Central Notes: Joseph, Hayes, Love, Caruso

The Pistons waived Cory Joseph this summer rather than guaranteeing the $12.6MM left on his contract. However, there was little doubt the team would re-sign him, as Keith Langlois of the team’s website explains.

Joseph not only excelled last season after coming over in a trade with Sacramento, he was a mentor for the team’s young guards. Joseph received a partial guarantee of $2.4MM from his previous contract before the Pistons re-upped him on a two-year, $10MM deal.

“He’s been a godsend to those young guys,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s always talking. I love Cory’s spirit.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Casey is thrilled with how second-year Pistons point guard Killian Hayes has looked in the early days of camp, Langlois writes in a separate story. Hayes’ rookie year was marred by a hip injury that kept him out for all but 26 games. “I think last season was weird – coming in as a rookie, everything going on with COVID, getting injured. He was feeling his way,” Casey said. “Now I think the number one thing, he’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s just hooping, playing free and being Killian. He had a great summer and he’s had a great start to training camp, as well.”
  • Kevin Love endured a tumultuous offseason that included rumors of a potential buyout as well as trade talk. The veteran Cavaliers power forward promises he’s not going to be distraction, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer“Just putting my head down, keeping quiet and going about my business,” Love said. “The buyout had never even come up. I think that’s speculation…. I’m still sitting here Year 14 as a Cav. Listen, it’s a young team, this is obviously where this is headed and where this is going, but what I’m going to try to be, like I told Koby (Altman) and J.B. (Bickerstaff), is a positive force.”
  • Alex Caruso, who built a reputation of being a solid defender during his years with the Lakers, signed with the Bulls as a free agent and hopes his new teammates follow his lead in that area, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. ‘‘I think the things I’m good at, the team needs and the team can use,’’ he said. ‘‘I think that’s part of the reason they brought me here. Just trying to do my best to rub off on the other guys.’’
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