It was Stanley Johnson’s extreme confidence that inspired Detroit to draft him over Justise Winslow, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. “The more we talked to people, we became very confident that this is a guy who’s driven to being great — not just talking about it, but will put in the work to do it,” said Pistons president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy. “We really wanted his mentality as much as anything. I think he’s a very confident — maybe cocky, but physical [player].” The Pistons believe Johnson is versatile enough to guard four positions in the NBA, and Van Gundy said he was the draft’s best rebounder at small forward. Detroit also likes Johnson’s improvement as a shooter and his ability to get to the line.
There’s much more from the Central Division:
- The Pistons would like to bring back free unrestricted agent center Joel Anthony, Ellis writes in the same story. Van Gundy sees the 32-year-old as an elder statesman who can be valuable in tutoring younger players. “Obviously we can’t negotiate with him yet, we can’t talk money,” Van Gundy said. “I talked to him [Friday]. Again, we’ve told him consistently we would like to have him back.”
- Bucks GM John Hammond promised to “create some happiness” for newly acquired Greivis Vasquez, writes Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee swung a draft-day deal that brought Vasquez from Toronto in exchange for the 46th pick in Thursday’s draft and a protected first-rounder in 2017. “He’s an energetic guy, got a lot of personality, brings a lot of moxie to the court and to our team,” Hammond said. “As a player, he’s a guy with great vision. You need guys that can pass and catch to play the game, and that’s what Greivis does.” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said Vasquez has the flexibility to play alongside point guard Michael Carter-Williams or serve as his backup. Vasquez will make $6.6MM next season and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
- The Bulls are comfortable with being a tax team next season, tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Chicago has only crossed the tax line once in its history.