From the AP:
DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons are attempting to rebuild by keeping at least a couple key players.
Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko will re-sign with the Pistons, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been announced.
Prince, an unrestricted free agent, is expected to sign a four year, $27 million contract. Jerebko, a restricted free agent, will be back for a $16 million, four-year deal.
The re-signing of Prince, a 31-year old swingman known for his bizarre-yet-effective shooting stroke, extremely long arms, and quality defense, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for a rebuilding team like the Pistons — why pay $7 million a year over four years for a solid starter on the tail end of his prime who will become far less effective as he gets less athletic? Prince was there for the Pistons’ championship season and some other great playoff runs, but it may have been imprudent for Detroit to keep Prince in this situation.
Assuming that Jonas Jerebko can come all the way back from the torn Achilles tendon injury that caused him to miss all of last season, his signing makes far more sense for the Pistons than the Prince one did — Jerebko is young, plays with a lot of energy and heart, and has some good all-around skills that should only improve as he logs more time in the NBA.
Still, the Pistons have just committed a total of $11 million a year over the next four years to two role players who will likely never be anywhere close to the All-Star level. After effectively destroying his team by overpaying Charlie Villenueva and Ben Gordon in free agency, you’d think that Joe Dumars would have learned the dangers of paying for mid-level free agents by now, but apparently that’s not the case.
Eric Bledsoe reportedly requested a trade from the Suns before the season then tweeted yesterday:
After sending home Bledsoe today, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough explained his rationale:
The hair salon! What a wonderful excuse.
Is it true? I’m not going to call Bledsoe a liar. It might be.
It’s also probably true that Bledsoe isn’t long for Phoenix.
In a shocking twist, the Suns firing Earl Watson did not end the dysfunction in Phoenix.
Chris Haynes of ESPN:
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
That is a first-rate tweet by Bledsoe. It’s great that he’s having fun with the wild situation, because the rest of us sure are amused peering in.
This was always going to be a long season in Phoenix, but things got out of hand in a hurry. The 0-3 Suns have been outscored by 92 – the worst three-game start in NBA history by 16 points. Now, comes the fallout.
At 27, Bledsoe was getting to be a little too old for a rebuild centered on Devin Booker, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender and T.J. Warren. The Suns could have dealt Bledsoe in the offseason. Now, they’re negotiating from a position of weakness.
Bledsoe is a good starting point guard when healthy. He’s earning a reasonable $14.5 million this season and due $15 million in the final year of his contract next season. There should be suitors, and Phoenix can gain long-term assets while stepping up its tank.
But this sure seems like a crisis-control move more than anything else.
Knicks president Steve Mills started his second tenure talking about rebuilding and listed Willy Hernangomez as a core piece.
But Hernangomez, coming off an All-Rookie first-team season, barely played in New York’s season-opening loss to the Thunder– drawing scrutiny.
Then, he didn’t play at all in a loss to the Pistons – eliciting a strong reaction from Hernangomez himself.
Hernangomez, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post:
“The same. I’m still mad,” Hernangomez said. “I cannot help the team win if I’m sitting on the bench. Two games in a row. It’s tough. I have to wait my moment. I cannot say nothing more.”
The Knicks are moving in different directions. Management is talking about building for the future. Coach Jeff Hornacek, who was hired by previous president Phil Jackson, is trying to win now.
There’s a fine line between developing Hernangomez through playing time and making him earn his minutes. Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn might be better right now.
But being marginally better this season won’t get the Knicks anywhere meaningful except lower in the lottery. On the other hand, even on rebuilding teams, winning is most important to a coach’s job security. Earl Watson implemented the Suns’ tanking scheme, and look where that got him.
Hornacek is backed into a corner, and now one of the team’s most important young players is publicly expressing his displeasure. It’s the latest troubling sign in a locker room already suspicious of Hornacek.
Suns guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted yesterday:
In light of Phoenix’s 0-3 start and Earl Watson getting fired yesterday, that sure looks like a trade request. Still, there’s risk in making assumptions about vague tweets.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Why wouldn’t Bledsoe want out? The 27-year-old is in his prime and stuck on a young team that would rather tank than play him.
It’ll be interesting to see how Bledsoe explains the tweet. He previously paid lip service to his situation in Phoenix, but it appears he’s ready to open up. On the other hand, public trade requests typically draw fines from the NBA.