Alec Burks

Pistons Notes: Bogdanovic, Cunningham, Burks, Bey

The Pistons were relieved that Bojan Bogdanovic‘s injuries weren’t more severe, according to Mike Curtis of the Detroit News. Bogdanovic was injured late in Friday’s game against Phoenix when Torrey Craig stepped on his ankle.

Bogdanovic, who leads the Pistons in scoring, missed Sunday’s game against Cleveland due to right knee and ankle soreness.

“It was a torque action where he stepped on his ankle and it went to his knee,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “… It’s not as bad as it seemed, but it’s still sore and still hurting. Bogey’s a tough kid, a tough guy. He’ll fight through it and come back from it.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Casey says there’s no update on Cade Cunningham, who is out indefinitely due to a shin injury that could require season-ending surgery, Curtis relays in the same story. “I have no clue,” Casey said of the Pistons star guard. “It’s up to the medical group and to Cade. Whatever’s best for his health, I’m all for it. One way or the other, whatever he decides to do, I’m 100% behind him, his family, his people,”
  • While many NBA observers believe the Pistons may look to trade Alec Burks for an asset, there’s a good chance they’ll retain the second-unit guard, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes. The Pistons, who hold a $10.49MM option on Burks’ contract next season, want to become a legitimate playoff contender next season and they’d have a tough time finding another productive player like Burks at that price tag.
  • Forward Saddiq Bey was the only Pistons opening-night starter to answer the bell against Cleveland. Bey, who missed the previous four games with a right ankle sprain, scored 15 points. “I thought he came back with a focus,” Casey said, according to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. “I was concerned about his game conditioning, but he came in and gave us what he had. I thought he was sharp in the first part of the game, and as the game went on he wore down a little bit.”

Pistons Owner Optimistic Despite Rough Start

The Pistons have the worst record in the NBA but it doesn’t seem as if owner Tom Gores is looking to make any changes to the coaching staff and front office.

Gores is happy with head coach Dwane Casey and GM Troy Weaver and believes the young core Weaver has built will eventually revitalize the franchise, as he told Mike Curtis of the Detroit News.

“We’re growing,” Gores said. “Right now, we have an amazing core group and a lot of confidence. We’re better than our record is. We’re much better than that and I like the way that this team has a lot of heart. I feel great about it. Dwane’s doing good work. Troy continues to think about growth and everything, so I feel great about it.”

Weaver has drafted six players in the first round in three years, including last year’s top overall selection, Cade Cunningham, who is sidelined with a shin injury that may require surgery. Both of the team’s lottery picks this June, point guard Jaden Ivey and center Jalen Duren, have displayed high promise in the first 18 games but the Pistons have only three wins to show for it.

The Pistons are also currently missing two other players, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, both of whom were selected during the first draft with Weaver in charge in 2020. Gores sees a silver lining, as other players get opportunities.

“What’s great is, it’s the next man up,” he said. “Everybody has to do their job. We’re a team, and injuries are a part of the game, so we have to know how to deal with that. Good luck, bad luck, we’ve got to make our luck.”

Gores is especially pleased with the addition of Bojan Bogdanovic, who recently signed a two-year extension. He leads the team in scoring (20.5 points per game) and gives the lineup a veteran presence.

“We’re lucky to have Bojan,” Gores told The News. “I’ll tell you what, he’s a tremendous veteran along with Alec Burks, as well. I think we’re very fortunate. We would be a different team without those veterans. The thing is, veterans bring a lot of experience, but both these guys can play, too. You can’t teach the young men unless you can play, also.”

Cade Cunningham Out At Least Four Games With Left Shin Issue

Cade Cunningham will miss the next four games due to soreness in his left shin, the Pistons announced in a press release. Cunningham’s condition will be reevaluated in a week.

The second-year guard won’t play in tonight’s game against Boston, Monday’s contest against Toronto, or the first two games of Detroit’s upcoming road trip against the Clippers and Lakers. If the pain subsides, he could be activated for a November 20 game at Sacramento.

The pain in his shin also forced Cunningham to sit out Friday’s loss to the Knicks as the Pistons fell to 3-10, putting them in a tie for the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Cory Joseph took Cunningham’s place in the starting lineup against New York, but he got into early foul trouble and played just six total minutes. Killian Hayes and Alec Burks may also see more playing time while Cunningham is sidelined.

Coach Dwane Casey said Cunningham started experiencing the soreness in training camp, tweets James L. Edwards III of The Athletic.

“The medical team is working with it and treating it,” Casey said. “They felt those days off would take away the pain, soreness.”

After finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting last season, Cunningham’s numbers have improved across the board. Through 12 games, he is averaging 19.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per night.

Injury Updates: Beal, Bucks, Suns, Banchero, Lakers, More

Wizards guard Bradley Beal has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the team announced. However, Beal will still miss Saturday’s game against Utah due to “return to competition reconditioning,” with further updates to be provided as he continues to inch closer to a return.

Beal has missed three games while in the protocols, with the Wizards going 2-1 without their star shooting guard. Through nine games, he’s averaging 21.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists on .517/.325/.917 shooting in 35.1 minutes per night.

Here are several more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo (left knee soreness) and Jrue Holiday (right ankle sprain) were both ruled out for Friday’s loss to the Spurs, tweets Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Both players missed their second consecutive game for the league-leading Bucks, holders of a 10-2 record in the early going.
  • Similarly, Suns guard Chris Paul was ruled out for the second straight game Friday, in what turned out to be a loss to the Magic, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Fellow guard Landry Shamet (concussion symptoms) was also sidelined after scoring a season-high 16 points in Wednesday’s win over Minnesota. “We didn’t see anything. Just kind of jumped up on him last night. It just speaks to how complicated those things are. Can go for a while and not even know something is going on and then it just jumps up on you,” head coach Monty Williams said of Shamet (Twitter link via Rankin). For Orlando, No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero missed his second straight contest with a left ankle sprain.
  • The Lakers provided an update today on center Thomas Bryant and guard Dennis Schröder, both of whom are recovering from thumb surgery. They were evaluated this week and are said to be progressing well, and both players will be reevaluated next Thursday, as Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times relays (via Twitter).
  • Shaedon Sharpe, the No. 7 overall pick, has suffered a volar avulsion fracture to his right fifth finger, the Trail Blazers announced in a press release. He’s considered day-to-day going forward and is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s contest at Dallas.
  • Nuggets guard Bones Hyland has entered the league’s health and safety protocols and was ruled out for Friday’s loss at Boston, Denver announced (via Twitter). Hyland is a key reserve for Denver, with averages of 14.0 points and 3.7 assists through nine games (20.7 minutes). He’ll need to pass some testing requirements before returning to action. The Nuggets play Sunday, Wednesday and Friday next week.
  • Last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Pistons guard Cade Cunningham, was downgraded from questionable to out on Friday with left shin soreness, tweets Keith Langlois of On a positive note, wing Alec Burks made his 2022/23 season debut following foot surgery, scoring 17 points in 25 minutes during Detroit’s loss at New York.

Fischer’s Latest: Bogdanovic, Lakers, Crowder, G. Allen

When the Pistons unexpectedly beat out rival suitors to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic in September, some executives around the NBA viewed it as a signal that Detroit was accelerating its timeline and making a push for the play-in tournament, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports. However, it’s unclear if the Pistons are ready to take that step forward, having gotten off to a 3-9 start this season.

If the Pistons continue to struggle and Bogdanovic (19.3 PPG on .487/.457/.917 shooting) keeps playing anywhere near the level that he has in the early going, it could put the team in a good position to flip the veteran forward for value at this season’s trade deadline, Fischer notes.

The Pistons did sign Bogdanovic to a two-year, $39MM extension last month, but that contract shouldn’t hurt his trade value and might even improve it for some suitors, especially since the second year of the extension is only lightly guaranteed, Fischer writes. And even if the Pistons hang onto Bogdanovic through this season, he’ll now be movable in the 2023 offseason and beyond.

“What it really does is it gives them contract control so it’s easier to trade him in July, when a team that needs him is far more likely to have cap space and wiggle room,” an assistant general manager told Yahoo Sports.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Lakers inquired on Bogdanovic when he was a member of the Jazz and could still have interest if the Pistons were to make him available, according to Fischer, who points out that a package of Bogdanovic, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel would be enough to match Russell Westbrook‘s expiring deal. If the Lakers are hesitant to make an all-in move, a package like that could hold some appeal, since it shouldn’t cost them both of their tradable first-round picks, says Fischer.
  • The Suns were another team with interest in Bogdanovic before he was traded out of Utah and could still put together a package built around Jae Crowder‘s expiring contract, Fischer writes, adding that there’s no indication that Crowder and the Suns will reunite even after starting forward Cameron Johnson went down with a knee injury.
  • It’s unclear whether the Bucks have interest in Bogdanovic, but they’re among Crowder’s potential suitors and could hypothetically offer Grayson Allen for him, according to Fischer, who hears from sources that Milwaukee has been calling teams to gauge Allen’s trade value.
  • While Allen looks like the kind of rotation piece the Suns are known to be seeking in exchange for Crowder, Fischer wonders if Phoenix might become more inclined to wait until closer to the trade deadline to see if any higher-impact players shake loose — Crowder’s expiring contract could be an important piece in any offer for a player of that caliber.

Central Notes: Burks, Holiday, Bucks’ Start, Mitchell

Alec Burks, who has yet to make his Pistons debut, is listed as questionable to play against Boston on Wednesday, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News tweets. The veteran shooting guard was acquired from the Knicks in a draft-night deal. He has been sidelined while recovering from a fractured left navicular bone.

Pistons big man Marvin Bagley III, who has been out since the third preseason game due to a right knee sprain, has been upgraded to doubtful.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Guard Jrue Holiday has been instrumental in the Bucks’ 9-1 start but they’ll likely have to play Oklahoma City on Wednesday without him. The team has listed Holiday as doubtful due to a right ankle sprain, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets.
  • Milwaukee’s early season success has been fueled by Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s dominant start, a soft schedule, and the team’s top-ranked defense, Jamal Collier of ESPN writes. When Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton returns from injuries, the Bucks will have reinforcements to deal with a tougher slate.
  • Donovan Mitchell quickly became aware of the team-first culture in the Cavaliers’ organization after being traded by Utah and he took steps to make sure he fit right in, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Cleveland players, coaches and front-office members noticed Mitchell showed no ego from preseason workouts through the start of the season.

Central Notes: Garland, Osman, Burks, Turner

Cavaliers All-Star point guard Darius Garland, still dealing with a left eyelid laceration, is not expected by head coach J.B. Bickerstaff to return to Cleveland’s lineup for its contest against the Magic tomorrow, per Kelsey Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link).

“He’s doing stuff on the floor now, breaking a sweat,” Bickerstaff said. “Again, time will tell how far the swelling goes down and how quickly.”

Thus far this year, Garland’s only on-court action has come during the Cavaliers’ opener last Wednesday. He was only available for 13 minutes before leaving due to the injury.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers small forward Cedi Osman is fitting into the niche role head coach J.B. Bickerstaff wants him to fulfill this season, according to Chris Fedor of “I know what J.B. expects of me every night,” Osman told Fedor last Saturday. “Most importantly, he expects energy and defensive effort from me every time I’m on the floor. I’m aware of that. I’m capable of doing it.” Bickerstaff added, “What we have told Cedi is he is not a make-or-miss player,” he said. “He is a two-way impact guy… We will never take him out for missing a shot because he has the ability to be a sparkplug on both ends of the floor.”
  • Journeyman Pistons shooting guard Alec Burks, still working through a fractured left navicular bone, has been scrimmaging with teammates in three-on-three and four-and-four practices, per Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. Curtis adds that Burks is expected to slot in as a reserve playmaker when he does fully recover. “He’s still a ways away,” Detroit head coach Dwane Casey said. “Not putting a timetable on it. He’s getting some work in, but nothing live.
  • Pacers center Myles Turner, who has yet to suit up for Indiana while dealing with a sprained left ankle, has had his status upgraded to questionable ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Bulls, per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Agness adds that Turner practiced with the Pacers today.

Pistons Notes: Gores, Cunningham, Noel, Bagley, Livers

The Pistons have delivered only one winning season since Tom Gores became the majority owner. With the way general manager Troy Weaver has revamped the roster, Gores believes the franchise is ready to take off, Keith Langlois of writes.

“I’ve now owned the team for 11 years, and I’ve never felt this way,” Gores said. “This is a great foundation, it’s a tremendous foundation. Part of the reason I love the players on this team is that you have tremendous skill, but there’s a lot of humility here. With humility, you also reflect and that’s how you improve. I really love this energy. I love it, and I don’t say that often.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Cade Cunningham realizes he may have to make some individual sacrifices in order to become a true leader, as he told James Edwards III of The Athletic. “Right now, we’re still trying to figure it out and build our way up to being a winning team,” Cunningham said. “Everything that I’m doing, everything that the team is doing, should be with that in mind. Maybe, right now, I have to sacrifice some things. Maybe I have to sacrifice 50 shots a game to make sure the chemistry is good, we’re flowing, whatever. We need to know how we’re going to play. So, when it gets that time, everyone is confident, everyone is ready to go. That’s how I see things.”
  • Center Nerlens Noel, who has been working his way back from a foot injury since being traded from the Knicks, participated in his first practice on Tuesday, Edwards tweets. It would be surprising if Noel played this week, but he could get some rotation minutes while Marvin Bagley III recovers from a right knee injury, which is expected to sideline him for at least three or four weeks.
  • Along with Bagley, Alec Burks (left navicular fracture) and Isaiah Livers (right hip) are also listed as out for Wednesday’s season opener against Orlando, Mike Curtis of the Detroit News tweets.

Central Notes: Pistons, Haliburton, Dosunmu, Lopez

Marvin Bagley III‘s knee injury is the latest mishap for a Pistons team that will start the season with a diminished frontcourt, writes Mike Curtis of The Detroit News.

Nerlens Noel, who was acquired from the Knicks in an offseason trade, is reconditioning after plantar fasciitis and hasn’t played during the preseason. Rookie center Jalen Duren hurt his shoulder last week, but was able to return Tuesday. Newly acquired Bojan Bogdanovic sat out Tuesday’s game with a strained calf, and Alec Burks, Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo are all dealing with injuries as well.

“It’s part of the NBA,” coach Dwane Casey said. “That’s one reason (general manager Troy Weaver) has done a good job of bringing multiple guys in. Unfortunately, the multiple guys are (sitting out, injured) behind the bench. I think it’s a freak thing. I do know that some of the guys that were behind the bench — Kevin, (Diallo) — if it was a regular season game, they’d be able to go. That’s refreshing to know that.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pacers seem headed for a rebuilding year, but that’s not how the players are approaching the new season, according to Michael Marot of The Associated Press. Trade deadline deals for Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith have added some youthful enthusiasm to the team. “I think we’ve just got a lot of guys who love basketball, who love to compete and that’s a great place to start,” Haliburton said. “There are so many young guys and they have a lot to prove not only to the media or the naysayers but to themselves.”
  • Ayo Dosunmu will take over as the Bulls‘ starting point guard while Lonzo Ball is sidelined, per Annie Costabile of The Chicago Sun-Times. Coach Billy Donovan confirmed that Dosunmu won the role with his performance since camp opened. “Ayo right now is going to be the guy back there for us,” Donovan said. “He’s done a really good job this training camp and preseason.”
  • The Bucks are counting on better health from Brook Lopez to improve their defense, notes Jamal Collier of ESPN. The veteran center was limited to 13 games last season because of back issues, but he came to camp noticeably leaner and motivated to prove he deserves a contract extension. “He’s in the best physical condition I’ve seen,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He seems hungry. … I feel like he’s moving well at both ends of the court. His aggressiveness is in a good place.”

Pistons Finalize Camp Roster, Announce Injury Updates

The Pistons officially announced their training camp roster on Monday, and it includes two new names. According to the team, guards Jules Bernard and Stanley Umude have signed Exhibit 10 contracts, filling out the 20-man roster.

Bernard, a 6’7″ swingman, went undrafted out of UCLA earlier this year. As a senior in 2021/22, he averaged 12.8 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a shooting line of .419/.337/.818 in 35 games (30.1 MPG). He subsequently played for the Pistons’ Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Umude, whose agreement with the Pistons was previously reported, spent his first four college seasons at South Dakota from 2017-21, averaging 21.6 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 3.0 APG as a senior in 2020/21. He transferred to Arkansas for his “super-senior” season last year and played more of a complementary role for the Razorbacks, putting up 11.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.1 APG on .460/.371/.724 shooting in 37 games (27.8 MPG).

Like Bernard, Umude went undrafted and then played for the Pistons’ Summer League team in July. Both players will likely end up playing for the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League affiliate.

Here are a few more updates from the Pistons today:

  • While Kemba Walker is listed on Detroit’s training camp roster, he’s marked as “not with team,” which had been expected. Bojan Bogdanovic is the lone Piston missing from the team’s camp roster — while’s transaction log indicates the trade sending him to Detroit was completed last Thursday, he may still need to conduct a physical with his new team before it’s officially official.
  • In a separate press release, the Pistons announced that guard Alec Burks will miss the start of training camp as he continues his rehab following a navicular fracture. Burks will be reevaluated in three weeks, according to the team.
  • Kevin Knox (right gastroc strain) and Nerlens Noel (reconditioning / plantar fasciitis) will be limited participants to open training camp, the Pistons announced.