DeMar DeRozan stayed in touch with Kyle Lowry this summer but didn’t try to pressure him into re-signing with the Raptors, and the soft-sell approach worked, as the point guard tells TNT’s David Aldridge, who writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. Lowry confirms that the Rockets met with him on the first day of free agency but suggests that the Heat only made contact via email, as Lowry also says to Aldridge. Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:
- Pistons GM Jeff Bower looked into trade possibilities as the team sought a point guard, but no amenable deal emerged that would have allowed Detroit to acquire a player on an expiring contract, as president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy told reporters today. Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press has the details. Detroit, which temporarily filled its vacancy with a 10-day deal for John Lucas III today, reportedly had interest in Norris Cole, who’s on an expiring deal, but the team evidently couldn’t work out a deal for him.
- Lucas is willing to stick around if the Pistons want him beyond his 10-day contract, though he acknowledges that the team has made no promises for after the 10 days, as Ellis observes in the same piece.
- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called 10-day signee Tyler Johnson “the model of player development” today, as Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald tweets, leading Goodman to wonder if the club has long-term plans for the guard. Miami can’t sign Johnson to anymore 10-day deals this season after this one expires at the end of Saturday, so a season-long commitment would be required if he’s to remain with the Heat.
- Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders makes the case that Jason Kidd should be a leading candidate for Coach of the Year thanks to the job he has done in his first year with the Bucks. Kidd is no stranger to surprising turnarounds as a player, since he helped take the Nets from a 26-56 team in 2000/01 to the Eastern Conference title in 2001/02 upon his arrival. We’re only just past the midway point of the season, but Hamilton has Kidd as his top coach of the 2014/15 season, ahead of Steve Kerr and Mike Budenholzer.
Zach Links contributed to this post.