Breath easy, Pistons fans.
Isiah Thomas – reported to be a top contender to replace Joe Dumars as Detroit’s general manager – is not being considered, the team says.
David Mayo of MLive:
A spokesman for Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores called a report that the team is wooing Isiah Thomas as its next general manager “absolutely false.”
“He is not a candidate for any job with the Pistons,” Barnhill wrote about Thomas.
Mark Barnhill, a partner in Gores’ Platinum Equity, wrote in an email to MLive that he and Gores had dinner with Thomas a couple weeks ago in Los Angeles but the upcoming Bad Boys reunion “was the sole topic. Period.”
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That the Pistons denied the initial report so vehemently speaks how toxic Thomas is. Part of that is failing so badly in his last job as general manager, and part of that is failing in the world’s largest media market. The former explains why Thomas doesn’t deserve the Pistons’ (possibly soon-to-be vacant) GM job, and the latter explains why everyone knows it.
The Pistons could have just not responded, as they likely would to most rumors. But even being perceived to be linked to Thomas has become damaging.
Welcoming him back for a championship reunion is one thing, but hiring him as general manager is entirely different. I know that. You know that.
The Pistons want to ensure we’re aware they know that, too.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.