Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Pistons Notes: Doumbouya, Thomas, Knight, Rose

Rookie forward Sekou Doumbouya is buried in a shooting slump, but that’s not why the Pistons are concerned about him, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press relays. The first-round pick, who grew up in France, is struggling to adjust off the court and seems unhappy on it. He’s shooting 28.1% from the field over his last 13 appearances following a 24-point outing against Boston.

“I’ve got to be the papa bear and stay on him and make sure he’s doing the right things, but nothing takes the place of having fun and the joy of playing basketball,” coach Dwane Casey said, “I know there is a culture barrier, but he’s got to continue to play hard, play with passion.”

We have more on the Pistons:

  • Second-year guard Khyri Thomas, who has been sidelined since late October after undergoing right foot surgery, has returned to practice, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. Thomas, a second-round pick, appeared in 26 games during his rookie campaign but only played in two games this season before the foot issue cropped up. He has a partially guaranteed $1.66MM salary for next season.
  • Point guard Brandon Knight said he’s “excited” to re-join the team that drafted him, Langlois writes. Knight was one of the players acquired in the Andre Drummond deal with Cleveland on Thursday. His second stint may only last a couple of months, as Knight has an expiring contract. But Casey said the veteran guard will get some playing time to show what he can add to the team. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get a look at him and him to look at us at the same time,” Casey said.
  • Point guard Derrick Rose and shooting guard Svi Mykhailiuk could return against Orlando on Wednesday, according to Ellis. Neither has played since February 2 due to an adductor strain and a hip injury, respectively.

Lowe’s Latest: Redick, Bertans, Collins, Drummond, OKC, More

A number of players who have been mentioned as trade candidates this season may not be moved – or may not be available at all – at Thursday’s deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes in an article jam-packed with trade-related rumors and speculation.

For instance, teams who have called the Pelicans asking about J.J. Redick have been “shooed away,” sources tell Lowe. The Wizards have taken a similar approach to clubs inquiring on Davis Bertans, though Lowe notes that could change if Washington is offered something concrete that moves the needle more than a future first-round pick.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last week, teams have been monitoring John Collins in case the Hawks think about trading him, but there’s no indication Atlanta has interest in moving Collins “on any of the general terms being bandied about,” Lowe writes.

The Pistons‘ talks involving Andre Drummond aren’t entirely dormant, but it’s “far from a sure thing” that he’ll be moved, according to Lowe, who suggests that even if Detroit does make a deal, the return will likely be less than the team envisioned.

Meanwhile, the Thunder have been mentioned all season long as a potential seller, given their offseason moves and their veteran trade candidates. But the safest bet is that they stand pat with guys like Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, and Steven Adams, per Lowe.

As Lowe points out, the Thunder could still have leverage to make deals after the season, when Schroder and Adams will be entering contract years and Gallinari will be a prime sign-and-trade candidate. The Heat are among the teams to inquire on Gallinari this season, sources tell Lowe.

As noted above, Lowe’s latest ESPN piece is filled with many more trade rumors and notes. Here are several of the highlights:

  • Lowe confirms a previous report that the Nuggets and Heat are among the teams to express interest in Jrue Holiday. Lowe also names the Raptors as a club that would be an ideal fit for the Pelicans guard, but he has a hard time envisioning a deal involving any of those teams unless they’re willing to part with young players like Michael Porter Jr., Tyler Herro, or OG Anunoby, which seems unlikely.
  • The Pacers could probably net a first-round pick for backup guard Aaron Holiday, but haven’t shown any real interest in moving him, says Lowe.
  • The chatter about the Trail Blazers making a major win-now move has died down, sources tell Lowe.
  • According to Lowe, the Lakers have explored the Kyle Kuzma market and are eyeing several ball-handlers, including Kings swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has also received interest from the Hornets.
  • The Sixers don’t intend to include Matisse Thybulle in any deal and seem most likely to “tinker” around the edges of their roster, per Lowe.
  • The Grizzlies have asked for a first-round pick from teams inquiring on Jae Crowder, according to Lowe. However, he’d “bet heavily” against any potential trade partner meeting that price.
  • Lowe provides updates on both Morris brothers, suggesting that the Knicks “seem hell-bent” on keeping and re-signing Marcus Morris, and citing sources who say the Pistons could probably get a second-round pick for Markieff Morris.
  • A lot of teams have asked the Bucks about Sterling Brown, while Pistons youngsters Christian Wood and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have also generated interest, according to Lowe, who thinks that Detroit is more likely to engage in talks on Wood than Mykhailiuk. Lowe also hears that a few clubs have “poked around” on Kings big man Harry Giles, and identifies Denzel Valentine (Bulls), Jakob Poeltl (Spurs), Marvin Williams (Hornets), and Malik Monk (Hornets) as other under-the-radar trade candidates to watch.

Central Notes: Beilein, Sexton, Mykhailiuk, Antetokounmpos

The Cavaliers seem distracted by the trade deadline as they rack up embarrassing losses, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The latest came last night as the Warriors broke a 10-game road losing streak with a 19-point blowout in Cleveland.

“Every loss is hitting me really hard and hitting us … I know it’s hitting me hard, I can’t answer for other people,” coach John Beilein said. “It’s just trying to find solutions and trying to find a better way to get our guys to play harder and smarter, which will lead to wins. But there’s some things that just happen because we’re young and some things happen because of persistence in our effort and some things happen because we’re just missing some pieces in the roster here and there.”

The team may have a different attitude and a different look once the deadline passes Thursday afternoon. Tristan Thompson, Brandon Knight, John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova are all veterans on expiring contracts who may be sent elsewhere. Kevin Love, the team’s highest-paid player, has displayed frustration throughout the season and is also a candidate to be moved.

One question Beilein couldn’t answer last night is whether he still has the support of the players as the Cavaliers have fallen to the bottom of the Eastern Conference at 13-37.

“I think that our guys have to measure themselves,” he said. “Are they bought in to playing winning basketball? I don’t think it has anything to do with a particular coach or coaches, whatever, they’ve just got to go and play hard.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton was “shocked” to be passed over for the Rising Stars Challenge, Fedor adds in a separate story. “I knew I deserved to be there,” said Sexton, who also wasn’t invited to the game last year. “I knew the hard work every day, coming here and playing the game. I knew I deserved to be out there, but I took the good with it. Hey, just continue to build. Can’t be too mad because it is what it is.”
  • The Pistons are benefiting from an under-the-radar trade last February that brought in Svi Mykhailiuk from the Lakers in exchange for Reggie Bullock, notes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. “He’s on track to be one of our core pieces as far as his shooting ability, his ability to make plays off the dribble,” coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s right with Luke (Kennard) as far as being able to put the ball on the floor, run pick and rolls. And the kid’s a sponge – you can get on him, you can coach him, you can teach him.”
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo were thrilled to be in the starting lineup together on Friday, relays Eric Woodyard of ESPN. It marked the first start of Thanasis’ NBA career, and Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer made the decision because it was Greek Night in Milwaukee.

Doncic, Young, Zion Headline Rising Stars Rosters

The NBA has officially announced the 20 rookies and sophomores who have been named to the league’s Rising Stars game for All-Star weekend. Those 20 players, selected by assistant coaches from around the league, will be divided into a U.S. Team and a World Team, as follows:

U.S. Team:

World Team:

Williamson’s inclusion is notable since he has appeared in just four games due to injuries. It’s not surprising that the NBA found a way to get him into the game, since he’s one of the most exciting prospects to enter the league in years, but it’s a tough break for youngsters who have been on the court since the fall for contenders, such as Sixers wing Matisse Thybulle. or Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr.

Snubbed players like Thybulle, Porter, and others could eventually make their way into the Rising Stars game if players have to pull out due to injuries, or if All-Stars like Doncic and Young opt not to play in both events.

The Rising Stars game will take place in Chicago on Friday, February 14.

Pistons Notes: Jackson, Mykhailiuk, Drummond

Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson has been medically cleared to return and could return to action this week, head coach Dwane Casey said today (Twitter link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News).

A lot of is going to depend on Reggie,” Casey said. “He’s been in practice dunking on people and talking more than anybody else, so I’ll be glad when he gets back.”

Jackson, 29, appeared in just two games at the start of the season before being sidelined with a back injury. In his absence, Bruce Brown has emerged as the Pistons’ starting point guard and Derrick Rose has become one of the team’s most important contributors, so it’ll be interesting to see how Casey adjusts the rotation when Jackson – who is in a contract year – is ready to go.

Here’s more on the Pistons:

  • Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, acquired from the Lakers nearly a year ago in a deadline deal for Reggie Bullock, is cementing himself as a part of the Pistons’ long-term future, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. The second-year sharpshooter has knocked down 44.5% of his three-point attempts this season and has taken on an increased role in the last month, averaging 27.9 minutes per game since December 20.
  • As trade rumors continue to swirl around Pistons big man Andre Drummond, Dwane Casey looked to put a positive spin on the chatter and speculation, as A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston details. “If you’re doing anything in this league your name is going to be out there,” Casey said. “At the end of the day on the 1st and the 15th, you’re getting paid by the team you’re with. So, you have to do your job each and every day. There’s no reason to be upset with anybody. It’s a business; we understand that. We’re all professionals. We have a job to do.”
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News explores what the next steps are for a Pistons team that is just three games out of the playoffs in the East and hasn’t yet picked a lane for the trade deadline.

Pistons Notes: Mykhailiuk, Jackson, Doumbouya, Wood

Svi Mykhailiuk is taking advantage of the opportunity that the Pistons‘ early-season injuries have provided, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Mykhailiuk was touted as an elite shooter coming out of Kansas last year, but he didn’t see much playing time as a rookie. He averaged 10.8 minutes in 39 games with the Lakers, then only appeared in three games after a midseason trade to Detroit.

That has changed in the early part of this season, as Mykhailiuk is seeing 17.4 minutes per night and even made his first career start. He is showing signs of his offensive potential, averaging 5.7 PPG and shooting a sizzling .448 from 3-point range.

“He’s in the gym every single day working on his game,” teammate Langston Galloway said. “In there early before everybody gets there. It’s been great to see. He’s working on coming off pick and rolls and knocking down shots. That’s what we need from him. Hope to see that the rest of the year.”

There’s more this morning from Detroit:

  • The eventual return of Reggie Jackson from a stress reaction in his lower back will cause a domino effect for the rotation, Langlois adds in the same story. The Pistons announced Wednesday that Jackson will be sidelined for a few more weeks, but when he does come back the team could be fully healthy for the first time all season. Jackson figures to reclaim the starting point guard role, pushing Bruce Brown into the wing rotation along with Galloway, Tony Snell, Luke Kennard and Mykhailiuk. With coach Dwane Casey using a 10-man rotation, at least one of them should expect a decline in minutes.
  • Casey is taking a typically cautious approach with first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya, observes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Doumbouya has been relegated to the G League for most of the season and is averaging just 2.8 minutes per night in four NBA games. The 18-year-old has played professionally in France and is excelling in Grand Rapids, but Casey wants to give him a gradual adjustment to the NBA. Beard suggests it’s the same approach he took in Toronto with Pascal Siakam and others, though Siakam did start 38 games as a rookie.
  • Christian Wood has been a nice addition to the frontcourt since being claimed off waivers in July, but he was almost in Detroit even sooner, tweets Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press, who states that the Pistons considered signing Wood to a two-way contract in 2018.

Central Notes: Mykhailiuk, Pistons, Irving, McConnell

Pistons second-year small forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is showing more effort on the defensive end and he’s getting more playing time as a result, Keith Langlois of the team’s website details. He scored a season-high 12 points in 22 minutes on Monday against Orlando and also cooled down Terrence Ross in the second half.

“We know who Svi is offensively, but his major challenge has been the defensive end,” Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said. “He still made a lot of mistakes (Monday), but he made up for it with hard play, compete, just being into Ross. … He was being physical, trying to get into Ross. Two weeks ago, he wouldn’t have been touching him. That’s a big first step for him.”

The Pistons hold a $1,663,861 team option on Mykhailiuk’s contract next season.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The win over the Magic was the beginning of a crucial stretch that could determine the future of the Pistons franchise, James Edwards of The Athletic writes. They could become sellers at the trade deadline and hit the reset button if things don’t turn around soon, Edwards notes.
  • While Kyrie Irving‘s stint with the Celtics ended badly, Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson has only good things to say about his former teammate, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer“My brother. Great teammate,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, if I’m going to go to war, need a dog (who) can go and hoop I’m definitely going to put him on my team. I mean, the chatter is for you guys to talk about. Teams lose a couple of games and they say the same things about us — what’s going on and blah blah blah. It’s just chatter. At the end of the day, when that untucked Kyrie jersey is out everyone is scared.”
  • Pacers guard T.J. McConnell has averaged 11 PPG and 6.7 APG over the last six games and has gained a spot in the rotation, Nathan Brown of the Indianapolis Star writes. McConnell could be playing for his contract next season, as the team holds a $3.5MM option. “We knew coming in he was going to push our guards and compete for minutes, and he knew what his role was going to be,” coach Nate McMillan said. “But he’s earned the right to be out there.”

Pistons Notes: Snell, Griffin, Morris, Mykhailiuk

The addition of Tony Snell in a trade with the Bucks cleared the way for the rest of the Pistons‘ offseason moves, writes Keith Langlois of NBA.com. Milwaukee made Snell available in June to free up money to re-sign other players. Detroit, which was in the market for a small forward after moving Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson at the trade deadline, was happy to accept, getting the final first-round pick of this year’s draft as well in exchange for Jon Leuer.

Snell, who has played three seasons each with the Bulls and Bucks, comes to Detroit in the prime of his career. He’s a 3-and-D wing player who has taken 57% of his career shots from behind the arc. He’s in line for a starting role after averaging 6.0 PPG in 74 games last season.

Getting Snell in a trade enabled the Pistons to use their cap-exception money to address other areas. They added depth at point guard by signing Derrick Rose and Tim Frazier, then upgraded their frontcourt with the addition of veteran power forward Markieff Morris.

There’s more from Detroit:

  • Signing Morris may help reduce the workload on Blake Griffin, Langlois adds in a separate story. With no effective back-up at power forward, Griffin averaged 35.0 minutes in 75 games last season, a risky burden for someone with a long injury history. Morris’ numbers dipped last year because of a neck injury that sidelined him for six weeks, but before that he had five straight seasons of averaging at least 25 minutes per night.
  • The Pistons didn’t see much of Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk after acquiring him from the Lakers in February, but his shooting could make him part of the rotation, according to Ansar Khan of MLive. The 22-year-old played just three games for Detroit before suffering a broken left index finger that required surgery. The Pistons need 3-point shooters, and Mykhailiuk was lethal from long range in college. He had a strong showing in the Summer League, and coach Dwane Casey has praised his athleticism and toughness, as well as his shot. “I think everybody knows I’m a pretty good shooter, so definitely spacing the floor, creating my own shot and just help whatever they need me to do and just play hard and make the right plays,” Mykhailiuk said.
  • Are the Pistons headed for the playoffs? Vote in our poll.

Eastern Notes: Dinwiddie, Knicks, Olynyk, Mykhailiuk

The Nets enjoyed their most successful free agent period ever this week, agreeing to deals with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre JordanThe moves figure to make Brooklyn one of the Eastern Conference’s premier teams next season, one year after the Nets’ made the postseason.

Even with the likelihood that Durant misses most – if not all – of next season, Brooklyn figures to be in the hunt for a top seed. Current Net Spencer Dinwiddie, a crucial part of the franchise’s increased success as of late, reportedly played a major role in recruiting those aforementioned All-Stars.

For the first time, Dinwiddie addressed Brooklyn’s moves, giving a coy response to the nature of recruitment among NBA players today.

“The thing about the NBA, everything you read is plausible,” Dinwiddie said to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto. “And with that being said, obviously, it could’ve happened, it may not have happened.”

With the spotlight now shining on the Nets, Dinwiddie noted that the team expects to be in contention for not just a playoff spot but for a title in the coming seasons.

“Anytime you add two probably top-10 players in the world, multi-time All-Stars, you’re obviously going to get better,” Dinwiddie said. “It’s on the rest of us to kind of help facilitate that transition, and hopefully we can be a very good team next year.”

Check out more Eastern Conference notes:

  • Even with cap space for two max contracts, the Knicks failed to lure any top-tier free agents to New York this summer. Marc Berman of the New York Post opines that the Knicks’ failures warrant an image overhaul of the franchise if it hopes to lure top players in the future.
  • Kelly Olynyk remains a member of the Heat, despite nearly being traded away last week. But the veteran understands that having his name come up in trade rumors is just a part of the game, Chad Klassen of CFJC Today writes. “It’s the business side of the game, fortunate or unfortunate, however you want to look at it,” he said. “But you get paid to do something you love and there’s not much to complain about in this industry, honestly.”
  • The Pistons plan to keep Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk on the roster, thus fully guaranteeing his salary for the 2019/20 season, Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops relays (Twitter link). Mykhailiuk’s minimum-salary contract had a guarantee date of July 5.
  • After suffering a torn Achilles, C.J. Wilcox thought his career was over. At 28 years old, Wilcox – who re-signed this week with the Pacers – is in the midst of a comeback attempt, Robby General of the Indianapolis Star writes.  “Eight months ago, I was done playing basketball after tearing my Achilles,” Wilcox said. “Now I have some level of a contract, which is something to be proud of.”

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls 3/20/19

Here are Wednesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Pistons assigned Khyri Thomas and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk to the Detroit Drive as the G League team tries to wrap up a playoff spot, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
  • The Spurs recalled  Chimezie Metu and Lonnie Walker from their Austin affiliate, the team announced on its website. Metu is averaging 14.2/7.5/2.2 in 24 G League games, while Walker is posting a 16.4/3.0/1.8 line in 27 games.
  • The Grizzlies recalled Jevon Carter and Tyler Dorsey from the Memphis Hustle, according to a tweet from the team. Both players played key roles in helping the team clinch a playoff berth last night.
  • The Jazz recalled Grayson Allen from the Salt Lake City Stars (Twitter link). The first-round pick is averaging 17.5/2.8/2.4 in 11 games with the Stars.
  • Hamidou Diallo has been recalled from Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder announced in an email. He scored 26 points last night in a win over Sioux Falls.