Pistons swingman Luke Kennard has fully healed from the knee tendinitis that sidelined him for nearly three months before the season was suspended, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets. Kennard will have to wait until December to play again since the lottery-bound Pistons won’t be part of 22-team restart in Orlando. He’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension when this season ends.
- The Pistons are still potentially considering 2004 championship small forward Tayshaun Prince for a front office position with the club, according to Omari Sanofka II of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Sanofka notes that Detroit is currently on the hunt for an experienced general manager and an up-and-coming assistant, a position for which Prince, currently in the Grizzlies front office as VP of basketball affairs, is considered a prime candidate.
- Progress is being made in the Pistons’ search for a new GM, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Malik Rose and Pat Garrity had been the team’s top two assistant general managers, reporting directly to de facto head of basketball operations Ed Stefanski. Rose is leaving the organization and Garrity will not be in the running for the GM job. Others being considered are Thunder assistant GM Troy Weaver, Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson, Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes, former Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox, and former Suns general manager Ryan McDonough.
The NBA is expected to finalize a proposal on Thursday that will send 22 teams to Orlando in order to finish out the season. It will be a unique experience for a number of reasons — one interesting wrinkle will be how the league determines the lottery odds for 2020 without all of the clubs playing the same number of games.
The Warriors, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets will likely be locked into the top eight lottery slots, a source tells Hoops Rumors. The order within the top eight has yet to be determined, but the structure means the Wizards couldn’t go 0-8 this summer when the season resumes and land a better position in the lottery than those teams that won’t be playing.
It’s “part of the tradeoff” for the franchises that won’t be given a chance to resume their campaigns, per the source. Another scenario discussed was freezing the lottery as it stands, allowing no movement up or down by any team, even those in the 9-14 positions. Either way, the top eight are expected to be assured of their standing.
Here’s a look at the odds of each lottery position as well as the order of teams, should the league go with the current standings:
*Will play eight more regular season games
** The Kings and Pelicans have matching 28-36 records and would be subject to a random tiebreaker to determine which team gets the No. 12 slot and which gets No. 13. Their spots in this list (and their odds) could be flipped if the NBA ends up freezing the standings to determine the lottery’s order.
As the Pistons get their search for a general manager underway, Eric Woodyard of ESPN (Twitter link) hears from multiple sources that the team hasn’t requested to interview Tayshaun Prince. Currently the VP of basketball affairs for the Grizzlies, Prince was part of Detroit’s 2004 championship team and there was speculation he’d be a GM candidate, but he wasn’t on the team’s initial interview list, according to Woodyard.
As for candidates who might actually be on the Pistons’ list, sources tell Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link) that former Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough, former Atlanta GM Wes Wilcox, and current Clippers assistant GM Mark Hughes are among those receiving some consideration. However, Bondy cautions that the search will likely be “extensive,” so that list is far from exhaustive.
Here’s more on the Pistons:
- With the Pistons’ season on the verge of coming to an end, Rod Beard of The Detroit News takes a player-by-player look at some of the offseason decisions facing the franchise. Only Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard, Sekou Doumbouya have fully guaranteed salaries for next season, though as Beard notes, it’s a safe bet that a few other players will be back.
- In his latest mailbag, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com addresses the timeline for the Pistons’ GM search and how the team will handle not being part of the NBA’s resumption, among other topics.
- Earlier this afternoon, we passed along word that the Pistons are becoming the 29th of 30 NBA teams to reopen their practice facility for individual player workouts — they’ll do so on Thursday.
The Pistons are reopening their practice facility, the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, for voluntary individual workouts starting on Thursday, the team announced today in a press release. The club describes it as “phase one” of a full reopening process.
The decision comes in the wake of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifting the state’s stay-at-home order and allowing certain athletic practices to be conducted.
A report earlier this week indicated that the Pistons still didn’t plan on reopening their facility before June 12, but it seems the team reconsidered that plan, despite the fact that it won’t get a chance to resume its season this summer.
With the Pistons set to open their doors on Thursday, 29 of 30 NBA teams will have reopened their respective practice facilities for individual workouts. Only the Spurs have yet to announce plans for when they’ll allow workouts at their building.
As the Pistons seek a new general manager, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic notes that it remains unclear what the search means for Ed Stefanski‘s long-term role with the franchise. Although he technically holds the title of senior advisor, Stefanski has been Detroit’s de facto head of basketball operations for the last two years.
As Edwards writes, Stefanski said when he took the job that he’d run the basketball operations department “for the foreseeable future.” However, his contract is only for three years, and now he’s looking to add new voices to the front office. It’s possible, Edwards observes, that Stefanski eventually plans to fade into the background alongside Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem, letting someone else take control of the basketball decisions.
Reports last week indicated that the Pistons were seeking a general manager to work alongside Stefanski and to report to him, but it will be worth watching the situation in Detroit’s front office to see if it continues to evolve.
Here’s more on the Pistons:
- The departure of assistant GM Malik Rose was in the works for the last month and is unrelated to the Pistons’ pending GM hire, says Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). According to James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link), Rose will be working under NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell in the league office.
- In the wake of Rose’s departure, the top five positions in the Pistons’ basketball operations department are held by white men, Marc Spears of The Undefeated points out (via Twitter). Having diversity within the organization is important to the Pistons, according to Edwards, who tweets that he expects the club to make hires that reflect that viewpoint.
- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has lifted the state’s stay-at-home order and is allowing certain athletic practices to be conducted. However, the Pistons still don’t intend to reopen their practice facility before their initial target date of June 12, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Detroit is one of three clubs that hasn’t announced plans to reopen its facility for individual workouts.
Pistons assistant general manager Malik Rose is leaving the organization to take a job with the NBA’s league office, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News (Twitter link).
Rose, a former NBA player who won a pair of championships with the Spurs, transitioned to broadcasting following his retirement in 2009. In 2015, he joined the Hawks’ front office and was named the G League’s Executive of the Year in 2018 for his work with the Erie BayHawks, Atlanta’s then-affiliate.
Rose joined the Pistons as an assistant GM during the summer of 2018 following Detroit’s hiring of Ed Stefanski. He was instrumental in bringing in big man Christian Wood this season, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic, who tweets that Rose was a “big fan” of Wood.
The Pistons are currently in the market for a general manager to work alongside Stefanski in their front office. It’s unclear whether or not Rose’s departure is related to that general manager search.
A report last week indicated that Detroit is looking at external candidates for its GM job, so perhaps not receiving consideration for a promotion led to Rose’s departure. It’s also possible the Pistons knew Rose was on his way out and launched a search to fill the newly-created hole in the front office. The timing could just be coincidental, however.
- Former Pistons star Tayshaun Prince has the experience to succeed as the team’s next general manager, contends Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Prince performs a variety of roles in the Grizzlies’ front office and has become an influential voice since being hired in 2017.
- Pistons guard Langston Galloway, who is headed into unrestricted free agency, has “no regrets” about this season regardless of whether his team gets to play again, he told Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Galloway was the only player on the team to appear in every game and established himself as a solid second-unit shooter. “If we didn’t get to finish, I would say I had a great season and move on to the summer workouts,” he said. “I played in every single game, so I put my work on display every single game and the work I continue to put on display. I have no regrets going into the summer.”
While it may seem that the Pistons wouldn’t benefit from being included in any NBA plan to resume the season, waiting for next season could prove detrimental to the franchise, as the team’s website writer Keith Langlois explains.
Rookie Sekou Doumbouya needs all the time he can get playing and working with the team’s coaches, while Luke Kennard — sidelined by knee injuries much of the season — could prove he’s healthy with rookie scale extension talks looming. An unprecedented, prolonged break prior to next season would disrupt the Pistons’ rebuilding plan as well as the players’ circadian rhythm, Langlois adds.