The Pistons executive/coach Stan Van Gundy said he considers the team’s trade deadline acquisition of combo forward Tobias Harris from the Magic better than signing a big name free agent this summer, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com relays. “The question for us was: He’s 23 years old with a contract that is descending over the next couple years, and can we do better than that in free agency? And for us, the answer was, ‘Not even close.’” Van Gundy told Lowe. “It’s a bird in the hand. We’re not desperate to get a player, and we don’t have to overpay to just meet the [salary floor]. We got a good, young player locked in for the next three years. A lot of people want shorter contracts. For us, young players on longer contracts is a good way to go.”
Here’s more from out of the NBA’s Central Division:
- The Bucks have interviewed Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame), Malik Beasley (Florida State) and Deyonta Davis (Michigan State) at the NBA Draft combine this week, Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times relays (via Twitter).
- Jackson is also scheduled to sit down with representatives from the Bulls this weekend, with the player adding that he believes Chicago will look to select a guard in the first round this June, Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago tweets.
- The Pistons interviewed Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV) and Caris LeVert (Michigan), Keith Langlois of NBA.com notes (Twitter links). LeVert is expected to remain in a walking boot for another month as he recovers from a lower left leg injury and won’t be able to work out for teams leading up to the draft, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets.
- Other players interviewed this week by the Pistons include: Beasley, Josh Hart (Villanova), Malik Newman (Mississippi State), Jake Layman (Maryland), Wade Baldwin (Vanderbilt) and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky), David Mayo of MLive tweets.
- Maryland sophomore point guard Melo Trimble has workouts scheduled for next week with the Bucks, Pacers and Sixers, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv relays (on Twitter).