And-Ones: Pistons, Heslip, Clippers, Bulls, Cavs

Pistons coach president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy made it a priority to dedicate an unusual amount of manpower to pro scouting, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com details. The ability to prepare has Van Gundy more comfortable about the team’s prospects in free agency this coming summer as opposed to this past offseason, when he was new on the job, Langlois notes.

“You don’t want to make a mistake in the draft, but the way it’s set up now, if you make a mistake in the draft at least it’s low cost,” Van Gundy said. If you’re going to go out and spend $14MM a year, $15MM a year on a guy and you make a mistake, now you’re really hurting. So I just want to weight [pro scouting] a little bit more.”

It’ll be interesting to see how that emphasis plays out with the Pistons poised for a high draft pick in 2015. Here’s more from around the league.

  • Timberwolves camp cut and D-League leading scorer Brady Heslip will sign with Banvit of Turkey, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Heslip, who’s been playing for Sacramento’s affiliate, had drawn interest from the Clippers, according to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (on Twitter). The Kings were reportedly giving him strong consideration for a spot on their NBA roster before they fired coach Michael Malone.
  • Clippers players aren’t getting along, a source close to the team tells TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. The Clips, who have title aspirations, are 20-11 and in sixth place in the Western Conference.
  • Tom Thibodeau pushed the Bulls to sign Aaron Brooks this past summer as he worried that Derrick Rose would struggle at the start of the season, Aldridge writes in the same piece. Rose hasn’t quite looked his former MVP self, averaging 18.1 points and 4.8 assists and missing 10 of the team’s 30 games, while Brooks has performed capably as a backup, putting up 11.3 PPG and 3.3 APG in 20.3 minutes per night.
  • There’s little doubt around the league that David Blatt can coach, but the question was always about whether the Cavs would accept his coaching, and it appears they haven’t been doing so, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com believes (All Twitter links). Stein wonders whether the players, and LeBron James in particular, have given Blatt a fair chance.

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