Central Notes: McMillan, Pistons, Draft

It remains to be seen how well new Pacers coach Nate McMillan has evolved since his stint with the Blazers, given how much the league has changed since then, Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star writes. “The interesting thing is that Nate went to Portland and had a pretty decent run of success there but played a very methodical, slowed-down, precise type of offense,” said former player Brent Barry, who was coached by McMillan for four seasons, “and I think that’s why a lot of people are interested in how it is after Larry’s comments with regards to coach Vogel, wanting to be a more up-tempo offensive, quick-strike team, how it is that Nate has changed and evolved during his time on the bench in Indiana.

McMillan acknowledged that the game has changed on offense, telling reporters, “In 2005, nobody was talking about spread lineups. There’s no way, back in the day, I’d allow my center to be out here working on 3s. [Now] every team in the league’s center works on 3s. It’s just a different game.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers will hold their third predraft workout on Monday and participating will be Anthony Barber (North Carolina State), Ben Bentil (Providence), Kay Felder (Oakland), Armani Moore (Tennessee), Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland), and Caleb Swanigan (Purdue), the team announced.
  • The Pistons‘ roster is relatively set for the 2016/17 season, which means that the team could look to get creative with its second round pick this June, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. Detroit’s options with the No. 49 overall pick include drafting an international player who’ll spend at least one more season in development overseas or trading it for a future second-round pick containing reasonable protections, Langlois adds. The Pistons are without second-rounders in 2017, 2019 and 2020, the scribe notes.
  • Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt reached out to Tyronn Lue, the man who replaced him in Cleveland, to offer his support and praise for the team’s postseason play, Chris Haynes of The Northeast Ohio Media Group relays. “He’s just a good person,” Lue told Haynes. “Always encouraging, always supportive. He just said how proud he was of me and what we’re doing, and that means a lot coming from him. His friendship is something I truly appreciate and value.
  • The Bucks, who hold the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft, are likely to hold onto the pick rather than trade it, Jim Paschke of NBA.com relays (video link). According to GM John Hammond, due to the difficulty involved in moving up in the draft, any deal involving Milwaukee’s pick would likely be to trade down.
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