Dan Geriot

Central Notes: Pistons, Cavs, Nance, Portis, Hoiberg

Assuming they’re all healthy to start the season, Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, and Reggie Jackson are locked in as three of the five players in the Pistons‘ starting lineup. However, head coach Dwane Casey hasn’t tipped his hand on which two wings will be joining them, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

“Guys are competing and it’s not going to be a quarterback controversy at all. We’re going to put the right people in the right positions, whether it’s the starting group or the second group that fit,” the Pistons’ new coach said. “That’s something we’re going to be watching over the next couple weeks to see. We have a good idea but nothing is concrete right now. There are guys who are defensive-minded and great defensively and guys who can shoot the lights out. We just have to figure it out.”

According to Beard, the early thought is that Casey will go with Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson. There are other contenders, including second-year sharpshooter Luke Kennard and newly-signed wing Glenn Robinson III, but Kennard is still recovering from a knee injury and Robinson will have to develop chemistry with his new teammates.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • The Cavaliers announced a series of promotions and hirings within their ranks this week. Among other moves, Cleveland named Dan Geriot and Mike Gerrity assistant coaches and added Andrew Olson as a shooting coach.
  • The Cavaliers are confident about their chances of securing Larry Nance Jr. to a long-term deal prior to the October 15 deadline for rookie scale extensions, tweets Tom Withers of The Associated Press.
  • Speaking of rookie scale extension candidates, Bobby Portis is also eligible for a new contract up until October 15. The Bulls big man appears set to enter the 2018/19 season as the club’s sixth man, a role he’s comfortable with, as Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago details.
  • With the Bulls‘ still in the midst of their rebuilding process, top executive John Paxson declined to name a win total when asked about the team’s expectations earlier this week. However, head coach Fred Hoiberg knows he’ll be expected to show positive steps forward during the fourth season of his five-year contract with the franchise, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

Cavs Rumors: LeBron, Love, Trade Talks, Coaches

While LeBron James will have until June 29 to exercise or decline his 2018/19 player option, his final decision on his next team won’t happen quickly and figures to stretch into July, Adrian Wojnarowski said on Monday during a draft special on ESPN (Twitter link via Sagar Trika). If that’s the case, James seems more likely to opt out than to opt in next week, which would have an impact on which suitors are viable destinations, as I explained here.

Meanwhile, Wojnarowski also reports that the Cavaliers would like to package Kevin Love and the No. 8 pick for a star player on draft night, but that combo may not net the kind of star they’re seeking (Twitter link via Trika). As Wojnarowski observes, Love’s value isn’t at its peak and the Brooklyn first-rounder isn’t quite as strong as Cleveland had hoped, limiting the appeal of that package to some extent.

Let’s round up a few more Cavs notes and rumors…

  • The Cavaliers have talked to the Grizzlies on more than one occasion, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoop.net, who cautions that he doesn’t know the specifics of those discussions. Memphis is reportedly open to the idea of attaching Chandler Parsons‘ contract to the No. 4 pick in a trade, so it’s possible Cleveland has checked in on that possibility.
  • Echoing a Monday report, Amico confirms that the Cavaliers are expressing interest in Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and have kicked the tires on disgruntled Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard.
  • Although Amico expects the Cavs to hang onto the No. 8 pick, a lot of teams are interested in trading up to that spot, including the Nets.
  • The Cavs have had discussions about potentially acquiring another late first-round pick “to help open up the possibilities,” a league source tells Amico.
  • The Cavs are parting ways with assistant coach Jim Boylan and player development coach Phil Handy, multiple league sources tell Dave McMenamin and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. By not renewing the contracts for Boylan and Handy, the Cavs are clearing the path to give Dan Geriot and Damon Jones larger roles on their coaching staff, per ESPN’s report. No longer employed in Cleveland, Handy may be a candidate to join Nick Nurse‘s Raptors staff, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca.