Pistons Rumors

Pistons Sign Anthony Tarke To Camp Deal

The Pistons have signed rookie free agent wing Anthony Tarke to a non-guaranteed training camp contract, according to RealGM’s transactions log.

Tarke, 23, began his college career at NJIT before transferring to UTEP and then to Coppin State. He had his best season as a senior for Coppin State, filling up the box score with 16.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 3.6 APG, 2.6 SPG, and 1.9 BPG. He posted a .473/.321/.561 shooting line in 22 games (34.8 MPG).

Although he wasn’t selected in the July 29 draft, Tarke caught on with Detroit’s Summer League team in Las Vegas, appearing in four games for the club and averaging 4.0 PPG and 3.0 RPG in a limited role (15.8 MPG).

Having signed Tarke, the Pistons are now carrying 18 players — 14 on guaranteed contracts, two on two-way deals, and a pair on non-guaranteed camp contracts. The team has also reportedly reached an agreement to add Derrick Walton to its 20-man roster.

Theoretically, Tarke could be in play for a spot on the Pistons’ 15-man regular season roster – or a two-way contract, if Luka Garza is promoted – but he seems more likely to end up joining the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s new G League affiliate. His Exhibit 10 contract would put him in line for a bonus worth up to $50K if he’s waived before the regular season and then spends at least 60 days with the Cruise.

Central Notes: Bulls, Bucks, Cavs Coaches, Pistons

The Bulls made a splash in free agency this summer, signing several new veteran players. Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago breaks down the specific ways that costly new additions Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, and Alex Caruso can help Chicago earn its first postseason berth in five years.

Schaefer notes that DeRozan boasted the 21st-best offensive rating in the league last season (110.4) and can help boost the Bulls’ offense in a variety of ways. DeRozan’s ability to get to the free throw line, protect the ball, and create offense when Bulls All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine sits will all help Chicago win, Schaefer contends. Ball should help expedite the pace of Chicago’s offense. On the other end, stingy pick-and-roll defender Caruso should help the team limit opponents at the point of attack.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Bucks‘ offseason earned a B grade from Zach Harper of The Athletic. The Bucks upgraded their backcourt depth in signing veteran point guard (and former Milwaukee reserve) George Hill, as well as Tremont Waters. Harper suggests that Milwaukee also improved on the wing by adding solid veterans Grayson Allen and Rodney Hood, who should be able to recover still-injured swingman Donte DiVincenzo. Harper opines that the Bucks regressed in the frontcourt after letting defensive-minded forward P.J. Tucker walk in free agency. Meanwhile, the Bucks stayed the same while preserving their 2020/21 center rotation.
  • The Cavaliers have made some new coaching adjustments, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Dan Geriot, formerly an assistant on head coach J.B. Bickerstaff‘s bench, will become the head coach of the club’s NBAGL affiliate, the Cleveland Charge. Recent Charge head coach Nate Reinking, meanwhile, will join the Cavaliers as an assistant.
  • The rebuilding Pistons have some intriguing rotation decisions that could be informed by training camp performance, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Langlois recognizes that Detroit’s top six players appear to be fairly established, but that there is room for minutes for the club’s developing young players beyond that.

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Hayes, Coaching Staff

Figuring out how to maximize the backcourt of lottery picks Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham may be most important element of Cunningham’s integration into the league, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. That process will start in training camp and Pistons head coach Dwane Casey is known for preferring multiple ballhandlers on the court. Cunningham’s versatility makes it both easier and more challenging to find the right balance between the two young backcourt partners, Langlois adds.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • The team has officially named Rex Kalamian, Jerome Allen, Jim Moran and Bill Bayno as assistant coaches, and Andrew Jones as a player development coach in a press release. The news that the club was hiring Kalamian, Allen and Bayno was reported in June. Allen was on Brad Stevens’ Celtics staff, while Bayno had been on Indiana’s staff. Kalamian worked the Kings last season. A report surfaced in July that Moran, a former Portland assistant, would be joining Casey’s staff. Jordan Brink and Austin Dufault have been promoted to player development coaches, the release adds.
  • Hayes may not be a legitimate building block, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic opines in a Q&A session with colleague James Edwards III. His struggles to gain separation make it very difficult for him to create anything as a lead guard and he’s always been turnover-prone, according to Vecenie, though it would unfair to give up on him too quickly. Vecenie does believe the club is being built the right way, though it needs a couple more elite players to be a true contender.
  • In case you missed it, there’s been speculation that second-round rookie Luka Garza, who has signed a two-way deal, could be promoted to a standard contract. Get the details here.

2021/22 NBA Over/Unders: Central Division

The 2021/22 NBA regular season will get underway next month, so it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign and to resume an annual Hoops Rumors tradition.

With the help of the lines from a handful of sports betting sites, including Bovada and BetOnline, we’re running through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. In a series of team-by-team polls, you’ll get the chance to weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic.

In 2020/21, our voters went 17-13 on their over/under picks. Can you top that in ’21/22?

As a reminder, the NBA played a 72-game schedule in 2020/21, so a team that won 41 games last year finished with a 41-31 record. This year, a club that wins 41 games would be a .500 team (41-41). For added clarity, we’ve noted the record that each team would have to achieve to finish “over” its projected win total.

We’ll turn today to the Central division…


Milwaukee Bucks

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Bucks poll.


Indiana Pacers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Pacers poll.


Chicago Bulls

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Bulls poll.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Cavaliers poll.


Detroit Pistons

Trade Rumors app users, click here for Pistons poll.


Previous voting results:

Atlantic:

  • Brooklyn Nets (55.5 wins): Over (63.2%)
  • Philadelphia 76ers (51.5 wins): Under (70.0%)
  • Boston Celtics (46.5 wins): Over (58.1%)
  • New York Knicks (42.5 wins): Over (65.1%)
  • Toronto Raptors (36.5 wins): Under (50.6%)

Northwest:

  • Utah Jazz (52.5 wins): Over (61.7%)
  • Denver Nuggets (48.5 wins): Over (69.3%)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (44.5 wins): Over (53.0%)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (34.5 wins): Under (57.1%)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (23.5 wins): Under (65.0%)

Luka Garza May Get Standard Contract Before The Start Of The Season

  • In an interview with Kelsey Russo of The Athletic, Sidney Lowe says a conversation with his long-time friend J.B. Bickerstaff led him to become an assistant coach with the Cavaliers. Lowe, who was on the Pistons’ staff the past three seasons, mentioned his possible availability while they were talking this summer. “And so, we’re just talking, and he wasn’t really aware of my situation,” Lowe recalls. “And then I let him know what was going on. And, he just told me, he said, ‘Well, you know, we might have something available.’ We’ve always respected each other, and we talked basketball when we saw each other and over the phone. So he said, ‘Well, let’s see what happens down the road here.’”
  • There’s an expectation around the league that the Pistons will convert Luka Garza‘s two-way deal to a standard contract before the season begins, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv. The rookie big man out of Iowa averaged 15 points and 9.6 rebounds per game during Summer League. Detroit currently has both two-way slots filled, so converting Garza’s contract would create an opening.

Pistons Notes: Weaver, Direction, Assets, Bartelstein

The Pistons have undergone a total roster overhaul under second-year general manager Troy Weaver. After the recent trade of 2019 first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya to the Nets, no players remain on the roster that Weaver inherited on June 18, 2020. The Pistons’ GM has been very open about his desire to aggressively upgrade the roster for both the short and long-term.

After a series of trades, two drafts, and some noteworthy free-agent signings, Weaver has certainly fulfilled his promise. Will that make the Pistons a better team in 2021/22? Rod Beard of The Detroit News believes that the team has real direction, but suggests the playoffs appear unlikely. He notes that the team’s future looks brighter than it did when Weaver took over almost 14 months ago, and although they currently lack a proven star player, the Pistons are in a better position to sign, trade for, or develop one going forward.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • James Edwards III of The Athletic ranked the team’s best assets. Unsurprisingly, No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham tops the list, followed by Jerami Grant and a couple of reigning All-Rookie Team members: Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. Edwards states that a few more players on the roster have value around the league as well, like Kelly Olynyk, whose versatility and shooting on offense is coveted, but others have to show improvement in specific areas to improve their standing.
  • According to Edwards (Twitter link), sources informed him that executive VP of operations Josh Bartelstein‘s title will be adjusted to include basketball operations as well. In a follow-up tweet, Edwards notes that Bartelstein is very close to vice chairman Arn Tellem, and has been instrumental in the team’s move to downtown Detroit as well as the team’s operations as a whole.
  • In case you missed it, the Pistons have reached a deal to sign free agent point guard Derrick Walton Jr. to an Exhibit 10 contract ahead of training camp.

Derrick Walton Jr. To Sign Exhibit 10 Contract With Pistons

Veteran point guard Derrick Walton Jr. is set to sign an Exhibit 10 contract for a reunion with the Pistons, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Walton was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree during his NCAA tenure with Michigan. After going undrafted in 2017, Walton saw his first NBA action on a two-way contract for the Heat. He played 16 games with Miami in the 2017/18 season, averaging 1.8 PPG, 1.0 APG and 1.0 RPG in 9.2 MPG.. He was far more productive with the Heat’s NBA G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 16.1 PPG, 7.0 APG, 4.0 RPG and 1.4 SPG in 27 games, all starts.

During the 2018/19 season, the 6’0″ guard first joined Lithuanian club Žalgiris Kaunas. He parted ways with the team in February 2019, next linking up with Alba Berlin for the remainder of their year.

In the past, Walton has been able to parlay a training camp deal into an NBA call-up. He returned to the league during the 2019/20 season, inking an Exhibit 10 deal with the Clippers after a solid 2019 Summer League showing. Walton eventually made the team’s 15-man roster and ultimately suited up for 23 games with the Clippers, plus seven games with their NBAGL affiliate, the Agua Caliente Clippers. In a cash-saving move, Los Angeles sent Walton the Hawks in February 2020, where he was subsequently waived. He joined the Pistons on a 10-day contract, making a three-game cameo with Detroit. Walton averaged 2.0 PPG, 1.0 APGF and 0.6 RPG during his 26 games played during the season overall.

Walton inked a training camp deal with the Sixers ahead of the 2020/21 season, but was released by the club before the start of the year. He then pivoted to an international option, signing a one-year contract with French EuroLeague club ASVEL.

Most recently, Walton suited up for the Wizards’ 2021 Summer League club.

Central Notes: LaVine, Sumner, Pistons, Bucks

Bulls All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine is not worried about how he will mesh alongside new starting small forward DeMar DeRozanper Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Both players to this point have been primary scorers for their respective clubs.

“I don’t get that at all, because that’s just outside narratives,” LaVine said of the on-court collaboration with his pricey new Bulls teammate. “It’s our job to get out there and get to know each other, obviously personally and as a basketball player. It’s easy to make things work on the basketball court if you all have the same intent, and that’s winning.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • After recently tearing his left Achilles tendon during an offseason workout, 25-year-old Pacers guard Edmond Sumner underwent a successful surgery to repair the ligament, per a team press release. Drafted with the No. 52 pick out of Xavier by Indiana in 2017, Sumner has developed into a helpful reserve in his first four NBA seasons thus far. In 53 games played during the 2019/20 season, Sumner averaged 7.5 PPG, 1.8 RPG, and 0.9 APG across 16.2 MPG. He posted a shooting line of .525/.398/.819.
  • The Pistons could stand to benefit from adding a third center with their available guaranteed roster spot, writes Rod Beard of the Detroit Free Press. The club signed Kelly Olynyk in free agency this summer, and are hopeful that second-year big man Isaiah Stewart, an All-Rookie Second Teamer, can continue to develop. Beard notes that it makes sense for Detroit to keep its 15th roster spot open through training camp, in case another veteran center becomes available elsewhere in the NBA.
  • Bucks shooting guards Donte DiVincenzo and Grayson Allen, both set to be restricted free agents in 2022, could net contract extensions by October 18 this season. Eric Nehm of The Athletic posits that, judging by the contracts meted out to similar-caliber players during the 2021 offseason, DiVincenzo could earn a multiyear contract worth $50MM or more, though Nehm wonders if the Bucks will be cautious to extend him before seeing how he plays on the hardwood. DiVincenzo injured a tendon in his left foot suffered during the 2021 playoffs. Nehm views the newly-added Allen as something of a contingency plan for DiVincenzo.

Central Notes: Griffin, O’Bryant, Karnisovas, Sexton

Blake Griffin admits being upset over internet rumors that he wasn’t giving 100% during his time with the Pistons last season, writes Andrew Hammond of The Detroit Free Press. Griffin, who joined the Nets after agreeing to a buyout with Detroit in February, addressed that topic during an appearance on J.J. Redick‘s podcast, “The Old Man and the Three.”

“It bothered me,” Griffin said. “Because the stat was, he hadn’t dunked in 400-something days … sure.” 

Griffin pointed out that the number is misleading because the Pistons weren’t part of the NBA’s restart in Orlando in the summer of 2020 and he only played 20 more games for Detroit before the buyout. He laughed off the criticism, but Hammond believes he was irritated by the narrative that formed.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks were among several teams that worked out veteran center Johnny O’Bryant, according to Jeff Garcia of Locked on Spurs (hat tip to Dalton Sell of FanSided). The 28-year-old spent four years in the NBA, but has been out of the league since the 2017/18 season. He has been playing overseas and spent last season in the Turkish League. Milwaukee, which drafted O’Bryant in 2014, has two openings on its training camp roster. The Nets and Warriors also hosted workouts for O’Bryant, according to Garcia.
  • Arturas Karnisovas is keeping his promise to not accept mediocrity on the Bulls‘ roster, observes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Cowley notes that Zach LaVine and Coby White are the only players still remaining from when Karnisovas took over as executive vice president of basketball operations in April of 2020. Cowley expects the changes to continue as Chicago tries to break a four-year playoff drought.
  • On his Instagram account, Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton claims that team officials were crying during his 2018 pre-draft workout because they had lost to the Warriors in the NBA Finals the day before.

Jordan's Dead Money Hits Determined

  • The Pistons’ dead money cap hits for DeAndre Jordan will be $7,875,533 in the upcoming season, instead of $9,881,598, and $7,827,907, instead of $9,821,842, in 2022/23, Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets. Jordan gave up $4MM in his buyout agreement after being traded from the Nets and signed with the Lakers after clearing waivers.