Central Notes: Griffin, Drummond, Oppenheimer, Harrison

The Pistons may be rebuilding, but they don’t expect it to be a long process, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. There’s optimism throughout the organization that Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose will both be healthy when training camp opens, giving the team a veteran foundation to guide its young players.

Griffin underwent knee surgery in January, but there have been “glowing” reports about his progress over the summer, according to Langlois. The veteran forward has regained confidence in his knee and remains in top condition. Langlois adds that Rose has also benefited from the extra long offseason.

Sekou Doumbouya, Luke Kennard, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Bruce Brown were all impressive at the team’s mini-camp, and the Pistons have the chance to add to the mix with $30MM in cap space and the seventh pick in next month’s draft. The hiring of general manager Troy Weaver, who has a track record of identifying young talent, adds to the optimism in Detroit.

There’s more on the Central Division:

  • The Knicks may be the best option for the Cavaliers if they decide to trade Andre Drummond, according to Chris Sheridan of Basketball News. New York has enough cap space to facilitate the deal and could offer role players on expiring contracts – Reggie Bullock, Wayne Ellington, Taj Gibson and Elfrid Payton – if Cleveland wants any of them. Sheridan mentions the Hornets, Pistons, Hawks, Heat and Suns as other possibilities.
  • Josh Oppenheimer will return to the Bucks as an assistant coach, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Most recently an assistant at James Madison, Oppenheimer worked for Milwaukee from 2013-16, serving on the staffs of Larry Drew and Jason Kidd. He was also an assistant for the Rockets and the Long Island Nets of the G League. Oppenheimer is known as the “shot doctor” and worked extensively with Giannis Antetokounmpo early in his career, notes Matt Velasquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link).
  • K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago ranks the Bulls who are least likely to return next season. He puts guard Shaquille Harrison at the top of the list, believing the potential restricted free agent would be “redundant” if Chicago makes a qualifying offer to Kris Dunn. Veteran forward Thaddeus Young, who has just a partial guarantee beyond next season, is second, followed by guard Denzel Valentine, another potential restricted free agent who couldn’t get regular playing time under former coach Jim Boylen, but displayed strong leadership skills during mini-camp.
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18 thoughts on “Central Notes: Griffin, Drummond, Oppenheimer, Harrison

  1. mcmillankmm

    In regards to a potential Knicks/Cavs Drummond trade…I thought only guaranteed salary was used in terms of salary matching? I thought JR Smith was the last player signed under the CBA who met the criteria for being allowed to trade with non-guaranteed salary.

    • mcmillankmm

      If not, yeah the Knicks should see if they can package a couple of those guys with one of their Mavs picks

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Why would we take Drummond. When one of our future players is Mitch. Stop drinking the koolaid. Is it really possible for Knicks to take every player. Every team wants to get rid off. Get a calculator lol.
        Those players have contracts Ellington 8 mill, Bullock 6 mill, Payton 10 mill, Taj 10 mill. But could be bought for 1 mill cause not guaranteed.
        We also have Randle only one yr at 20 mill. Or Portis only yr 15 mill.
        We gave six expiring contracts we can use in trades worth total 69 mill. It’s why we could take Paul (please no) or Westbrook- ok or Harris – ok. Even Horford with no picks ok. We good now

        • hiflew

          Possibly because Mitch could be on the move to GS for the 2. If you are a Knicks fan, would you rather have Drummond and LaMelo or Robinson and whoever they could get at 8? It’s an interesting question without a definite answer. I would go with Drummond because I feel he is the more proven player and Ball is likely the better prospect than the #8 pick. But I could definitely see good reasoning for picking the other duo as well.

  2. rxbrgr

    So Bullock, Ellington, Gibson and Payton couldn’t really be used in a salary-matching trade for Drummond using only their $1MM-guaranteed contracts. I guess I just don’t follow…if they can take Drummond in to cap space, why not just waive those players instead of trading them for him?

  3. Sillivan

    Drummond is a top 20 player who has little trade value?

    Warriors can trade Wiggins and 3 2021 seconds for Drummond

    • OhThatYoGirl

      Why would the Cavs take Wiggins and that shi**y ass contract? Wiggins is wack. A volume shooter making way to0 much money on way too many years.

  4. Sheridan needs to stay current on the salary cap.

    In this case, Knicks wouldn’t do a matching salary deal for Drummond in any event. They’d take him into cap space. Of course, some or all of those players could go in the deal – if either the Cavs want them or the Knicks part of the deal includes getting off the $1 million owed to each. Although it would depend on when they have to be released. Anyway, it would be a BAD deal for the Knicks. If they take Drummond, then Cavs should have to take at least Randle. Still, its unclear what the Knicks would be thinking. Drummond is in his last year and this is a key evaluation year for MR.

  5. Sillivan

    IMO Cavs can make playoffs with Dinosaur Drummond.

    Draft Ball, trade Garland and Exum for a good young Small Forward.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Dude you have saying Ball is #1 pick for 6 months. How will Cavs get him with 5th pick.

  6. Sillivan

    If Cavs trade Dinosaur Drummond,

    Cavs = Wolves = nobody plays defense = bottom 2 teams

      • El Don

        ‘Cause Dre is so much better than Robinson will ever be? How ’bout that?

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Really dude. Mitch just set a record for best FG% in the history of the NBA. First yr starting 20 yrs old. He’s a better rim protector right now. You talk a lot smack about NY. I doubt you ever been here. Or ever watched the Knicks play. So all your bias is based on writers and espn right. We in NY critique what we see and analyze on our own. Not based on anyone’s opinion but our own.

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