Detroit Pistons

Pistons Listening To Inquiries On Andre Drummond?

More and more teams that have spoken to the Pistons recently are saying that they believe Detroit won’t discourage inquiries on Andre Drummond this week, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). While Stein’s report doesn’t suggest the Pistons are shopping their standout center, it sounds like Drummond isn’t necessarily untouchable.

ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported last week that the Pistons had “quietly explored” the trade market for Drummond, but came away underwhelmed by what teams might be willing to offer. At that point, Lowe classified a Drummond trade as an “extreme long shot.”

It’s not clear if Detroit’s stance has changed at all since then or if the team is simply doing due diligence. Stan Van Gundy has suggested that no one is necessarily off-limits if the Pistons have an opportunity to improve their long-term outlook, and it’s possible the offers for Drummond have gotten a little stronger with the deadline approaching, but it would still be a surprise to see the recently re-signed 23-year-old on the move this week.

For what it’s worth, a report earlier today suggested that the Raptors made a pitch for Drummond centered around Jonas Valanciunas before they acquired Serge Ibaka from Orlando.

No Traction For Magic In Reggie Jackson Talks

  • Jake Fischer of SI.com passes along a number of notable updates in his league-wide look at the trade landscape. Among Fischer’s notes? Before they acquired Serge Ibaka, the Raptors made a play for Pistons center Andre Drummond with a package centered around Jonas Valanciunas. Additionally, Fischer reports that the Sixers have no interest in moving T.J. McConnell.
  • It doesn’t appear that the Magic and Pistons have any traction on a Reggie Jackson swap at this point, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). Kyler notes that things could change by Thursday, but the latest round of Jackson rumors had the Pistons in talks with the Timberwolves and Knicks. While they’re not on the verge of anything with Jackson, the Magic are on the lookout for a point guard upgrade, Kyler tweets, adding that Suns guard Brandon Knight is on Orlando’s radar to a lesser extent.

Wolves Discuss Point Guard Swap With Knicks, Pistons

10:30 PM: The Knicks have discussed adding Ricky Rubio in talks with the Wolves, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com reports (video link). Windhorst adds that Minnesota has had discussions with the Pistons regarding a Ricky Rubio-Reggie Jackson swap, but the Wolves are not interested in bringing Jackson aboard. A three-way trade that sends Rose to Minnesota, Rubio to Detroit and Jackson to New York could be in play, Windhorst adds. He notes that Rubio and Jackson are two of the players most likely to be traded before the deadline.

Minnesota doesn’t necessarily view Rose as a long-term fit, as the team wants to clear space for Kris Dunn and would like to get out of Rubio’s deal. The Spanish point guard has three years remaining on his contract, while Rose will be a free agent after the season.

10:14 PM: Several teams have reached out to the Knicks regarding a Derrick Rose trade, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports. Begley adds the Wolves are among the teams to have discussions with the franchise.

It’s unclear what the Knicks would receive in return should they send Rose to Minnesota. New York acquired the point guard in the offseason with the hope that he would help the team get to the playoffs this season. The team is currently 23-34 after losing seven of their last 10 games and it appears the franchise will have a hard time achieving that goal.

Rose is averaging 17.7 points per game this season and he hasn’t missed any games because of the knee issues which plagued him over the past few years. He previously played for Wolves executive/coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago for seven seasons.

Trade Deadline Outlook: Central Division

In the days leading up to the February 23 trade deadline, Hoops Rumors will be taking a closer look at each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. We’ll be identifying each team as a buyer, seller, or something in between, and discussing which teams and players are most likely to be involved in deals this month. We’ve already covered the Atlantic, Northwest, Southeast, and Pacific. Today, we’re examining the Central.

Buyers:

The Cavaliers (39-16) started buying last month when they sent a first-round pick to Atlanta in a deal for Kyle Korver. Since then, however, Cleveland’s on-court performance has been up and down, and LeBron James has called for the team to add a “playmaker.” Derrick Williams‘ play has been encouraging so far, but the Cavs could still use a ball-handler and a big man, particularly with J.R. Smith and Kevin Love on the shelf. The club’s luxury tax bill will continue to rise exponentially if team salary goes up though, so GM David Griffin likely won’t be taking on any big contracts.

No other team in the Central division is within 10 games of the Cavs, but the Pacers (29-28) are in playoff position and are interested in adding to their roster. Although there is reportedly some reluctance within the organization to part with the team’s 2017 first-round pick, that selection appears to be available in the right deal as Indiana seeks an established wing or big man. Paul George will have the opportunity to opt out of his contract in 2018, so the Pacers are running out of time to prove to him that their roster is capable of seriously contending — adding an impact player this week could help.

Read more

Central Notes: Deadline Previews, Butler, Williams, Rubio, Caldwell-Pope

The Bulls are at a “real crossroads” at this year’s trade deadline, Mark Strotman of CSN Chicago writes. With a 28-29 record, Chicago enters the All-Star break as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Given the top-heavy conference, Strotman notes, even the most optimistic fan wouldn’t have the Bulls projected to advance past the first round of the playoffs. Taj Gibson will be mentioned in trade rumors, as will Robin Lopez and Doug McDermott. While Jimmy Butler has “peak trade value,” the Bulls have incentives to keep the 27-year-old; particularly on his team-friendly contract.

For what it’s worth, Butler reportedly isn’t interested in being traded. Sources told Seerat Sohi of ESPN that Butler is “grounded in Chicago,” and feels loyalty to the franchise that took a chance on him in the 2011 draft.

More from around the Central…

  • Still on his first 10-day contract, Derrick Williams has made quite an impression on the Cavs. According to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the team envisions Williams as their seventh or eighth man against the Warriors in the Finals. The Cavs are going to sign Williams to a minimum contract for the rest of the season, Vardon writes, but the 25-year-old is expected to pursue a bigger payday over the offseason. In order to maintain roster flexibility through the trade deadline, the Cavs will postpone signing Williams to a minimum deal until after his second 10-day contract expires.
  • ESPN’s NBA Insiders discussed the best deadline deals for teams around the Central. Three of ESPN’s four contributors advocated the Cavs stand pat (largely due to cap restrictions), while Jeremias Engelmann suggested the team shop Kyrie Irving. Such a trade would never materialize, Engelmann writes, but the four-time All-Star’s “market value is many times greater than the actual impact he has on the game.” Amin Elhassan cited Ricky Rubio as a natural fit for the Pistons, calling him a “true set-up man” to summon Andre Drummond‘s offensive potential.
  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical profiled the Pistons and Bucks in his deadline preview series; two teams “fighting for the East’s last playoff spot.” The Pistons have limited roster flexibility, and would likely be best off holding onto current and future draft assets, Marks writes. Detroit may shop Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a restricted free agent-to-be, particularly in light of an underwhelming shooting guard market. Marks cited the Bucks’ need to acquire a stopgap for the injured Jabari Parker without selling off assets. As evidenced by Milwaukee’s recent trade with the Hornets, GM John Hammond won’t be afraid to shake up the roster if need be.

Pistons, Magic Have Discussed Reggie Jackson Deal

The Magic sent Serge Ibaka to Toronto in a trade earlier this week, and GM Rob Hennigan may not be done dealing yet. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter), Orlando and Detroit have discussed a swap that would send Reggie Jackson to the Magic in exchange for D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green.

Today’s report comes just two days after ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote that the Pistons had explored the trade market for Jackson and had come away disappointed with what teams were willing to give up for the veteran point guard. However, even though Lowe suggested Jackson’s trade value had “cratered,” the ESPN analyst didn’t rule out a possible deal, noting that Orlando would be an intriguing fit because Hennigan was in Oklahoma City’s front office when the Thunder drafted Jackson.

[RELATED: Trade Deadline Outlook: Southeast Division]

Lowe’s piece also featured quotes from Stan Van Gundy and Andre Drummond on the Pistons’ struggles to adjust to Jackson’s return to the lineup this season after establishing some early-season chemistry with Ish Smith at the point.

As Stein himself notes (via Twitter), there’s no indication yet that these talks will turn into anything serious, but it would be an interesting move for two sub-.500 teams who had hopes of contending this season.

Both Jackson and Augustin are under team control through the 2019/20 season, but Augustin’s salary ($7.25MM annually) is much more affordable than Jackson’s ($17MM+ per year after this season). Green, meanwhile, is on a $15MM expiring deal, so a deal centered around those three players would create some future flexibility for the Pistons and would give the Magic a long-term answer at point guard, perhaps opening up the door for an Elfrid Payton trade.

It’s worth noting that if the Pistons were to trade Jackson, they could take back up to about $20MM in salary (the value of Jackson’s salary, plus $5MM). Green and Augustin make a combined $22.25MM, so at least one more piece would need to be involved in this hypothetical transaction.

While the Pistons and Magic may not ultimately agree to a deal with one another, both teams figure to continue scouring the market before next Thursday’s trade deadline.

Pistons Remain Confident In Jackson, Had Interest In Ferrell

  • Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy remains confident in Reggie Jackson, Aaron McMann of MLive writes. “It’s an adjustment period for all of us, and I don’t have any doubts he’ll come back to playing the way he was before,” Van Gundy said. The Pistons reportedly have “quietly explored” the trade market for the point guard.
  • The Pistons attempted to sign Yogi Ferrell before the season when the point guard was an undrafted free agent, McMann relays in a separate piece“He’s a guy on draft night that didn’t get drafted, and we tried to get in the race for some money to have him guaranteed,” Van Gundy said. “But Brooklyn had gobbled him up. He ended up getting cut there and has really latched on and played very, very well for Dallas.”

Knicks, Lakers Top Forbes’ NBA Franchise Valuations

The Knicks have been one of the NBA’s most dysfunctional teams this season. On the court, the team has gone just 23-33, with $72MM man Joakim Noah failing to make a significant impact, and Jeff Hornacek and Phil Jackson not always on the same page when it came to the use of the triangle. Off the court, things have been even worse, with Jackson criticizing star forward Carmelo Anthony, and owner James Dolan at odds with former Knicks star Charles Oakley.

On the west coast, the Lakers haven’t been much better, racking up a 19-38 record, good for the No. 14 seed in the West. The team hasn’t made as many off-court headlines, but the structure of the front office is currently up in the air, with new advisor Magic Johnson publicly declaring that he wants to be the one calling the shots on roster decisions.

Despite the problems in New York and Los Angeles, the Knicks and Lakers remain the NBA’s two most valuable franchises, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Knicks and Lakers are the only teams valued at more than $3 billion by Forbes.

Team valuations are up around the league, with the Warriors leading the way among this year’s increases — according to Forbes, the Dubs are 37% more valuable that they were at this time in 2016. In total, 18 teams have a valuation exceeding $1 billion, which is up from 13 teams last year and just three teams in 2015. The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion, according to the report.

Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:

  1. New York Knicks: $3.3 billion
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: $3 billion
  3. Golden State Warriors: $2.6 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $2.5 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $2.2 billion
  6. Los Angeles Clippers; $2 billion
  7. Brooklyn Nets: $1.8 billion
  8. Houston Rockets: $1.65 billion
  9. Dallas Mavericks: $1.45 billion
  10. Miami Heat: $1.35 billion
  11. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.2 billion
  12. San Antonio Spurs: $1.175 billion
  13. Toronto Raptors: $1.125 billion
  14. Phoenix Suns: $1.1 billion
  15. Sacramento Kings: $1.075 billion
  16. Portland Trail Blazers: $1.05 billion
  17. Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.025 billion
  18. Washington Wizards: $1 billion
  19. Orlando Magic: $920MM
  20. Utah Jazz: $910MM
  21. Detroit Pistons: $900MM
  22. Denver Nuggets: $890MM
  23. Atlanta Hawks: $885MM
  24. Indiana Pacers: $880MM
  25. Philadelphia 76ers: $800MM
  26. Memphis Grizzlies: $790MM
  27. Milwaukee Bucks: $785MM
  28. Charlotte Hornets: $780MM
  29. Minnesota Timberwolves: $770MM
  30. New Orleans Pelicans: $750MM

For comparison’s sake, Forbes’ 2016 valuations can be found right here.

Pistons Rumors: Drummond, Jackson, Johnson

The Pistons have “quietly explored” the trade market for Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, two of their roster’s centerpieces, Zach Lowe of ESPN.com reports in his latest piece, which is a deep dive into the situation in Detroit. According to Lowe, the Pistons came away disappointed with what teams might be willing to offer for Drummond or Jackson, reducing the likelihood of either player being moved in the next eight days.

Still, while a Drummond trade remains an “extreme long shot,” a deal involving Jackson isn’t entirely off the table. Lowe suggests the Timberwolves, Magic, and Pelicans are among the potential suitors for the veteran point guard, if Detroit is willing to settle for a modest return. Per Lowe, Jackson’s value has “cratered,” and a player like Ricky Rubio is one of the few solid starters the Pistons could get in any trade package. Lottery teams seeking a long-term solution at point guard are unwilling to move their first-round picks for Jackson, and Detroit isn’t ready to simply dump him for a collection of expiring contracts.

In his attempt to find a potential trade partner for a Jackson deal, Lowe identifies the Magic and Nuggets, pointing to players like Elfrid Payton and Emmanuel Mudiay as possible trade pieces. However, while Mudiay is believed to be available, Denver doesn’t appear to have interest in Jackson. Lowe notes that Orlando is an “intriguing” possibility, since GM Rob Hennigan was in Oklahoma City’s front office when the team drafted Jackson.

Here’s more from Lowe on Jackson, along with a few other intriguing Pistons-related tidbits:

  • The Pelicans have kicked the tires on Jackson, but never engaged in serious talks, league sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, several Pistons players criticized Jackson during a December players-only meeting for his apparent lack of effort on defense. Drummond tells Lowe that the criticism “wasn’t cool,” since Jackson was coming off an injury and wasn’t yet 100%. However, both Drummond and Stan Van Gundy acknowledge that the team has struggled to adjust to Jackson’s presence on the court this year after finding a groove early in the season with Ish Smith handling the point.
  • According to Lowe, a fear that top free agents won’t come to Detroit has pushed the Pistons to acquire solid players on good contracts when they become available. Those players aren’t always a fit with Drummond and Van Gundy, which has contributed to some of the team’s roster issues.
  • Multiple teams, including the Spurs, made an effort to nab Stanley Johnson in a trade after Van Gundy publicly called out the second-year forward earlier in the season. Although the Pistons rebuffed those efforts, the team has been frustrated by Devin Booker‘s development in comparison to Johnson’s, since the draft room was “almost deadlocked” between those two players in 2015, says Lowe.
  • The Pistons are unlikely to make a major move until closer to the draft, since they want to make the playoffs and are reluctant to do anything that will adversely impact their odds of earning a postseason spot, says Lowe. The ESPN analyst notes that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s pending restricted free agency will be an interesting case to follow this offseason, since the Pistons may have to shed a salary – perhaps Tobias Harris‘ or Boban Marjanovic‘s – if they need to match a max offer sheet for Caldwell-Pope.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/11/17

Here are Saturday’s D-League Assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Pistons have recalled Henry Ellenson and Michael Gbinije from their D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapid Drive, according to a team press release. Ellenson is averaging 18.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game in the D-League this season, while Gbinije is averaging 13.5 points and 1.8 steals per contest.
  • The Sixers have recalled Chasson Randle from the Delaware 87ers, according to a team press release. Randle was in uniform against the Heat, but did not see any action.
  • The Knicks have assigned forward Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee to their D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, according to the team’s Twitter feed.
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