Josh Bostic

Central Notes: Pistons, Love, Bostic, Cavs

The Pistons have now won more games this season without Josh Smith than they did with him. This successful run isn’t a coincidence, but there are other factors involved beyond Smith’s departure, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Lee also points to the sudden resurgence of Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks‘ return from injury as major reasons why Detroit is suddenly on a roll.

Here’s the latest out of the Central Division:

  • The Pistons recalled guard Spencer Dinwiddie from the Grand Rapids Drive, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced (Twitter link). This was the first assignment of the season for Dinwiddie, and in four games with the Drive he averaged 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per contest.
  • One of the Cavaliers‘ continuing struggles this season has been finding a way to properly utilize Kevin Love, Lee opines in a separate piece. With Love able to opt out of his deal at season’s end, it is imperative that coach David Blatt make the big man feel comfortable in Cleveland’s system, Lee opines.
  • Pistons camp invitee Josh Bostic inked a deal with the Belgian club Proximus Spirou, Eurobasket.com reports. Bostic was playing for Detroit’s D-League affiliate, averaging 6.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 15 appearances this season.
  • Newly acquired big man Timofey Mozgov brings two valuable assets with him to the Cavs: his ability to protect the rim, and a familiarity with Blatt’s system, Seth Partnow of BBallBreakdown.com opines. Blatt coached Mozgov when both were with the Russian national team, Partnow notes, which will help the big man acclimate to his new surrounding much quicker.
  • The cost for the Cavs to add Mozgov to the roster, including remaining salary owed and the luxury tax hit, will be approximately $9.3MM, Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com notes (Twitter link).
  • In a separate piece, Windhorst broke down all the machinations and moves Cleveland made, beginning with the 2014 NBA draft, which led to the Mozgov deal.
  • Cavs GM David Griffin acknowledged the team’s recent deals were costly, but were necessary if the team wanted to contend this season, Chris Fedor of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. “We feel like we’ve done it without completely mortgaging the future,” Griffin said. “People look at the number of picks we’ve given away, and everybody thinks, ‘oh my goodness, you’ve given away the farm.’ Well, we had an unbelievable farm. So we were putting it to work. And we’re really pleased with where we are now.”

And-Ones: Varejao, Bryant, Cavs

Given Anderson Varejao‘s injury history, the Cavs signing him to a three year deal might seem risky, but Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer explains why it was a smart move for the team. Pluto cites the team’s desire to win now, Cleveland’s lack of depth at center, and that Varejao’s $10MM per season salary won’t seem that high once the new CBA kicks in and player salaries escalate. Pluto also notes that the non-guaranteed third year of the contract was added because the organization views it as a potential trade chip.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Lakers look to be in for a long season that is more likely to end with a lottery pick than a playoff berth. Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel believes that Los Angeles should consider trading Kobe Bryant to the Knicks for Amar’e Stoudemire‘s expiring contract. This would get Bryant’s deal off of the books in time for next summer’s free agent class, as well as reunite Bryant with Phil Jackson, and help the Knicks implement the triangle offense more effectively, Schmitz opines.
  • Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s comments about a willingness to spend whatever it took to put LeBron James back on top, no matter the cost, were a jab at the Heat organization and team owner Micky Arison, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. Moves such as amnestying Mike Miller in 2013, or the team declining to use their mid-level exception last season despite a lack of roster depth, were rumored to rub James the wrong way and possibly contributed to him returning to Cleveland, notes Winderman.
  • Lorenzo Brown and Josh Bostic agreed to contracts with the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA D-League, David Mayo of MLive reports (Twitter link). Both players were waived by the Pistons who will retain their D-League rights.

Pistons Waive Thabeet, Cook, Bostic, Brown

The Pistons have waived Hasheem Thabeet, Brian Cook, Lorenzo Brown and Josh Bostic, the team announced via press release. That means the team has cut ties with all four of the players it had on non-guaranteed contracts, leaving only 16 fully guaranteed deals.

Thabeet was hoping to rehabilitate a foundering career after the Sixers waived him in September, shortly after the Thunder sent him to Philadelphia in a cost-cutting trade. Still, Joel Anthony‘s arrival in the swap the Pistons made Friday with the Celtics gave Detroit another backup center and made Thabeet’s long-shot chances of making it to opening night with the club even worse. Cook was hoping to turn an appearance in Pistons summer league into his first NBA regular season action since 2011/12. Brown wound up in Pistons camp after a failed physical prompted Italy’s Reyer Venezia to call off their deal earlier in the summer, while Bostic is a veteran of the overseas circuit, having spent much of his pro career in international leagues since going undrafted in 2009.

None of the four saw significant playing time in preseason games this month. The Pistons and the agents for Bostic and Brown have discussed an arrangement in which Detroit would keep the D-League rights to the pair, who would sign to play for the team’s new one-to-one affiliate in Grand Rapids. Detroit can keep the D-League rights to as many as four of its preseason cuts.

Eastern Notes: Van Gundy, Mirotic, Sixers

Pistons owner Tom Gores expressed a desire for more synergy between the front office and the coaching staff during his first meeting with Stan Van Gundy this spring, and that was “music to my ears,” Van Gundy tells TNT’s David Aldridge for his Morning Tip column on NBA.com. Van Gundy asserts that his dual executive/coaching role is as aligned with the owner’s vision as it is with his. It’ll be a while before we know whether Gores and Van Gundy had the right idea to consolidate authority, but while we wait on the early returns, there’s more on the Pistons amid the latest from the Eastern Conference:

  • Nikola Mirotic thought he’d keep playing in Spain until at least 2015 until the Bulls pushed for buyout talks with Real Madrid this spring, as Shams Charania of RealGM details.
  • The Pistons have discussed the idea of retaining the D-League rights to Josh Bostic and Lorenzo Brown with their respective agents, GM Jeff Bower says, according to MLive’s David Mayo. Detroit can do so with up to four of its preseason cuts.
  • Michael Carter-Williams told reporters today that the original prognosis when he had shoulder surgery in early May was for him to miss six to nine months, which conflicts with the two-to-four month timetable the Sixers released at that point, notes Tom Moore of Calkins Media (Twitter links). The reigning Rookie of the Year has yet to play in the preseason this month, though Carter-Williams added that he’s ahead of that six-to-nine month schedule.
  • Vitor Faverani will miss six to eight weeks after today’s left knee surgery, perhaps endangering his place on a Celtics roster on which he has one of 16 fully guaranteed contracts, writes A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
  • Tom Thibodeau will make close to $4.4MM a year through 2016/17, but amid persistent rumors about his future and with the going rate for coaches on the rise, the Bulls should grant him an extension that’s more reflective of his value, opines Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pistons Sign Brian Cook For Camp

The Pistons have signed nine-year NBA veteran big man NBA Brian Cook, the team announced via press release. The release also officially announces the signings of Hasheem Thabeet, Lorenzo Brown and Josh Bostic, who’d reportedly reached deals earlier with the team. The Pistons have the capacity to give Cook more than the minimum, but it’s unlikely that Detroit has done so. It’s unclear if there’s any guaranteed money involved, though the Pistons already have fully guaranteed deals with 16 players.

Cook hasn’t played in a regular season game since splitting the 2011/12 season between the Clippers and Wizards, but he did appear with the Pistons summer league team this past July, averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.3 minutes per game. He went to training camp with the Wizards in the fall of 2012 and the Jazz last autumn, but he failed to make the opening-night roster both times. The 6’9″ 33-year-old is a career backup in the NBA, never having averaged more than 18.9 MPG in the regular season.

Today’s moves bring the Pistons to 20 players, the preseason maximum. Cook, Thabeet, Brown and Bostic have little shot of making the regular season roster, but coach/executive Stan Van Gundy can retain the D-League rights to some of them for the team’s new one-to-one affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pistons Sign Josh Bostic For Camp

THURSDAY, 12:12pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.

TUESDAY, 3:59pm: Sierra corrects his original report and now says that Bostic will be in camp with the Pistons instead (Twitter link). Detroit would appear to offer an even tougher path to opening night for Bostic, since the Pistons already have 16 fully guaranteed deals and a non-guaranteed arrangement with Lorenzo Brown. The Pistons have the capacity to exceed the minimum salary, but it’s unlikely that they will.

3:27pm: The Warriors will sign swingman Josh Bostic for training camp, a source tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link). The Warriors are limited to giving the 6’5″ 27-year-old only the minimum salary, though it’s unclear if any of it will be guaranteed.

Bostic went undrafted in 2009 out of the University of Findlay, an NCAA Division II school in Ohio. He’s played overseas since spending the 2010/11 season in the D-League, with stops in Belgium, France and Russia. He split last season between France’s Chalon Sur-Saone and Russia’s Spartak St. Petersburg, averaging a combined 9.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game. His long-distance game probably won’t help his long-shot bid to make the opening night roster with Golden State, since he only made 22.8% of his 3.2 three-point attempts per contest overseas last year.

The Warriors have been carrying deals with 18 other players, including 13 on fully guaranteed pacts. All the rest have partially guaranteed minimum salaries, so there will be plenty of competition for the final spots on the team’s regular season roster.