Cory Joseph

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Rotation, Jackson, Pickett

Top pick Cade Cunningham is dealing with an ankle sprain and has missed some practice time, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. The medical staff is being very cautious with the Pistons’ prized rookie so that the injury doesn’t linger.

Cunningham has been doing some light shooting drills, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. It appears unlikely that the rookie guard will play in the team’s preseason opener on Wednesday.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Head coach Dwane Casey will serve youth, mainly in the starting lineup, and rely on veterans on the second unit, according to Keith Langlois of “I think we’re going to have probably two different units – one a younger unit that’s going to bring energy and the second unit will probably have more experience,” Casey said. Cunningham will likely be joined by second-year players Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes in the starting unit, as well as possibly Isaiah Stewart. Casey is still mulling whether to go with Stewart or free agent signee Kelly Olynyk as the starting center. Cory Joseph will likely be the second-unit floor leader with Hamidou Diallo, Josh Jackson, Frank Jackson and Trey Lyles fighting for playing time.
  • Frank Jackson, like Cunningham, is dealing with an ankle injury, Sankofa adds in a separate tweet. He was re-signed as a restricted free agent on a two-year, $6.2MM deal that includes a team option next summer.
  • Jamorko Pickett continues to earn the admiration of the coaching staff, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. “I’m really impressed with Jamorko Pickett, as far as his game, approach, maturity and communication,” Casey said. An undrafted forward out of Georgetown, Pickett recently had his non-guaranteed camp deal upgraded to a two-way contract.

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.’’

Contract Details: Noel, Dekker, Robinson-Earl, Joseph

Nerlens Noel‘s three-year deal with the Knicks – reported last week to be worth $32MM – actually has a lower base value than expected, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who said in an Instagram video that the deal starts at $8.8MM.

Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets the year-by-year breakdown of Noel’s contract, which has a third-year team option and is worth $27.72MM in total. The agreement includes $4MM in total unlikely incentives, says Smith. If the Knicks center doesn’t earn any of those incentives and doesn’t have his third-year option picked up, he’d end up earning a little over $18MM for two seasons.

Here are a few more new contract details from around the NBA:

  • Sam Dekker‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Raptors features a partial guarantee worth $350K, according to Smith (Twitter link). Dekker’s salary will become fully guaranteed if he makes Toronto’s regular season roster.
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl‘s four-year contract with the Thunder includes fully guaranteed salaries of $2MM apiece in the first two seasons, followed by a non-guaranteed third year and a fourth-year team option, per Marks (Instagram video). It’s the same structure Oklahoma City used a year ago to sign another early second-round pick, Theo Maledon.
  • The Pistons completed the signing of Cory Joseph – which became official on Tuesday – using the room exception after using up their cap space, according to Marks (Instagram video). Joseph got $10MM over two years, with a second-year player option.

Pistons Re-Sign Cory Joseph

AUGUST 10: The Pistons have officially re-signed Joseph, according to’s transactions log.

AUGUST 2: Just days after placing him on waivers, the Pistons have agreed to terms with point guard Cory Joseph on a new contract, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul tells Haynes that Joseph’s new deal with Detroit will be worth $10MM over two years. The deal includes a second-year player option, Haynes adds (via Twitter).

Joseph, who will turn 30 later this month, began last season with Sacramento and was sent to Detroit at the March trade deadline. He played very well with the Pistons down the stretch, averaging 12.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 3.2 RPG on .506/.368/.878 shooting in 19 games (26.4 MPG).

Joseph was under contract for 2021/22, but his $12.6MM salary was only partially guaranteed for $2.4MM. By waiving him and re-signing him to a new deal, the Pistons avoided guaranteeing that full $12.6MM and will get him back at a more affordable rate. He’ll serve as a veteran mentor for first overall pick Cade Cunningham.

The Pistons, who project to be a cap-space team this offseason, may end up signing Joseph with the room exception, since it will be worth right around $10MM over two years.

Free Agent Rumors: Dinwiddie, Ball, DeRozan, Pistons, Clippers

There are conflicting rumors on the possibility of the Wizards acquiring Spencer Dinwiddie via sign-and-trade, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, who says that one source described that scenario as “pure vapor,” while another insisted that it’s real if the Nets can dump DeAndre Jordan‘s contract in the process.

As Hollinger points out, if the Wizards expand their Russell Westbrook trade with the Lakers to include Brooklyn, they could theoretically flip Kyle Kuzma to the Nets and acquire Dinwiddie via sign-and-trade while also taking on Jordan’s contract.

However, there are other scenarios in play for both Dinwiddie and the Wizards. Both Hollinger and Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report suggest that the idea of the Thunder signing Dinwiddie for a deal in the two-year, $40MM range has been floating around the league, and Fischer reiterates that Dinwiddie is a viable Plan B for the Pelicans if they miss out on Kyle Lowry.

Meanwhile, both Hollinger and Fischer say the Wizards are also believed to have interest in point guard Alex Caruso, whose market could be in the neighborhood of the full mid-level exception. Hollinger adds that there has been “some hum” about the possibility of Washington having interest in Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Here are a few more rumors on some of this year’s top free agents:

  • Hollinger and Fischer identify the Bulls as the most likely team to sign Lonzo Ball to an offer sheet, likely in the four-year, $80-84MM range. However, Chicago would have to dump some salary to make room for such an offer sheet, and it’s unclear if the team is prepared to make those moves without being certain the Pelicans won’t match the offer, notes Hollinger.
  • The Celtics continue be mentioned as a possible Ball suitor, per Fischer and Sam Amick of The Atheltic. Amick also names the Mavericks as a possibility for Ball, while Hollinger dubs the Pacers a “dark horse” in the Ball sweepstakes, suggesting that a deal sending Malcolm Brogdon to the Pelicans could tempt New Orleans. Finally, Hollinger mentions an intriguing double sign-and-trade possibility that would send Lonzo to the Hornets to team up with his brother LaMelo Ball, with Devonte’ Graham going to the Pelicans.
    • Note: Hollinger has since amended this last item, suggesting that Lonzo and Graham could be involved in a double-sign-and-trade, but that Ball would likely be rerouted to a team besides Charlotte in that scenario.
  • The idea of DeMar DeRozan signing with the Heat for their mid-level exception has been a hot rumor lately, according to Hollinger. However, Fischer says DeRozan is also said to have interest from the Knicks, Pistons, and Mavericks, while Amick indicates a return to the Spurs remains “very possible.”
  • According to both Hollinger and Fischer, Kelly Olynyk has been increasingly mentioned as a target for the Pistons, who also may re-sign Cory Joseph at a lesser rate after waiving him over the weekend.
  • Outside of bringing back Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers‘ top priorities in free agency are re-signing Reggie Jackson and Nicolas Batum, sources tell Amick.

Pistons Waive Cory Joseph, Deividas Sirvydis, Tyler Cook

5:07pm: The Pistons have officially waived Joseph and Sirvydis, the team confirmed in a press release. Detroit also announced that Cook has been waived. As noted below, his salary for 2021/22 had been fully non-guaranteed.

3:36pm: The Pistons are waiving a pair of players from their roster, according to Shams Charania and James Edwards III of The Athletic, who report (via Twitter) that Cory Joseph and Deividas Sirvydis will be released.

Joseph’s $12.6MM salary for the 2021/22 season was only partially guaranteed for $2.4MM. Sirvydis had a fully guaranteed salary for the coming season, but his cap hit was just $1.52MM and his 2022/23 salary was non-guaranteed.

Detroit will have the option of either applying the dead money for Joseph and Sirvydis solely to the team’s 2021/22 cap or stretching those cap charges across multiple seasons to generate more space this offseason. That possibility shouldn’t be ruled out, since the Pistons’ trade of Mason Plumlee suggested the club is looking to open up cap room for free agency.

John Hollinger of The Athletic (Twitter link) estimates that Detroit could get up to about $22MM in cap space by stretching Joseph and Sirvydis and cutting Rodney McGruder and Tyler Cook, who have non-guaranteed contracts.

Joseph, who will turn 30 in August, began last season with Sacramento and was sent to Detroit at the March trade deadline. He played well with the Pistons down the stretch, averaging 12.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, and 3.2 RPG on .506/.368/.878 shooting in 19 games (26.4 MPG). Joseph should be an appealing target for teams in the market for a backup point guard.

A Lithuanian wing, Sirvydis was the No. 37 pick in the 2019 draft and was stashed for a year overseas before signing his first NBA contract in the 2020 offseason. His rookie season was uninspiring, as he played limited minutes in 20 games, averaging 2.1 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 6.7 MPG. A return to Europe seems like a possibility for Sirvydis.

Rosters Announced For Olympic Qualifying Tournaments

Four qualifying tournaments to determine the final four teams in the men’s basketball pool at the Tokyo Olympics are set to tip off on Tuesday. In advance of the Olympic qualifiers, the 24 teams involved have officially set their 12-man rosters, according to a press release from FIBA.

More than two dozen current NBA players are participating in the tournament, and 11 of the 24 teams competing for Olympic spots have at least one current NBA players on their respective rosters. Of those clubs, Team Canada has the biggest contingent of NBA players — eight of the 12 players on Nick Nurse‘s squad finished the season on an NBA roster. Turkey is next with four NBA players.

The four qualifying tournaments will take place in Serbia, Lithuania, Croatia, and Canada. Only the winner of each six-team group will advance to Tokyo. Those four winners will join Japan, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, France, Spain, Australia, and the U.S. in the 12-team Olympic tournament.

The teams that move onto the Olympics may tweak their rosters for Tokyo, depending on the availability of certain players. For instance, if Greece were to win its qualifying tournament, perhaps Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo – who remains active in the playoffs for now – would make an effort to join the team in Tokyo next month.

Here are the NBA players on the OQT rosters:

Belgrade, Serbia

Kaunas, Lithuania

Split, Croatia

Victoria, Canada

There are also many former NBA players among the 24 rosters, including Mario Hezonja (Croatia), Milos Teodosic (Serbia), Jan Vesely (Czech Republic), Timofey Mozgov (Russia), and Anthony Bennett (Canada).

To view the full rosters, be sure to visit FIBA’s official site and click through to each team from there.

Pistons Notes: Joseph, Draft, Beilein, J. Allen

The Pistons‘ luck in the draft lottery could determine whether Cory Joseph returns next season, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. If Detroit takes Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs, the front office may decide it has too many point guards on the roster to keep Joseph. He has a $2.4MM guarantee on his $12.6MM contract for next season that kicks in if he’s still on the roster August 1.

Joseph will turn 30 in August and he slipped into a veteran mentor’s role after being acquired from the Kings at the trade deadline. He put up career-best numbers in 19 games with the Pistons, averaging 12.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 5.5 assists per night, and Beard believes the chances are “a little above 50-50” that the team will keep him.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Former G League Ignite star Jalen Green might be the best option for the Pistons in the draft if they don’t land the top pick, Beard adds in the same piece. He sees Suggs as similar to incumbent point guard Killian Hayes — a good lead guard but not an exceptional shooter. Cunningham’s mix of both skills makes him the ideal choice, Beard states.
  • The Pistons hired former Cavaliers head coach John Beilein as a senior advisor last week to oversee the team’s six development coaches and ensure a consistent message throughout the organization, writes Keith Langlois of With 11 players age 24 or younger, Detroit is counting on individual improvement as the most likely way to become a contender again.
  • Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen met today with the Pistons about an offer to join Dwane Casey’s staff, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. Allen reportedly interviewed for the head coaching job in Boston and may get an interview in Portland as well.

Central Notes: Joseph, Doumbouya, Bulls, Bucks

Cory Joseph has a partially guaranteed contract for next season and the Pistons could retain him, depending upon how the draft shakes out, Rod Beard of The Detroit News opines in a mailbag post. Only $2.4MM of Joseph’s $12.6MM is guaranteed and the Pistons will have decide whether to give him the full amount prior to free agency.

However, Joseph earned respect with his production and professionalism after being acquired in a mid-season deal with the Kings. If the Pistons draft Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs, they’ll probably pass on Joseph’s guarantee. Otherwise, there’s a good chance the Pistons will keep him.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya finished his second season on a high note and next season will be pivotal regarding his future with the franchise, Keith Langlois of writes. He averaged 11.8 PPG and 4.9 RPG over the final eight games. Doumbouya needs to be in top condition to accentuate his strengths as a cutter in half-court situations and finisher in transition. He also needs to improve his 3-point shooting to gain a rotation spot. Detroit will have to decide by the start of next season whether to pick up the fourth-year option on Doumbouya.
  • Even with All-Stars Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls have virtually no shot at reaching the top three in the Eastern Conference in the next few seasons, Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times writes. Chicago will even have difficulty breaking into the next tier of teams, considering that franchises such as the Hawks and Knicks are on the upswing and the Celtics and Heat are committed to winning.
  • Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer says his team needs to have a “short-term memory” after its disastrous outing in Game 2 against Brooklyn on Monday, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets. “Whether you get beat by a point or by 40, you have to be ready for Game 3,” he said. “You’ve got to have a short-term memory. You’ve got to get yourself ready, understand what we need to do to go home and win Game 3.”

14 NBA Players On Canada’s Preliminary Olympic Qualifying Roster

Team Canada has yet to secure a place in the men’s basketball event at the Tokyo Olympics, but the club should have a loaded roster as it looks to lock up a spot in a qualifying tournament next month.

Canada Basketball issued a press release today announcing its 21-player preliminary roster for the Olympic qualifier, and the group includes 14 players who finished the season on NBA contracts. Here’s the full list:

Of the seven players who didn’t play in the NBA this season, one (Bennett) is a former first overall pick, another (Nicholson) was also a first-round selection, and a third (Alexander) has NBA experience. Bell-Haynes has played in the G League, while Doornekamp, Ejim, and Nembhard all have extensive experience representing Canada in past international competitions.

Still, a few noteworthy names are missing from the list. Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is recovering from a torn ACL and won’t be able to participate. Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is also dealing with an injury, announcing on Instagram that rehabbing the plantar fasciitis in his right foot will prevent him from representing Team Canada.

Raptors big man Chris Boucher is a third notable omission. According to Michael Grange of (Twitter link), Boucher is focused on rehabbing a knee sprain and wants to make sure he’s 100% healthy heading into 2021/22. He also has a somewhat uncertain contract situation — his $7MM salary for next season is non-guaranteed, though I’d be shocked if he’s not retained.

Even without Murray, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Boucher, Canada Basketball is in position to run out a roster stacked with NBA talent and led by former NBA Coach of the Year Nick Nurse.

While the final roster will depend in part on which players are available, none of the 21 players on the preliminary are on teams expected to still be alive for the conference finals. However, a club like Powell’s Mavericks or Barrett’s Knicks could surprise.

Team Canada will compete against Greece, China, Uruguay, Turkey, and the Czech Republic in a qualifying tournament in Victoria, British Columbia between June 29 and July 4. If the club wins that six-team qualifier, it will be part of the 12-team field in Tokyo and would be a legit contender for a medal.