The last time the Pistons earned a trip to the postseason was in 2008-09, when they drew the first-seeded Cavaliers led by LeBron James and were subsequently swept. Of the 12 active players on Detroit's playoff roster that year, only three remain today - Will Bynum, Jason Maxiell, and Rodney Stuckey. While Stuckey has a partially guaranteed contract in 2013-14, Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News says that "nobody would be surprised" if the 6'5 guard is traded before next season, particularly before the draft in June. Here's more of this evening's miscellaneous links:
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
As a third-year player, Greg Monroe will be entering the final season of his rookie contract in July, making him eligible to sign a long-term extension with the Pistons. However, agent David Falk tells Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News that his client will likely hit restricted free agency the following summer rather than re-upping with the Pistons in the offseason.
"Greg isn't gonna go backwards between his third and fourth year," Falk said. "I don't think I've ever done an extension after a third year. In the '90s you maxed out a guy after his second, but the [CBA] rules are different now."
We saw eight rookie-scale extensions signed during the 2012 offseason, so there are certainly players and agents whose opinions differ from Falk's. Financial security and the risk of injury are a couple reasons why someone might choose to extend early, though as Eric Gordon showed last summer, even an injury-plagued fourth season may not hurt a player's earning potential. Another Falk client, Roy Hibbert, was among the players who turned down a lucrative rookie-scale extension and landed a max deal in free agency.
"What incentive does a player have to do an extension after his third year? For me personally, it's difficult to do that," Falk said. "[Former Pacers president] Larry [Bird] offered a significant extension [to Hibbert]. The structure of the CBA, for me, I can't speak for others, I question why that makes sense."
Monroe, 22, will make $4.09MM next season, then will likely receive a one-year qualifying offer from the Pistons, making him a restricted free agent in 2014. At that point, other teams will receive the opportunity to sign him to an offer sheet for up to four years, which the Pistons would have three days to match. Detroit could also negotiate directly with Monroe, offering him a deal for up to five years.
The latest news and notes on the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon:
The only game involving a Central Division team tonight features two clubs that have been linked in trade rumors of late, as the Pistons play host to the Kings. Detroit has drawn mention as a possible landing spot for DeMarcus Cousins, but there's been some doubt about whether GM Joe Dumars would pull the trigger on such a deal. We've got more on that and other news from the Central right here:
The Pistons reportedly have plenty of interest in DeMarcus Cousins, but Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News believes GM Joe Dumars has cooled on Cousins as Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond have developed (Twitter link). In another tweet, Goodwill asserts that Detroit won't be dealing any picks and thinks that the Celtics could offer Rajon Rondo in what would be the most attractive trade package for Sacramento. With that aside, here are a few more links we've gathered up out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
In addition to making a pair of roster cuts earlier today, the Pistons have also exercised two team options on players for 2013/14. Keith Langlois of Pistons.com reports (via Twitter) that Detroit has picked up Brandon Knight's third-year option and Greg Monroe's fourth-year option.
Knight, who is earning about $2.68MM in 2012/13, his sophomore year, is now set to earn a guaranteed $2.79MM in 2013/14, while Monroe will receive a guaranteed $4.09MM in '13/14. The Pistons will have an additional year of control on Knight, who is eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2015. Monroe, however, will become a restricted free agent in 2014 if he's not extended by Detroit next summer.
To follow all this offseason's decisions on 2013/14 rookie contract options, be sure to check out our tracker, which we'll keep updated as teams officially announce their moves.
Let's round up a few items of note from around the league on a Wednesday afternoon:
Udonis Haslem will sit out Game 6 of the Heat/Pacers series tonight, serving a one-game suspension for his flagrant foul in Game 5. But Haslem and agent Henry Thomas intend to appeal the suspension nonetheless, hoping to regain the $35K the Heat forward will lose.
"We'll file an appeal to the union," Thomas told Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida. "This is a guy who has been in the league for nine years and he doesn't have the reputation of being a dirty player. He's a hard-nosed player. But he's not dirty, and he doesn't want this to follow him around. … He's disappointed (with the suspension). He feels he tried to make a play on the ball."
As Haslem waits for his appeal to be heard, here are a few more Thursday notes from around the NBA:
12:35pm: Anderson has officially been named the league's Most Improved Player. Ersan Ilyasova was the runner-up, with Nikola Pekovic, Greg Monroe, and Andrew Bynum rounding out the top five. Jeremy Lin finished sixth.
8:46am: The Magic have announced a press conference for 12:30pm CT today, and Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel tweets that the team and league will announce an award winner at that time: Ryan Anderson will be named the NBA's Most Improved Player.
After averaging 8.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest in 193 games over his first three years in the league, the Magic forward broke out this season, increasing his averages to 16.1 PPG and 7.7 RPG. While an increase in minutes, from 22.3 MPG in 2010/11 to 32.2 MPG in 2011/12, played a part in his increased production, Anderson also set career highs in rate stats like FG% (.439), 3PT% (.393), FT% (.877), and PER (21.2).