The offseason losses of Anthony Tolliver, Steve Blake and Joel Anthony cost the Pistons a combined 30 years of NBA service on their roster, notes Keith Langlois of NBA.com, and the potential leadership void entering the season concerns coach/executive Stan Van Gundy. “Absolutely. Absolute concern,” Van Gundy admitted. “If you look at what we did (over the off-season) and said, ‘OK, where’s the problem?’ – that would be it. We had three outstanding veteran leaders who were all about the right stuff.”
“Those guys provided a lot of leadership for the team in general and the younger guys in particular and now with all four of those guys gone, are these guys ready? Can they get themselves ready? Can they lead each other? Who’s going to emerge? Yeah, I think that there certainly is a concern,” Van Gundy continued. “It’s a challenge for the guys on our team. I don’t know how many teams in the league there are that will not have a single guy over 30 years old.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Former Nets guard Tyshawn Taylor has signed a deal to play in Israel with Kiryat Gat, international journalist David Pick reports (via Twitter). The 26-year-old last appeared in the NBA during the 2013/14 season when he averaged 3.9 points in 23 games for Brooklyn.
- While most teams are putting the finishing touches on their preseason rosters, there are still a number of intriguing free agents still on the market, notes Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. The scribe notes that Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, Ty Lawson, J.J. Hickson and Kevin Martin could pay dividends for a GM willing to roll the dice on them.
- Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider subscription required) ran down the teams taking a step back this offseason. Teams that fell into the “losers” category in Pelton’s view include the Thunder (for losing Kevin Durant), Bulls (for assembling an ill-fitting roster) and the Lakers (who hurt their future cap flexibility).