The Pistons have veteran options at small forward in Bojan Bogdanovic and Joe Harris. However, The Athletic’s James Edwards III believes lottery pick Ausar Thompson could jump right into the starting lineup.
Thompson looks like the best defensive option at the position and general manager Troy Weaver has made defensive improvement a priority, according to Edwards, who adds that the Pistons’ new staff might want to establish a defensive tone, then sprinkle in its perimeter shooters.
We have more from the Eastern Conference:
- Sixers big man Filip Petrusev averaged 8.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game during the World Cup, helping Serbia to its surprising silver medal performance. Petrusev is now looking forward to his first NBA season, George Efkarpides of Eurohoops.net writes. “This is a motivation maybe to just keep working,” he said. Philadelphia signed the draft-and-stash prospect in July.
- The first Sixers training camp under Nick Nurse will begin far away from Philadelphia, according to Gina Mizell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. They’ll be at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. from Oct. 3-6. Whether James Harden is still on the team or shows up for camp remains up in the air.
- Nikola Jovic excelled during the World Cup but Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel doubts that will alter the Heat‘s willingness to include him in a potential Damian Lillard trade. He’s not even certain of a rotation spot this upcoming season, Winderman notes, so unless the team’s brass and coaching staff projects him as the team’s power forward of the future or a potential All-Star talent, they won’t hesitate to move him for a proven star.