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Eastern Notes: Caldwell-Pope, DeRozan, Gores

Pistons shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is eligible to ink a rookie-scale contract extension this summer, but he says his focus is on improving his game and not on his next deal, David Mayo of MLive relays. “Yeah, I mean, why do it now? It’s not in my mind. I mean, it could happen. If it does happen, it happens. But right now I’m going to stay focused and get better,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Right now, I’m just going to let my agent handle all that. If you have any questions about that, I really can’t answer them. I let my agent answer for me. I don’t know. We haven’t really talked about it.” If Caldwell-Pope and Detroit are unable to reach an agreement by October’s deadline, he would be eligible to become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2017.

Team owner Tom Gores, one of the principals who will be involved in the Pistons’ future decisions regarding Caldwell-Pope, is involved in a bid to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Detroit, Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press relays. Gores is partnering with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert on the venture, Ellis notes. “I’ve always believed a sports franchise is a community asset with the power to unite and inspire people,” Gores said in his official statement. “I’m excited to partner with Dan and help in Detroit’s resurgence. Together we have all the tools we need to make a new team successful.

Here’s more from the East:

  • Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan‘s struggles this postseason call into question whether or not he is worthy of a max salary deal this summer, should he choose to opt out of his current deal and become an unrestricted free agent, Steve Simmons of The Toronto Sun writes. The 26-year-old is averaging 13.3 points and shooting a woeful 29.6% from the field in four playoff outings. His player option for 2016/17 is worth $10.15MM, but he’ll almost certain decline it and end up with more than that.
  • The Nets hiring of the hard-working Kenny Atkinson as their new coach is another positive sign of the franchise trying to change its culture for the better, NetsDaily opines.
  • If the Wizards intend to maintain their “pace-and-space offense,” they need a playmaker off the bench who’s capable of sinking the long ball and should consider signing Seth Curry, Ben Standig of CSN Mid-Atlantic.com writes. The Kings combo guard averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 45.9% from the field, including 48.9% from beyond the arc over Sacramento’s last seven contests, Standig notes. Curry, 25, has a player option on his deal for 2016/17 worth $1,015,696.

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