Ish Smith was one of the top three point guard targets identified by the Pistons when free agency got underway this summer, according to Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, who writes that the club was also eyeing D.J. Augustin and Ramon Sessions. Detroit may have had some interest in Brandon Jennings as well, but there are signals that interest wasn’t reciprocated, per Ellis. In any case, it was Smith who ended up becoming a Piston, and now the team will be leaning on him heavily to start the season. With Reggie Jackson sidelined for six to eight weeks, Smith will move into the starting lineup at the point, and as Ellis details, he’s confident he’ll be able to step up for the club.
Here’s more from around the Central:
- James Hawkins of The Detroit News passes along a few Pistons notes, including the latest on Ray McCallum and Lorenzo Brown battling for the backup point guard role
- The Bulls had already been without guard Denzel Valentine due to an injury, and have now learned that Tony Snell will be out at least a week, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). As Nick Friedell of ESPN.com tweeted earlier, Snell sprained his ankle in Monday’s practice and was expected to be out for “a little while.” The injuries don’t appear serious enough to affect Chicago’s regular-season roster decisions, though that’s just my speculation.
- After his final year at Indiana, Nick Zeisloft participated in just one pre-draft workout and didn’t get a Summer League invite. However, Zeisloft still managed to land a training camp deal with the Pacers. Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star examines how that agreement came about, and what’s next for the sharpshooter, who figures to head to Fort Wayne to join the Pacers’ D-League affiliate.