Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy says keeping restricted free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be the Pistons‘ priority in free agency, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The Pistons submitted a $4.96MM qualifying offer to Caldwell-Pope earlier this week, giving them the right to match any offer he receives. Van Gundy adds that the team will be searching for a third center at the veterans minimum and would like to find a veteran point guard to back up Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith (Twitter link). “Our main focus in [free agency] is guards,” Van Gundy said, “whether it’s our own guys or whatever we can spend on the MLE.”
There’s more as the free agency countdown continues:
- Luxury tax issues could force Kyle Korver out of Cleveland, even though he and the team would like to extend their relationship, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The Cavaliers may have to part with Korver, who shot a league-best .485 from 3-point range this season, if a large offer comes from another organization. Cleveland topped the $113MM tax threshold by $15MM this year and is facing a luxury tax bill of about $24.8MM, which includes a repeater penalty for exceeding the threshold every year since LeBron James returned. The Cavs currently have 10 players under contract for 2017/18 with a total salary of $128MM. With a projected tax line of $119MM, the team is looking at $29.75MM in taxes without filling up the roster.
- Six to eight teams are expected to pursue Hawks forward Paul Millsap, tweets Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The Nuggets, Spurs and Rockets are teams that have expressed interest in Millsap, although Houston’s plans may be altered by the package it gave the Clippers today in exchange for Chris Paul. New Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has said the Hawks don’t expect to make a full max offer to Millsap.
- Gordon Hayward is hoping the Jazz will re-sign point guard George Hill, relays Jody Genessy of The Deseret News (Twitter link). Utah is hoping for an early meeting with Hill, who averaged 16.9 points in 49 games after coming to the team in an offseason trade. Hayward remains the top priority in free agency, and the Jazz will meet with him Monday after he hears presentations from the Heat and Celtics.