Big man Isaiah Stewart has been viewed as the “heart and soul” of the Pistons over his three seasons, which explains part of the reason why they decided to give him a four-year extension, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. The 22-year-old plans to outperform his new deal.
“I told (general manager) Troy (Weaver) that my goal has always been to prove him right,” Stewart told The Athletic via telephone on Tuesday. “I told him my next goal is to outplay this contract and continue to prove him right. Troy is someone who believes in me and my game, what I can become. My goal has always been to prove him right. I want to prove myself right, too. I put in a lot of work.
“It makes me feel very grateful. They’re rewarding me for the work that I’ve done and what I can become. I’m very appreciative to the front office, (owner) Tom Gores, Troy.”
Here’s more from the Central:
- In an interview at Summer League with Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press, Stewart said he’s been impressed by first-round picks Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser. “Dogs. They’ve definitely got some dog in them. You see it with Marcus on defense. Obviously his ability to score the ball. Ausar, you can tell he’s a very smart player. High IQ. He wants to play defense. He’s not a selfish player at all, he’s always trying to connect the team and connect the dots. I’m a fan of his game and what I’ve seen so far, I’m excited to play with him. You can tell he knows how to play the game the right way.” Stewart also said he’s excited to work with the new coaching staff and has been focused on his shooting this summer, per Sankofa.
- The Bulls‘ top basketball executive, Arturas Karnisovas, explained the decision to sign Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig in free agency, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago relays. Karnisovas reiterated that the team expects to be without Lonzo Ball for the entire 2023/24 season, providing context for the additions. “Unfortunately, we’re going to miss ‘Zo,” Karnišovas said on ESPN2. “He’s the player that pushes the ball, pushes the tempo, gives you 3-point shooting. So we tried to address this this offseason. And I think we got toughness, some shooting and some guys who play with energy and a motor.” Craig’s deal isn’t official yet, Johnson notes.
- The Bucks decided to give A.J. Green a standard contract after he played on a two-way deal as a rookie last season, and added rookie second-rounder Chris Livingston, the final pick of the draft, to the 15-man roster as well. Both players spoke about their new contracts with Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “It just gives me more confidence, knowing that they trust in me and what I was able to do and how I was able to help the team last year,” Green told The Athletic. “That’s all I’m going to try to continue to do, just help the team and play my role and do what I can.”