Central Rumors: Tolliver, Griffin, J.R. Smith, Markkanen

Power forward Anthony Tolliver would like to stay put but his future with the Pistons is uncertain at best, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. Tolliver, 32, quickly emerged as a rotation player in his second stint with the franchise and posted career highs in field-goal percentage (46.4) and 3-point percentage (43.6), Khan notes. But Tolliver becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Pistons still have Jon Leuer, who missed most of the season with an ankle injury, and Henry Ellenson at that spot behind Blake Griffin“I’ve been here longer than anywhere else in my career and would love to keep that going,” Tolliver told Khan and other beat writers. “But at the end of the day, got to see what’s up this summer.”

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Griffin told his Pistons teammates during their postseason meeting that he wants to be the leader of the team, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com relays. Griffin arrived in a late January trade with the Clippers and feels he needs to take more responsibility. “It’s a role that he should and does embrace,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s not he and Chris Paul. Clearly, he’s the most accomplished guy on our team to this point. Five-time All-Star. Guys look up to him, so people are going to be looking at him and I think he wants that.”
  • Former starters J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson are candidates to return to the starting five for Game 2 against the Pacers, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed to Joe Vardon of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and other media members. Smith scored 15 points off the bench in Game 1, while Thompson made just a cameo appearance. “We’ve been talking about it as a staff,” Lue said. “I just know those guys have been through everything with us the last four years and we won a championship, went to three finals. Tristan and J.R. played a big part of that. We understand that and trust me, we know that.”
  • Bulls rookie forward Lauri Markkanen will play for the Finnish National Team in the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers scheduled for the end of June, Sportando reports. He averaged 15.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG in 29.7 MPG during his first NBA season.
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8 thoughts on “Central Rumors: Tolliver, Griffin, J.R. Smith, Markkanen

  1. Connorsoxfan

    I’ve been a fan of Tolliver’s game for awhile. If he can’t stick in DET he’d be a nice addition to Boston’s frontcourt which might be a revolving door for awhile (aside from Horford) with guys like Theis and Monroe likely on the way out.

  2. Dionis

    Bring in a shooting guard next season in case Kennard does not make the leap. A Will Barton or KCP would do the backcourt wonders.

  3. Dodgethis

    Cavs should keep Thompson benched as long as he’s involved with that family of monsters who have zero talant and nothing to offer anyone. “Were ugly fat and gross version of Paris Hilton, but a pseudo minority so you have to love us” God, they already destroyed Lamar Odom how many basketball players will have their careers destroyed before people wise up! Can’t help but feel like TT started sucking right after he began his “relationship”

    • x%sure

      Pretty much. The people who complained about him would do it less if he was paid less; he was a useful starter. Was.
      And they’re not liking him in that other world, either!

  4. pjsportsdude85

    love tolliver, true class act professional. knows his role and comes to play. pistons need to resign him for that alone. Also curious how drummond feels about Griffin wanting to lead the team. I feel drum had his chance and is not mature enough to handle it.

  5. I’d stick with Hill, Hood, Green and Love as the other starters, as its the best defensive team they can put out there with Love at C – and the four 3 pt shooter look that’s been their best this year. Guys like Green just need to play better. But JR for Hood is OK and likely doesn’t mean much as both will play. But don’t make the change because JR played well last game (he’s best used on a take what you get basis).

    Inserting TT in the starting lineup (I assume with Love) takes them back to a style that hasn’t worked well this season (KI is gone, so it really doesn’t matter if it looks like the lineup of the past 3 years). Lue knows his guys, so we’ll see, but it seems like he’s giving up on what it took a long time to put in place this year after one playoff game (which, in reality, was lost in the first quarter).

  6. pihc

    Sign of a weak and not so smart coach. Disparate maybe? He can’t figure out why they lost a game to the Pacers especially at home.

    If Lue is going to start changing things after one loss, he’ll completely lose the team after promising the other players through the Media that they were starting.

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