It’s all but inevitable that the Pistons will waive Danny Granger, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy admits, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). They’re exploring trade options in the interim, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, who cautions that it doesn’t mean a deal will happen (Twitter links). Granger has a fully guaranteed salary of $2,170,465, one of 16 full guarantees on the Pistons.
Here’s the latest from the Central Division:
- The Pacers‘ new D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, officially hired Harrison Greenberg as Director of Basketball Operations, the team announced.
- LeBron James is pleased that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is willing to venture deep into luxury tax territory in an effort to put together a contending team, Joe Vardon of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “It’s a sign that he’ll do anything to help us go out there and perform,” James said of Gilbert’s spending. “I’m not comparing us to the New York Yankees, because we’re not, we’re so nowhere near compared to the New York Yankees, but they have one of the highest payrolls every year,” James continued. “They don’t win it every year but that’s what they believe in. They believe in going out there and getting the best talent that can play. When you have an ownership group or a collection round that believes what it’s going to take, then money is not an object.“
- While Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has yet to make it official, center Joakim Noah is likely to begin the season coming off the bench, writes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com. “We’ll start the same way,” Hoiberg said. “If it looks good, [that’s] a pretty good chance that’s the way we’ll go on opening night.” When asked about Noah’s response to the potential move, Hoiberg said, “We’ve talked. We talk about everything that he’s done. He was great, he was excited about playing with Taj Gibson last game. I think those two have a very good chemistry out there together. And [Noah] was the one that talked to me about that, about how well he feels he and Taj play together out there on the floor.”
- Tristan Thompson is glad to be back with the Cavaliers, but does maintain that he was prepared to miss regular season time if a contract agreement had not been reached, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays. “I love playing basketball,” Thompson said. “That’s my love, that’s my passion. But with this business it comes with a business side of it. For me, that’s how I approach it. Business is business and my approach is if a deal gets done before the season that’s great, but if not then so be it. I’m not a rookie no more. I’m a veteran. It’s not something to take lightly. It’s a serious matter.“
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.