Pistons Notes: Smith Jr., Casey, Rose, Weaver

Despite a lack of playing time in New York, Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t ask to be traded, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Smith held his first media session today since the deal, which gives him a chance to revive his career with the Pistons. After suffering a quad injury early in the season and falling out of Tom Thibideau’s rotation, Smith requested a trip to the G League for more playing time and was preparing for the season in Orlando when he heard about the trade.

“I was super excited,’’ he said. “I was down in the ‘G’ getting ready to have our first scrimmage. I heard the news. I was just smiling all day. I couldn’t really sleep that night. I was looking at it as an opportunity and a fresh start and make the most out of it.”

Smith will have a few months to show the Pistons what he can do before they have to make a decision on his future. This is the final year of his rookie contract, and Detroit will have a chance to make him a restricted free agent by submitting a $7MM-plus qualifying offer after the season. Coach Dwane Casey is willing to give him an opportunity.

“Sometimes it just doesn’t work,’’ Casey said.Christian Wood had how many teams (before starring here)? Sometimes a change of scenery is good for everybody. I told him you’re starting out with a clean slate. I don’t care what happened in New York, what happened in Dallas. I don’t care what happened at North Carolina State. It’s what happens here.”

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Smith will make his Pistons debut Thursday night against the Pacers, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. He has played just 28 total minutes this season and hasn’t gotten into a game since January 17. “He’s a full go and we’ll see how much he can go tomorrow,” Casey said.
  • Derrick Rose left Detroit on good terms, according to Keith Langlois of NBA.com, who adds that Rose and the Pistons recognized that he should be with a team that has a shot at the postseason. Casey complimented the job Rose did as a mentor to the team’s young players and noted that he’s already taking on the same role in New York.
  • General manager Troy Weaver is off to a strong start in his rebuilding project, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Weaver recognized the potential of free agent forward Jerami Grant, who has turned into a star with the Pistons, and he appears to have guessed right on rookie center Isaiah Stewart, the 16th choice in the draft. Weaver also took a chance on former lottery pick Josh Jackson, who is having the best season of his career.
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13 thoughts on “Pistons Notes: Smith Jr., Casey, Rose, Weaver

  1. Buckman

    Someone explain why this is Jackson’s best year of his career. Stats don’t support it.

    • hiflew

      He had one or two really good high scoring games that people paid attention to. It was surrounded by his usual mediocre games the rest of the season that people did not pay attention to.

      BTW, Pistons games are not exactly the watchable games. People only have so much time to watch games and I would think Pistons games would be near the bottom of most people’s lists.

    • Walladipo and Wood

      It’s interesting how they acquired Grant from Denver then sent Wood to Houston, and now they’re the two favorites to win most improved player.

      • hiflew

        All that shows is that there really isn’t a most improved player, the award is really for most improved situation. These guys are the same players they were, but now have the opportunity to showcase it.

      • The Rocket’s signing of Wood for $41 for three years is a steal. Could Detroit have resigned Wood. If Wood was an unrestricted FA then maybe there was nothing Detroit could do. The Rockets signed Wood for $41 million for three seasons compared to the Hornets giving Hayward $120 million for four seasons.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Grant is becoming a star. Reminds me of JB. Jimmy also started out as D player team player. Then his offense just got better and better. Became a great 2way player. Grant is doing same thing. Great pickup for Pistons.

  3. Sensitive Fanboy

    That almost sounded like a Casey barb towards Weaver about letting Wood walk

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Good point about Wood. He was 24 when he finally broke out. Smith and some young drafted players. For whatever reason do get lost or buried. It takes time and coaching for development. Fact is it also falls on player to make them notice you. Wood did that when Drummond went down. Now Smith is going to get his shot. Show us what you got ….

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Wood had shown flashes in Jan. Then Drummond was out for two games 1-22, 1-24. Wood got his start and played solid back to back. Since then he became more consistent. Finished Jan on high note. Then Drummond was moved on 2-6 to Cavs. Now Wood went and had his best month in Feb. Point is he took advantage of his opportunity. When he got his start he showed he was worth looking at. Pistons were looking to dump Drummond anyway. They lucked out with Wood. I believe Pistons were Woods fourth team.

  5. formerlyz

    Dwayne Casey is single handedly the reason Detroit isnt in contention for a playoff spot. They easily could have at least 5-6 more wins right now, but he doesnt know how to use his team, even when it’s right there in front of his face

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