Stan Van Gundy was looking for shooting, defense, toughness, defense and high energy as he sought a stretch power forward for the Pistons, and the Pistons coach/executive believes that he has all of that in Ersan Ilyasova, Van Gundy said Tuesday, as Terry Foster of The Detroit News relays.
“That was our plan for the entire summer, not really thinking we would get all of those things in one guy,” Van Gundy said. “That is why this deal was really exciting for us. We didn’t just get a stretch four. We got someone who can add a lot more for us.”
Part of what Ilyasova brings is the ability to complement Andre Drummond the way Van Gundy had his Orlando teams play around Dwight Howard, as Foster examines in his piece. Drummond, whom owner Tom Gores has called a “max player,” is eligible for a rookie scale extension starting July 1st. Here’s more from Detroit:
- Van Gundy had been inquiring about Ilyasova ever since he took over the Pistons last month, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes.
- The Pistons executive hinted that small forward will be a priority for the team in free agency even if the team uses the No. 8 pick on a player at that position, as MLive’s David Mayo relays within a piece looking at Detroit’s roster holes. Finding a backup big man will be Detroit’s second priority after the three spot, Mayo writes. “We’ve got to go get a small forward we can count on to play,” Van Gundy said. “We’ve got to get backup big guys that we can count on to play. The draft picks — not even talking about 38 [the Pistons second-round pick], even at eight — the draft pick’s a guy that we hope can play, but hopefully can come along slowly a little bit, not be forced to have a lot of pressure on him.”
- Shooting guards Devin Booker of Kentucky, Tyler Kalinoski of Davidson, Royce O’Neale of Baylor and Aaron Thomas of Florida State are in a predraft workout for the Pistons today, the team announced (Twitter link).