Hamidou Diallo

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Rotation, Jackson, Pickett

Top pick Cade Cunningham is dealing with an ankle sprain and has missed some practice time, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. The medical staff is being very cautious with the Pistons’ prized rookie so that the injury doesn’t linger.

Cunningham has been doing some light shooting drills, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. It appears unlikely that the rookie guard will play in the team’s preseason opener on Wednesday.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Head coach Dwane Casey will serve youth, mainly in the starting lineup, and rely on veterans on the second unit, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “I think we’re going to have probably two different units – one a younger unit that’s going to bring energy and the second unit will probably have more experience,” Casey said. Cunningham will likely be joined by second-year players Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes in the starting unit, as well as possibly Isaiah Stewart. Casey is still mulling whether to go with Stewart or free agent signee Kelly Olynyk as the starting center. Cory Joseph will likely be the second-unit floor leader with Hamidou Diallo, Josh Jackson, Frank Jackson and Trey Lyles fighting for playing time.
  • Frank Jackson, like Cunningham, is dealing with an ankle injury, Sankofa adds in a separate tweet. He was re-signed as a restricted free agent on a two-year, $6.2MM deal that includes a team option next summer.
  • Jamorko Pickett continues to earn the admiration of the coaching staff, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets. “I’m really impressed with Jamorko Pickett, as far as his game, approach, maturity and communication,” Casey said. An undrafted forward out of Georgetown, Pickett recently had his non-guaranteed camp deal upgraded to a two-way contract.

Pistons Notes: David, Diallo, Pickett, Schedule

George David has reached an agreement with the Pistons to become an assistant general manager, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. It will be a second stint in the organization for David, who spent 19 seasons in Detroit’s front office before joining Wasserman Media Group in 2015. David, who spent the bulk of his previous time in the organization in scouting and player evaluation, has strong ties with GM Troy Weaver, Wojnarowski adds in another tweet.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • The two-year contract signed by Hamidou Diallo is worth a flat $5.2MM in each season, Keith Smith tweets. The second year, as previously noted, is a team option. Diallo entered the month as a restricted free agent.
  • Jamorko Pickett, who signed an Exhibit 10 contract, has an uphill climb to make the opening-day roster, but he has no doubt he’s good enough to play in the NBA, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. Pickett, who played four seasons at Georgetown, averaged 9.8 PPG and 3.8 RPG in the Las Vegas summer league. “I was given opportunities and I took the most of them,” he said. “I know I belong here. It’s always having that mindset – knowing I belong, knowing I should start. That’s what pushed me when I did have the opportunity to excel.”
  • Cade Cunningham will make his regular season debut at home against Chicago on Oct. 20, Langlois notes while breaking down the regular-season slate. The NBA released team schedules on Friday. The Pistons’ schedule can be accessed here.

Hamidou Diallo Re-Signs With Pistons On Two-Year Contract

8:35pm: A team press release has confirmed the signing, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. The second year of the contract is a team option, James Edwards III of The Athletic tweets.


5:04pm: Restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo will remain with the Pistons on a two-year, $10.4MM deal, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Diallo’s agents, Thad Foucher and Joe Smith, informed Wojnarowski of the decision.

As Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (Twitter link), the Pistons will eventually have to make another roster move to fit in Diallo, since they now have 16 guaranteed contracts on their books. There’s no rush to make that move, since teams can carry up to 20 players in the offseason.

Diallo appeared in 20 games after Detroit acquired him from Oklahoma City, averaging 11.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 1.2 APG. The high-flying Diallo also showed improvement with his 3-point shot after the mid-season trade, draining 39% of his 3-point shots. He had a breakout season with extended playing time, as he also averaged 11.9 for OKC in 32 games.

A 2018 second-round selection, Diallo appeared in 129 games with the Thunder. He’s averaged 7.5 PPG and 3.6 RPG in 17.8 MPG during his three-year career.

General manager Troy Weaver, a former Thunder executive, had prioritized re-signing Diallo this offseason. Detroit extended a qualifying offer of $2.08MM to make him a restricted free agent.

Diallo joins a crowd at the wing that includes top pick Cade Cunningham, who will often share the floor with Killian Hayes, as well Saddiq Bey, Josh Jackson, Rodney McGruder, Frank Jackson and Jerami Grant (in bigger lineups).

Central Notes: Markkanen, Diallo, Mobley, Stevens

The NBA’s investigation of the Bulls for possible tampering involving Lonzo Ball could complicate efforts to find a new team for Lauri Markkanen, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Because Markkanen is a restricted free agent, he will need cooperation from Chicago to go elsewhere, either by not matching his offer or working out a sign-and-trade, but Johnson doesn’t believe the league will permit sign-and-trade negotiations until the probe of the early agreement with Ball is wrapped up.

The Pelicans and Mavericks both have large trade exceptions, so they remain potential destinations for Markkanen, Johnson adds. The Bulls are asking for a first-round pick in any sign-and-trade deal, and they’re not willing to take on a large, lengthy contract in return. Another possibility is for Markkanen to accept his one-year, $9MM qualifying offer and remain in Chicago, but he has indicated that he prefers to play somewhere else next season.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will face a roster crunch if they keep restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, observes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Detroit already has 15 guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season, and while Diallo is searching for a better deal than his $2.1MM qualifying offer, he will likely sign it if he can’t get more money elsewhere. Edwards expects Josh Jackson, Jahlil Okafor or Sekou Doumbouya to be traded or released if Diallo stays in Detroit.
  • Jordan Brink and Austin Dufault have been promoted to player development coaches with the Pistons, Edwards tweets. Brink has been with the team since 2016 and is the only remaining member of Stan Van Gundy’s staff. Dufault played collegiately at Colorado and spent six seasons as a player in Europe.
  • The Cavaliers were satisfied with their Summer League showing, which included the first on-court experience for No. 3 pick Evan Mobley, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. In three games, Mobley showed off the skills that made him one of the top prospects in the draft, but also displayed areas where he needs work, as he shot just 1 of 8 from three-point range and didn’t have reliable moves in the post. Summer League also provided a showcase for Lamar Stevens, Fedor adds, who could end up fighting for the final roster spot with Mfiondu Kabengele and Damyean Dotson if the team makes more roster additions.

Central Notes: Pistons, Bucks, Dosunmu, Mobley

The Pistons have a logjam and will need to make some moves to create roster space, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. They’re already at the 15-player limit for standard contracts and a decision on restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo is still looming. They also have only one two-way contract slot available and have yet to sign second-round draft picks Luka Garza and Balsa Koprivica.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks gave up two second-round picks in the Grayson Allen deal with the Grizzlies. The picks they’re giving up are owed to Milwaukee from previous deals, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian tweets. The first of those picks will either the Pacers’ pick or the less favorable of Cavaliers’ or Jazz’s pick in 2024. The second will be conveyed in 2026, the highest of either the Pacers’ or Heat’s pick.
  • Bulls second-rounder Ayo Dosunmu is off to a rough shooting start in the summer league, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times notes. He’s shooting 7-for-24 (29%) from the field through three games. “The advice I got was go out there and play hard,’’ said Dosunmu, the 38th overall selection. “Just try to learn something new each game. That’s the best way you’re going to get better.”
  • The No. 3 overall pick, Evan Mobley, is showing the Cavaliers in summer league play how he can impact their offense in a number of ways, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. His passing ability, in particular, can diversify their attack. “He’s going to be an extremely integral piece for us throughout the season and his willingness to share the ball and then also be able to get his own shot when he wants it is extremely important,” Cavaliers summer league coach J.J. Outlaw said. “But as you can see his teammates trusted that he would deliver the ball on time, on target when they would cut and they just kept cutting.”

Pistons Issue QOs To Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson

The Pistons have extended qualifying offers to Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson, ensuring that both players will be restricted free agents this summer, reports James Edwards III of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Acquired from the Thunder in March in a deal that sent Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick to Oklahoma City, Diallo averaged 11.2 PPG and 5.4 RPG on .468/.390/.662 shooting in 20 games (23.3 MPG) for Detroit.

The expectation when Diallo was acquired was that the Pistons would make a strong effort to lock him up to a new deal as a restricted free agent. His qualifying offer will be worth about $2.08MM and will give Detroit the right of first refusal in the event that he signs an offer sheet with another team.

As for Jackson, the former 31st overall pick spent the 2020/21 season on a two-way contract with the Pistons, averaging 9.8 PPG and 2.2 RPG on .457/.407/.813 shooting in 40 games (18.5 MPG).

Because he has four years of NBA service under his belt, Jackson is ineligible to sign another two-way contract, so his qualifying offer will be worth the minimum salary. However, it only needs to be partially guaranteed for the equivalent of a two-way salary (likely around $463K).

The Pistons have two more players eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. I’d expect one of those players – Saben Lee – to get a qualifying offer before this weekend’s deadline, but the other – Dennis Smith Jr. – will likely become an unrestricted free agent.

Central Notes: Cavs’ Lottery Pick, Buford, Diallo, Carlisle

The Cavaliers will not just limit their interview and workout list for the No. 3 pick to USC’s Evan Mobley, the G League Ignite’s Jalen Green and Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Those players are widely considered the next three prospects beyond Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, who is only expected to visit Detroit

Duke’s Jalen Johnson, who is ranked No. 9 by ESPN, was scheduled to meet with the Cavaliers on Friday. The Cavs are also expected to look at the G League Ignite’s Jonathan Kuminga (rated No. 5) and Florida State’s Scottie Barnes (No. 6). The latter met with Cleveland’s brass on Thursday, Fedor adds.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Chase Buford is leaving his post as the Wisconsin Herd’s head coach in order to become the head coach of the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL, according to a team press release. “We are excited for Chase to pursue this opportunity with one of the best clubs in Australia,” said Herd GM Dave Dean. Buford, 32, led the Bucks’ G League team to a league-best 33-10 record before the 2019/20 season was suspended due to the pandemic.
  • Along with mulling what to do with the top pick, the Pistons must decide how high they’re willing to go on restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, Bobby Marks of ESPN (Insider link) writes. Diallo is projected to command somewhere in the neighborhood of the mid-level exception, which the Pistons could easily match. Marks also explores the team’s other pending decisions and its cap situation.
  • With his long track record and a four-year contract, Rick Carlisle will command respect in the Pacers’ locker room, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star (subscription required) writes.

Pistons Notes: Diallo, Polinsky, Beilein, Jersey Sponsor

The Pistons traded for 22-year old Hamidou Diallo two weeks before this season’s trade deadline, and it appears they liked what they saw from the athletic wing in his 20 games in Detroit. Pistons GM Troy Weaver helped draft Diallo during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and, as NBA.com’s Keith Langlois writes, Weaver still has sky-high expectations for Diallo.

Hami, he fits what we’re trying to do here,” Weaver said. “Tremendous mindset, tremendous competitor. Defensive mindset, athletic and he brings it. You can never have too many guys that have that mindset and that competitiveness.

Diallo, one of the better rebounding guards in the league, with an improving jump shot and a limitless supply of energy, is set to hit restricted free agency this summer, but Weaver seems to expect he’ll be back in Detroit next season.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • The Pistons and senior director of player personnel Gregg Polinsky have agreed to part ways, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks, despite the success of recent draftees Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart. This comes as part of a larger shake-up within the team’s development staff.
  • Keith Langlois writes about how the hiring of ex-Michigan head coach John Beilein as senior advisor of player development points to a larger trend for the Pistons. Between head coach Dwayne Casey, assistant coach Tim Grgurich and the new addition of Beilein, Weaver and team owner Tom Gores have prioritized building a robust and experienced development staff as the team enters a rebuilding period. “With the age of our core group, I wanted to add to our excellent developmental staff,” Casey said in a statement issued by the Pistons. “John is a basketball lifer with a passion to help young players get better, especially in the area of shooting. We have an excellent group of young development coaches who have done a good job with our young core.”
  • The Pistons have announced a new jersey sponsor: United Wholesale Mortgage. The Pistons’ previous uniform patch sponsor was Flagstar Bank.

Pistons Notes: Draft, Roster, Casey, Diallo, Veterans

The Pistons finished with the second worst record in the league, meaning they’ll slide no lower than sixth in the draft lottery. While the top five prospects in this year’s draft have been highly touted, GM Troy Weaver doesn’t want fans to automatically assume they’ll get a franchise player, Rod Beard of the Detroit News tweets.

“There’s definitely big potential in the top five. Franchise-changing? I don’t know,” Weaver said on Monday. “There’s no Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) in this class…I’m not looking for someone in the top five to step in and change the franchise.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Weaver blew up the roster in his first season with the franchise but he won’t be doing much wheeling and dealing this summer, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Beyond the lottery pick, the roster will have plenty of continuity. Weaver said the focus this offseason will be on internal growth. “I don’t anticipate having too many roster spots available,” Weaver said. “We like our group and we’re excited about the guys under contract and even our own free agents. I don’t anticipate much turnover at all.”
  • In tune with that theme, Casey said his players won’t get much time off this summer, Langlois writes in a separate story. “Give the guys a couple of weeks off and get right back at it,” he said. “Like I told the team, this is probably one of the most important summers of their basketball-playing careers.”
  • An essential part of the rebuild was retaining Casey to nurture the team’s growth, Beard writes.  The extension runs he signed last week runs through the 2023/24 season. “It was extremely important that we extend Coach,” Weaver said. “It was an important part of everything we’re doing, we wanted him to be lined up with this restoration. He’s leading the cause on the floor.”
  • When the Pistons traded with the Thunder for restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo, the expectation was that Detroit intended to hold onto the young wing. That remains the plan, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press tweets. “It’s a young group that he fits and we need his talents,” Weaver said of Diallo. “If he can continue to buy into Coach Casey’s system, which he did … I think he can have a very bright future here in Detroit.”
  • The Pistons sat out many of their veteran players to gave their rookies plenty of experience in the second half of the season. However, Weaver wants some seasoned players to round out the roster, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. “Our roster construction is always going to have veterans,” he said.

Pistons Notes: Diallo, Cook, Weaver, Lee, Joseph

Hamidou Diallo gave the Pistons an example of why GM Troy Weaver coveted him so much during their victory over Toronto on Monday, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes. Diallo sparked the club with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Diallo, a restricted free agent after the season, was acquired earlier this month from Oklahoma City for swingman Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2027 second-round pick. From all accounts, the Pistons want to retain Diallo, Edwards adds.

“He’s an athletic young man who is just scratching the surface of what he can be in this league,” coach Dwane Casey said.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Casey said that energy and communication are two big things he looks for from a player on a 10-day contract and Tyler Cook has fulfilled those requirements, Edwards tweets. The Pistons signed the forward to a second 10-day deal on Sunday. Detroit will have to decide by April 6 whether to offer Cook a standard contract or look at another player.
  • Weaver acquired two second-round picks along with Cory Joseph in the trade that sent Delon Wright to Sacramento and that made the Kings’ offer attractive, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “A lot of times people see those as throwaway picks. I don’t see them as throwaway picks,” Weaver said. “I see them as picks you can use in a variety of ways.” The Pistons don’t have their own second-round pick until 2027, but they have three from Toronto, Charlotte and the Los Angeles Lakers this season, plus Sacramento’s 2024 pick.
  • Saben Lee will likely have his two-way deal converted into a standard contract this offseason, Rod Beard of the Detroit News speculates. Lee, a rookie second-round pick, had a 19-point outing as a starter on Monday
  • Casey hasn’t hesitated to use Joseph, who is averaging 11.3 PPG and 3.7 APG in 24 MPG in his first three outings with the club. Joseph is set to earn $12.6MM in 2021/22, but the contract is only partially guaranteed ($2.4MM) until August 1, so the Pistons may opt to waive or trade him before next season.