Central Notes: Pistons, Gutierrez, Cavs

The only way the Pistons would part with one of their players on a rookie contract at the deadline is if they receive a star or another such deal in return, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy says, adding that the team is open to becoming a deadline buyer, as MLive’s David Mayo notes. “Yeah. But again, depending on what you have to give up,” Van Gundy said of upgrading at the deadline. “We don’t want to be making sacrifices down the road. If it was a matter of just spending more money, yes, we definitely would. But if it’s a matter of us giving up what we think are valuable assets, and it was just for a rental for the rest of the year, probably not.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Bucks GM John Hammond struck a similar tone about his team Tuesday, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays. “Look, the big picture for us is becoming a championship-caliber organization,” Hammond said. “For us to get short-sighted and say, ‘Let’s try to win today’ and replacing any thought of moving forward into the future, I think we’re all aware that’s not who we want to be. Anything we’re looking at today is still hopefully going to be focused on acquiring a piece or talking about adding pieces that can be long-term players for this organization.”
  • The early season trades that the Cavaliers had made are paying dividends for the franchise, John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders writes. Cleveland has shown significant improvement as a team since acquiring Timofey Mozgov, who has been the most vital addition, but the play of both J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert have also been a boon, Zitzler adds. GM David Griffin deserves praise for identifying the Cavs’ biggest weaknesses and promptly addressing them, the Basketball Insiders scribe adds.
  • The Bucks won’t sign Jorge Gutierrez to a deal for the rest of the season unless they make a move to free up a roster spot, Hammond told reporters, including Andrew Gruman of Fox Sports Wisconsin (Twitter link). That indicates the team expects Larry Sanders back from his suspension at some point this season, since Gutierrez, on day No. 5 of his second 10-day contract with the team, is in the extra roster spot that the suspension allows for.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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