Pistons Notes: Ilyasova, Tolliver, Hilliard

Stan Van Gundy didn’t change the roster much in his first few months with the Pistons, and that was by design, he says, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Now, the process has accelerated, and Andre Drummond, Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are the only holdovers from before his tenure.

“You had to be cautious because you hadn’t had time to really have your processes in place to make great decisions and so you were rushed in your decision-making compared to what we have this year,” Van Gundy said, according to Ellis. “We didn’t want to take any big risks. Now we’ve had a chance to go through a year and thoroughly evaluate the draft and thoroughly evaluate free agents and pro personnel.”

See more on the revamped Pistons:

  • Van Gundy puts trade acquisition Ersan Ilyasova in a class with only Kevin Love and 2016 free agent Ryan Anderson among those who can both rebound and shoot three-pointers effectively, even though Ilyasova’s per-36-minute rebounding numbers have steadily declined the past few years, MLive’s David Mayo observes. Ilyasova contends that’s only because of a change in the way the Bucks used him, Mayo notes.
  • Anthony Tolliver, who like Ilyasova is one of the keys to replacing Greg Monroe‘s rebounding, poured effort into getting himself in shape for the final season of his contract this year, as he detailed on his blog and as he addressed in camp Thursday, as Mayo relays in a separate piece. “I didn’t really train as a basketball player. I trained as an athlete,” Tolliver said Thursday. “I worked on running mechanics, worked on jumping mechanics, speed training, all kinds of different things that I’ve never done before. So I just feel like I’m in a lot better shape than I have been in the past going into this year. It’s going to be a big one for me.”
  • The Pistons are making the most of Darrun Hilliard‘s versatility and having him play some point guard in camp, a position that this year’s 38th overall pick, who usually plays on the wing, is ready to embrace in his uphill battle for a regular season roster spot, as MLive’s Aaron McCann details. “Darrun’s a smart guy, knows how to play,” Van Gundy said. “It’s real easy to blend him in with other guys because he really understands how to play with other players easily.”
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