Jamorko Pickett

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: Olynyk, Pickett, Rotation, Stewart

Kelly Olynyk has reached the point in his career where he wants to be a mentor as well as an on-court contributor, so the Pistons seemed like a perfect fit in free agency, writes Lauren Williams of MLive. The addition of Olynyk brings another reliable shooter and passer to Detroit’s frontcourt along with eight years of experience that he can share with the team’s young players.

“It’s just about I’m at the point in my career where I think I can really help a team like this young team with leadership on and off the court,” he said. “So just, teaching guys because I’m nine years in now. I kind of have those tricks of the trade. It’s time to pass them on. So I thought it was a great opportunity from that standpoint and also a great opportunity to come through and play.”

Through two days of training camp, coach Dwane Casey is still figuring out exactly what he wants Olynyk’s role to be. Casey is counting on having the ball in Olynyk’s hands frequently, whether he starts or comes off the bench.

“I think he’ll be a high usage rate guy with the second unit, first unit or who he’s playing with, just because of his ball skills and his ability,” Casey said. “And one weapon you can have in the NBA today is a five man that can shoot the ball from deep.”

There’s more from Detroit:

  • The Pistons are excited about rookie swingman Jamorko Pickett, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Pickett earned a two-way contract with a strong Summer League performance, and Casey said at media day that he has a chance to be a good player for several years. Casey admitted he didn’t know much about Pickett heading into the draft, but general manager Troy Weaver and scout Jason Buckner were watching him closely in college.
  • Detroit will have more depth than in recent years, but Casey doesn’t plan to expand his rotation beyond 10 players, Edwards adds. The most intense competition figures to be at the backup wing, where Josh Jackson, Frank Jackson and Hamidou Diallo will all be fighting for minutes. “It’s crowded at the wing position,” Casey said. “There’s some healthy competition at that area. We’re going to need a couple different things; we’re going to need shooting, defense, with either unit. You want that balance, so we’re going to go with who gives us that balance at the wing position.”
  • Second-year center Isaiah Stewart is getting some valuable instruction from new Hall of Famer Ben Wallace, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com“Today was probably the most I ever talked to him,” Stewart said after Tuesday’s practice. “I took advantage of the time and asked as many questions as I can. Hearing he’s going to be around more, I’m definitely going to be picking his brain. I hope he doesn’t get tired of that.”

Pistons Convert Jamorko Pickett To Two-Way Deal

Having promoted Luka Garza from his two-way contract to a standard deal, the Pistons didn’t waste any time in filling their newly-opened two-way slot. According to the team (via Twitter), forward Jamorko Pickett has had his Exhibit 10 deal converted into a two-way pact.

Pickett, who went undrafted after playing four seasons at Georgetown, averaged 12.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 2.1 APG in 26 games (34.7 MPG) as a senior in 2020/21.. He started 109 of 119 games during his college career and made 36.5% of his 3-point attempts, including 37.3% last season.

Pickett signed a non-guaranteed training camp deal with Detroit in August. It initially looked like he’d probably be released before the regular season and join the Pistons’ G League team, the Motor City Cruise, as an affiliate player. However, Detroit created some roster flexibility by trading away Sekou Doumbouya and Jahlil Okafor, providing a pathway for Pickett to stick around.

The Pistons now project to have a full 20-man camp roster, with camp invitees Derrick Walton and Cassius Stanley expected to join the 18 players who are already officially under contract.

Central Notes: Cavs, Simmons, Bucks, Pistons

Given how frequently the Cavaliers have been linked to Ben Simmons during the past few months, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com contemplates what it might take for the Cavs to acquire Simmons — and whether they should.

Fedor notes that the Cavaliers, as currently constructed, aren’t an ideal fit for a player with Simmons’ skill set, because they lack the shooters necessary to open the floor for his open-court driving and passing. So even if they did acquire him, they would almost certainly have to make more moves in order to build the team around him.

Fedor speculates that a package of Kevin Love, Collin Sexton, and a pair of protected first-round picks might not entice the 76ers more than other offers they’ve received, or ones they could receive in the weeks ahead. He also adds that while the Cavs have no “untouchables” on the roster, rookie Evan Mobley and improving point guard Darius Garland are the closest bets, and are considered very unlikely to be moved.

Fedor says that there are ultimately more questions than answers to the issue of whether the Cavs should go all-in for Simmons, adding that the team should be patient in its approach to see if the 76ers’ asking price might lessen over time. The article is worth checking out in full.

There’s more from the Central division:

  • The Bucks recently held a free-agent minicamp for their last remaining training camp spot, per our JD Shaw (Twitter link). Former NBA players Allonzo Trier, Antonio Blakeney, Chris McCullough and Josh Gray were among the participants. The Bucks currently only have 13 players with fully guaranteed contracts, so winning a training camp battle could very well be a viable pathway to making the team.
  • The Bucks‘ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, recently named Chaisson Allen as their new head coach. Allen was a highly regarded college player for Northeastern and spent five seasons playing internationally. He spent last season as an assistant for the Long Island Nets. In the same press release, the Herd also announced that Tony Bollier will serve as the team’s general manager and Arte Culver will be the new assistant general manager.
  • Keith Langlois of Pistons.com explores what the Pistons should do with their open roster spot. The team currently has 14 players under guaranteed contracts after acquiring and buying out DeAndre Jordan. Langlois posits the team could convert Luka Garza from a two-way contract to the main 15-man roster, though the plan is for him to spend significant time in the G league. Langlois notes that converting Garza would free up a two-way spot for summer league standout Jamorko Pickett, who’s currently on an Exhibit 10 deal. Langlois also says the team could keep the spot open for maximum roster flexibility, perhaps adding a 15th man later in the season.

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.

Pistons Sign Jamorko Pickett To Exhibit 10 Contract

AUGUST 18: Pickett’s Exhibit 10 deal with the Pistons is official, according to RealGM’s transactions log.


AUGUST 2: Jamorko Pickett has agreed to an Exhibit 10 contract with the Pistons, Jon Chepkevich of Stats Perform tweets. The pending signing has been confirmed by Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw (Twitter link).

Pickett went undrafted after playing four seasons at Georgetown. The 6’9” forward averaged 12.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 2.1 APG in his senior season. He started 109 of 119 games during his college career and made 36.5% of his 3-point attempts, adding to appeal.

An Exhibit 10 contract can be converted to a standard deal or a two-way pact before the regular season, though the players who sign them often end up becoming affiliate players for their team’s G League squad. If Pickett ends up playing for the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League affiliate, in 2021/22, he could earn a bonus worth up to $50K.

Southeast Notes: Mosley, Barnes, Wizards, Gallinari, Hornets

Jamahl Mosley has interviewed for head coaching jobs before, but he said the experience with the Magic was different because of the relationships involved. In an interview with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Mosley talks about his prior experience with president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman in Denver and front office official Anthony Parker in Cleveland.

“I started to sense that there was a little bit of a joy to where it was going,” said Mosley, who was officially hired Sunday morning. “That happened after the second or third interview. It felt good. And I met the DeVos family, and you just saw family. That’s when it really kind of set in.”

Mosley chose to sidestep a question about the end of his time in Dallas, where he served as an assistant to Rick Carlisle for the past seven years. There was an expectation that Mosley might become the Mavericks‘ next head coach when Carlisle left for Indiana, but the front office chose Jason Kidd instead.

“It’s me moving forward, and that’s the best thing,” Mosley said. “I’m moving into a situation that allows me to grow, allows me to walk into exactly what I started out doing, and that’s developing and helping young men become better individuals on and off the court.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Magic, who hold picks No. 5 and 8 in this year’s lottery, brought in Florida State forward Scottie Barnes for a private workout over the weekend, Robbins tweets. Barnes is ranked sixth on ESPN’s big board and is considered a possible top-five pick.
  • With Bradley Beal eligible for free agency next summer, the Wizards may value veteran help more than the No. 15 pick they hold in the draft, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. He notes that not many teams are willing to part with useful players in exchange for a mid-round draft choice, but he proposes a few trades involving the Knicks, Lakers, Hawks, Grizzlies and Pacers.
  • Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari has confirmed on Instagram that he will play in the Tokyo Olympics. Gallinari has been representing Italy in international competitions since he was a teenager, but this will be his first Olympic Games.
  • The Hornets are hosting six players today in a pre-draft workout, according to a tweet from the team. Taking part are West Virginia’s Derek Culver, prep school player Jimma Gatwech, Nikita Mikhailovskii of Avtodor (Russia), UNC-Greensboro’s Isaiah Miller, Georgetown’s Jamorko Pickett and Kentucky’s Olivier Sarr.

Southeast Workouts: Wizards, Magic, Hornets, Hawks

The Wizards worked out six draft prospects today, and there are four more scheduled for tomorrow, according to team announcements. Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey, Texas’ Greg Brown III, and Isaiah Todd, of the G League Ignite, headlined today’s workouts, along with Jay Huff, Blake Francis, and Colbey Ross.

Tomorrow’s slate of workouts will include Troy Baxter Jr., Obadiah Noel, Jamorko Pickett, and Devontae Shuler.

We have more draft workout news from around the Southeast Division:

  • Corey Kispert, the sharp-shooting senior out of Gonzaga, worked out today for the Magic, tweets Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The 6’6″ guard/forward would fill a much-needed role for a Magic team that is well-stocked at some positions but still low on shooters.
  • The Hornets worked out potential lottery pick Jalen Johnson today, according to a tweet from the team. Johnson had a turbulent year at Duke, and eventually withdrew from the program, but came in with a high pedigree and an intriguing point-forward skillset.
  • Ruot Monyyong, out of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, will work out for the Hawks on Wednesday, tweets Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. The 6’10 big man was the 2019/20 All-Sun Defensive Player of the Year.