto Rico (Brujos de Guayama) and China (Chongqing Fly Dragon).

Harrellson, 24, played collegiately at the University of Kentucky from 2008-11, reaching the NCAA Final Four in 2011. As a senior, he averaged 7.6 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 61.1% from the field with the Wildcats.

Rajon Rondo trade rumors may linger

Rajon Rondo trade rumors may have long shelf life

As Rajon Rondo continues to rehab from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in late January, trade speculation involving the All-Star point guard will continue to have a life — possibly up to the trade deadline next year.

The Celtics are rebuilding after the departures of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. Coach Doc Rivers left to coach the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rondo’s future in Boston depends on his health and relationship with rookie coach Brad Stevens.

The former Butler coach hoped to build a bond with Rondo to keep his interest in the organization. However, there will be many suitors for Rondo, who averaged 13.7 points, 11.1 assists and 1.8 steals, if he wants out. The Pistons could be one of the teams interested in acquiring him even after acquiring Brandon Jennings.

Reported by Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed draft selection Peyton Siva to a contract.

Siva was drafted by Detroit with the 56th pick in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 10.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 5.7 assists as a senior last season while leading the University of Louisville to the NCAA Championship. He scored in double figures in 23-of-40 games last year, including 18 points and five assists in the championship game. A native of Seattle, Wa., Siva was named to the All-Big East Third team and the Final Four All-Tournament Team as a senior. He finished his collegiate career as Louisville’s second all-time assist leader with 677 assists.

According to the Detroit Free Press, “A roster spot opened for Siva when the Pistons traded Brandon Knight, Slava Kravtsov and Khris Middleton for Brandon Jennings last month. The Pistons already signed their other draft picks, guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and forward Tony Mitchell.”

Brandon Jennings

The Pistons weren’t done wheeling and dealing, as Pistons president and Louisiana native Joe Dumars returned to his riverboat gambler ways, acquiring point guard Brandon Jennings in a sign-and-trade from the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Pistons traded Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov for Jennings and will have him for the next three years at $24 million total.

Mind you, this was not too far removed from Dumars demonstratively denying any talks with the Bucks, run by good friend and former Pistons executive John Hammond.

Meaning he plays poker, too. In acquiring Jennings and Josh Smith, there’s two talented but mercurial players who could be termed as “wild cards.”

Chemistry is indeed a fair question, but considering the Pistons got two players for far less than they felt they’d command on the open market — Smith wanted a max contract and Jennings wanted $12 million per season — they should have two players with things to prove to the NBA at large.

A willingness to silence critics should make potential sacrifices a lot easier in what’s an interesting mix of talent, youth and experience in the Pistons’ locker room.

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

Brandon Jennings happy to be a Piston

Brandon Jennings happy to become Piston

Jennings will be sign-and-traded and will ink a three-year, $25 million U.S. contract.

The Compton, Cal. native was in town at the behest of good friend and fellow L.A. NBAer Amir Johnson, of the Raptors for the OVO Bounce Tournament at Ryerson’s Kerr Hall.

Jennings declined to say much, saying he wants to “stay under the radar for now,” but did admit “I’m happy” about the trade.

Reported by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun

With last week’s signings of draft picks Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Tony Mitchell, Detroit Pistons fans are wondering about point guard Peyton Siva, picked by the Pistons in the second round of the draft.

Siva has more name recognition than your average 56th pick because he is coming off a senior season where he led the Louisville Cardinals to the NCAA title.

But he could be a victim of the numbers game. The NBA only allows 15 players on the active roster and with the signings of Caldwell-Pope and Mitchell the Pistons have reached their allotment.

Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

Will the Detroit Pistons make the NBA playoffs?

Based on the additions and subtractions in the Eastern Conference, the Pistons have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

That year coach Michael Curry and the Pistons got swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The five teams that are virtual locks to make the playoffs in the East are two-time defending champion Miami, Brooklyn, Chicago, New York and surging Indiana, which could challenge the Heat for supremacy in the conference finals.

Three teams that made the playoffs last season have been severely weakened. Boston traded away landmarks Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, who are still grieving over leaving Beantown. Atlanta lost Josh Smith to the Pistons via free agency. Milwaukee lost Monta Ellis as general manager John Hammond is changing the roster.

Reported by Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press

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