Detroit Pistons

Pistons Show Faith In Roster; McCallum Returns To Grand Rapids

Rumors swirled around Pistons players as the NBA’s trade deadline approached but as Thursday came and went, the Detroit roster went unchanged. Stan Van Gundy spoke with Aaron McMann of MLive about the club’s lack of activity.

Look, we’re not real happy with how we’ve played up to this point overall, but we still do have a young group,” Van Gundy said of the now 28-31 Pistons.. “And as much as you would like the progress to be steadily up hill, it’s not always. That doesn’t mean that you lose faith in your guys.”

The Pistons have struggled since starting guard Reggie Jackson returned to the lineup in early December, previously he had been recovering from a knee procedure and Ish Smith had stepped in to man the point. Over the course of the past month, Jackson’s name has been linked to the Timberwolves in a possible two- or three- team trade, potentially involving the Knicks.

  • After a pair of 10-day contracts with the Hornets, former Pistons guard Ray McCallum – one of the last cut by the Pistons during training camp – is back in the D-League with Detroit’s affiliate in Grand Rapids. The point guard is averaging 17.8 points and 7.5 assists per game with the Drive so far this season.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/23/17

Here are today’s D-League assignments and recalls:

Celtics, Cavs, Pacers, Others Stand Pat At Deadline

A number of teams who had been considered good bets to make trades at the deadline opted to stand pat, unable to find any deals to their liking, according to various reports. Here’s a breakdown of some of the teams that decided not to make a move:

  • The Celtics didn’t make a trade today, a source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Twitter link). All of Boston’s assets, including the Nets’ next two first-rounders, remain under team control.
  • In essence, Kyle Korver was the big deadline acquisition for the Cavaliers, who stood pat today, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • Not only did the Pacers keep Paul George, but the team didn’t make any move to fortify the roster either, according to Nate Taylor of The Indianapolis Star and Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports (Twitter links).
  • A source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press that the Pistons didn’t make any trades today. In a tweet, Ellis expresses doubts about just how “available” some of Detroit’s players were.
  • The Kings fielded offers for Ben McLemore, Darren Collison, and Arron Afflalo, but will wait until the summer to make more trades, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • The Jazz also made no deadline deals, per Andy Larsen of Salt Lake City Hoops and KSL.com (Twitter link).

Latest On Pistons Point Guard Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson is likely to stay put because of the Pistons’ high asking price, league executives told Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).

The team’s front office — headed by president of basketball operations and coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Jeff Bower — has been aggressively shopping the point guard, Chris Mannix of The Vertical tweets, and is seeking a first-round pick, young player and an expiring contract in return.

The large package that the Pistons want for Jackson could indicate that they believe his inconsistent play this season is injury-related and that he’ll return to top form next season, Rod Beard of the Detroit News speculates (Twitter link). Jackson missed the first 21 games after receiving a plasma-rich injection for knee tendinitis during training camp. Jackson is averaging 15.2 PPG and 5.6 APG since his return after posting averages of 18.8 PPG and 6.2 APG last season when Detroit won 44 games and made the playoffs.

Jackson has been the subject of trade speculation for weeks, with the Timberwolves and Magic at the forefront of potential suitors. A Jackson-for-Ricky-Rubio rumor surfaced last month, though Van Gundy quickly shot it down.  The Orlando discussions involved D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green but the Magic currently have nothing cooking for either Jackson or Rubio, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets. However, Jake L. Fischer of SI.com tweets that Orlando can get Jackson if it’s willing to part with a valuable first-rounder.

Trade Rumors: KCP, OKC, Afflalo, Knight, Ezeli

While the Pistons have been open to listening to inquiries on anyone, few – if any – players on their roster have received as much interest as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Speaking to reporters, including Rod Beard of The Detroit News, Stan Van Gundy confirmed that KCP’s future has been one of the main topics discussed as of late by the Pistons, who will have to make a big long-term commitment to the shooting guard this summer if they keep him.

“That’s something you have to make decisions about and deal with. I’m not getting into specifics at this point, but that has been a significant part of what we’ve talked about,” Van Gundy said of the RFA-to-be. “He was probably the most urgent decision because of that and the money coming and what it means in terms of the cap and the (luxury) tax. We’ve talked about it internally and we’ve talked about it with (team owner) Tom (Gores). We know exactly what’s coming and we’re making informed decisions.”

Here are several more trade rumors and notes from around the NBA:

  • The Thunder are being aggressive as the trade deadline nears, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter links), who adds Doug McDermott to the list of players on Oklahoma City’s radar. OKC was linked to another Bulls forward – Taj Gibson – earlier today.
  • League executives believe the Kings will move Arron Afflalo today, says Chris Haynes of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee adds (via Twitter) that Afflalo is more likely to be dealt than Ben McLemore, who has impressed some people within the organization lately. Afflalo has been linked to Indiana and Oklahoma City this week.
  • Brandon Knight wouldn’t mind a change of scenery, but the Suns have set their asking price too high in the past in talks with the Magic, Kings, Sixers, and Bulls, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. As Amick observes, it remains to be seen whether that will change today.
  • The Trail Blazers continue to try to find a taker for Festus Ezeli‘s contract, per ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link).
  • Although Bucks general manager John Hammond likes to make trades, league executives say Milwaukee has been “low key” in trade talks this week, according to Jeff Zilgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • The Cavaliers continue to work on deals that could fortify their roster, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team ultimately rely on the buyout market instead, tweets Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Eastern Rumors: PG-13, Celtics, Rose, Bulls

Earlier tonight, we passed along the latest notes and rumors from the Western Conference. Here’s the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • Teams around the league believe that the Pacers are simply looking to gather information on the market for Paul George rather than shopping him, David Aldridge of NBA.com tweets.
  • Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter link) hears that there have not been any “substantial talks” between the Celtics and the Pacers or Bulls this week.
  • There’s a feeling around the league that the Knicks “would give Derrick Rose away” in a trade, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (Facebook Live link). Rose has recently been linked to the Wolves.
  • In the same segment, Wojnarowski adds that he believes the Bulls may be interested in Jahlil Okafor regardless of whether they trade Jimmy Butler. Wojnarowski added that the Sixers would need at least a first-round pick to part with Okafor while the Bulls are likely to try and offload Nikola Mirotic in an Okafor deal.
  • Wojnarowski adds (same piece) that the Bulls are firmly behind coach Fred Hoiberg. The organization wants to make it work with the former college coach and if Chicago trades Butler, the franchise could put together a team that’s much younger and possibly better suited for Hoiberg’s coaching style.
  • Reggie Jackson‘s trade value is at an all-time low and Wojnarowski (same piece) doesn’t envision the Pistons trading him at the deadline.
  • The Hawks acquired Ersan Ilyasova earlier today and Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link) hears that the team isn’t done dealing.
  • The Raptors continue to offer Jared Sullinger and a draft choice to teams as they look for help on the wing, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops tweets.

Latest On The Pistons, Drummond, Caldwell-Pope

The Pistons are “welcoming offers” for Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to Mark Stein of ESPN.com. It’s likely that Drummond stays with the franchise, as he’s beloved by owner Tom Gores, but the softened stance on the big man opens up the door on a potential trade.

The Blazers had discussions with the Pistons about bringing Drummond to Portland, but those talks ended when Detriot insisted on receiving C.J. McCollum in return, sources tell Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com. Stein notes that the Blazers view McCollum as untouchable.

Stein adds that the Raptors and Pistons have had exploratory conversations on Drummond. Detroit has also engaged in conversations with the Nets. Before DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans, the Pistons discussed a deal with the Kings centered around a Cousins-Drummond swap.

Drummond signed a max contract with the team over the summer. Caldwell-Pope will be a restricted after the season and the team is reportedly wary about having to give the shooting guard a sizable deal. Stein notes that the team is looking for at least one first-rounder in exchange for KCP.

If the Pistons hold onto Caldwell-Pope and re-sign him to a max deal in the offseason, they would be near the luxury tax line. That’s not an attractive position to be in for a team that sits below .500. However, coach/executive Stan Van Gundy tells Vince Ellis of the Detriot Free Press that ownership has not issued any mandate to shed salary this season.

Trade Rumors: Rose, Rubio, Okafor, Caldwell-Pope

The Timberwolves have reached out to the Knicks about a possible Derrick Rose deal, reports Marc Berman of The New York Post. Rose has fallen out of favor with Knicks president Phil Jackson, who is disappointed with the veteran guard’s effort on defense. Rose is entering free agency and sources tell Berman that New York would rather move him now than give him a long-term deal. He won MVP honors in Chicago in 2011 under Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau.

The proposed deal is believed to involve Ricky Rubio, whom Thibodeau has never believed in as his long-term point guard, according to Berman. Rubio still has two years and more than $29MM left on his contract and has been the subject of trade rumors since Minnesota drafted Kris Dunn last summer.

The Knicks contacted the Wolves about Rubio at last year’s deadline, Berman writes, and have been interested in him since he entered the league in 2009 because of the recommendations of their European scout, Kevin Wilson, who is based in Barcelona.

New York also reportedly likes Minnesota’s Nemanja Bjelica and inquired about his availability as part of the Rose discussions, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (Twitter link).

There’s more on the trade front as Thursday’s deadline inches closer:

  • The Rockets have asked about Wolves guard Shabazz Muhammad, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Wolfson doesn’t believe the teams are close to a deal.
  • The Pistons refused an offer from the Sixers involving Jahlil Okafor and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, tweets Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated. Philadelphia offered to bring a third team into the trade, but Detroit still wasn’t interested. The Pistons reportedly have hesitations about giving Caldwell-Pope a maximum salary after his contract expires at the end of the season. The Sixers have been calling around the league trying to make a deal for Okafor, with the Pacers and Bulls as the most frequently mentioned potential trade partners.
  • The Suns are looking for someone to take Brandon Knight‘s contract and might be a fallback option for an Okafor trade, according to Fischer (Twitter link). A former starter in Phoenix, Knight in is the midst of a disappointing season, averaging 11.0 points per game and shooting less than 40% from the field. He still has three seasons and nearly $43.9MM left on his current deal.
  • The Thunder and Clippers remain in pursuit of Nuggets swingman Wilson Chandler, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.

Trade Rumors: Shumpert, Rockets, Wizards, Hawks

Although the Cavaliers have shown a willingness this season to move Iman Shumpert, the team has become a little more wary of a deal lately with J.R. Smith sidelined, per Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. The Rockets are interested in Shumpert, but don’t want to give up Patrick Beverley in a deal, as we heard this afternoon.

Despite Houston’s interest in Shumpert, a league source tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that the Cavs don’t like what the Rockets are offering. According to Stein and Watkins, K.J. McDaniels is believed to be a part of Houston’s offer, though it’s not clear what other pieces the Rockets would put on the table.

While we wait to see if the Rockets and Cavs can move closer to a deal within the next 24 hours, let’s check in on a few more trade rumors and notes…

  • The Wizards aren’t just looking for a scorer, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com, who says (via Twitter) that the team is seeking another defender as well. Washington has been linked to P.J. Tucker, so the report makes sense. Michael adds (via Twitter) that it will be difficult to get someone one player capable of meeting both criteria, but the club appears willing to acquire a rental if it’s the right player.
  • In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (video link), Hawks GM Wes Wilcox strongly reiterated that Paul Millsap isn’t going anywhere at the trade deadline, and will be the team’s top priority in free agency this summer. Wilcox also confirmed that Atlanta is approaching the deadline as a buyer.
  • Asked today about the Pistons‘ trade possibilites, head coach Stan Van Gundy said that the team hasn’t gone into trade discussions with a specific goal in mind. “We’ve been more open to listening and looking at things,” Van Gundy said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link). Reports have suggested that the Pistons have listened to inquiries on guys like Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, so the club isn’t closing the door on any possibilties.

Woj’s Latest: Bogdanovic, KCP, Butler, Sixers

The Kings still had four days to go before the 2017 trade deadline when they agreed to send DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, but the team rushed to finalize the trade so that owner Vivek Ranadive wouldn’t change his mind about wanting to move the star center, Adrian Wojnarowski says in a podcast for The Vertical.

Both Wojnarowski and Bobby Marks were somewhat critical of the Kings, pointing out that the team should have been able to find a way to move Matt Barnes in the process of trading Cousins, rather than releasing him and eating his $6.4MM+ guaranteed salary for 2017/18. Wojnarowski also said that multiple free agents in recent years have used the Kings for leverage or turned down more money from Sacramento sign elsewhere, suggesting that the club needs to make good decisions and improve its reputation going forward.

The Vertical’s team, including Wojnarowski, Marks, and Chris Mannix, tackled many more topics within that podcast and a live chat with fans on Facebook, so let’s dive in and round up some of the highlights…

  • The Wizards don’t want to trade a first-round pick for a rental player, but the team does have “significant interest” in Nets sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Wojnarowski also adds the Kings to the list of teams with real interest in Bogdanovic.
  • Although the Pistons “love” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, they’re hesitant about giving him a maximum salary contract in the offseason, so they have been open to listening to inquiries on him to gauge his value, says Wojnarowski. While Stan Van Gundy did say last month that no one on the roster is untouchable, a KCP deal seems like a long shot.
  • If the Bulls are going to consider moving Jimmy Butler, they’ll need to blown away by an offer, per Wojnarowski. Mannix adds that the Celtics believe Jaylen Brown has star potential and would be very reluctant to include him in an offer for Butler.
  • In recent weeks, the Sixers have shifted their focus from trading Nerlens Noel to trading Jahlil Okafor, but if the team doesn’t find a deal it likes for Okafor, Noel remains a trade candidate, says Wojnarowski. Although the Bulls have had “pretty consistent interest” in Okafor, Philadelphia continues to value him like a former third overall pick, and teams around the league are less bullish on his value, according to Woj.
  • The Rockets, Thunder, and Hawks are among the teams on the lookout for help. Mannix says Houston remains in the market for a frontcourt piece, while Wojnarowski says the Thunder are still seeking a wing scorer. Woj also notes that Atlanta is focused on building around Paul Millsap, despite the fact that he can opt out this summer.
  • The market for Nets center Brook Lopez is “really limited,” since the market is somewhat over-saturated with that type of player, says Wojnarowski.
  • The Clippers are reluctant to give up any more draft picks, particularly for rental players, so they’re a candidate to dive into the buyout market after the deadline, according to Wojnarowski, who adds that the club has had some interest in Wilson Chandler and Nikola Mirotic.
  • According to Wojnarowski, the Trail Blazers remain committed to Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as core pieces, and are taking the long view on their roster rather than pushing for a playoff spot this season.
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