Archive for the ‘ Detroit Pistons Blog ’ Category

Pistons arena being renovated

It’s always fun to see the new version of an NBA arena after it’s been renovated. Even slight changes, if done well, can make a place seem new. Looking forward to the final result. Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting:

For those fans hoping that the Pistons eventually would move back to downtown Detroit: Forget about it.

Owner Tom Gores has put $40 million into renovations in the Palace over the past four years.

The current project is replacing all the seats in the Palace and refurbishing the floors, a project that will take three years to complete, according to Kevin A. Grigg, vice president of public relations for Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Pistons.

“This is the first phase of what’s going to be a three-year seating renovation inside the Palace,” Grigg said Wednesday. “The first stage that you see now will be completed per the start of the preseason. That involves from the lower-level suites all the way down to the floor. We’ll have new courtside seats and new seats going into the stands up to the first-level suites.”

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on one of the keys to the Pistons’ future:

Andre Drummond free throw shooting still an issue

Andre Drummond turns 22 next Monday.

The other important number for coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy is 50.

He’d like his big center to shoot 50% from the free throw line this upcoming season.

That might be a tall order for the 6-foot-11 man mountain, who has career averages of 12.1 points per game and 11.8 rebounds.

His rookie season Drummond shot 37.1% from the free throw line. In his second year he improved to 41.8%, however last year he took a step back at 38.9%. For his career he’s shooting just 39.7%.

Mother of Stanley Johnson passes away

Here’s Michigan Live reporting some very sad news about a Pistons rookie:

Mother of Stanley Johnson passes away

Stanley Johnson’s No. 1 fan won’t be around to watch him make his NBA debut for the Detroit Pistons this fall.

Johnson’s mother, Karen Taylor, was a professional basketball player herself who played a major role in her son becoming the Pistons first-round pick (eighth overall) in this year’s NBA draft.

But Johnson will make his NBA debut with a heavy heart after confirming in a tweet that his mother has died.

Pistons sign Adonis Thomas

Pistons sign Adonis Thomas

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Adonis Thomas.

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, “Thomas, a D-League All-Star for the Detroit Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive last season, will sign a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Pistons today, his agent, Travis King, told the Commercial Appeal. Thomas, who averaged 8.6 points and 4 rebounds for the Pistons’ summer league team this month in Orlando, is one of five players who will be vying for two spots on the Pistons’ opening-day roster.”

Thomas, 6-7, 240, spent last season with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ NBA Development League affiliate, where he averaged a team-high 18.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assist and 36.0 minutes in 51 games. In two seasons in the D-League, Thomas averaged 18.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 85 games with Grand Rapids and the Springfield Armor. He’s seen action in six career NBA games with Orlando and Philadelphia during the 2013-14 season and averaged 2.3 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists.

A native of Memphis, TN., Thomas played collegiately at the University of Memphis and averaged 10.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in two seasons with the Tigers. As a sophomore, he averaged 11.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 36 games and was named to the 2013 All-Conference USA third team. Thomas was a member of the 2010 USA Basketball U17 gold medal World Championship Team and the 2009 USA U16 National Team that captured gold at the FIBA Americas championship.

Stanley Johnson signs rookie contract

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The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed first-round draft pick Stanley Johnson to a contract.

All players selected in the first round of the draft are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming they wish to enter the league right away. Therefore, this is a standard signing and was expected.

Johnson, the eighth overall pick by the Pistons in the 2015 NBA Draft, averaged a team-high 16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks while shooting 57.7% from the field at the recently concluded NBA Orlando Summer League.

A native of Los Angeles, Calif., the 6-foot-7 forward from the University of Arizona, averaged a team-high 13.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 28.4 minutes in 38 games. The 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year was the lone freshman named to the All-Pac-12 or NABC All-District 20 First team. He was also named to the Pac-12 Tournament All-Tournament Team and was one of five finalists for the inaugural Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Johnson led all freshmen in the Pac-12 in scoring (13.8 ppg), steals (1.5 spg), free throws made and free throw attempts and was one of just two freshmen in major college basketball conferences to average at least 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds (Jahlil Okafor). He scored in double-figures in 30 of 38 games and ranked second on the team in rebounds and steals.

Johnson has won three gold medals with Team USA, (2011 U-16, 2012 U-17, 2014 U-18 FIBA Americas Championships) earning MVP honors in the 2014 U-18 FIBA Americas Championships after averaging team-highs of 14.0 points and 2.2 steals. At Mater Dei High School, Johnson became the first player in California to win four-straight upper-division state titles. He participated in the 2014 Jordan Classic, the 2013 Under Armour Elite 24 Games and the 2013 Nike Global Games. Johnson was named a McDonalds All-American, MaxPreps National Player of the Year, a Parade All-American, was named to the USA Today All-USA first team and was one of three national finalists for the Naismith Trophy High Schools Player of the Year.

It`s Reggie Jackson time in Detroit

Here’s the Detroit News reporting on Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson, who has been handed a very large sum of money to life the squad to a brighter future:

Reggie Jackson might not be another Mr. Big Shot.

But he is now, officially, the best shot for the Pistons to end this era of irrelevance, one that was at least symbolically ushered in by an ill-advised trade — Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson — in November 2008.

This franchise has been searching in vain for a leader — on the floor and in his prime — ever since, spiraling from mutiny to malaise. And the underlying message Monday, as president/coach Stan Van Gundy announced Jackson’s five-year, $80 million extension during a news conference at The Palace, was as much about that as anything else.

Jackson didn’t bother holding up a No. 1 jersey — the same one Billups wore in the championship heyday of a decade ago — because “he’s already worn it,” Van Gundy noted.

Pistons re-sign Joel Anthony

Pistons re-sign Joel Anthony

The Detroit Pistons have re-signed center Joel Anthony to a multi-year contract.

Anthony is considered strictly backup material and will likely play very limited minutes.

Anthony, 32, appeared in 49 games (no starts) and averaged 1.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.1 assists, 0.2 steals and 1.0 blocks in 8.3 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 10 points at Utah (3/14), grabbed season-high seven rebounds at Charlotte (4/1) and scored the 1,000th point of his career at Orlando (3/27). The 6-foot-9, 245-pound center recorded a season-high two steals twice [at Milwaukee (1/24) and at Charlotte (4/1)] and blocked a season-high four shots six times [at Orlando (12/30), at Philadelphia (3/18), vs. Chicago (3/21), at Orlando (3/27), vs. Atlanta (3/31) and at Charlotte (4/1)]. Anthony was acquired from Boston in an offseason trade that sent Will Bynum to the Celtics.

Anthony has averaged 2.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 15.1 minutes in 452 career games (110 starts) with Miami, Boston and Detroit. Undrafted out of the University of Las Vegas Nevada, Anthony has averaged a career-high of 3.9 rebounds per game twice (2007-08 and 2011-12). He averaged a career-high 3.5 points per game during his rookie season with Miami. Anthony is a career 50% shooter from the field and played a career-high 80 games during the 2009-10 season. He was a member of the HEAT’s 2012 and 2013 NBA Championship teams.

Pistons sign second round pick Darrun Hilliard

The Detroit Pistons have signed rookie guard Darrun Hilliard to a contract.

Hilliard, a 6-6 guard from Villanova University, was selected 38th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He averaged 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 1.2 steals in the recently concluded NBA Orlando Summer League.

A native of Bethlehem, Pa., Hilliard averaged 11.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 26.8 minutes in 132 career games at Villanova. Last season, he averaged 14.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 28.8 minutes in 35 games. As a senior, the 6-foot-6 guard, led Villanova in scoring and earned First Team All-Big East honors. He scored a season-high 31 points against Butler and posted 27 points, including six 3-pointers made, against North Carolina State in the NCAA Tournament. As a junior, Hilliard shared the Big East Most Improved Player award and was Honorable Mention All-Big East. He improved his scoring from 4.8 points per game as a freshman to 11.4 points per game as a sophomore.

Nets trade Steve Blake to Pistons

In return, Pistons send Quincy Miller to Nets

Nets trade Steve Blake to Pistons

The Detroit Pistons have acquired guard Steve Blake from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for forward Quincy Miller.

Blake, 35, has appeared in 812 career games (345 starts) in 12 seasons with Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State and holds career averages of 6.7 points and 4.0 assists in 24.4 minutes per game. He was originally selected with the 38th pick of the 2003 NBA Draft by Washington Wizards and was acquired by Brooklyn from the Portland Trail Blazers on June 25.

Miller, 22, appeared in 10 games with Sacramento and Detroit last season and averaged 2.9 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 12.0 minutes per game. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward signed the first of two 10-day contracts on February 21 and was signed for the remainder of the season on March 13. Miller recorded season highs in points (13), rebounds (6), blocks (2) and minutes (34) at Golden State (1/23) and tied a career-high three assists vs. Charlotte (4/12). In three games with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ NBA D-League affiliate, he averaged 16.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Pistons sign Aron Baynes

Pistons sign Aron Baynes

The Detroit Pistons have signed center Aron Baynes to a multi-year contract.

Baynes will likely be used as a backup, playing limited minutes behind young talented starting center Andre Drummond.

Baynes, appeared in 70 games (17 starts) with San Antonio last season averaging career highs in points (6.6 ppg), rebounds (4.5 rpg) and minutes (16.0 mpg). He recorded more points, rebounds, assists and blocks last season than in his previous two NBA seasons combined. Baynes recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds at Houston (11/6). He also recorded back-to-back double-figure scoring games for the first time in his career with 12 points in 21 minutes vs. Minnesota (11/21) and 10 points in 21 minutes vs. Brooklyn (11/22). Baynes appeared in 22 career playoff games with the Spurs, averaging 2.2 points and 2.1 rebounds in 7.5 minutes per game.

The 6-10, 255-pound center has tallied career NBA averages of 4.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 12.6 minutes in 139 games – all with San Antonio. Baynes began his professional career in 2009-10 playing for Lietuvos Rytas of the Lithuanian Basketball League, a squad that went on to win the Lithuanian National Championship. He went on to play in Germany for EWE Baskets Oldenburg in 2010-11 before joining Ikaros Kallitheas in Greece the following season. Baynes has been a member of the Australian National Team, most recently competing at the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Turkey where he averaged 16.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 27.0 minutes in five games. Representing Australia in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he averaged 7.5 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 66% (21-32 FG) from the field.

The 28-year old New Zealand native was undrafted out of Washington State. He appeared in 122 games (86 starts), averaging 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 54.6% from the field and led WSU to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2008. Baynes ranks eighth on Cougars’ all-time field goal percentage list and became the first player in school history to shoot 100% from the field in a game with at least 10 field goal attempts (10-10 FG and a career-high 25 points vs. USC).

Suns trade Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock to Pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired forward Marcus Morris, guard Reggie Bullock and forward-guard Danny Granger from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a 2020 second round draft selection.

Morris, 25, appeared in 81 games (35 starts) with Phoenix last season averaging career highs in points (10.4 ppg), rebounds (4.8 rpg), assists (1.6 apg) and minutes (25.2 mpg). He scored in double-figures 39 times, including five games with 20-plus points and one 30-plus point game. Morris recorded a career-high 34 points (11-17 FG, 5-7 3FG, 7-8 FT) and 12 rebounds vs. Utah (2/6), his first career 30-point game and his first career double-double. He became the first Suns player to record at least 30 points and 10 rebounds off the bench since Danny Manning during the 1997-98 season. Morris finished the season with five double-doubles and led the Suns in scoring six times, rebounds nine times, assists twice, steals 12 times and blocks seven times. He also tied a career-long streak with seven straight games scoring in double-figures from March 21-April 2. Morris grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds (12 defensive) vs. New Orleans (3/19). He also set a career-high and tied a Suns season-high with six made three-pointers at Sacramento (12/26). The four-year NBA pro was selected 14th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He owns career averages of 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in 257 games (59 starts), including 9.5 points and 4.1 rebounds in 186 games (45 starts) with Phoenix.

Bullock, 24, completed his second NBA season with averages of 1.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 9.4 minutes in 36 games (two starts) with Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Suns acquired Bullock on January 15 in a midseason three-team trade. Bullock recorded two double-figure scoring games last season, both while with the Clippers, including a season-high 12 points vs. Utah (11/3). Drafted by the Clippers with the 25th overall selection in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Bullock owns career averages of 2.3 points, 1.3 rebounds and 9.3 minutes in 79 games.

Granger, 32, appeared in 30 games (six starts) with the Miami HEAT last season before being acquired by the Suns, averaging 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 20.4 minutes per game. He did not see playing time with the Suns as he was working with the training staff to improve his health. The 10-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 586 regular season games (431 starts) with the Indiana Pacers (2005-14), Los Angeles Clippers (2013-14) and Miami HEAT (2014-15), owns averages of 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals and 31.5 minutes per game.

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Arnie Kander has informed the organization of his intent to resign as physical therapist effective June 30. Kander has served as a member of the Pistons’ training staff since 1992 when he was named the club’s first strength and conditioning coach.

“Arnie is an innovator who helped define the art of physical training for athletes in our league,” said Tom Gores, Principal Owner of Palace Sports & Entertainment, the Detroit Pistons and Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity. “He’s been a great Piston for more than two decades, and on a personal level he’s been a friend who helped our transition into ownership. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”

“Arnie Kander has been a valued member of the Detroit Pistons for many years – contributing to the development of numerous players while also overseeing injury prevention, treatment and rehabilitation,” said Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “We appreciate the commitment he has made to the organization over 23 years and his efforts throughout the last year during our transition. We certainly wish Arnie the best in his future endeavors.”

A 1987 graduate in physical therapy from Wayne State University, Kander began his career as the sports coordinator at Crittenton Fitness Institute. He then moved on to Rochester Knee and Sports Therapy where he worked as a staff therapist. Kander began his association with the Pistons while working at Rochester Knee and Sports.

“The Detroit Pistons have been a huge part of my extended family and I’ll forever cherish the relationships and friendships that have been built both inside and outside the organization over the years,” said Kander. “I’m also grateful to both Mr. Davidson and Mr. Gores for the opportunity and support they provided during my 23 years with the team. It’s been an incredible run filled with many great memories along the way. I look forward to spending time with my family and the next chapter life brings.”

Kander’s interest in strength and conditioning began during his career as a professional dancer with the Virginia Ballet Company from 1983-86. While working with the Pistons, Kander designed recovery and workout programs for all players and worked with many of the area’s finest amateur athletes.

The Detroit Pistons’ training staff is headed by Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Jon Ishop with assistance from strength and conditioning coach Anthony Harvey and assistant strength and conditioning coach Jordan Sabourin.

Pistons draft workouts continue

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on some Pistons draft workouts:

J.P. Tokoto and Rakeem Christmas have a few things in common.

Both are considered second-round prospects for the upcoming NBA draft that could sneak into the bottom of the first round. Both performed well in 5-on-5 during last month’s NBA draft combine in Chicago.

And both were at the Detroit Pistons’ practice facility this morning for a pre-draft workout.

They were joined by Virginia power forward Darion Atkins, UNC-Charlotte point guard Pierria Henry, William & Mary point guard Marcus Thornton and Georgetown small forward Greg Whittington.

Cartier Martin elects to stay with Pistons

Here’s the Detroit News reporting on a member of the Pistons bench who has a limited role on the team. Cartier Martin last season averaged 1.6 points in 8.6 minute per game, and shot just 28% from the field:

Cartier Martin elects to stay with Pistons

Pistons forward Cartier Martin swallowed his pride and took the money.

He complained about his playing time with the Pistons last season but that did not stop him from exercising a player option which will pay him the veteran’s minimum of $1.27 million next season.

Martin, 30, signed a two-year deal with the Pistons last August. He made $1,145,000 last season and was used sparingly.

He appeared in just 23 games, his fewest since the 2011-2012 season with the Washington Wizards. Martin averaged a career low 1.6 points per game.

Greg Monroe set to return for Pistons

Greg Monroe set to return for Pistons

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the 30-47 Detroit Pistons, who have gotten 16 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 2.0 apg from Greg Monroe this season:

Greg Monroe set to return for Pistons

For the last five games this season, the Detroit Pistons will get one more look at playing Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Reggie Jackson together.

With Monroe on his way back into the lineup, and perhaps on his way out as a Piston via unrestricted free agency this summer, it’s an alignment head coach Stan Van Gundy said he wants to see more before some very important business decisions.

“Reggie will have to adjust, and I’ll have to adjust, and we’ll have to figure it out,” Van Gundy said. “We’ve seen Reggie play real, real, well; we’ve seen Greg play real, real well. So we’ve just got to make it all fit together.”

Monroe is expected to return after missing 11 games with a right knee strain when the Pistons host the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Pistons happy with Grand Rapids Drive relationship

Here’s Michigan Live reporting on the relationship between the Detroit Pistons and their D-League squad:

The Grand Rapids Drive won’t have a winning season on the court, but management of parent company Detroit Pistons are pleased with the first-year relationship with the NBA Development League team.

“This first year our primary goal was creating a structure that matches our structure,” said Dennis Mannion, president & CEO of Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons. “…We’re getting better at it. We have a monthly call in to go over things and with what Steve (Ybarra, the lead owner of the Drive) has learned it will help him so much in support and planning for next year.”

The Drive, after a promising start to the season, began to sag in January and, at 22-26 heading into Friday’s home finale against Erie, won’t make the playoffs. The season ends Saturday at Delaware.

Greg Monroe out tonight with knee strain

Greg Monroe out tonight with knee strain

Greg Monroe out tonight with knee strain

The Detroit Pistons announced this morning that forward/center Greg Monroe will miss tonight’s game vs. Memphis with a right knee strain. The injury occurred during Monday’s practice and was confirmed following an MRI exam.

Monroe will be re-evaluated on Wednesday to determine his status for Detroit’s game at Philadelphia.

Joel Freeland, Shawne Williams suspended for headbutting each other

Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland and Detroit Pistons forward Shawne Williams have been suspended one game without pay for headbutting each other. The penalties were announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 118-99 win over the Pistons on Friday, March. 13, at Moda Center.

Williams will serve his suspension tonight when the Pistons travel to Utah to play the Jazz. Freeland will serve his suspension on Sunday, March 15, when the Trail Blazers travel to Toronto to play the Raptors.

To view the play, click on this link.

Detroit Pistons sign Quincy Miller to second 10-day contract

quincy miller

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has signed forward Quincy Miller to a second 10-day contract.

Miller, who originally signed a 10-day contract on 2/21, has yet to appear in a game with the Pistons but has been on one assignment with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ NBA Development League (D-League) affiliate. In two games with the Drive, he averaged 11.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in 19.7 minutes per game. He recorded 15 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes vs. the Delaware 87ers (2/27).

In six games with the Sacramento Kings this season, Miller averaged 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 10.2 minutes.

The 6-foot-9 forward has also played for the Reno Big Horns of the NBA D-League where he averaged 25.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, 1.9 assists, 1.6 steals and 28.9 minutes in 15 games before signing with Detroit.

Spencer Dinwiddie plays well for Pistons in loss

Here’s Michigan Live reporting some silver lining for the Detroit Pistons, who lost Saturday to the Washington Wizards:

Spencer Dinwiddie plays well for Pistons in loss

Detroit Pistons rookie Spencer Dinwiddie wasn’t ready to take over the starting job at point guard, which is why the team traded for Reggie Jackson. But Saturday night, in an ill-fated comeback attempt, the second-round draft pick offered some hope for the future.

The Pistons lost 99-95 to the Washington Wizards, but Dinwiddie rallied them from a 21-point deficit in the second half, and even scored the go-ahead basket in the fourth quarter.

The deficit was too big however, and the Pistons (23-36) lost lost their third in a row, while the Wizards (34-26) broke a six-game losing streak.

Dinwiddie a second-round draft pick from Colorado, had 20 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Monroe led the Pistons with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

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