Author: Kurt Helin

John Loyer, Greg Monroe

Report: Pacers, shopping Roy Hibbert, called Pistons to talk Greg Monroe


This makes no sense for the Pistons, but ridiculous things do get offered around the league.

There’s been buzz around the league that the Pacers are testing the trade value of Roy Hibbert — they are in for a rough season and he can opt out next summer — and even called the Suns to talk about Goran Dragic. Hopefully the Suns brass were polite and hung up the phone before laughing at that offer.

Looks like the Pacers may have called the Pistons, too, according to Matt Dery of Detroit Sports radio 105.1.

This likely got about as far as the Dragic pitch.

Detroit’s main roster issue is that Monroe, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith can’t play well together because none of them can space the floor (although Smith thinks he can). Hibbert actually took 30 percent of his shots beyond 10 feet and hit a reasonable percentage of them, but bringing him in is not going to solve your floor spacing issues.

Plus the Pistons would have to take on more salary to do it. Then could lose Hibbert next summer anyway.

The one thing to take away from all this is that the Pacers are considering all their options right now. If they can find a partner with a good offer they will move anyone on the roster not named Paul George (or probably David West)

Remembering career of new Hall of Famer Sarunas Marciulionis (VIDEO)

2014 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony

Sarunas Marciulionis was a groundbreaker.

It was partially that he was one of the first players coming out of the Soviet Union as it splintered, proving he could play in the NBA. More than that, he was one guy who came over at that time and stuck, proving he could play the NBA style.

He also was breaking ground because he would not fit a stereotype — this European guard was as physical and tough as anyone raised stateside. He could shoot the jumper but when he put the rock on the floor and drove the lane he was hunting for contact. Then he would finish through it.

Marciulionis was inshrined in the Hall of Fame Friday night on his international credentials — an Olympic gold medal with the USSR in 1988 then, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, he led the Lithuanian team to two bronze medals.

But he was an NBA trail blazer as well and here were we talk about The Association he should be remembered for that.

Mason Plumlee says of course he wants to start for Nets

Mason Plumlee, DeMarcus Cousins

Mason Plumlee is having a breakout summer, so much so that there is a chance the second-year center of the Nets could make the USA Basketball roster for Spain. Coach Mike Krzyzewski has been surprised and impressed by his play — which is saying something because Coach K saw him for four years at Duke.

He wants to carry that over to the NBA season and start for the Nets… except that starting center job belongs to Brook Lopez. Arguably the best offensive center in the NBA. A guy who missed most of last season with a broken foot but who will be back ready to go for training camp. Are you really going to start Plumlee at the four over Kevin Garnett (and take minutes away from Mirza Teletovic)?

Still you have to like what Plumlee told Mike Mazzo of

“Oh yeah,” Plumlee replied this week when asked if he wanted to start. “What player doesn’t wanna start?”

Nets coach Lionel Hollins was out in Las Vegas watching Plumlee during the first part of Team USA training camp a week ago. (A number of coaches with players on the roster were out to watch their charges.)

“[The Nets coaches] were out [there], they watched every [USA] practice out in [Las] Vegas, the whole staff was out there. They’re on the job, so if I don’t know [my roll on Nets], I’ll know soon.

“But [Lionel Hollins is] a very positive coach. He gave me something after each practice to look at. And then the same with, I met Paul Westphal, Jay Humphries, [John] Welch was out there. It was cool for me because they were doing the… I don’t know what you’d call it, their little coach’s retreat or whatever. I got to talk with them all week.”

Plumlee is going to play a big role for the Nets next season, that’s not in doubt. He averaged 18 minutes a game last season (started 22 games later in the year) and you can expect whether he starts or comes off the bench his minutes will jump to the mid 20s. Also, depending on match ups, he’ll get run at the four and the five.

One other note: because the Nets are deep up front, don’t be shocked when Plumlee’s name starts coming up in trade rumors — teams are going to call about him. The Nets aren’t going to be interested (unless some team comes in way over the top and blows their doors off) but they are going to get calls.

Greg Monroe says he ignored rumors about future while in Africa, will focus on getting deal now

Greg Monroe

The rumors have been swirling around Pistons’ restricted free agent Greg Monroe: That he doesn’t really want to return to the Pistons, that he wants a max contract, that there were sign-and-trade talks with teams, that he wants Josh Smith traded, that front line partner Andre Drummond thinks Monroe will return anyway, and that the Pistons have upped their offer to him.

Monroe says he hasn’t paid attention to any of it.

Monroe is just getting back from time in Africa with the NBA Cares “Basketball Without Borders” program and told Matt Dollinger of Sports Illustrated that he has been ignoring the rumors while over there, but now that he’s back with a clear head he wants to focus on getting his status resolved.

“It’s been great to get out here, relax, clear my mind and take this new experience in. I don’t listen to all of the reports and rumors — I’m just enjoying the fresh air….

“I’m heading back Saturday. We’re still trying to sort things out. I’m really not sure what is going to happen, I’ve just enjoyed my time here, and it’s been nice to get away and do something positive with my time.”

While Monroe was trying to inspire youth in Africa his agent was still working to get something done stateside. The wheels never stopped churning, he just was outside the continent and the rumor loop, so he could simply ignore it.

But it doesn’t change the fact he is stuck. He should call up Eric Bledsoe and they can commiserate.

No team made a free agent offer because they knew the Pistons would just match it, they weren’t going to let him go for nothing. There have been talks of sign-and-trades — Phoenix, New Orleans and Portland were among those interested — but everyone has walked away after talking price.

Monroe at this point may need to be thinking about his third contract and not this second one — get more money and fewer years so he can get on the open market sooner. He’s not going to be hurting, mind you, the Pistons reportedly offered to pay him more than Josh Smith’s bloated contract (the offer currently on the table is reportedly four years, $54 million), but if he’s not happy with the situation (and nobody should be happy with the Drummond/Smith/Monroe combo) then looking for a way to move on sooner rather than later (or force Detroit to move Smith sooner) may be the best he can do.

Mitch Richmond thanks family as he enters Hall of Fame (VIDEO)

Mitch Richmond
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Mitch Richmond’s speech as he entered the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night was not as smooth as Mitch Richmond the player, but really few people are that smooth. Ever.

What mattered is he hit all the right notes, including thanking his family.

Richmond deserved to be here. The six-time NBA All-Star was a player whose game would fit in smoothly in today’s NBA. He could shoot with three-point range, and he could put it on the floor and get to the rim then finish with authority. Basically, the man could flat-out score and finished averaging 21 points a game or more for 10 consecutive seasons. He went on to win an NBA title (2002 Lakers) and an Olympic Gold Medal (1996).

Take a look back at his career.