Pistons Rumors

Wolves Owner Wants Jimmy Butler Deal Done Soon

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has taken control of the Jimmy Butler trade talks and wants to get a deal completed as soon as possible, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Tom Thibodeau, who serves as president of basketball operations as well as coach, had been objecting to a deal, hoping to hold onto the veteran forward for another season. However, Taylor wants the process to end before training camp starts Tuesday and has mandated that a deal get done quickly.

Wojnarowski cautions that no team has entered serious discussion with the Wolves yet, but he identifies the Nets, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers, Heat, Sixers and Trail Blazers as franchises that have shown interest.

Taylor plans to review the offers over the next two days, then present the best ones to Butler and his agent, Bernie Lee, to see which teams Butler would be willing to sign a five-year extension with. That information will be used to help finalize a deal, although Wojnarowski adds that some teams would be willing to trade for Butler with no guarantee of an extension .

GM Scott Layden may have jeopardized his job by refusing to talk to other teams about a Butler deal, according to Wojnarowski. Taylor has demanded that Layden start aggressively pursuing a trade, even to the point of contacting rival GMs. Taylor has been considering changes in the front office for months and may re-evaluate Layden’s role once the Butler deal is done.

2018 Offseason In Review: Detroit Pistons

Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Detroit Pistons.


  • Standard contracts:
    • Glenn Robinson III: Two years, $8.35MM. Second-year team option. Signed using mid-level exception.
    • Jose Calderon: One year, minimum salary. Signed using minimum salary exception.
    • Zaza Pachulia: One year, minimum salary. Signed using minimum salary exception.
  • Two-way contracts:
  • Non-guaranteed camp contracts:


  • Acquired the draft rights to Khyri Thomas (No. 38 pick) from the Sixers in exchange for the Pistons’ 2021 second-round pick and the Pistons’ 2023 second-round pick.

Draft picks:

  • 2-38: Khyri Thomas — Signed to three-year, minimum salary contract. First two years guaranteed. Signed using mid-level exception.
  • 2-42: Bruce Brown — Signed to three-year, minimum salary contract. First two years guaranteed. Signed using mid-level exception.

Departing players:

Other offseason news:

  • Hired Dwane Casey as head coach to replace Stan Van Gundy; hired Sidney Lowe as lead assistant.
  • Hired Ed Stefanski as senior advisor (and de facto head of basketball operations) to replace Van Gundy.
  • Parted ways with GM Jeff Bower.
  • Hired Malik Rose and Sachin Gupta as assistant GMs.

Salary cap situation:

  • Remained over the cap.
  • Carrying approximately $123.3MM in guaranteed salaries, slightly below $123.7MM tax line.
  • Hard-capped at $129.82MM.
  • $2.89MM of mid-level exception still available ($5.75MM used on Glenn Robinson III, Khyri Thomas, and Bruce Brown).

Check out the Detroit Pistons’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.

Story of the summer:

The decision got dragged out but eventually owner Tom Gores decided to relieve Stan Van Gundy of his duties as both head coach and president of basketball operations after the season. Van Gundy’s heart-on-his-sleeve approach gave the franchise an initial jolt and the team made the playoffs during his second season in charge. He couldn’t build upon that improvement, as injuries and bad personnel decisions found the Pistons sitting out the postseason the past two years.

Fortunately for Gores, the league’s Coach of the Year became available at just the right time. Toronto fired Dwane Casey after its playoff flop against Cleveland and the Pistons gladly scooped him up. Casey’s reputation as a players’ coach adept at developing young players and winning regular-season games fits what the team needs. They desperately want to get back to the playoffs and start drawing more fans at Little Caesars Arena, which opened last season in downtown Detroit.

The front office underwent a makeover with well-traveled Ed Stefanski sitting atop the organization’s ladder despite the title of senior adviser. The former Grizzlies, 76ers, Raptors and Nets executive hired Sachin Gupta and Malik Rose as assistant GMs but Stefanski is in charge of personnel moves. With the team’s cap issues, Stefanski couldn’t make much of an imprint on the roster this summer anyway.

Read more

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Casey, Griffin, Wallace

Some time off has done a lot of good for Pistons guard Reggie Jackson, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. After missing 37 games with a severely sprained right ankle last season, Jackson mostly stayed away from basketball this summer. He talked with new coach Dwane Casey, watched the new assistant coaches conduct drills and spent time with teammates, but he didn’t subject the ankle to the stress of competitive basketball.

“Probably didn’t heal the way everybody thought it might once we had time off,” Jackson said. “Just haven’t been able to get on the court, but been doing everything I can to get healthy.”

Jackson didn’t need surgery, but he did undergo a process that he described as similar to the platelet-rich plasma injection he had on his knee two years ago. He said the rest has been good for the ankle, and there’s now a “night and day” difference compared to last year.

There’s more tonight out of Detroit:

  • Jackson is also touting the new system that Casey brought to Detroit, relays Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News. During a public appearance today, Jackson said the abundance of wings on the Pistons’ roster will help with the transition to the new approach, which is based on quick ball movement and 3-point shooting. “Playing in this system, this new type of flow is going to take us some time to adjust,” Jackson said. “But I think it’s something that, as it shows promise for fans that the pieces can work well within what coach does, it’s going to be about getting acclimated, getting trust.”
  • Casey is impressed by the thorough nature that Blake Griffin takes to offseason workouts, Langlois adds in a separate story. Casey called Griffin a “leader by nature” and will be counting on him to assume a larger role in his first full season in Detroit. “Like [former coach/executive] Stan [Van Gundy] said last year, him coming in mid-season like that is almost impossible to come in and establish himself as a physical leader or leader by example or by your words,” Casey said. “He’s done a lot of things as far as this summer organizing workouts in L.A. and doing different things to show his leadership.”
  • Former Pistons star Ben Wallace has taken on a front office role as a part owner of the G League Grand Rapids Drive, writes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Wallace is returning to the game after several years away and hopes to eventually land a role with an NBA team. “I’m pushing all of my chips into the middle of the table,” Wallace said. “I definitely want to learn the business side of basketball. I’m working with a great partner in [Drive owner] Steve Jbara, who is teaching me a lot about the business side of basketball. I’m working guys out, I’m having executive meetings, I’m selling tickets, I’m doing the whole nine.”

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Rookies, Johnson, Bullock

There’s a good chance that Blake Griffin can return to elite status after a healthy summer and a few months of working to develop chemistry with Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Griffin played 25 games for the Pistons after being acquired in a trade with the Clippers, and although his scoring and rebounding numbers declined from where they were in L.A., Griffin averaged a career-best 6.2 assists per game after coming to Detroit.

Beard also states that he doesn’t expect Griffin to be among the first players moved if owner Tom Gores decides to break up the team. Griffin signed a max extension with the Clippers last summer and is owed $141.6MM over the next four years, although the final season is a player option. That type of contract would be difficult to trade, Beard notes, and tough to get anything of value for.

There’s more today out of Detroit:

  • Dwane Casey’s history of giving minutes to young players in Toronto could be good news for Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown, but they’ll still face a challenge in cracking a talented rotation, Beard states in the same piece. The Pistons sent two second-round picks to the Sixers for the 38th pick in this year’s draft, which they used to grab Thomas, a shooting guard who specializes in defense. They took Brown, a wing who can also play the point, four picks later. Both were adequate but not overly impressive during Summer League, and Beard believes there will have to be injuries for either to get regular playing time as rookies.
  • The Pistons brought in Glenn Robinson III as insurance in case Stanley Johnson receives a huge offer sheet as a restricted free agent next summer, Beard adds. Detroit is already near the projected cap for 2019/20 and may not be willing to go into the luxury tax to keep Johnson.
  • Reggie Bullock‘s 3-point shooting prowess should keep him in the starting lineup, even though the Pistons’ coaches are strong believers in Luke Kennard, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Bullock, who shot a sizzling 44.5% from 3-point range last year, will be a free agent next summer.

Pistons: Leuer, Brown, Robinson, Kennard

Injuries have sidetracked Jon Leuer‘s career but the Pistons will likely need him to provide minutes at both frontcourt spots during the upcoming season, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes in his latest mailbag. The Pistons have only two true centers and three power forwards on the roster, including Leuer, Langlois notes. He missed most of last season with an ankle injury that required surgery in January, then underwent a knee procedure this summer for a meniscus injury that occurred during a workout. He is expected to be ready by opening night.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Bruce Brown, one of two second-round picks from this June’s draft on the roster, will have a successful season if he proves he can play multiple positions, Langlois writes in a player profile. Brown will likely spend most of the season playing for the G League’s Grand Rapids Drive, where he could develop his skills at both wing positions and point guard. Offensively, he needs to improve his perimeter shooting and become a better finisher in the paint, Langlois adds.
  • Glenn Robinson III will soon have lunch with Dwane Casey to discuss his role at length but the former University of Michigan standout has a pretty good idea what his new coach wants, Langlois reports in a feature story. Robinson signed a tw0-year, $8.35MM contract with Detroit after an ankle injury wrecked his 2017/18 season with the Pacers. “We’ve got a spread offense,” he said. “My ability to shoot and help our big guys, Dre (Andre Drummond) and Blake (Griffin), my ability to defend, those are the main things I’ve been focusing on this summer – really knocking down that shot for us, being able to make plays for others, but also defending.”
  • Robinson and second-year wing Luke Kennard are the team’s most likely breakout candidates, Langlois opines in his mailbag posting. The timing could be just right for Robinson to emerge as an above-average wing, given his skill set. Kennard shot 40% from the 3-point line as a rookie despite his rotation spot being in flux. Casey’s penchant for spacing and ball movement should play to Kennard’s strengths, Langlois adds.

Eastern Notes: Knicks, Ntilikina, Pistons

Kristaps Porzingis‘ injury forced the Knicks to change their organizational vision and take a long-term approach to roster building, Nick Zappulla of RealGM writes.

New York enters the season with few short-term expectations, something that will make developing the team’s prospects the priority. Instead of signing veterans this offseason with an eye on wins, the team was able to take low-risk chances on players with high-potential to be long-term fits, such as Noah Vonleh and Mario Hezonja.

With Porzingis, Kevin Knox, and a team of young prospects, the Knicks are finally in a position to build toward the future.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Frank Ntilikina has the chance to steal the show in for the Knicks this season, Zappulla adds in the same piece. Zappulla compares the point guard to Dante Exum minus the injury concerns.
  • The Pistons were limited in what they could do this offseason due to cap constraints and they’ll need to find success with continuity on the court and change in leadership off of it, Ben Dowsett of Basketball Insiders writes. Dowsett has Detroit finishing third in the Central Division.
  • Matt John of Basketball Insiders (same piece) expects the Pistons to be on the lookout for a deal should a starter-level player become available on the trade market. John believes any player outside of the expensive Blake GriffinAndre DrummondReggie Jackson trio is movable in the right deal.

Realistic Expectations For Jon Leuer In 2018/19

  • The Pistons need Jon Leuer to earn the $20MM he’s owed over the course of the next two seasons if they’re going to procure the frontcourt depth that they’ll need to compete in the East. Realistically, Keith Langlois of the team’s official site writes, they’ll look for the 29-year-old big man to slot in at both power forward and center and provide solid defense off the bench.

Glenn Robinson III May Contend For Starting Job

  • Glenn Robinson III’s 3-point shooting may help him win a starting job with the Pistons, Keith Langlois of NBA.com notes in a mailbag column. Robinson and Stanley Johnson are the only natural small forwards on Detroit’s roster, and while Johnson is the better defender, Robinson has the size and athleticism to help on that end of the court. New coach Dwane Casey plans to emphasize 3-pointers, which gives Robinson a chance for significant playing time, whether as a starter or reserve.
  • The Pistons could have a tough time keeping Reggie Bullock next summer without making some roster moves to free up cap space, Langlois adds in the same piece. Bullock and  Johnson are both headed toward free agency, but Johnson will be restricted if Detroit makes a qualifying offer. Bullock will be seeking a raise from this year’s $2.5MM salary, and the team already has nearly $105MM committed for 2019/20.

Community Shootaround: Detroit Pistons’ Playoff Chances

The Pistons entered the 2017/18 campaign with dreams of making the postseason but finished with a 39-43 record and a date with the lottery for the second straight year. The disappointing season brought changes in the Motor City, and with LeBron James out of the Central Division picture, the team may have an opportunity to rise in the standings.

Rod Beard of The Detroit News believes the best case scenario for the Pistons involves new coach Dwane Casey getting the team’s core to jell, thus getting the most out of the talent on the roster. Blake Griffin is in the midst of his first offseason with the club and he feels he’s at full health for the first time in several years.

Reggie Jackson is set to enter the season healthy after missing 37 games last season. Beard notes that the Pistons went just 12-25 during that span. Jackson’s presence on the court allows Detroit to get the most out of its other pieces, so having him healthy will be key this upcoming season.

The Pistons brought in Jose Calderon to mitigate the risk of a Jackson injury. Calderon may not see many minutes unless Jackson is sidelined, but if he’s called to action, he should be more effective at running the first team than Ish Smith, whose ball-dominant game is more suited for the second unit.

Offshore sportsbook Bovada has the Pistons’ over/under at 38.5 wins, the ninth-highest mark in the Eastern Conference and the third-highest in the Central Division. If Detroit can surpass its over/under by just a few wins, a playoff birth could be in the cards for this squad.

Do you believe the Pistons will surpass their projected win total and make the postseason? Do they have a chance to steal the Central Division crown in a weakened group? Or will they yet again fall short of their preseason goals?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. We look forward to what you have to say!

Team USA Announces Camp Roster For September World Cup Qualifiers

Fourteen players will participate in a Las Vegas training camp beginning this Thursday, USA Basketball announced today in a press release. Of those 14 players, 12 will be named to Team USA’s roster for the club’s upcoming qualifying games for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

This set of games – the first window for the second round of qualifiers – will take place later this month. Team USA will face Uruguay on September 14, then play against Panama on September 17.

The following players will be vying for Team USA roster spots for these qualifying contests:

In the first round of qualifying games for the 2019 World Cup, Team USA was made up predominantly of G League players. That’s the case to some extent again this time, with guys like Hearn and Warney returning. However, many of the players this time around are currently under contract with NBA teams, including Bacon (Hornets), Ellenson (Pistons), Hicks (Knicks), Mason (Kings), Trice (Bucks), and White (Spurs).

“With our September second-round games marking the start of the most critical part of the World Cup Qualifying, I think it is imperative for us to look for players who possess mental fortitude, who are tough, and who have experience,” said Team USA head coach Jeff Van Gundy. “All of our second-round games are going to very, very difficult and competitive battles. Argentina, Panama and Uruguay are all really good and well coached.”

The second round of the World Cup qualifiers will take place over three windows of competition in September, November, and February. Team USA will play two games apiece vs. Argentina, Panama, and Uruguay during that stretch.

Having posted a 5-1 record during the first round of qualifiers, Team USA is tied for first with Argentina in Group E, which is made up of six teams. If Team USA remains in the top three of the Group E standings by the end of February’s games, the squad will qualify for the 2019 World Cup, which will take place in China next September.