Dennis Smith Jr. could follow the path of Josh Jackson on the rebuilding Pistons, Keith Langlois of the team’s website opines. Jackson is reviving his career after signing with the club as a free agent, as evidenced by his 28-point outing against the Lakers on Saturday. Smith, who was officially acquired from the Knicks on Monday, is another lottery pick who could get his career back on track in Detroit.
With lottery pick Killian Hayes out indefinitely, Smith will get playing time and he’s now in an organization invested in the futures of all its young players, Langlois adds. Smith could be a restricted free agent after the season if Detroit extends a $7MM+ qualifying offer.
We have more on the Pistons:
- Since Smith spent time at Orlando’s G League bubble, coach Dwane Casey anticipates the guard will have to quarantine a few days in Detroit, James Edwards of The Athletic tweets. If so, Smith won’t be in uniform on Tuesday against Brooklyn, Detroit’s first game since its 0-4 West Coast trip. He’s officially listed as questionable.
- Casey didn’t sign up for a rebuilding project when he was hired by owner Tom Gores but he’s on board with the team’s rebuilding effort, Edwards adds in another tweet. The Pistons also acquired a second-round pick from the Knicks in the Derrick Rose deal. “It’s a direction, and it’s one needed for a long time with this organization,” Casey said.
- Rodney McGruder has known GM Troy Weaver since childhood, as McGruder’s father grew up with Weaver in Washington, D.C., according to Langlois. “Troy’s like an uncle to me. Grew up in the same neighborhood,” McGruder said. “I’ve known him all my life. That relationship, he’s family. We both want to see each other succeed.” McGruder’s $5MM for next season in non-guaranteed.