Anthony Tolliver

Eastern Notes: Beal, Knicks, Antetokounmpo

Shooting guard Bradley Beal believes he’s worthy of a max deal as he heads into restricted free agency this summer, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports. Beal will sign an offer sheet from a suitor willing to pay that price if the Wizards don’t make a max offer when free agency begins in July, he told Castillo in a phone interview. “I feel like I’m a max player and that’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “If Washington can’t meet that requirement then I may be thinking elsewhere. I’m pretty sure that they probably won’t [let me go].” Beal declined a contract extension prior to the beginning of this past season and doesn’t believe his injury history will affect his bargaining power, Castillo adds. “The injury thing, that’s behind me,” Beal said. “I’m moving forward. I’m past it.”

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Jerry Sichting, Jeff Hornacek’s offensive assistant with the Suns, could land an assistant coaching job with the Knicks under Hornacek, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. Sichting was let go against Hornacek’s wishes last season while Corey Gaines, another former Hornacek assistant who was not retained by the Suns after the season, is also a candidate to join Hornacek’s staff, Berman continues. Hornacek is not expected to retain ex-coach Derek Fisher’s hires of former Thunder assistants Brian Keefe, Joshua Longstaff and David Bliss.
  • Power forward Anthony Tolliver, center Joel Anthony and point guards Steve Blake and Lorenzo Brown are unlikely to return next season, according to Keith Langlois of in his roster review. It’s 50-50 whether the team will bring back oft-injured shooting guard Jodie Meeks and third-string point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, Langlois continues. Meeks could be tossed into a trade, while the club has a mid-July deadline to decide whether to guarantee Dinwiddie’s contract for next season, Langlois adds.
  • Power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to play for the Greek National Team in the Olympic Qualifier at Turin, Italy, Sportando reports via Eurohoops. “I want to play for the national team. The Bucks know it,” he said to Eurohoops. “We have not talked yet for this matter. Even if they are negative, I would try to convince them to let me play.”

Eastern Notes: Bosh, Butler, Lawson

Chris Bosh will miss the remainder of the 2016 NBA playoffs, as he and the Heat jointly announced. “The Heat, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible,” the statement relayed. The veteran hasn’t played since February 9th because of concerns about reported blood clots in his left calf, and he had been lobbying for the team to activate him so he can contribute in the postseason. Bosh reportedly found a doctor who appeared willing to give clearance for him to play, but the team and its doctors disagreed with that assessment. The NBPA had reportedly requested a meeting with the team on Bosh’s behalf, though it is unclear if that meeting has occurred or ever will.

Here’s more from the East:

  • While the Bulls are willing to listen to trade offers for Jimmy Butler, the team is telling interested parties that the current plan is to hang onto the swingman for next season, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of If Chicago decides to change course and deal Butler, it would likely take an established NBA starter in addition to a package of draft picks and younger prospects to land the player, Blakely adds. Butler just completed the first season of the five-year, $92.3MM deal he inked last summer.
  • Ty Lawson, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, said he would like to return to the Pacers next season, the team relayed (via Twitter). “It was a fun time. I liked the culture here. … Hopefully I can come back next year,” Lawson said. The point guard made 13 appearances for Indiana this season, averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 18.1 minutes per outing.
  • Power forward Anthony Tolliver is poised to become an unrestricted free agent, and though he prefers to remain with the Pistons, he understands the team has more pressing needs to attend to first, writes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. “Who knows what’s going to happen,” Tolliver said. “I’ve been in this league long enough to know nothing’s promised. I feel good about my role here, and how I’ve helped this team in many different ways — on and off the court. But at the end of the day, it’ll be up to my agent and the team to see if we can figure something out and see if we can make it a long-term home.

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.

Eastern Notes: Johnson, Blake, Drummond

Former Nets swingman Joe Johnson took some verbal swipes at a number of his former Brooklyn teammates, whom he blames for much of the team’s woes this season, Anthony Puccio of NetsDaily relays (via Twitter). “Honestly, this season in Brooklyn I was in a tough situation, playing with a lot of young guys, stat-chasing guys that really didn’t want to win,” Johnson said, “And in an organization that really was trying to put a team around guys like Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young and myself to help us at least fight for a playoff spot. So when I sat back and looked at all that I realized it was no reason to even stick around for the fallout of the situation.” The veteran agreed to a buyout arrangement with the team in February that allowed Johnson to sign with the Heat.

Here’s more from the East:

  • Pistons owner Tom Gores reaffirmed the team’s intent to re-sign center Andre Drummond this summer despite his well-chronicled free throw issues, David Mayo of MLive notes. “We’ll talk about it this summer, but we want Andre,” Gores said. “So to me, I don’t think there’s a lot of question about it. Honestly, it’s how we feel about it.” The owner lauded what the 22-year-old center provided for the team rather than harp on Drummond’s anemic 35.5% mark from the charity stripe this season, Mayo adds. “I think he’s had a great year, an All-Star, more double-doubles [than anyone else in the NBA], and when you look at the other centers in the league — everybody’s got something [a weakness], but I’m proud of the 22-year-old man,” Gores said of Drummond. The big man is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, provided Detroit submits a qualifying offer worth $4,433,683, a move that is all but assured judging by Gores’ remarks.
  • Veteran point guard Steve Blake isn’t ready to retire just yet, having indicated that he would like to play in 2016/17, as Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press relays (via Twitter). Fellow unrestricted free agent Anthony Tolliver also said that he wants to return to the Pistons and “put down roots” in Detroit, Ellis adds.

Central Notes: Pistons, Lawson, Budinger, Butler

Terrence Jones and Meyers Leonard would be attractive free agent options for the Pistons in their search for a backup power forward, according to David Mayo of MLive. Both will enter restricted free agency this summer, which means the Rockets and Blazers can match any offers they get. Mayo notes the teams may want compensation for letting Jones or Leonard go, which could tempt the Pistons to give up a first-round draft pick, something they were willing to do to get Donatas Motiejunas from Houston last month before that deal was voided. Mayo suggests keeping Anthony Tolliver might be the best strategy now that Tobias Harris is on board as the starting power forward. Tolliver is making $3MM in the final season of his contract and is averaging 5.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in nearly 20 minutes per night.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pacers expect to finalize a deal with free agent point guard Ty Lawson on Sunday or Monday, tweets Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. Lawson is still working out in Houston after the Rockets waived him Tuesday in a buyout agreement.
  • Chase Budinger‘s brief stay in Indiana was a “dud,” Buckner tweeted after the Pacers waived the seventh-year small forward today. She also laments last summer’s trade that sent Damjan Rudez to the Wolves in exchange for Budinger, saying the Pacers gave up a badly needed 3-point shooter (Twitter link). She credits Budinger for being “a pro” during his time in Indiana, though he never fully understood what the organization expected from him (Twitter link).
  • Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg says shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who has been out of action since February 5th with a sprained knee, is “ready to go” for tonight’s game, tweets Nick Friedell of Combo forward Nikola Mirotic, who had acute appendicitis and underwent surgery January 27th, is “close,” Hoiberg adds (Twitter link). Injured center Joakim Noah won’t play anytime soon, but he’ll rejoin the team for “leadership,” tweets K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.
  • The Pistons have shooting guard Jodie Meeks, who hasn’t played since suffering a right foot injury October 29th, listed as questionable for tonight’s game, tweets Keith Langlois of

Central Rumors: Motiejunas, Novak, Love

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t regret making the trade deadline acquisition of Rockets power forward Donatas Motiejunas, even though the team voided the three-team deal on Monday because of concerns over Motiejunas’ health, David Mayo of reports. Motiejunas, who underwent back surgery after last season, failed physical exams conducted in New York and Detroit, Mayo continues. “I would do it over again, if it were out there,” Van Gundy told the team’s beat reporters. “We did our due diligence and just thought there was too much risk.” The Pistons have an open roster spot and will comb through the waiver wire, as well as consider D-League prospects, to add depth at power forward. The club is thin at that position with Anthony Tolliver sidelined by a knee injury expected to keep him out two to four weeks, according to Keith Langlois of (Twitter link).

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Van Gundy told Langlois that the Pistons and Rockets couldn’t change the parameters of the protected first-round pick Detroit would have traded to Houston because the trade deadline had expired (Twitter link). That contradicts an earlier tweet from The Vertical’s front office expert Bobby Marks that indicated protections on the pick could have been changed.
  • Veteran shooting guard Steve Novak is thrilled the Bucks wanted him because they are his hometown team, Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. Novak was traded last week by the Thunder to the Nuggets, who promptly released him as part of a buyout agreement. Milwaukee was looking for 3-point shooting off the bench and signed Novak, who attended Marquette, on Monday. “I always dreamed of playing for the Bucks, but at this point I didn’t know if it was something that would ever happen,” Novak told Gardner. “I think we were lucky enough that Denver said they would do a buyout and Milwaukee called and said they had interest. It was a phone call I wasn’t sure I’d ever get but I was pretty pumped.”
  • Kevin Love would rather be the third option on a championship team than the star of a lesser team, Steve Aschburner of writes. The Cavaliers power forward has gotten used to hearing his name in trade rumors, as Aschburner details, but Love refutes the notion that he’d rather be posting bigger stats as another team’s No. 1 option. “All things considered, I’ve always said if I could win, be happy and get paid, that was kind of it,” Love told Aschburner.

Central Notes: Hibbert, Whittington, Tolliver, Bucks

A sprained left ankle will keep Lakers center Roy Hibbert out of tonight’s game, which would have been his first back in Indiana since last summer’s trade, according to Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. Before his status was announced, his former Pacers teammates were concerned about the reception he might get from fans. “It was a situation where Roy didn’t want to leave, but it was about that time, I guess,” Paul George said. “So it wasn’t on bad terms for his sake, so I hope the fans don’t knock him or overlook that. Roy’s been great for this organization.” With the Lakers floundering, Hibbert is a candidate to be moved again before next week’s deadline, as Chuck Myron examined earlier today.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers have assigned forward/center Shayne Whittington to their D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne, the team announced today. A second-year player, Whttington has appeared in just four games with the Pacers this season, but 24 for Fort Wayne, where he is averaging 12.0 points and 8.1 rebounds.
  • Anthony Tolliver has become a dependable reserve power forward for the Pistons, but it may not be enough to keep the 30-year-old on the team next season, writes Aaron McMann of MLive. Tolliver will be a free agent this summer, and coach/executive Stan Van Gundy has said he plans to exercise the team option on starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Detroit has also been rumored to have interest in Pelicans free agent Ryan Anderson“I definitely would love to figure out a way to come back here and make this a long-term situation,” Tolliver said. “Obviously, it would have to be a mutual decision, mutually beneficial for both parties.”
  • The Bucks shouldn’t be entertaining offers for forward/center Greg Monroe, argues Bobby Marks of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. Monroe was Milwaukee’s prize free agent addition last season, but the organization reportedly let other teams know last week that it would consider moving him or point guard Michael Carter-Williams if the right offer came along. Marks advises the Bucks to hang on to their core of young talent and draft picks, but to consider dealing away shooting guard O.J. Mayo and center Miles Plumlee.

Central Notes: Jennings, Tolliver, Prunty, Gibson

Brandon Jennings isn’t sure whether the Pistons will trade him, but he said Monday that he hopes he’ll finish the season in Detroit, MLive’s David Mayo notes. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy will listen to offers but has consistently attempted to tamp down trade rumors involving the point guard who’s successfully returned from injury, Mayo writes.

“Our plan, right now, is that Brandon can help us make a playoff push, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Van Gundy said. “That’s our plan right now. If something happens in the next five weeks, we’ll look at it. But right now, he’s a very good player who can help us, and that’s the only way we’re looking at him.”

Jennings called his one-game D-League rehab stint critical to his comeback, as Mayo also relays, and Reggie Jackson continued his praise of Jennings, calling him “the ultimate teammate,” as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press details. See more on the Pistons and the rest of the Central Division:

  • Soon-to-be free agent Anthony Tolliver wants to re-sign with the Pistons in the offseason, as he wrote recently on his personal blog and as Aaron McCann of MLive points out.  “I want to have a good, solid season and help my team win as much as possible,” Tolliver wrote. “And then when I’m a free agent this summer, I hope to sign back with Detroit and try to make this a long-term home for my family and me.”
  • Bucks interim coach Joe Prunty got his start in the NBA with the Spurs, and he’s using Gregg Popovich as a model for success, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details. Still, head coach Jason Kidd remains influential, and Prunty said he and the rest of the coaching staff keep in close contact with Kidd, who’s on a leave of absence as he recovers from hip surgery.
  • The offseason surgery that uncovered and repaired a torn ligament in Taj Gibson‘s formerly troublesome left ankle has the trade candidate feeling much better, notes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “I’m completely stronger as far as my lateral movement and being able to switch more to guards,” the Bulls power forward said. “I feel a lot faster.”

Pistons Rumors: Morris, Ilyasova, Drummond

Marcus Morris hot start for the Pistons is a product of coach Stan Van Gundy encouraging his starting small forward to take mid-range jumpers, Keith Langlois of reports. Van Gundy told Morris to work on his mid-range game after acquiring him from the Suns in July and Morris has responded by averaging a team-high 19.3 points during the team’s 3-0 start. “Marcus is a guy we can go to and isolate and can shoot a high percentage on mid-range jumpers,” Van Gundy told Langlois. “Across the league, it’s not a high-percentage shot. We know that. But everything is based on individuals. It’s not based on a league-wide average. The league-wide average on those shots might be 37 percent, but Marcus is shooting 52 percent.”

In other Pistons news:

  • Ersan Ilyasova is having his minutes monitored closely by the coaching staff, David Mayo of reports. The power forward who was acquired from the Bucks during the offseason, is averaging 26.0 minutes, less than any other starter. “I’m concerned with him,” Van Gundy told the team’s beat reporters. “He plays at a real high pace and intensity level. He had a long summer. I am somewhat conscious of not over-playing him needlessly.” Ilyasova played for the Turkish national team during the offseason.
  • Center Andre Drummond became the first Piston in nearly six years to win the league’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week award, Mayo notes in a separate story. Drummond had double-doubles in each of the first three games, including a 20-point, 20-rebound outing against the Bulls.
  • Rookie forward Stanley Johnson will likely develop into an ideal complement to the team’s core duo of Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson, Ananth Pandian of opines. Johnson has the defensive prowess to match up with division’s top wing players and his offensive game is more suited to the NBA, Pandian adds. “College basketball is a lot different with the rules,” Johnson told Pandian. “I think the NBA game is a help for me because when I drive to the basket there is not three or four defenders at the rim, there is only one. This makes my reads a lot easier and it makes attacking the basket a lot easier.”
  • The Pistons’ quick start has reserve power forward Anthony Tolliver feeling bullish about the team’s prospects this season, as he told Ric Bucher in an Sirius XM Radio interview (Twitter link). “I just don’t see us not making the playoffs,” Tolliver boasted in the interview.

Pistons Notes: Ilyasova, Tolliver, Hilliard

Stan Van Gundy didn’t change the roster much in his first few months with the Pistons, and that was by design, he says, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Now, the process has accelerated, and Andre Drummond, Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are the only holdovers from before his tenure.

“You had to be cautious because you hadn’t had time to really have your processes in place to make great decisions and so you were rushed in your decision-making compared to what we have this year,” Van Gundy said, according to Ellis. “We didn’t want to take any big risks. Now we’ve had a chance to go through a year and thoroughly evaluate the draft and thoroughly evaluate free agents and pro personnel.”

See more on the revamped Pistons:

  • Van Gundy puts trade acquisition Ersan Ilyasova in a class with only Kevin Love and 2016 free agent Ryan Anderson among those who can both rebound and shoot three-pointers effectively, even though Ilyasova’s per-36-minute rebounding numbers have steadily declined the past few years, MLive’s David Mayo observes. Ilyasova contends that’s only because of a change in the way the Bucks used him, Mayo notes.
  • Anthony Tolliver, who like Ilyasova is one of the keys to replacing Greg Monroe‘s rebounding, poured effort into getting himself in shape for the final season of his contract this year, as he detailed on his blog and as he addressed in camp Thursday, as Mayo relays in a separate piece. “I didn’t really train as a basketball player. I trained as an athlete,” Tolliver said Thursday. “I worked on running mechanics, worked on jumping mechanics, speed training, all kinds of different things that I’ve never done before. So I just feel like I’m in a lot better shape than I have been in the past going into this year. It’s going to be a big one for me.”
  • The Pistons are making the most of Darrun Hilliard‘s versatility and having him play some point guard in camp, a position that this year’s 38th overall pick, who usually plays on the wing, is ready to embrace in his uphill battle for a regular season roster spot, as MLive’s Aaron McCann details. “Darrun’s a smart guy, knows how to play,” Van Gundy said. “It’s real easy to blend him in with other guys because he really understands how to play with other players easily.”

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