Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy and his staff had Henry Ellenson ranked No. 10 on their draft board and were pleasantly surprised when the Marquette power forward slid to No. 18, he told the assembled media, including Hoops Rumors. Van Gundy was so sure that Ellenson would be chosen before Detroit’s turn came up last Thursday that he barely watched any film on him. “I didn’t even take notes,” he said. Detroit will still look to acquire another stretch four in free agency or via the trade route. “There’s no pressure on him, at least early on,” Van Gundy said of Ellenson. The Pistons are expected to pursue Hawks big man Al Horford but would have to clear cap space to offer him anything close to the max.
In other news around the Central Division:
- Van Gundy, whose team made the playoffs last season as a No. 8 seed, is unfazed by recent trades made by the Pacers and Magic. Indiana acquired two veteran starters, point guard Jeff Teague from the Hawks and power forward Thaddeus Young from the Nets, while the Magic made a big trade with the Thunder to land power forward Serge Ibaka. “Indiana made a couple of good moves and got better. Obviously, Serge Ibaka is a really good, but I expect our guys to improve, too,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll come back as the same team, either. There’s no sense in worrying about what other teams do.”
- Bulls power forward Bobby Portis and small forward Tony Snell have signed with CAA Sports, Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Daily tweets. Portis had been a Mark Bartelstein client while Snell was represented by Mitchell Butler.
- Point guard Kay Felder‘s chances of making the Cavaliers roster next season are enhanced by the fact that they paid the Hawks $2.4MM to draft him, Lev Facher of USA Today reports. The 5’9” Felder out of Oakland University was selected with the No. 54 overall pick. “That means a lot to give up all that money for one pick,” Felder told Facher. “Man — I owe them.” Felder’s would have an even better shot at making the opening-night roster if restricted free agent Matthew Dellavedova receives an offer sheet that Cleveland won’t match.