The Pistons remain in limbo as some teams around the NBA start reopening their practice facilities, Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press writes.
The Cavaliers and Trail Blazers formally opened their facilities on Friday under strict restrictions and guidelines from the NBA, with teams such as the Nuggets, Kings, and Hawks intending on doing the same next week. Detroit is likely multiple weeks away from opening its own facility, the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, Sankofa notes.
“There’s a set of guidelines, we’ll follow them to the T and we’ll be very cautious for both the player and the staff,” Pistons senior advisor Ed Stefanski said. “But … it’ll be a slow process. We’re waiting for the state of Michigan to allow us. We’re not doing anything until then.”
Detroit has mostly relied on virtual workouts during the hiatus, including using features such as Zoom, joining other teams in doing whatever they can over break. It’s likely the team will continue to use these approaches as time progresses this month.
“It’s not perfect from a basketball/cardio stance, but we’re not in perfect times,” Stefanski admitted. “We understand that the players are just getting their strength workout and some cardio, even if it’s outside on a track and things like that. That’s what we’re trying to do right now. We’re not encouraging them to go into gyms and things like that that are not regulated by NBA people.”
There’s more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- Eric Woodyard of ESPN explores how Bulls forward Denzel Valentine wound up wearing No. 45 from the day he was drafted by Chicago in 2016. Bulls legend Michael Jordan wore No. 45 for 22 games in 1995, causing many in Valentine’s circle to wonder whether he’d be able to don the number with Chicago.
- Blake Murphy of The Athletic examines the draft history of Raptors president Masai Ujiri, who’s widely considered to be one of the top executives in the league. Ujiri was responsible for drafting Pascal Siakam in 2016 and OG Anunoby in 2017, along with signing Fred VanVleet as an undrafted free agent in 2016.
- Precious Achiuwa would fill some important needs for the Wizards if the team chooses to draft him, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington contends. Achiuwa, who turns 21 in September, is a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 15.8 points per game with Memphis last season.