Josh Jackson

Central Notes: Davis, Warren, Jackson, Lonzo

Veteran reserve center Ed Davis understands why a rebuilding Cavaliers team wants him on the roster, per Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link).

“I’m authentic with everything,” Davis said. “For these guys, I’m not in competition. I’m not trying to beat out (starting center Jarrett Allen) for his minutes or take the rookie (Evan Mobley)’s minutes. Anything that is coming from me is coming from an honest place. I know my role. I know why I’m here.”

The 32-year-old big man inked a non-guaranteed deal with the club last week. He averaged just 2.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG over 23 games as a back-up for the lottery-bound Timberwolves during the 2020/21 season.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Pacers small forward T.J. Warren continues to recover from a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his left foot, per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (via Twitter). Agness reports that Warren remains in a walking boot, and appears to still be weeks away from returning to practices with Indiana. Warren missed all but four games during the 2020/21 season with the injury. A valuable two-way contributor when healthy, the 28-year-old will reach free agency in 2022.
  • Pistons head coach Dwane Casey has indicated that wing Josh Jackson earned a spot in the club’s rotation, per Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). “He’s definitely in the rotation the way he’s played and played with confidence, defending without fouling,” Casey said. “His growth has been fantastic.” Jackson, selected with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft out of Kansas, has bounced around during his NBA tenure so far.
  • New Bulls starting point guard Lonzo Ball will be looked on to help open up the floor as another high-level passer for a suddenly ball handler-heavy Chicago team, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago“Lonzo instinctively on made baskets does a really good job of getting high outlets,” raved head coach Billy Donovan. “There are times where the ball gets inbounded and he’s looping and there are guys already down the floor and we can do that. There’s a balance there for him.”

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.

Central Notes: J. Jackson, George, White, Markkanen

Josh Jackson may be the most expendable player in the Pistons‘ training camp battle for roster spots, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. When Hamidou Diallo re-signed last month, it gave Detroit 16 guaranteed contracts. Sources tell Edwards it took longer than expected to reach a new deal with Diallo, but he was always in the team’s plans.

Jackson is set to make $5MM in the final year of a deal he signed last offseason. The former No. 4 overall pick was productive in his first season with the Pistons, averaging 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 62 games, but Edwards notes that he’s just an average defender and an unreliable three-point shooter (30% last season). There may also not be enough minutes for Jackson, Diallo and Frank Jackson, who all play similar roles.

Edwards names Jahlil OkaforRodney McGruder and Sekou Doumbouya as other candidates to be traded or waived to reach the regular season roster limit of 15. Okafor will make $2.13MM in the final year of his contract, while McGruder has a $1.67MM expiring deal and isn’t expected to play much. Doumbouya is still on his rookie contract, but Edwards points out that he remains a raw prospect and is left over from the previous front office.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons have officially announced the return of George David as assistant general manager. He held the same position from 2012-14 before leaving for the Wasserman Media Group. “I’m excited to return to the Detroit Pistons and help Tom Gores, Arn Tellem and Troy Weaver in the restoring effort of the franchise,” David said. “Detroit has always been home for me and I know how passionate the city and region is about their sports teams.  Troy’s vision for building the roster aligns with the core values of Detroit Basketball and I look forward to playing a role in the continued rise of the organization.”
  • Even though the Bulls stocked up on guards this summer, there should be playing time available for Coby White once he returns from surgery on his left shoulder, states Jamal Collier of The Chicago Tribune. Collier sees White as a back-up to Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, and he may be on the court with Alex Caruso in three-guard lineups.
  • The Cavaliers will pay Lauri Markkanen $15,690,909 for the upcoming season with slight raises throughout his new four-year deal, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Markkanen will make $16,475,454 in 2022/23, $17,259,999 in 2023/24 and $18,044,544 in 2024/25, giving the contract a total value of more than $67MM, although only $6MM of the final season is guaranteed.

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: Turner, Cavs, Jackson, Bulls

After Domantas Sabonis emerged as an All-Star last season, the Pacers almost sent big man Myles Turner to the Celtics during the offseason in a scuttled sign-and-trade deal for forward Gordon Hayward. Turner is striving to maintain his focus for the upcoming season with Indiana and not ruminate on the Boston trade, according to J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star.

“It really was my first time going through something like that,” Turner said. “In the past, you hear your name here and there. This is the first time it really heated up.”

When they shared the court, Turner and Sabonis alternated between the center and power forward positions on offense and defense under the tutelage of former head coach Nate McMillan.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com weighed in on the first day of Cavaliers training camp, where head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has emphasized a culture of accountability. “We’re not too far off. We have the caliber guys here to really make some noise,” recently-added center Andre Drummond said. “If we don’t make it to the playoffs, we’ll be damn close.”
  • Pistons head coach Dwayne Casey sees new addition Josh Jackson as a reclamation candidate a la power forward Christian Wood, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “It’s the same thing,” Casey notes. “Everyone was saying, ‘Dwane, don’t mess with him. Leave him alone.’ I enjoy people who have a chip on their shoulder, who’ve been almost forgotten about as Josh has been.”
  • The United Center will not host fans to start the 2020/21 season for Bulls games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team tweeted on its official account.

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Plumlee, Sirvydis, Grant, Griffin

The Pistons‘ two-year deal with Josh Jackson is worth the full room exception, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). With no options on year two, Jackson is assured of earning about $9.77MM over the course of the deal, including $4.77MM in 2020/21.

Newly-signed big man Mason Plumlee, meanwhile, also has no options on the final season of his new contract with the club. The three-year deal, initially reported as being worth $25MM, technically has an overall value of $24.66MM, but it does feature a 10% trade kicker, per Smith (Twitter link).

Finally, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas (Twitter link) provides the details on Deividas Sirvydisnew contract. The 2019 second-round pick inked a three-year, minimum-salary deal that features full guarantees in years one and two, with a non-guaranteed salary in 2022/23.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • In a conference call with reporters today, Pistons GM Troy Weaver said that Jerami Grant was the team’s top target in free agency and that he believes the forward has All-Defensive potential (Twitter links via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press and Eric Woodyard of ESPN). “The Pistons had two iterations of great teams, and Jerami could have played on both teams,” Weaver said of Grant (Twitter link via James Edwards III of The Athletic).
  • Weaver also said that both Grant and Josh Jackson were players the team wanted to pursue aggressively when free agency opened, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. “Both tremendous young men,” Weaver said. “Bring exactly what we needed for this team – long, versatile athletes that can play multiple positions. That’s today’s NBA.”
  • While the Pistons will likely be cautious with Blake Griffin after he missed most of 2019/20 with a knee injury, the former All-NBA forward isn’t interested in minutes restrictions, head coach Dwane Casey said this week (Twitter link via Edwards). “He’s full-go,” Casey said. “… We’re a different team with him.”
  • The Pistons announced today in a press release that their signing of veteran shooting guard Wayne Ellington is now official. His minimum-salary contract is fully guaranteed, tweets Keith Smith.

Pistons Sign Josh Jackson

DECEMBER 1: Jackson’s contract with the Pistons is now official, the team announced in a press release.


NOVEMBER 20: The Pistons, who have been quite busy in the first few hours of free agency, are finalizing a deal with Grizzlies small forward Josh Jackson, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. It’s a two-year deal, according to the Detroit News’ Rod Beard (Twitter link).

Detroit also reportedly reached agreements on Friday with big men Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor.

Jackson, a 2017 lottery pick of the Suns, has had a rocky NBA career. He had a number of off-court issues in his first two NBA seasons and Phoenix traded him to the Grizzlies last offseason. In an attempt to revive his career and value, Jackson agreed to spend a good portion of last season in the G League.

As the season progressed, Jackson returned to Memphis and appeared in 22 games as a reserve. He averaged 9.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.6 APG in 17.3 MPG. Jackson has made just 29.8% of his 3-point attempts during his three-year career.

Jackson, 23, grew up in Michigan and played two high school seasons in Detroit before moving to California for his last two prep years. He’ll compete for minutes against last year’s lottery pick, Sekou Doumbouya as well as Svi Mykhailiuk and rookie Saddiq Bey.

Central Notes: Harris, Crowder, Pistons, Avdija, Bulls

Forwards Joe Harris and Jae Crowder are free agents the Bucks might pursue with their mid-level exception, Eric Nehm of The Athletic speculates. Harris would provide another offensive threat, while Crowder is a defensive stalwart. If the Bucks pursue cheaper options, Josh JacksonWesley Iwundu, Gary Clark and Glenn Robinson are considerations with their biannual exception or minimum deals.

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • The Pistons are putting a premium on conditioning and weight training but they’ll look to balance that with offensive improvements, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Coach Dwane Casey looks at the Heat as a model of a team with toughness and shooting. “You’ve got to have a good mixture of hard-hat guys and shooters – guys who can put the ball in the hole,” he said. “The game is leaning that way. We all have to evolve from that standpoint.”
  • Israeli forward Deni Avdija could be an ideal complement to last year’s first-round pick, Sekou Doumbouya, Langlois writes in a separate story. Avdija has similar size and positional flexibility as Doumbouya, which could allow the Pistons to exploit mismatches. His offensive skills would add another playmaker at Casey’s disposal. However, Avdija would have to slide to the Pistons’ pick at No. 7 or they’d have to trade up to land him.
  • The Bulls won’t be making major roster changes this offseason but they could pursue a wing in free agency, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago opines. They would be wise not to hand out a long-term contract, as future cap space should be preserved until they show real improvement, Schaefer adds.

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Thompson, Dellavedova, Free Agency

The Cavaliers continue to place a high value on Kevin Love and won’t deal him cheaply just to get rid of his salary, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The front office doesn’t regret giving Love a $120MM extension that will last for three more seasons, Fedor adds, and they are confident his production will increase now that clashes with former coach John Beilein will no longer be a distraction.

Cleveland is hoping to move back into playoff contention in 2020/21, which will be the third year of the rebuilding process after the loss of LeBron James. The organization believes the addition of Andre Drummond at the trade deadline will help speed up the process, along with improvement from many of the young players added over the past two years. As the Cavaliers’ most accomplished and most experienced player, Love is expected to be an important part of helping the team become a winner again.

 There’s more Cavs news to pass along:
  • Re-signing center Tristan Thompson could be the team’s most important move of the offseason, Fedor adds in the same story. In addition to his on-court production, Thompson has served as a mentor to the team’s young players, particularly rookie guard Darius Garland. Fedor doesn’t anticipate a competitive market for Thompson given the expected drop in the salary cap and speculates that he might not get any offers above the mid-level exception, which will likely be in the $8-9MM range. The Cavaliers hold Bird rights on Thompson and can easily top that.
  • Cleveland also has to make a choice on whether to bring back veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova, Fedor notes in a separate piece. The 29-year-old guard lost his spot in the rotation under Beilein because of poor shooting, but took advantage of a second chance after J.B. Bickerstaff took over. Fedor says the organization still loves Dellavedova and he will likely return on a low-cost deal.
  • With the Cavaliers needing help at the wing, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic suggests four free agent possibilities: Derrick Jones Jr., Josh Jackson, Jerami Grant and Maurice Harkless.

Central Notes: Oladipo, Respert, Cavs, Pistons

After reporting earlier this week that the Pacers aren’t considering the possibility of shopping Victor Oladipo and that the veteran guard isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star digs a little further into the subject.

A source tells The Star that Oladipo “loves” Indiana, and Michael notes that the two-time All-Star has a good, “open-door” relationship with Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanan.

According to Michael, the Pacers have made it clear they’re willing to give Oladipo a maximum-salary contract once his current deal ends in 2021, assuming that’s his market value. The 28-year-old hasn’t fully regained his All-Star form since returning from a serious leg injury, but is willing to roll the dice that he can get there.

Doing so would put him in line to earn a long-term max deal in ’21 rather than settling for an early extension that wouldn’t be as lucrative or as lengthy, due to CBA restrictions — Oladipo is seeking as much security as possible on his next contract, says Michael.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Bulls director of player development Shawn Respert, whose contract is set to expire at the end of the season, won’t be retained beyond 2019/20, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Interestingly, Johnson says that decision was made by Jim Boylen, who remains the Bulls’ head coach for now as he continues to be evaluated by the team’s new basketball operations decision-makers.
  • The Cavaliers are unlikely to have any cap room this offseason, but could still be a minor player in free agency, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who speculates in his latest mailbag that Derrick Jones, Michael Carter-Williams, Josh Jackson, and Harry Giles could be among Cleveland’s targets.
  • While February’s Andre Drummond trade will help ensure the Cavs don’t have cap room this offseason, moving Drummond’s contract should allow the Pistons to create upwards of $30-35MM in space, depending on where exactly the cap lands. James L. Edwards III of The Athletic explores which players Detroit could look at if the team decides to trade for unwanted contracts rather than using its room on free agents.