Arn Tellem, who was recently hired as the new vice chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment, is also likely to become a minority owner of the Pistons by the year’s end, writes Tom Walsh of The Detroit Free Press. This was one of the factors that motivated Tellem to leave the Wasserman Media Group, Walsh adds. “I’m coming here to make a difference,” Tellem said. “If it was just limited to basketball, it would not be enough of a motivation to come and do it, but to have an involvement from an ownership level in basketball and the business and the community and see where we can make a difference and contribute to what’s going on here in Detroit and Michigan.”
Regarding a potential ownership stake in he franchise, Tellem said, “That was part of the plan when I came in. My hope is now that by the end of the year, we’re going to hopefully have a piece of the action. [Owner] Tom’s [Gores] desire is to have this team long-term for him and his family and to really accomplish a lot here — not only winning basketball games, but to make a difference in the community here.”
Here’s more out of the Central Division:
- In move that doesn’t come as a shock, restricted free agent Tristan Thompson won’t be attending the pre-training camp workouts that LeBron James has organized for the Cavaliers in Miami, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group notes. Thompson, who has reportedly rejected a five-year, $80MM contract offer from the Cavaliers, is adamant that he will not put pen to paper on a new pact unless it is a maximum salary deal and is contemplating signing his one-year qualifying offer worth $6,777,589 if a deal can’t be worked out between the two sides.
- Bucks forward Jabari Parker‘s rehab from a torn ACL suffered 25 games into the 2014/15 campaign is going well, though it is unclear if he will be at full strength when the regular season tips off, Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders writes. But even if Parker is close to 100%, the team intends to be protective of the second-year player, Blancarte adds. “We’re going to be very conservative with him,” GM John Hammond said. “If we think he’s capable of playing 20, we’ll maybe play him 10 minutes. If we think he can play a back-to-back, we’ll wait on the back-to-back. Whatever it is, we’re going to be very cautious as he moves forward because of the magnitude of who he can be and who we hope he can be for our organization going forward.”