Tag: Aaron Gray

Detroit Pistons Media Day

Pistons waive Hasheem Thabeet


The Pistons signed Aaron Gray to a two-year contract this summer, but the center has been out after suffering a heart episode. Detroit also signed Hasheem Thabeet to an unguaranteed contract to provide another option as a center behind Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.

Someone who can’t play or Hasheem Thabeet?

Rather than choosing between those unappealing options, the Pistons traded Will Bynum for Joel Anthony. Now, they’re cutting Thabeet loose.

Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

If Thabeet doesn’t catch on somewhere else, he’ll have the shortest NBA career of a top-two pick since Jay Williams, who had a career-ending motorcycle crash after his rookie year. Yes, Darko will have lasted longer in the league than Thabeet.

The Pistons still must waive a player with a guaranteed contract to get under the regular-season roster limit. Tony Mitchell and Gray, if he can’t get healthy, are the most likely candidates.

Detroit’s D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, already have Lorenzo Brown’s D-League rights. The Pistons could assign Thabeet, Brian Cook and/or Josh Bostic to Grand Rapids, as well. If those players sign in the D-League, they could play only for the Drive, but any NBA team could sign them.

Trade official: Celtics trade Joel Anthony to Pistons for Will Bynum

Boston Celtics Media Day

UPDATE 3:24 PM: And it’s official and done, Will Bynum is headed to Boston (at least temporarily) and Joel Anthony is part of the crowded Pistons’ front court.

11:18 AM: The Boston Celtics would like to save some cash.

The Detroit Pistons want depth along the front line because Aaron Gray has been out and it’s possible down the line they could trade one of their front line guys (Greg Monroe).

So the two have come together on a possible trade, reports Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com.

The Boston Celtics are working to finalize a trade that will send center Joel Anthony to the Detroit Pistons for guard Will Bynum, according to a league source.

The Celtics appear to be making the move with roster flexibility in mind. They have 16 fully guaranteed contracts on their books and must trim that to 15 before the start of the regular season. Swapping Anthony, who is set to make $3.8 million this season, for Bynum, who will earn $2.9 million, will save the team $900,000.

Bynum is buried on the Pistons depth chart, but that doesn’t really change in Boston. He likely doesn’t stick with the team, suggests A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

This deal appears almost done and likely gets finalized later on Friday or at least over the weekend.

ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Detroit Pistons

Stan Van Gundy

Last season: The Pistons’ two big offseason acquisitions, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, flopped. Detroit fired Maurice Cheeks mid-season, but he wasn’t the only problem, and the losing continued.

The Pistons finished 29-53 and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season – extending their longest postseason drought since before the Bad Boys.

On the bright side, Andre Drummond established himself as the NBA’s top young big-man prospect behind Anthony Davis.

Signature highlight from last season: Drummond has quick hands runs the floor really well, and Jennings is foolish fun:

Key offseason moves:

Keys to the Pistons season:

Stan Van Gundy cleaning up this mess: If Stan Van Gundy simply stops playing Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond together – and he’s indicated that experiment is finished – the Pistons’ new coach will do wonders. That trio was simply abysmal last season.

But Van Gundy can and should do more. One of the NBA’s best coaches, he negotiated the position of president and gave himself more job security. He has the freedom to do as he pleases.

Get tough with Brandon Jennings. Teach Josh Smith to play smarter. Demand Greg Monroe plays defense.

The Pistons have talent, but their glaring flaws made a bigger mark last year. Van Gundy is charged with reversing that.

Making the most of Greg Monroe: Monroe will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, and he can veto any trades.

He’s also the Pistons’ second-most valuable player behind Drummond.

Van Gundy, as coach and president, must get the most from Monroe on the court and figure out Monroe’s long-term situation in Detroit. Would he stay next summer? How much would it cost? What trades would he accept?

The roster-management aspects with Monroe are much trickier, but it’s not as if making the most of him on the court will be easy. Monroe excels near the basket on a team that also features Drummond and Smith, and Monroe’s defense has been lackluster to date.

The better Monroe plays, the more options he’ll have – and the more the Pistons will, too.

Getting Drummond to the next level: Drummond moved from rookie reserve to starting sophomore and maintained his incredible per-minute production. That’s no easy task. Many players falter as they handle more minutes against tougher competition.

Now, it’s time for Drummond to take the next step.

He makes an argument as the NBA’s best rebounder, and his pick-and-roll finishing is excellent. He must improve his defensive awareness, though. Drummond has all the raw tools to contend for Defensive Player of the Year, and he’s already blocking shots a high rate. But too often, he gets lost and is not positioned to protect the rim. A few post moves would help on the other end, but the Pistons have a greater need for him to serve as their defensive anchor.

Encouragingly, Van Gundy has a strong track record, having helped turn Dwight Howard into a superstar. Drummond has that same potential. Can Van Gundy help get another young center to the next level – and how quickly can he do it?

Why you should watch: Drummond is a beast. He’ll be an All-Star soon, and in the meantime, he’ll make some incredible plays that don’t seem reasonable for a man his size.

Oh, and Van Gundy might attack Jennings or Smith at any moment.

Prediction: 41-41. The Pistons shouldn’t have been as bad as they looked last season. It became quickly evident that the team’s defining three-man lineup – Smith, Monroe and Drummond – didn’t work. But the Pistons stuck with it. Why? Stubbornness? Stupidity? Tanking?

No matter the reason, it’s in the past. Van Gundy will fix that fatal flaw, giving Detroit a chance. Many questions remain – how Van Gundy will use the big three, whether Jennings can competently lead a team, just how good Drummond will be – but there will be room to explore them.

The Pistons should contend for a playoff spot, but the East is better and deeper this season. I have them just outside the postseason and looking in, but they easily could fall on the other side of that line.

Report: Spencer Dinwiddie gets three-year contract from Pistons

Spencer Dinwiddie
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Unlike Cameron Bairstow, Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t have to earn a contract in the summer league after being drafted in the second round.

Bairstow impressed in Las Vegas and got a three-year deal from the Bulls. Dinwiddie never got that chance with the Pistons

Dinwiddie tore his ACL at Colorado, a big reason the point guard slipped to Detroit’s No. 38 pick. By drafting a player who will still be injured when next season begins, the Pistons essentially committed to signing him.

And that’s what they’ll do.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

This is the advantage of signing only middling-at-best free agents (Jodie Meeks, Caron Butler, D.J. Augustin, Cartier Martin, Aaron Gray).

A team can exceed the salary cap to sign a player to a minimum-salary contract as long as it’s two or fewer years. By preserving room, the Pistons can give Dinwiddie a three-year deal and have his Bird Rights if he completes the contract. No word on whether the contract is guaranteed or not.

At some point, Dinwiddie will have to prove himself on the court. First, though, he’s got an NBA contract.

Reports: Pistons signing Caron Butler, D.J. Augustin

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Clippers

The Pistons shot 32.1 percent on 3-pointers last season, finishing 29th in the league.

Considering they bested only the 76ers, the Pistons practically finished last among legitimate NBA teams.

New Detroit president/coach Stan Van Gundy values outside shooting, and he keeps upgrading in free agency. His top signings – including the two most-recent additions – shot very very well from beyond the arc last season:

  • Jodie Meeks: 40.1 percent
  • Cartier Martin: 39.1 percent
  • Caron Butler: 39.4 percent
  • D.J. Augustin: 40. 1 percent

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Caron Butler has agreed to sign a deal with the Detroit Pistons, according to a source.

The source told ESPN.com that the deal is for two years in the range of $10 million

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Free-agent guard D.J. Augustin has reached agreement on a two-year, $6 million contract with the Detroit Pistons, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Butler’s overall game has deteriorated, but his 3-point shooting has come on strong in recent years. At 34, he likely must accept that spot-up role. Paying $10 million over two years for that seems costly, but the second year is a team option, according to Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. (I’d guess it’s actually unguaranteed, but either way, the Pistons aren’t committed.)

Augustin, who averaged 14.9 points and 5.0 assists per game with the Bulls, finished second among reserves in win shares last season. He really showed an ability to inject life into a stagnant offense.

With Josh Smith likely moving primarily back to power forward after a disastrous season at small forward and Brandon Jennings the incumbent point guard, Butler and Augustin each have a chance to start. That speaks both to their abilities and Detroit’s roster.

The Pistons now have nine players with guaranteed contracts, two with unguaranteed contracts, five incoming free agents, an unsigned second-round pick and the right to match any offer for restricted free agent Greg Monroe. Even waiving the two players with unguaranteed contracts, Peyton Siva* and Josh Harrellson, still puts the Pistons on track for 16 players – if Monroe returns.

*Siva’s contract was set to become guaranteed Sunday, according to ShamSports.com, and there has been no word on the Pistons waiving him. However it’s possible the Pistons and Siva agreed to postpone the guarantee date.

You don’t let a player of Monroe’s caliber leave just to sign these players or Aaron Gray, Detroit’s other offseason signing. The Pistons might have a trade in the works, or they could eat the guarantee salary of Tony Mitchell or Will Bynum. It’s even possible they could waive both, opening the door for one more outside signing.

Most likely, though, handling Monroe is the Pistons’ last remaining free-agent move now.