Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t regret making the trade deadline acquisition of Rockets power forward Donatas Motiejunas, even though the team voided the three-team deal on Monday because of concerns over Motiejunas’ health, David Mayo of MLive.com reports. Motiejunas, who underwent back surgery after last season, failed physical exams conducted in New York and Detroit, Mayo continues. “I would do it over again, if it were out there,” Van Gundy told the team’s beat reporters. “We did our due diligence and just thought there was too much risk.” The Pistons have an open roster spot and will comb through the waiver wire, as well as consider D-League prospects, to add depth at power forward. The club is thin at that position with Anthony Tolliver sidelined by a knee injury expected to keep him out two to four weeks, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link).
In other news around the Central Division:
- Van Gundy told Langlois that the Pistons and Rockets couldn’t change the parameters of the protected first-round pick Detroit would have traded to Houston because the trade deadline had expired (Twitter link). That contradicts an earlier tweet from The Vertical’s front office expert Bobby Marks that indicated protections on the pick could have been changed.
- Veteran shooting guard Steve Novak is thrilled the Bucks wanted him because they are his hometown team, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Novak was traded last week by the Thunder to the Nuggets, who promptly released him as part of a buyout agreement. Milwaukee was looking for 3-point shooting off the bench and signed Novak, who attended Marquette, on Monday. “I always dreamed of playing for the Bucks, but at this point I didn’t know if it was something that would ever happen,” Novak told Gardner. “I think we were lucky enough that Denver said they would do a buyout and Milwaukee called and said they had interest. It was a phone call I wasn’t sure I’d ever get but I was pretty pumped.”
- Kevin Love would rather be the third option on a championship team than the star of a lesser team, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com writes. The Cavaliers power forward has gotten used to hearing his name in trade rumors, as Aschburner details, but Love refutes the notion that he’d rather be posting bigger stats as another team’s No. 1 option. “All things considered, I’ve always said if I could win, be happy and get paid, that was kind of it,” Love told Aschburner.