Central Notes: Pistons, Young, Thompson, Garland

Now that 119 of this summer’s free agents have become trade-eligible, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), several playoff-bubble teams have some tough choices to make. Should they shore up their present with moves that may compromise their future (i.e. trading draft picks or still-developing younger players to improve veteran depth), or should they pivot to selling off their more attractive trade options in the hopes of accruing more forward-looking assets?

Rod Beard of The Detroit News cautions Pistons fans about hoping their squad will opt for a complete teardown with trade season in full swing. Beard asserts that owner Tom Gores wants to his team to contend for playoff appearances. The Pistons have a middling 11-15 record, good for just the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference.

In further Pistons roster talk, The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III examines Detroit’s best and worst trade options throughout their roster. He considers bench guards Derrick Rose and Langston Galloway, plus the expiring $18.1MM contract of starter Reggie Jackson, the team’s most realistic trade chips.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • After reports indicated Bulls forward Thaddeus Young was unhappy with his playing time in Chicago, he logged more minutes on Wednesday against the Hawks and on Friday against the Hornets. K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago notes that Young’s increased playing time has cut into starting power forward Lauri Markkanen‘s minutes. Young played more minutes than Markkanen during Chicago’s 83-73 loss to Charlotte. Young signed a three-year, $41MM contract with the Bulls this summer to be a veteran mentor to the young team.
  • Cavaliers starting center Tristan Thompson downplayed a heated exchange with coach John Beilein during a 117-109 overtime win against the Spurs on Thursday. Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com documents Thompson’s thoughts on the incident. “[Beilein] understands my passion for the game,” Thompson said. “I understand his passion for the game. It’s just family members getting into a quick discussion… We’ve moved on.” 
  • The Cavaliers have found a new role for rookie guard Darius Garland in their revamped rotation: second unit leader. Though Garland still starts, he has been spending more time with the Cavs bench lately, as Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com details“The coaches say I’m more aggressive with the second group,” Garland said.
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