Pistons seemingly narrow starting shooting guard options to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rodney Stuckey

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The Pistons have essentially four starters locked: Brandon Jennings at point guard, Josh Smith at small forward, Greg Monroe at power forward and Andre Drummond at center.

That leaves shooting guard, where there seemed to be several contenders.

  • Chauncey Billups
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Kyle Singler
  • Rodney Stuckey

Now, halve that list, Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks indicates.

David Mayo of MLive:

Cheeks, one day after saying he would use multiple starters at shooting guard during preseason, said the ultimate decision probably comes down to Caldwell-Pope or seventh-year veteran Rodney Stuckey.

I didn’t consider Singler a strong contender, even though he started a large portion of last season at shooting guard.

But I’m surprised Billups isn’t more firmly in the mix. Really, I thought he’d initially win the job before eventually being replaced by Caldwell-Pope, the No. 9 pick in the 2013 Draft.

The Pistons aren’t afraid to start a rookie. Singler, Brandon Knight, Monroe and Jonas Jerebko have started in each of the last four seasons. I just figured it could shake Caldwell-Pope if he was thrust into the starting lineup and it turned out he wasn’t ready. Better to wait until he clearly deserves the job, because it’s much more palatable to go old to young rather than young to old.

Why Billups and Caldwell-Pope ahead of the other Singler and Stuckey? Billups and Caldwell-Pope both shoot well from beyond the arc, a skill the Pistons need, because they have no quality outside threats in their starting frontcourt. Smith, Monroe and Drummond all excel near the basket, and a good shooting off guard could help them get space in the paint.

That’s not Stuckey, who made 30.2 percent of his 3-pointers last season and is shooting 28.8 percent from beyond the arc for his career.

In a vacuum, Stuckey might be the best shooting guard Detroit has, but he wouldn’t be starting in a vacuum – and it’s still questionable whether he’s the best, anyway. He seems to be a poor fit, which should give the edge to Caldwell-Pope.

Then again, I never thought Stuckey would have gotten this far in the competition, so who knows?

Warriors respond to Trump, say trip to D.C. will “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion”

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Last spring during the NBA playoffs, Warriors coach Steve Kerr did not hesitate to criticize President Donald Trump. Stephen Curry also has taken issue with the president and some of his policies.

Saturday, the Warriors were going to discuss an invitation to Trump’s White House — a tradition in many sports where the champion is invited to meet the president and do a photo-op — but on Friday Curry said he would vote no. With that, Trump pulled his invitation.

Saturday the Warriors released a statement.

“While we intended to meet as a team at the first opportunity we had this morning to collaboratively discuss a potential visit to the White House, we accept that President Trump has made it clear that we are not invited. We believe there is nothing more American than our citizens having the right to express themselves freely on matters important to them. We’re disappointed that we did not have an opportunity during this process to share our views or have open dialogue on issues impacting our communities that we felt would be important to raise.

“In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization.”

That’s classier than some of the responses from others around the NBA to Trump.

The Warriors’ David West explained why the team was leaning toward backing out of going to the White House, and the players’ opposition to Trump.

There would be a number of charitable things the Warriors could do in the area, and the team’s high-profile would draw attention to whatever they choose to focus on. It’s a good move. Try to rise above this silly fracas over a photo-op and do some good.

Report: Suns’ Alan Williams suffers torn meniscus, will miss time

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Alan Williams is a guy who worked hard for his spot in the NBA. The UCSB alum started with a 10-day contract, then parlayed that into a Summer League deal where he shined. That evolved into a full season contract with the Suns last year, and they liked what they saw enough to give him a three-year deal this summer (for $17.4 million total).

But now the fan favorite is going to miss at least the start of the season due to a knee injury, reports Chris Haynes and Marc Spears of ESPN.

How much time Williams will miss will depend on the degree of the tear and the course of treatment, but he’s going to be out for training camp and the start of the season.

Williams was already going to be in a fight for minutes on a team fairly deep in the frontcourt with Marquese Chriss, Dragan Bender, Alex Len, Tyson Chandler, Anthony Bennett, and Jared Dudley. This setback does not help his cause.

Enes Kanter thanks Thunder fans in video, urges team to beat Warriors

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Enes Kanter loved playing in Oklahoma City.

Which made the fact he was traded to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony difficult. Kanter had been through a lot, his political stance against the ruling party in his native Turkey led to his family being forced to publicly disown him (and his father being arrested and questioned multiple times), plus his passport being revoked while he was in Europe as Turkey tried to force him to return (where he would have been instantly arrested). He has said on multiple occasions that the people of Oklahoma City, and the Thunder organization, provided him a home when his native one was yanked away from him.

He said that again in a thank you and goodbye video to the people of Oklahoma City.

Kanter said he had “no hard feelings. I understand it’s a business.”

He also urged the now-stacked Thunder to go out and beat the Warriors.

NBA Twitter flips out over Carmelo Anthony trade to Thunder

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Well, that escalated quickly.

Carmelo Anthony wanted away from the Knicks badly enough that he relented in recently and added Cleveland and Oklahoma City to Houston as places he would waive his no-trade clause for. From there, it took almost no time for Oklahoma City and New York to work out a trade that sent Anthony to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick.

NBA Twitter flipped out on the news. And that started with one of ‘Melo’s new teammates.

Or, is it…