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Central Notes: Van Gundy, Turner, Love

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said his team is in good shape heading into free agency because the roster has but a few holes needing attention, though he did add that he wouldn’t be opposed to adding a starter via free agency and moving a player to the bench, as Rod Beard of The Detroit News relays in a series of tweets. “We’re reasonably confident we can keep that core together going forward,” Van Gundy said. “It will take some things falling in place.” While the team will consider bringing back unrestricted free agents Steve Blake and Anthony Tolliver, Van Gundy indicated that the Pistons have more pressing priorities to take care of first, the scribe relays. The Pistons aren’t opposed to trading their first-round pick this year if it would help them land the right player in a deal, according to GM Jeff Bower, Beard adds.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The loss of Paul George for all but six games of the 2014/15 season placed the Pacers in the position to land Myles Turner in the 2015 NBA Draft, and he’s outperformed a number of those selected ahead of him last June, notes Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News. Turner, the No. 11 overall pick, appeared in 60 games and averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per outing on the season.
  • Cavs power forward Kevin Love‘s stats have declined, as well as his perceived value around the league, since he arrived in Cleveland, but the big man insists he is still an All-Star caliber performer, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. “I don’t need to justify what I’m capable of,” Love said. “Kind of the same thing with All-Star, too. I don’t need that to justify how I feel about my game and where I think my value is in this league. I know what I’m capable of. I’m willing to show it.
  • Former Cavs coach David Blatt received a strong endorsement from Tyronn Lue, the man who replaced him, to land another NBA coaching gig, Lloyd relays in the same article. “He definitely deserves another chance,” Lue said. “I thought Coach Blatt did a great and phenomenal job here. He taught me a lot. Just being friends with him and getting a chance to understand him was great for me. I know a lot of guys around here, we talked about it the other day, they miss him and his presence. I would just like to keep in contact with him. Hopefully, he gets another job in this league because he deserves it.” Blatt reportedly interviewed for the Knicks vacant post this week and the Lakers reportedly plan to interview him for their head coaching job, too.

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