Mikhail Prokhorov isn’t the only NBA owner buying full control of his team.
Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News:
Platinum Equity founder and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores is buying his firm’s stake in the National Basketball Association team, giving him 100 percent of the franchise, according to a person with direct knowledge of the planned transaction.
Gores, personally, has held a 51 percent stake in the club since 2011. It isn’t known how much he’s paying for Platinum’s 49 percent stake. NBA owners have approved the transaction, said the person, who requested anonymity because the move hasn’t been announced.
When Gores bought the team, many thought he’d treat it like his other purchases – buy low, rehabilitate its value and then flip it a short time later. That’s what Platinum Equity does.
And apparently, that’s what Platinum equity did with the Pistons. The franchise – with the NBA’s exploding revenue and Detroit’s improved Andre Drummond-led roster – is surely worth more than it was in 2011.
While his long of partners surely got a great return on their investment, Gores is personally staying in. He has maintained the team means more to him, that he’s in it for the long haul.
This proves it.
Andre Drummond is a rebounding machine — he is the only player in the last 17 years to grab more than 100 offensive and 100 defensive rebounds in a month. Last season, Drummond grabbed 437 offensive rebounds, the most in the NBA by a wide margin (Rudy Gobert was second but 40 back). He grabbed a ridiculous 18.3 percent of the Pistons’ missed shots last season, also best in the NBA by a healthy range (DeAndre Jordan was second at 16.2). Drummond’s offensive rebound rate was 11th best in NBA history. He had 337 putback shots off misses last season. He’s a physical force of nature on the boards.
He’s also got a little trick, a little gift that helps him out — he gets a lot of his own misses.
This isn’t new news, look what Drummond told MLive last season when asked if he rushes shots knowing he might miss and grab his own board:
“Yeah, I’d say sometimes I do,” Drummond said, when asked if he indeed plots some misses directionally. “I’m not going to lie. I do sometimes. I know I can go get it and put it right back in.”
As noted in a great piece by Scott Rafferty at The Sporting News, this is an old Moses Malone trick and it’s not about racking up stats, it’s about practicality.
It’s not that Drummond deliberately misses shots for the sake of padding his rebounding numbers; He rushes them knowing his second jump is far quicker than most opponents. Malone did the same over the course of his career. As soon as the ball left his fingertips, he’d use his size and speed advantage to fight for positioning while his defender was still in the air.
Check out this video to get an example — Drummond hurries his shot but knows he can just move Gobert out-of-the-way and get his own board.
(Drummond gets fouled here, and as a guy who shot 38.9 percent from the stripe last year he can expect to see more of that. It’s a valid strategy against him.)
It will be interesting to see if Drummond can keep up these numbers as Stan Van Gundy brings in shooters — it’s not just that there may be fewer rebounds to grab, but the rebound of a missed three-point shot often caroms a long way out from where Drummond is around the rim.
But consider this something to watch next season. As the NBA trends smaller, Drummond is an old-school big man who can do this to a lot of teams.
If you’re reading this in August, you’re probably an NBA junkie. Just like us. Even now, there are so many great NBA-related stories being told we at PBT can’t get to them all in our regular posts, so we’re passing a few along in a bullet point format. Enjoy.
• I’ll admit my bias up front — I love Baron Davis. Ask me “who are your five favorite players to watch all time” and Davis makes my list. When he is healthy and in a groove, there is simply nobody like him with a great game IQ and flair. He wrote a brutally honest piece for NBA.com about his story since he had to be carried off the court at MSG in 2012, and it is a must read.
Once I got hurt and carried off that court in 2012 in Madison Square Garden, the Mecca and grand stage of basketball, I told myself it was over. Just forget you ever played and don’t bring it up. If anybody tries to remind you how much you love it, just brush it off as something that you were good at a long time ago. Give yourself amnesia. Tell yourself you hate playing the game and it will be easier to move on.
My grandmother always told me to have something to fall back on. “You’re not going to be able to play forever. You’re a good basketball player, but you are also good at other things. You could get hurt the way you play out there, like your life depended on it.”
• What’s it like to be a vastly underpaid NBA cheerleader? Not as glamorous as you’d think.]
• Celtics fans, you can relax. Kelly Olynyk is doing just fine.
• This is fantastic work by our old friend here at PBT Matt Moore — now with CBS — on what the LaMarcus Aldridge signing means to the Spurs on the court.
• If an NBA player signs with Toronto he pays more taxes, right? Not so fast, my friend.
• Everyone lauded the pickup of David West by the Spurs, and at the cost it is a total steal. But that doesn’t mean he’s a fit with the second unit.
• Five glue guys to watch this season.
• Stephen Curry is taping Riley’s ankles for the season.
• Victor Claver is signing in Russia.
• Andre Drummond is working on his moves.
Eric Moreland played all of two minutes total across three games for the Kings’ last season before suffering a labral tear in his shoulder that ended his season (he did get paid his full $507,336 salary because of that, though). Then this summer, with a pretty full roster, the Kings waived the undrafted 6’10” forward rather than guarantee his deal.
So where does he land now? Maybe Detroit, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.
Free agent Eric Moreland has multiple deals to compete for a roster spot in NBA training camp, with the Detroit Pistons as frontrunners, league sources told RealGM. The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings are strong under consideration for Moreland, sources said, and their front offices expect the 6-foot-10 forward to settle upon a destination once the final offers are presented.
This would be a camp invite, make-good contract with maybe a little guarantee. Could he make the roster in any of those places? That’s an uphill climb.
Detroit has 17 guaranteed contracts and already is going to have to cut a couple of them. They also have a front line with Ersan Ilyasova and Anthony Tolliver at the four, then three centers in Andre Drummond, Aron Baynes, and Joel Anthony. Not sure where Moreland fits in there.
The Lakers have 12 guaranteed deals but a pretty stacked frontcourt, Mooreland would need to beat out someone like Tarik Black (whom the Lakers like). The Kings have 14 guaranteed contracts and already waived him this summer so he wouldn’t be a guaranteed deal on their books, plus they have Willie Cauley-Stein in his young, shot blocker role.
Mooreland likely chooses whoever gives him the biggest guarantee. It’s about the money.
When Brandon Jennings went down with a torn Achilles last season, Stan Van Gundy traded for Reggie Jackson, who came in and played well, developing some pick-and-roll chemistry with Andre Drummond. SVG liked what he saw and gave Jackson an $80 million contract this summer, making him the point guard of record in Detroit.
What happens when Jennings gets healthy and comes back?
Jennings says he is good playing a sixth-man role. At least that’s what he told CSN’s Jabari Young and Vincent Goodwill on their Point Game podcast (hat tip Matt Moore at Eye on Basketball).
“Bringing in Reggie Jackson was smart. I’m supposed to be out, really, for nine months, and they need a point guard. …
“My main thing is just to get healthy. Hey, if I have to come off the bench and be the sixth man or whatever, I’m fine with that. Man, I just want to play basketball again. I just want to get back on the court and have fun.”
One idea Van Gundy has floated is to have Jennings and Jackson play together, having Jennings be a sixth man who subs in for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (or Jodie Meeks, whoever starts at the two). In that scenario Jennings is more of the two guard on offense because he is the much better three-point shooter and can space the floor, while on defense Jackson is the better player and can guard the two spot if that is a tough matchup.
Both Jennings and Jackson were effective as Piston point guards last season (their PERs were almost identical at 19.8 and 19.7). It’s a good problem to have, so long as it doesn’t start causing divisions within the team.
I’m much higher on Detroit going into this season than many others, I think they can be a playoff team in the East. Especially if these two can blend into a two-headed monster in the backcourt.