Dwight Buycks

Pistons Notes: Beilein, Stefanski, Casey, Bullock

Interviewing for the Pistons’ head coaching vacancy was enough NBA experience for Michigan’s John Beilein, relays James Hawkins of The Detroit News. Beilein eventually pulled his name from consideration and agreed to a tentative extension with the Wolverines. He came away convinced that the college atmosphere is best for him.

“It was location, location, location,” Beilein explained in an interview on WBBL. “[Wife] Kathleen and I, we love it. … We wouldn’t really have to move. It was appealing to me and the interest was mutual to an extent, but they had some other great options and I had a great option. It didn’t work out, but I wanted to think it through. I don’t anticipate or plan on ever doing that again and I think people understand that. It’s not like I’ve been doing this every year.”

There’s more news out of Detroit:

  • Hiring Dwane Casey as head coach was the first step in what is shaping up to be an active summer, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Ed Stefanski, the new senior advisor to owner Tom Gores, is hoping to find a general manager in the next week or two. Stefanski could assume the lead role in the front office, either as president or GM, and hire someone younger he can mentor to eventually take over, Beard adds.
  • The team is expected to pick up its $2.5MM option on Reggie Bullock by the July 15 deadline, Beard notes in the same story. That will leave decisions on whether to fully guarantee a $1.8MM contract for Eric Moreland and a $1.6MM deal for Dwight Buycks.
  • The press conference to introduce Casey as head coach won’t take place until next week, Beard adds. The delay is believed to be a matter of coordinating schedules with Gores and some of the players. In the meantime, Casey is in Los Angeles to meet with several Pistons who conduct their offseason workouts there, such as Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson and Luke Kennard.
  • Forward James Ennis, who is headed for free agency, has decided to change agents, according to HoopsHype (Twitter link). He will be represented by Scott Nichols of Rize Management.

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Van Gundy, Buycks

While the injury that has sidelined Reggie Jackson since December was referred to as an ankle sprain, the veteran point guard actually had complete tears of the ligaments in his right ankle, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. When Jackson first went down with the injury, the Pistons announced he’d be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks, and he admits he thought he’d be back on the court around that time.

“I never expected to miss whatever amount of games as I did,” Jackson said. “I really thought it was a four-week thing, even though people said six to eight. I took the news like everybody else. Once we got to that point, realized it said ‘re-evaluation.'”

Even though the Pistons’ chances of making the playoffs are all but dead, Jackson is hoping to return from the stretch run, if only to build up a little momentum for the offseason and for the 2018/19 campaign. As Langlois details, Jackson said this weekend that he hopes he’ll be back “soon,” while head coach Stan Van Gundy suggested his point guard’s return will depend on how his ankle responds to yesterday’s full-court scrimmage.

“We’re hoping maybe this week he’ll play at some point,” Van Gundy said.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Van Gundy received a $15K fine from the NBA for publicly criticizing the officiating in Saturday’s loss to Portland, the league announced in a press release. Van Gundy said after Saturday’s game that the Trail Blazers “got away with fouls all over the place,” adding that the Pistons “got absolutely screwed” and calling it “embarrassing for the league.”
  • Pistons guard Dwight Buycks, who scored a career-high 22 points against Denver last Thursday, is making a case for a roster spot on next year’s team, writes Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Buycks’ contract includes a non-guaranteed $1.6MM salary for 2018/19, which will become guaranteed if he remains under contract through September 1.
  • The Pistons, whose roster underwent major midseason changes, continue to search for the right balance between their starters and reserves, as Rod Beard of The Detroit News details.

Pistons Convert Dwight Buycks To NBA Contract

The Pistons are converting the contract of guard Dwight Buycks from a two-way pact to a standard NBA deal, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The team had an open spot on its 15-man roster, so no corresponding move will be required to create room for Buycks.

Buycks, 28, had been on a two-way deal with the Pistons all season but only saw his first NBA action recently, with Reggie Jackson sidelined. Buycks has served as Ish Smith‘s primary backup at the point over the last couple weeks. In his last six games, the veteran guard has posted 11.7 PPG, 3.2 APG, and a .509/.462/.833 shooting line in 19.5 MPG for Detroit.

Assuming the Pistons simply convert Buycks’ two-way deal, rather than signing him to an all-new contract, he’ll remain on track to reach unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2018. Ian Begley of ESPN.com wrote yesterday that Buycks’ play has impressed rival executives, adding that several execs view him as a player who will draw major interest this offseason from teams lacking significant cap flexibility.

With Buycks no longer on a two-way deal, the Pistons will open up one of their two-way slots. They’ll have until Monday to sign a new player to fill that opening.

Pistons Discuss Stanley Johnson in Trade Talks

As the Pistons explore the trade market in search of potential upgrades, Stanley Johnson‘s name has come up in their discussions, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.com. According to Begley, teams that have spoken to the Pistons have come away with the impression that Johnson is available for the right return.

Johnson, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, had a promising rookie season in Detroit, averaging 8.1 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 73 games. He has been inconsistent over the last season and a half though — the third-year small forward hasn’t matched or exceeded those first-year averages, and his FG% has slipped to a career-worst .348 in 2017/18.

Still, Johnson is just 21 years old, and his defensive potential on the wing could make him an intriguing target for rebuilding franchises. The former Arizona Wildcat is also on a very team-friendly contract for the time being. Johnson, who has a current-year cap hit of $3.1MM, will earn $3.94MM in 2018/19 before becoming eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of ’19.

We heard earlier this week that rookie guard Luke Kennard is receiving interest from potential Pistons trade partners as well, so Johnson isn’t the only youngster the team could consider moving. However, Begley writes that Detroit doesn’t appear to have much interest in dealing its 2017 lottery pick. Unless the Pistons push for a marquee player, I’d view Johnson as a much more likely trade candidate than Kennard.

According to Begley, guard Dwight Buycks has also impressed opposing executives. Buycks is on a two-way contract though, so while he’s trade-eligible, his present value is very limited. Begley notes that several execs view Buycks as a player who will draw major interest as a free agent this summer from teams lacking significant cap flexibility.

Pistons Notes: Bradley, Leuer, Bullock, Galloway

Avery Bradley‘s role will change now that he’ll be playing alongside Ish Smith instead of Reggie Jackson until after the All-Star break, as he and coach Stan Van Gundy noted to me in a Detroit Free Press story.

The Pistons shooting guard returned to action on Wednesday after a seven-game absence due to a groin injury. While Bradley was on the mend, Jackson suffered a severe ankle sprain. Bradley will have to get used to quicker tempo and he’ll have the ball in his hands a little more. Van Gundy is running the offense more through the wings with Jackson on the sidelines.

“It’s going to change and I just have to make the adjustment,” Bradley said of his role. Bradley usually defended point guards with Jackson on the floor but those switched assignments will occur less often with the smaller Smith.

“The best part of Reggie Jackson’s defense is his post defense, so you could play him on a lot of bigger people,” Van Gundy said. “With Ish, that’s a lot different. So matchups will be a little bit different.”

In other Pistons developments:

  • Forward Jon Leuer, who hasn’t played since October 31st due to an ankle injury, could be headed to surgery if his condition doesn’t improve soon. Leuer received a joint lubrication injection for his sprained left ankle a month ago after suffering a setback. He was put on anti-inflammatory medication recently to aid the healing process. Van Gundy hopes that Leuer will show significant progress by next weekend. “I can’t tell him to play and I can’t tell him to go get surgery,” Van Gundy said. “At that point, if we’ve gone another 12 days and we haven’t had anything change, he’s going to have to make some decisions on what he wants to do.”
  • With Bradley returning to the lineup, Reggie Bullock and Anthony Tolliver will share a starting spot, depending on matchups. Against smaller lineups, Bullock will start. Against taller, more rugged power forwards, Tolliver will get the nod with Tobias Harris moving to small forward.
  • The backup point guard job spot behind Smith is up for grabs. Langston Galloway played most of those minutes the first game Jackson was out. Dwight Buycks, who is on a two-way contract, played 18 minutes at the point the following game.

Central Rumors: Buycks, Teletovic, LaVine

Dwight Buycks hopes he can prove that he’s worthy of a standard contract now that Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson is out at least 6-8 weeks with a severe ankle sprain, as he told Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Detroit signed Buycks to a two-way contract but he spurned a two-year deal because he hoped to eventually earn a spot on a 15-man roster, Langlois continues. Buycks, along with combo guard Langston Galloway, are the two in-house options to back up Ish Smith until Jackson returns. “This is my dream, to be here and be here permanently,” Buycks said. “It’s up to me to put the work in and be successful out here.” Buycks had previous stints with the Raptors and Lakers but hadn’t appeared in a league game since the 2014/15 season until he played two minutes against the Pacers on Tuesday.

In other news around the Central Division:

  • Forward Mirza Teletovic could be sidelined until late in the season, which would put the Bucks in the market for a shooter, Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box reports. Teletovic was diagnosed with pulmonary emboli in his lungs earlier this month. Teletovic will be sidelined for at least three more months, sources told Woelfel. Without him, Milwaukee is vulnerable on the perimeter offensively.  “They just don’t have outside shooters,” a veteran advance scout told Woelfel. “I see that as their biggest weakness.’’
  • Shooting guard Zach LaVine has run out of patience waiting for the Bulls to let him return to action, he told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times and other media members. LaVine, who tore his ACL in February playing for the Timberwolves, has been practicing with the team and its G League affiliate for over a month but has yet to make his season debut. ‘‘I know I feel like I can play right now,’’ he said.

Pistons Guard Reggie Jackson Out For Extended Period

Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson suffered a Grade 3 right ankle sprain against the Pacers on Tuesday and will be sidelined until after the All-Star break, the team announced on Wednesday. Jackson underwent an MRI on Wednesday, which revealed the extent of the injury. He will be re-evaluated in six to eight weeks, according to the press release.

Coach Stan Van Gundy said during his postgame press conference that X-rays were negative. However, Jackson was in severe pain when the injury occurred and couldn’t put any pressure on the leg.

Jackson had eight points and a season-high 13 assists prior to the injury. He missed the first 21 games last season with a knee injury but the club got off to an 11-10 start with Ish Smith running the offense. Smith will move into the lineup as long as Jackson is out. “Ish did a great job of taking over when Reggie went down last year, so we won’t miss a beat,” center Andre Drummond said after the game.

Langston Galloway or Dwight Buycks, who is on a two-way contract, will back up Smith while Jackson mends. Galloway, who inked a three-year, $21MM free agent contract during the summer, has played almost exclusively at shooting guard this season. Buycks appeared in his first NBA game on Tuesday since playing six games with the Lakers during the 2014/15 season.

Another option, as Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets, is to sign a player to a 10-day contract. Teams can add a player via a 10-day deal beginning on January 5th and Detroit has an open roster spot.

In the short run, the Pistons are without both starting guards. Shooting guard Avery Bradley has missed the last five games with a groin injury but he is progressing. The team is hopeful he can return next week, as Langlois tweets.

Pistons Sign Dwight Buycks To Two-Way Deal

SEPTEMBER 7: Buycks’ deal with the Pistons is now official, according to agent Chris Patrick (Twitter link).

AUGUST 29: The Pistons have agreed to sign free agent point Dwight Buycks, Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders writes. Chris Reichert of 2Ways10Days adds that Buycks’ deal is a two-way pact (Twitter link). The journeyman guard last played in China following stints with the Raptors and Lakers.

In six games with Los Angeles three years ago, Buycks averaged 8.7 points and 2.3 assists per game in just over 20 minutes of action. Now the 28-year-old will look to break camp as the third point guard behind Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith, a role that Beno Udrih held in 2016/17.

Buycks went undrafted out of Marquette in the 2011 NBA Draft but has thrived on and off in the G League and internationally over the course of the past half decade.

Earlier this summer, Buycks suited up for the Mavs’ team in the Orlando Summer League.

Free Agent Notes: Lawson, Hansbrough, Buycks

Although he appeared to be on the verge of signing a contract with China’s Shanxi Brave Dragons, free agent point guard Ty Lawson remains on the market, agent Larry Fox tells HoopsHype. According to Fox, Lawson has received interest from several teams in China, and has reciprocated that interest and had some discussions with those clubs. However, the 29-year-old has also drawn interest from NBA teams and is still weighing his options, per Fox.

As we wait to see where Lawson lands, here are a few more free agent notes:

  • Former lottery pick Tyler Hansbrough has reached an agreement to join China’s Guangzhou Lions, sources tell international basketball journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Sportando first reported that Hansbrough was expected to make the move to China. The former UNC standout has appeared in 428 career regular season NBA games, but didn’t catch on with a team for the 2016/17 season.
  • Veteran guard Dwight Buycks broke off negotiations on a two-year contract with Olympiacos in order to pursue NBA opportunites, tweets David Pick. Buycks, who last played a regular season NBA game in 2015 with the Lakers, was said to be drawing interest from the Knicks earlier this month.
  • Having reached an agreement to sign Rajon Rondo after signing Jrue Holiday to a lucrative new contract earlier in the month, the Pelicans envision the two guards playing side by side. As William Guillory of The Times-Picayune details, New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry said during a radio appearance this week that his plan for now is to start Rondo at point guard with Holiday at the two. Rondo’s deal with the Pelicans is expected to be finalized soon.

Atlantic Rumors: Celtics, Crowder, Knicks, Buycks

In the wake of today’s trade with the Pistons that sends Avery Bradley to Detroit, the Celtics have no intention of moving Jae Crowder and have no “pressing” deals on the go, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter links). Himmelsbach adds that Boston will look to use its room exception, and the team never rules out the possibility of more dealing, as Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald tweets. For now, though, nothing appears imminent.

One player who could be a candidate for the Celtics’ room exception is free agent center Dewayne Dedmon. Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News suggests (via Twitter) that he kept hearing at the Utah Summer League how intrigued the Celtics are by Dedmon. However, it’s not clear if that interest is mutual, particularly given Boston’s cap limitations.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • Asked today about the trade rumors surrounding Paul George, Pacers president Kevin Pritchard told reporters that the rumored offers from the Celtics and other teams were only about 5% correct (Twitter link via Matt Glenesk of The Indianapolis Star).
  • The Knicks were impressed by guard Dwight Buycks‘ performance in Summer League and are interested in signing him to their offseason roster, sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Buycks helped lead the Mavericks’ squad to an Orlando Summer League title this week.
  • The Knicks‘ offer sheet for Tim Hardaway Jr. includes the same advance salary structure as Otto Porter‘s deal with the Nets, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Hardaway’s deal calls for 50% of his annual salary to be paid by October 1 annually.
  • Veteran guard Sergio Rodriguez, who spent the season with the Sixers, prefers to remain in the NBA. However, CSKA Moscow is making a push to lure him back overseas, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops. The Russian club lost Milos Teodosic to the Clippers in free agency.