Traevon Jackson

Eastern Notes: Pistons, Wizards, Carroll

Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy had the opportunity to veto the team’s hire of Arn Tellem as the vice chairman of Palace Sports and Entertainment, David Aldridge of writes. “[Team owner] Tom [Gores] told me, if you’re not comfortable with this, you can veto this,” Van Gundy said. “And I had no intention of doing that. I have 100 percent confidence in Tom. I respect his intellect. I respect his integrity.

Van Gundy will still make the final calls on personnel in Detroit, but he plans to use Tellem’s experience and knowledge in determining player values, Aldridge adds. “Clearly he has a lot of contacts and people that have a loyalty to him,” Van Gundy said. “And that’s what most people will focus on. But the other side that will help us even when it’s with people that Arn doesn’t have a relationship with is, Arn’s been through this so many times with so many clients, he knows what pushes players’ buttons in the recruiting process. He’s been on the other side of it to know what works and what doesn’t. He can bring to us the other side and educate us on the other side of things.”

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Wizards have workouts scheduled on Wednesday for Traevon Jackson (Wisconsin), Antoine Mason (Auburn), Gabriel Olaseni (Iowa), M.J. Rhett (Mississippi), Satnam Singh (India), and Maurice Walker (Minnesota), the team announced.
  • Kentucky shooting guard Devin Booker and Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker will work out for the Hornets on Wednesday, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer tweets.
  • DeMarre Carroll reiterated past comments indicating that the Hawks will be his first choice in free agency this summer, adding that he’ll nonetheless keep his options open as he spoke in a radio interview on Paul Gant’s “Go For It” show (audio link; transcription via Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk).

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Pondexter, Draft, Jazz

The Jazz aren’t expecting to nab a franchise saving player in this year’s NBA draft, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News notes (Twitter links). “I don’t see a lot of so-called NBA superstars, if any,” said Utah’s VP of player personnel Walt Perrin. “But that’s not to say somebody may not jump forward and become the next Stephen Curry or somebody like that.” While the exact draft order won’t be known until May 19th when the lottery order is determined, the Jazz are sitting at No. 11 in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings, and the franchise possesses a 0.8% chance at snagging the top overall pick in June’s big event.

Here’s more from the NBA’s Western Conference:

  • Pelicans forward Quincy Pondexter has undergone successful surgery to repair damage to his left knee, the team announced. No timetable was provided for when the 27-year-old can return to basketball activities. Pondexter was acquired by New Orleans in January as part of a three team trade with the Celtics and Grizzlies.
  • The Jazz have workouts scheduled on Thursday for Virginia forward Darion Atkins, Murray State guard T.J. Sapp, Bowling Green forward Richaun Holmes, Ohio State guard Shannon Scott, Western Kentucky guard T.J. Price, and Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson, the team announced via Twitter.
  • Utah’s GM Dennis Lindsey sees value in these pre-draft workouts despite the majority of the players likely being ticketed to play in the NBA D-League or overseas next season, Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune writes. The Jazz are looking for diamonds in the rough similar to Bryce Cotton, who turned a 10-day contract into a multiyear arrangement with his play this past season, Jones notes.