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:
- Lakers big man Pau Gasol encountered some soreness in his foot after participating in a game of two-on-two at the team's practice facility today, writes Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times. The cause and extent of the of the soreness weren't clear, and he plans to visit a foot specialist on Sunday.
- In the above piece, Goodwill adds that Greg Monroe, who is set to become a restricted free agent after next year, remains confident that GM Joe Dumars is capable of turning the struggling team around.
- The Cavaliers have no plans of bringing Milan Macvan - their 2011 second round draft choice - on board anytime soon, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer. The 23-year-old Serbian big man is currently playing for Galatasaray in Turkey.
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy provides a list of D-Leaguers at every position who could be in line for a callup, with eight D-League players having already inked with NBA teams in March (Sulia link).
- One scout tells Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that this year's NCAA tourney will have a major impact on determining the order of the players selected in June. Citing how weak he believes the upcoming draft class is, the scout also tells Amico that a star from a small school could wind up being selected in the lottery again, the same way Damian Lillard emerged out of Weber State last year.
- John Rohde of The Oklahoman takes a look at some of the players the Thunder could get with the lottery pick they're expected to receive from the Raptors this year.
- The team that wins the Las Vegas Summer League, which is reportedly switching to a tournament style format this year, will have the cost of its additional tournament games reimbursed by the league, sources tell Ric Bucher of CSNBayArea.com.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey are the two Pistons players other teams ask about most, and sources tell Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that while Detroit is likely to wait to make another major move until summer, a smaller deal isn't out of the question. "You have already had the main course. You aren't getting seconds," a source told Ellis, referencing the Jose Calderon/ Tayshaun Prince swap before adding, "You might get dessert."
While we wait to bite into the sweet spot of trade deadline chatter in the days to come, here's more of what we're hearing from the Eastern Conference:
With 10 days left until the trade deadline arrives, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld surveys the market in his latest NBA AM piece, covering the latest rumors related to the Pistons, Bucks, Raptors, and Jazz. Here are the highlights from Kyler:
- The Pistons are "open for business," and would have interest in unloading Rodney Stuckey and/or Charlie Villanueva. There's also been speculation that Detroit could be convinced to move some of their own players on expiring contracts, such as Will Bynum and Jason Maxiell.
- Josh Smith and Gerald Henderson are expected to be among the Pistons' free agent targets this summer, according to Kyler.
- Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are unlikely to be dealt by the Bucks, but Drew Gooden, Samuel Dalembert, and perhaps even Ersan Ilyasova could be had. The price for Ilyasova would be high, however, and so far potential suitors such as the Raptors and Nets seem unwilling to pay that price.
- The Raptors are seeking frontcourt help and looking to find a taker for Andrea Bargnani, but haven't made significant progress on either front.
- Although Ric Bucher reported yesterday that the Jazz are more likely to trade Paul Millsap than Al Jefferson, Kyler suggests the opposite may be true, since Millsap is viewed as the free agent more likely to be re-signed or signed-and-traded in July.
- Any team willing to take Raja Bell off Utah's hands, perhaps in a larger deal, might receive more consideration from the Jazz, says Kyler.
A few Tuesday afternoon odds and ends from around the Association....
- There's a growing expectation that the Hawks will end up moving Josh Smith before the trade deadline, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Smith and the team are expected to meet this week to discuss the forward's future in Atlanta.
- After researching 25 years of NBA franchise methods, the Suns concluded that a full-fledged rebuild was an impractical approach. So while the Suns' current place in the standings may indicate that a rebuild is underway, Phoenix is hoping for a quicker turnaround, as owner Robert Sarver tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- In announcing that he wouldn't be taking the Mavericks up on their offer to join their D-League affiliate, Allen Iverson hinted that he still wants to return to the NBA. Manager Gary Moore confirms that, telling Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today that his client is working out and may explore NBA opportunities later this season. "He's going to continue to work very hard to get his mind and his body
back to a place where he can help a team in the future," Moore said. "Sooner more so
- Rodney Stuckey's name often comes up when teams call the Pistons about trades, but despite the latest incident in Detroit, the team says no deal involving Stuckey is in the works, writes Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
The latest news and notes on the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon:
Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW.com answered some questions from readers on Wednesday in a live chat, and touched on a number of Mavericks topics including the team's free agency plans and possible trades. Here are the highlights:
Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous links:
It's being reported by ESPN.com's Chris Broussard that early on in Miami's 105-90 loss against Indiana last night, LeBron James may have dislocated the ring finger on his left hand. In 41 minutes, James scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds in what was Miami's second straight loss.
- According to the Associated Press, Georgetown junior Hollis Thompson is planning on hiring an agent, and will enter the NBA draft. This year he shot 43% from behind the three-point line, which led the entire Big East. Thompson finished the season as the Hoyas' second leading scorer, and third leading rebounder.
- Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel Gibson has a torn tendon in his right foot and may miss the remainder of the season. Gibson is currently seeking multiple opinions pertaining to the injury's severity, but with only a month left in the season and Cleveland all but out of the playoff picture—not to mention the fact that they recently signed guards Donald Sloan and Manny Harris—it's more than likely he won't see the court again.
- In a recent USA Today article, Rodney Stuckey told writer Jeff Zillgitt that he saw a psychologist in order to cope with all the recent losing he's experienced with the Pistons. Stuckey is in the midst of a resurgent season that last saw him hit a game-winning shot against the Wizards last night.
- Since being traded to the Nets, Gerald Wallace has experienced loss after loss, but he's keeping a positive attitude, according to the Newark Star-Ledger's Colin Stephenson.
- The Bobcats haven't found the most success this season. The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell writes that if they don't turn things around, they could go down as the worst team in NBA history.
The Bulls, with a five game lead over the Pacers, are the class of the Central Division, and tonight they're challenging their mettle against the red-hot Spurs. Here's a look at what's going on with some of the teams trying to chase down Chicago:
- The contract of Cavs big man Samardo Samuels is not guaranteed past this season, and coach Byron Scott says he'll have to step up his effort and energy to remain with the team, tweet Tom Reed and Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Samuels, who played 11 minutes last night against Boston but has otherwise fallen out of the Cavs rotation, seems at a loss, telling the Plain Dealer, "It's hard to determine where I'm at and what I need to do to get on the court. I don't know what I did to get off (the court)."
- Bucks swingman Stephen Jackson, a subject of trade rumors, has indicated before that he has a rocky relationship with coach Scott Skiles, but a frustrated Skiles is unwilling to go back and forth with him on the issue, tweets Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
- Deveney says Australian Andrew Bogut may not be healthy in time for the Olympics, but Adam Zagoria of SNY writes that Kyrie Irving, who was born in Melbourne before moving to the U.S. at age 2, is considering suiting up for Australia instead.
- Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld takes a look at Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, whom he calls the team's best trade asset.
Portfolio Review: The Detroit Pistons are a mess. While their trade assets aren't entirely worthless, many of them are circling the drain, leaving them in a precarious position. The Pistons have invested more time and energy into their roster than they would likely receive back in return. If all the individual pieces were worthless, it might be easier to cut their losses, discard everything, and start over.
Right now the Pistons need to diversify their portfolio. They have some rotation pieces in the backcourt in Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum, and Ben Gordon. But all four are essentially slightly different variations of the same inefficient scoring combo guard. The key is to figure which one, if any, fits best with Knight and dump the rest for whatever they can get.
Prime Assets: Greg Monroe and Knight are too young and promising to determine their full trade value, so short of a one-sided offer, it makes little sense to deal them. On a good team with a reasonable contract, Ben Gordon was once worth at least one playoff victory by himself a series. On the Pistons, his contract is a liability and his presence in the lineup hinders the development of younger players.
The leaves Tayshaun Prince as their best asset, whether as a standalone or packaged with one of their backcourt pieces. Preferably for a rotation quality pure point guard like Ramon Sessions or legitimate shooting guard to begin the process of figuring out how to best use Knight.
Worthless Stock: Charlie Villanueva. Villanueva is a toxic asset whose lone redeeming value lies in the possibility that he might salvage his value to the team or be freed this offseason via amnesty.
The Rest: Combo guards and forwards are a dime a dozen in the NBA, and those on the Pistons have hardly shown anything separating themselves from the pack. Knight and Monroe are the set pieces, any redundant skill sets or players that might take up developmental resources to those two (minutes, usage, etc.) should be considered in a deal, even if it only returns addition by subtraction.