Pistons Rumors

Hawks, Kings Considered Strong Suitors For Jerami Grant

The Hawks and Kings are viewed as “strong” suitors for Pistons forward Jerami Grant, sources tell Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Grant is one of the hottest names on the trade market, with the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, Celtics, Pacers and Timberwolves also interested in the 27-year-old.

Grant’s agents reportedly provided a list of preferred destinations to Detroit’s front office in the event of a trade. While the interest in Grant’s services is high, it’s still no sure thing that the Pistons move one of their top players, as Grant is under contract through next season.

In 21 games this season (33.2 MPG), Grant is averaging 20.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.1 BPG. He was cleared for on-court work earlier this month in his recovery from thumb surgery, but then was placed in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Fischer also says the Hawks are more actively shopping John Collins, according to league sources. Collins is in the first year of a five-year, $125MM contract signed last summer. The 24-year-old has been an efficient three-level scorer throughout his career, and this season is no exception. He’s averaging 17.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.1 BPG on .537/.426/.797 shooting. The 42.6% mark from deep is a career-high.

Checking In On Active 10-Day Contracts

For a brief period in late December and early January, there were more than 60 active 10-day contracts around the NBA, as COVID-19 outbreaks resulted in teams completing more 10-day signings in the span of a couple weeks than are usually completed in an entire season.

In the last couple weeks, however, the transaction wire has slowed down. At the moment, there are just nine active 10-day contracts, and no team is carrying multiple 10-day signees.

With the help of our 10-day contract tracker, we’re taking a closer look at those active deals, examining how much longer they’ll run and what might be next for the players on 10-day pacts.

Let’s dive in…

Hardship 10-day contracts:

Harrison, Silva, and Stanley all signed 10-day hardship contracts via the NBA’s COVID-related allowance. Their earnings don’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes and they can sign more than just two hardship contracts with the same team — Silva and Stanley are both on their third deals with their respective clubs.

However, if a team no longer has any players in the health and safety protocols, that team isn’t permitted to activate any players who are on COVID-related 10-day hardship contracts. That’s the situation Silva finds himself in now that Heat guard Tyler Herro has exited the protocols. Silva will be ineligible for Miami’s next three games unless the club places another player in the protocols.

The Grizzlies and Pistons are the only NBA teams that still have two players currently in the protocols, so Harrison and Stanley can remain active.

Still, assuming those players in the protocols (Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk, Kyle Anderson, and Tyus Jones) are cleared relatively soon, Memphis and Detroit won’t be able to re-sign Harrison and Stanley to new hardship contracts. And because they both have full 15-man rosters, the Grizzlies and Pistons can’t re-sign Harrison and Stanley to standard 10-day contracts unless they waive or trade someone else.

Standard 10-day contracts:

Some of these players signed hardship 10-day contracts earlier in the season, but they’re on standard 10-day deals now. Their contracts count against team salary and they’re occupying spots on their teams’ 15-man rosters.

Johnson, Arcidiacono, and Stephenson are the key players to watch here, since they’re all on their second standard 10-day contracts with their respective clubs and won’t be able to sign a third. Assuming the Lakers, Knicks, and Pacers don’t become eligible for hardship signings soon, they’ll have decide whether they want to sign Johnson, Arcidiacono, and Stephenson for the rest of the season or let them go.

It may seem obvious that Johnson and Stephenson, in particular, would get rest-of-season offers, but the Lakers and Pacers are two teams expected to be active at the February 10 trade deadline. They may prefer to keep their 15th roster spots open to maximize their flexibility for potential trades. Still, I’d be surprised if Johnson doesn’t sign a rest-of-season deal sooner or later with the Lakers and Stephenson doesn’t do the same with Indiana.

House, Cousins, and Diakite are all on their first standard 10-day contracts with their respective teams, so they could each sign another one before any longer-term decisions must be made.

Trade Market Notes: Grant, Wall, Finney-Smith

Discussing the Jerami Grant situation on his latest Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst suggested that Grant’s agents provided the Pistons with a handful of preferred destinations in the event their client is traded.

“I was told his representation came to the Pistons and said ‘If you’re going to trade him, here’s a list of teams we would be interested in going to play for,'” Windhorst said (hat tip to RealGM).

The Pistons have a good relationship with Grant, so if they get multiple trade offers they like, I imagine they’ll try to get something done with one of the teams on his list. However, as Windhorst notes, the Pistons still aren’t sure whether they’ll move Grant at all, let alone to one of his preferred landing spots.

Here are a few more notes on the 2021/22 NBA trade market:

  • In that same Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Marc J. Spears said that John Wall is working out in Miami, away from the Rockets, as the team continues to survey his trade market. Although Houston has had some conversations about Wall, most of those scenarios are viewed as “pie in the sky,” according to Spears, who adds that the club views a swap involving Russell Westbrook as the most realistic option for Wall at this point. During his conversation with Spears, Windhorst stated that the Rockets guard isn’t interested in losing any money in a buyout agreement.
  • Already viewed as a strong defender, Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith has expanded his offensive game this season, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News. Finney-Smith has taken on more ball-handling responsibilities, and his scoring average of 10.3 PPG would be a career high. Besides benefiting the Mavs on the court, Finney-Smith’s development has increased his value on the trade market, Caplan observes. It also likely puts him in line for a bigger payday when he reaches free agency this summer, which the Mavs and any potential suitor will have to take into account as they weigh possible deals.
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype took an in-depth look at what each NBA team could – and should – do at the February 10 trade deadline.

Casey Weary Of Turnovers, Close Losses

  • While development of young players is the Pistons’ top priority, coach Dwane Casey is weary of moral victories, Pistons.com Keith Langlois writes. The Pistons committed 22 turnovers in a six-point loss at Denver on Sunday. “We’re getting to the point, going into the end of the year and next year, where close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades,” Casey said. “It’s things we can control. Last 10 games we were fourth in the league in turnovers, 12 a game, and then we had this tonight. That’s what was more disappointing.”

Trade Rumors: Ross, Harris, Dinwiddie, Mavs, Grant, Pistons

The Magic are widely expected to trade Terrence Ross and/or Gary Harris before the February 10 trade deadline, assuming they can get sufficient draft capital in return, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column.

Ross and Harris aren’t among the top tier of players on this season’s trade market, so it may not require massive offers to get the Magic to part with one or both of them. For that reason, Stein writes, some people around the NBA view Ross in particular as a “natural target” for a team like the Jazz or Lakers — Utah and L.A. are seeking upgrades on the wing but have already given up future first-round picks and may not have the assets necessary to make a run at a higher-end target.

Here are a few more trade-related updates from around the league:

  • Some executives who spoke to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report believe the Wizards are open to discussing point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who hasn’t meshed especially well with Bradley Beal. While it makes sense that Dinwiddie wouldn’t be untouchable, I’d be a little surprised if the Wizards gave up on their backcourt pairing this quickly.
  • Pincus adds within the same story that the Mavericks have been mentioned as a possible “dark-horse” suitor for Pistons forward Jerami Grant. A Dallas offer would likely start with Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell, says Pincus.
  • Grant may well be traded at the deadline, especially if the Pistons can acquire a player like John Collins or Patrick Williams, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he stays put, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Edwards believes there’s a “real possibility” that general manager Troy Weaver decides to hang onto Grant until the offseason if he doesn’t get an offer he loves.
  • Edwards also expects the Pistons to remain on the lookout for a deal that nets them a promising young big man after their acquisition of Bol Bol fell through. Edwards identifies Kings forward Marvin Bagley III and Suns center Jalen Smith as two players worth keeping an eye on.

Jazz Have Interest In Robert Covington

Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington is drawing trade interest from the Jazz, league sources tell veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein.

Utah, known to be on the lookout for a defensive upgrade on the wing, has been linked to Jerami Grant, who is the team’s “preferred target,” according to Stein. However, the Pistons aren’t expected to be interested in a Jazz offer consisting of Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick.

Like Grant, Covington is a solid, versatile defender with the size to match up against bigger wings and forwards, but he’s not a dynamic offensive player and he’s in the final year of his contract with the Blazers, so he’s unlikely to cost as much in a trade as Grant would.

That makes Covington a more realistic target for the Jazz, whose trade assets are limited — they don’t really have the sort of promising young prospects who would generate major trade interest, and they’ve already parted with a pair of future first-round picks. Their conditional 2026 first-rounder is the earliest one they could put on the table.

Since arriving in Portland, Covington is averaging just 8.2 PPG in 113 games (30.9 MPG), which would be his lowest scoring average since his rookie year in 2013/14. He’s still contributing in plenty of other ways though, knocking down 37.1% of his threes, grabbing 6.2 rebounds per game, and providing 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per contest.

Covington is expected to be on the trade block in the coming weeks, since the 20-26 Blazers – who will be without Damian Lillard for at least several more weeks – are motivated to shake up their roster and will perhaps try to sneak below the luxury tax line. For what it’s worth, any swap involving only Covington, Ingles, and draft assets wouldn’t get them closer to that second goal, since Ingles’ cap hit ($13.04MM) is slightly higher than Covington’s ($12.98MM).

Casey Wants To Take Ball-Handling Burden Off Cunningham: Garza Out Of Protocols

  • Head coach Dwane Casey wants to take some of the ball-handling duties away from Cade Cunningham, who is running the offense and handling much of the scoring for the short-handed Pistons, per Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Injuries to Jerami Grant, Kelly Olynyk and Killian Hayes have resulted in Cunningham taking on a larger-than-expected share of the offense. “I’ve got to do a better job of getting him off the ball,” Casey said. “Find another ballhandler. When we get Kelly (Olynyk) back, get his time up as a point five, allowing Cade to play off the ball a little more and that’ll take the pressure off Cade, because to bring the ball down the floor, create his own shot, that’s too much.”
  • Pistons rookie center Luka Garza has cleared the health and safety protocols and is focused on reconditioning so he can start playing again, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

COVID-19 Updates: Olynyk, Whiteside, D. Johnson, Thunder

Pistons big man Kelly Olynyk, who returned this week after missing more than two months with a knee injury, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, tweets James Edwards III of The Athletic.

Olynyk, who signed as a free agent over the summer, played in two games before being sidelined again, bringing his season total to 12. He’s averaging 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per night.

Olynyk joins teammates Jerami Grant and Luka Garza in the protocols, as the Pistons and Grizzlies are the only teams with three players currently affected by COVID-19.

Here are a few more protocol-related updates:

  • Jazz backup center Hassan Whiteside has exited the protocols, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). However, he is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with the Warriors because of conditioning. Whiteside was the sixth Utah player in the protocols when he entered 10 days ago, but all of them have now been cleared.
  • Raptors rookie forward David Johnson has been placed in the protocols, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. The two-way player has only logged two minutes in two games at the NBA level, but has played four games for the Raptors 905 in the G League.
  • Thunder assistant coaches Mike Wilks and David Akinyooye have entered the protocols, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). Head coach Mark Daigneault was in the protocols earlier this month.

Pistons Sign Cassius Stanley To Third Hardship Contract

The Pistons have brought back guard Cassius Stanley, signing him to a third 10-day contract using a COVID-related hardship exception, the team announced today (via Twitter).

Stanley first signed with Detroit on December 25, then got a second 10-day deal on January 8. With Luka Garza and Jerami Grant still in the health and safety protocols, the Pistons were eligible to re-sign him without requiring an open spot on their 15-man roster. Stanley, meanwhile, was eligible to sign a third 10-day pact with the team because all three deals were hardship – rather than standard – contracts.

Stanley, 22, appeared in seven games during his first 20 days with the Pistons, averaging 6.9 PPG and 2.4 RPG on .405/.250/1.000 shooting in 20.3 minutes per contest.

The former Duke standout, who was the 54th overall pick in the 2020 draft and played for the Pacers last season, has spent much of the 2021/22 campaign with the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League affiliate. He has recorded 11.5 PPG and 4.5 RPG on .417/.309/.571 shooting in 13 NBAGL games (24.4 MPG).

Stanley’s new contract, which will run through January 30 and will pay him $85,578, won’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes.