The Detroit Pistons are a once great team awkwardly entering a rebuilding period. Right now they are an uncomfortable mix of the old and the new. They have a new coach — John Kuester — who has brought a different system, but many of the players are holdovers who fit best in the old system.
Like Rip Hamilton. He’s a catch-and-shoot guy caught in an isolation world. There may be real interest in him on the open market — what team doesn’t need a guy who can knock down shots? — but GM Joe Dumars told FanHouse right now there are no plans to trade him.
“We don’t have anything whatsoever on the table in terms of a trade, or anything even remotely close to a trade, for Rip Hamilton,” Dumars told FanHouse Tuesday. “Nothing.”
That was unequivocal. It also won’t last. The eventual sale of the team may change that.
Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince will be the targets of other teams and the topic of trade rumors up until the deadline. And really, it’s time to move them. The Pistons need to rebuild and they need to jump into that with both feet. The era of 50-win seasons and annual trips to at least the conference finals with the old core is over. It’s time to move on, get the pieces and start to rebuild.
Which would be good for Hamilton, who right now is a quality player in a system ill suited to him on a 6-12 team.
“I don’t know about turning it around. It’s about getting accustomed to each other, the coach’s style, him getting accustomed to us, and how we like to play,” Hamilton said. “This is a different situation than we had in the past. There is a lot of adjusting to do.”
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.
Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.
Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.
Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.
The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.
BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.
The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.
In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.
Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.
New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.
That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.
First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.
The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.
Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.
That seemed odd.
In fact, it’s unprecedented.
That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron James‘ cachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.
Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.