Ersan Ilyasova would have been a top target for the Pistons if he had been a free agent this summer, coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy told Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Ilyasova was acquired in a trade with the Bucks, who re-signed restricted free agent Khris Middleton, another Detroit target, according to Langlois. “If he’d been a free agent, he’d have been the guy at the top of our list at power forward,” Van Gundy said of Ilyasova. The Pistons also would not have pursued a free agent small forward if Marcus Morris had been made available sooner. He was acquired in a salary dump by the Suns in early July after Detroit came up empty in its aim to sign either DeMarre Carroll or Danny Green. “There’s no question we would have opted to take him rather than go into free agency had that been there [before July 1],” Van Gundy said to Langlois. “It wasn’t at the time, so we did try to make a play for a couple of guys. But when it didn’t work out and that presented itself, we were fortunate.”
In other news around the Eastern Conference:
- Scottie Wilbekin received a $200K guarantee from the Sixers for the upcoming season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The remainder of the four-year, $3.5MM contract that the ex-University of Florida point guard signed is not guaranteed, Pincus adds. Wilbekin will make $525,093 in the first year if he’s still on the roster January 10th. He played in Australia and Greece last season after going undrafted.
- Monta Ellis has the potential to ultimately become one of the Pacers’ greatest free agent signings, argues Mark Montieth of Pacers.com, who nonetheless ranks David West, who bolted for the Spurs this summer, as the most significant free agent addition in team history. Montieth addressed that and other topics in a mailbag format.
- Drew Gooden‘s $3.547MM salary for the 2016/17 season becomes guaranteed on July 15th, according to Pincus (Twitter link). The Wizards forward, who has a guaranteed $3.3MM contract for the upcoming season, has a no-trade restriction on his deal which lifts on January 15th.