Archive for the ‘ Detroit Pistons Blog ’ Category

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.

Arn Tellem is happy

“Superagent” Arn Tellem is a legend who, after achieving incredible success, decided to take his career in a different direction. Here’s the Detroit Free Press:

Tellem was one of sports’ king-makers. The lead character of the successful HBO series “Arliss” was loosely based on his career. He single-handedly altered the way NBA teams looked at 18-year-old draft prospects when, in the 1996 draft, he craftily steered a gangly teenager named Kobe Bryant to the Charlotte Hornets, who traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers a couple weeks later.

“At the end of the day,” Tellem said this week, “I was at an age where I had a great run and a great career. But I was at a stage of my life where I wanted more, something that could effectuate more change to a larger number of people. The great thing about the agent business was the one-on-one relationships. I was very proud advising them and trying to steer them into making the right decisions in their lives. But I was at the point in my life where I wanted a broader platform.”

One year after accepting Pistons owner Tom Gores’ offer to become vice-chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Tellem says he has never been happier. He said he’s more connected to the greater Detroit community in his first 12 months here than he was in the more than 30 years he lived in Los Angeles.

Pistons re-sign Andre Drummond

Pistons re-sign Andre Drummond

The Pistons officially re-signed young star center Andre Drummond to a multi-year contract today.

The deal is reportedly a $130 million dollar contract, over five years.

According to the Detroit Free Press, “the agreement was reached July 1 – the first day of the NBA’s free agency moratorium. But delaying the signing allowed the Pistons use cap space to sign three players to add depth, with Drummond’s signing putting them over the $94 million salary cap, which was exactly how Drummond and the organization planned it out back in October when he decided to wait on the extension.”

Drummond, 22, appeared in 81 games (all starts) last season, averaging a career-high 16.2 points (.521 FG), a career-high 14.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks in career-high 32.9 minutes per game. He was named to the All-NBA Third Team and was selected to the NBA All-Star team, becoming the first Piston since Allen Iverson (2009) and first Piston draft pick since Grant Hill (2000) to be named an all-star. Drummond also helped Detroit reach the post-season for the first time since 2009, posting averages of 16.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 32.8 minutes in his first playoff appearance.

Pistons Owner Tom Gores praised Drummond’s development as a player and as a representative of the franchise.

“It’s been a pleasure to watch Andre from the time he first came into the league to where he is today, having matured into this incredible talent. Beyond his evolution as a basketball player, it’s been equally rewarding watching him mature as a young man,” said Gores. “Andre has the character and dedication to help our franchise achieve greatness. I’m proud of him and his family, the way they’ve embraced Detroit and the way Detroit has embraced them. I’m excited for all of us about the years to come.”

Among NBA leaders last season, the 6-11, 279-pound center ranked first in rebounding (14.8 rpg), first in total rebounds (1,198), first in offensive rebounding (4.9 orpg), first in total offensive rebounds (395) and first in double-doubles (career-high 66). Only Pistons Legend and Hall of Famer Bob Lanier recorded more double-doubles in a single season (69 in 1972-73) with Detroit. Drummond also led the NBA in 20-plus rebound games (9) and 15-plus point and 15-plus rebound games (30). He became just the third Piston to lead the NBA in rebounding (Dennis Rodman and Ben Wallace) and notched his third consecutive season with 1,000-plus points, 1,000-plus rebounds and 100-plus blocks.

“Re-signing Andre was a top priority for us this offseason,” said President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “The offensive and defensive numbers speak for themselves, but more importantly, his commitment to the organization has allowed us to put together a young group of players that will grow together and continue to move the franchise forward.”

The Mount Vernon, N.Y. native started the 2015-16 season on record pace by averaging 18-plus points and 18-plus rebounds through the first 10 games, becoming the first NBA player to do so since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975-76. Drummond collected 376 rebounds during the first 20 games of the season, becoming the youngest player (22 years and 116 days) in NBA history to accomplish that feat. He scored a career-high 33 points (14-25 FG) and grabbed 21 rebounds at Chicago (12/18), marking his first career 30/20 game and the first 30/20 game by a Piston since Dennis Rodman recorded 34 points and 23 rebounds vs. Denver (1/2/91). He also grabbed a career-high 29 rebounds vs. Indiana (11/3) and blocked a season-high five shots twice [vs. Miami (11/25) and vs. Denver (2/10)].

Originally drafted by the Detroit Pistons with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Drummond holds career averages of 13.2 points, 12.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.2 steals and 29.7 minutes in 304 career games. During his sophomore season he averaged 13.2 rebounds, the highest average in NBA history by a player 20 years or younger and was named MVP of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star 2014. Drummond also became the youngest player in NBA history to record 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals while shooting better than 60% from the field. During his rookie campaign, he earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors.

Pistons sign rookie Michael Gbinije

Pistons sign rookie Michael Gbinije

The Pistons have signed rookie guard Michael Gbinije to a multi-year contract.

Gbinije, a 6-7, 200-pound guard out of Syracuse, was selected by the Pistons with the 49th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in one game in the recently completed Orlando Pro Summer League, recording 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in 33 minutes.

A native of Hartford, Conn., Gbinije averaged 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 29.2 minutes in 101 career games at Syracuse. Last season, he averaged a career-high 17.5 points, a career-high 4.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 37.9 minutes in 37 games, including the NCAA tournament. As a senior, Gbinije was named to the All-ACC First Team and ACC All-Defensive Team. He scored in double-digits in all 34 regular-season games, including a career-high 34 points against North Carolina State on Senior Day.

Pistons sign Boban Marjanovic

Pistons sign Boban Marjanovic

The Detroit Pistons have signed free agent center Boban Marjanovic (BO-bahn Mar-YAWN-oh-vich) to a multi-year contract.

Marjanovic’s deal is reportedly a $21 million dollar contract, over three years.

In very limited minutes with the Spurs, the giant-sized center showed big flashes of potential. It’s best to never read too much into limited-minute stats, but there’s legit reason to be excited to see what he can do with more time. Though on the Pistons he’ll still be a backup, playing behind center Andre Drummond.

Marjanovic, 27, appeared in 54 games as a rookie last season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 5.5 points (60.3% FG, 76.3% FT) and 3.5 rebounds in 9.4 minutes. He scored in double-figures 12 times, including a career-high 22 points (7-9 FG, 8-8 FT) at Dallas (4/13). Marjanovic also notched three double-doubles, grabbed 10-plus rebounds four times and became the first Spurs player in franchise history to record at least 12 rebounds in 15 minutes-or-less when he grabbed 12 rebounds in 15 minutes vs. Phoenix (12/30).

The 7-3, 290-pound center began playing professionally in Europe in 2006 and most recently played with Crvena Zvezda Telekom Beograd of the Adriatic League from 2013-15. Marjanovic helped Crvena Zvezda win both the Adriatic League and Serbian League Championships in 2015, was named to the 2015 All-Euroleague First Team and was named the All-Serbian League and All-Adriatic League Player of the Year. A native of Zajecar, Serbia, Marjanovic has also played professionally for Hemo-farm Vrsac (2006-10), CSKA Moskow (2010-11), Nizhny Novgorod (2011-12) and Mega Vizura (2012-13).

Pistons sign Ish Smith and Jon Leuer

ish smith

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Ish Smith and free agent forward Jon Leuer to multi-year contracts.

Smith’s deal is reportedly an $18 million dollar contract over three years.

Leuer’s deal is reportedly a $42 million dollar contract over four years.

Smith, 27, appeared in 77 games (53 starts) with Philadelphia and New Orleans last season, averaging career highs in points (12.6 ppg), assists (6.5 apg), rebounds (4.0 rpg) and minutes (29.1 mpg). He started the season with New Orleans where he averaged 8.9 points, 5.7 assists, 3.4 assists and 22.9 minutes in 27 games before being traded to Philadelphia on December 24, 2015. In the 50 games following the trade, Smith averaged 14.7 points, a team-high 7.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 32.4 minutes with Philadelphia. He set new single-game career-highs in points [28 vs. Toronto (1/9/16)], assists [16 at New York (1/18/16)] and rebounds [14 at Portland (3/26/16)] a year ago. Smith scored 10-plus points 49 times, 20-plus points 15 times and dished out 10-plus assists 14 times last season.

The 6-0, 175-pound guard has tallied career NBA averages of 5.8 points, 3.3 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 16.3 minutes in 323 games with Houston, Memphis, Golden State, Orlando, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Philadelphia. The Pistons will be the 10th team Smith has played for, joining Louis Amundson and Drew Gooden as the only active NBA players to play for 10 different NBA teams. The Charlotte, N.C. native was undrafted out of Wake Forest in the 2010 NBA Draft. At Wake Forest, Smith averaged 13.2 points, 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals as a senior. He finished his college career with the Deacons as the only player in school history to record 1,000 points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds in a career and ranks second all-time in assists (612).

“We’re pleased to welcome both Ish Smith and Jon Leuer to the organization,” said Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach. “Ish is a player that will give us quality depth at the point guard position. He’s efficient scoring the basketball, posted career-high numbers in assists per game a year ago and rebounds well for his size. Jon is a player that adds size and versatility to our roster. His outside shooting ability gives us offensive flexibility and his ability to guard the post will help from a defensive standpoint. We look forward to integrating both their talents into our system.”

jon leuer

Leuer, 27, appeared in a career-high 67 games (27 starts) with Phoenix last season, averaging 8.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 18.7 minutes per game. He recorded a career-high 10 double-doubles, scored 10-plus points 26 times, 20-plus points three times and grabbed 10-plus rebounds 10 times. In 26 starts, Leuer averaged 11.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from behind the arch and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line. He recorded his best offensive stretch of the season from December 2-14, scoring in double-figures eight straight games. The 6-10, 228-pound forward recorded 16 points and a career-high-tying 14 rebounds in 20 minutes vs. L.A. Clippers (4/13/16), marking the first time since 1983-84 that an NBA player posted at least 16 points and 14 rebounds in 20 minutes or fewer.

The five-year pro has tallied career NBA averages of 5.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 13.7 minutes in 253 games (45 starts) with Milwaukee, Cleveland, Memphis and Phoenix. Leuer was drafted 40th overall by Milwaukee in the 2011 NBA Draft. The Minnesota native played four collegiate seasons at Wisconsin where he averaged 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 123 games. He finished his career with the Badgers ranked 12th in total points (1,376), 10th in blocks (85) and was one of eight players in program history to record at least 1,300 points and 500 rebounds.

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