Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said he’ll “keep an eye” on Brandon Jennings this summer in the hopes that the soon-to-be free agent finds the right situation, as MLive’s Aaron McMann relays. Van Gundy said in January that he could envision re-signing the point guard, despite the presence of entrenched starter Reggie Jackson, before Detroit traded Jennings to the Magic last month. It’s unclear whether Van Gundy is thinking about a reunion with Jennings, but it’s nonetheless apparent that the Pistons boss has affection for him, lauding his commitment and positive locker room influence. “The one thing, and some people probably think you’re full of crap,” Van Gundy said. “We said to him all along — he and his agent [Jeff Schwartz] — that if we traded him, we would try very hard to get him into a good situation. He had played for [Magic coach] Scott [Skiles] before, and the Magic really wanted him. It sounded to us like he was going to get an opportunity there. That was important to us because I’ve got great respect for Brandon and for what he did for us last year.”
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- University of Iowa shooting guard Peter Jok is entering this year’s NBA draft but won’t immediately hire an agent, thus allowing him to retain his college eligibility, the school confirmed via press release, according to Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Marty Tirrell of KBGG-AM radio first reported the news (Twitter link). The junior has only long shot pro hopes, as he isn’t among the many prospects in either Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings or Chad Ford’s ESPN.com listings. Early entrants have until May 25th to withdraw from the draft and retain their college eligibility.
- Givony, writing for The Vertical, examines the impact of the rules changes that allow underclassmen to enter the draft, gauge their stock and retain their college eligibility if they pull out, noting that existing NBA rules let players withdraw from the draft only twice. Prospects become automatically eligible for the draft the year following their second withdrawal, Givony points out, so that means freshmen take a slight risk if they enter with the intention of pulling out, since they’d become automatically draft-eligible after their junior seasons if they entered and withdrew again as sophomores.
- Suns affiliate player Terrico White has backed out of an agreement with Israel’s Maccabi Rishon and will play for Israeli rival Nes-Ziona instead, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). White, the 36th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, has spent the season with Phoenix’s D-League team since a training camp stint on the NBA roster.