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Central Notes: Caldwell-Pope, Bullock, Smith

The Pistons will continue to purse rookie contract extensions with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock until the October 31st deadline, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. A full-time starter in Detroit for the past two seasons, Caldwell-Pope appeared in 76 games last year, averaging 14.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per night. Bullock played 37 games, averaging 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds. The Pistons are over the salary cap, but Beard reports that the team is willing to use its Bird rights to re-sign both players. “We’re all in agreement it’s an atmosphere and environment where they have good thoughts,” GM Jeff Bower said of negotiations. “We’re going to continue to take those talks a little bit further through the month and see if there’s an opportunity to reach an extension now.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • As the longest-tenured player on the roster and with a max contract now in hand, Pistons center Andre Drummond feels like he’s entering a new chapter of his career, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. The 23-year-old has witnessed a lot of turnover in Detroit since he arrived four years ago. He has played for four coaches in that time, but with Stan Van Gundy firmly in place, the Pistons seem ready to commit to their current core. Drummond is happy to be a part of that group. “I signed a five-year deal, so I’m here for the long haul and I’m excited to be here,” he said. “Detroit is now my home and I’m ready to embrace it and try to bring great things to this city.”
  • The Cavaliers are counting on 33-year-old Mo Williams and second-round pick Kay Felder to replace Matthew Dellavedova, notes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. In his “Summer Rewind” on Cleveland, Marks says the Cavs made a wise move by orchestrating a sign-and-trade after Dellavedova committed to the Bucks, creating a $4.8MM trade exception in the process.
  • Unsigned shooting guard J.R. Smith traveled to Cleveland to watch an Indians game on Thursday and posted “#meetings” on his Instagram account, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. While it’s not a sure sign of progress, Vardon speculated that there has been communication between Smith and the team.
  • A rumor that Smith has been negotiating with the Sixers is not true, tweets Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com.

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