Tag: Danny Granger

Indiana Pacers v Dallas Mavericks

Report: Pistons signing Eric Griffin

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The Pistons have 17 players with guaranteed contracts plus Adonis Thomas ($60,000 guaranteed), and they might sign Eric Moreland.

But they clearly value training-camp competition.

So, they’ll also add Eric Griffin.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Griffin’s leverage has fallen. He got $150,000 guaranteed last season from the Mavericks, who cut him before the regular season.

Why couldn’t Griffin get more this year? Dallas assigned his rights to its D-League affiliate. Because the Texas Legends now hold Griffin’s rights, the Pistons can’t assign Griffin to their affiliate if they waive him.

So – unless they just want another practice body, which is possible – that indicates the Pistons really like him. He’s not in camp just to funnel him to the Grand Rapids Drive.

Griffin is an explosive leaper who’s trying to develop NBA-level skill before his athleticism slips. The 25-year-old has played overseas and in the D-League since going undrafted out of Campbell in 2012.

It’ll be tough for him to make the Pistons’ regular-season roster. Griffin will have to best at least three players with guaranteed salaries. Danny Granger, Cartier Martin and Reggie Bullock are all candidates to be dropped. If Brandon Jennings is healthier than expected, Detroit might even consider waiving Steve Blake, despite trading for him this summer.

So, there’s a path for Griffin to make the team. It’s just extremely narrow.

Phil Jackson says Knicks wanted Goran Dragic at trade deadline. Because he’s such a triangle fit?

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12:   New York Knicks president Phil Jackson watches from the stands as his team plays the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.   The Knicks won 101-94.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Rule No. 1 about winning in the NBA: It’s all about the talent.

Gregg Popovich is brilliant, but he’s not wearing rings without Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker and the others. Phil Jackson was the master at getting great players to buy into a team concept, but he had great players, from Michael Jordan through Kobe Bryant.

And Jackson knows if he wants to turn the Knicks around, he needs exceptional talent. Like maybe Goran Dragic — when healthy one of the better point guards in the NBA. In his conversations during the season with his old friend Charlie Rosen (now published at ESPN), Jackson talked about eyeing Dragic at the trade deadline last February.

“Goran Dragic, for one. I heard through the grapevine that he was open to coming here. We worked hard on that possibility, but the asking price was too dear. Maybe we worked on that possibility so much so that it distracted us. I mean, Dragic is every team’s current choice for a nuclear option — a guard who can penetrate and either score or kick. Guys like Chris Paul and James Harden. But, anyway, that’s not really the way I want us to play.”

As a reminder, the Jackson and the Knicks moved first, on Jan. 5, took part in a three-team trade that sent Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith to Cleveland. On Feb. 19 the Suns moved Dragic to the Heat in another three-team trade, which netted the Suns Danny Granger, John Salmons, and the real prize of two future first round picks (2017 and 2021). Dragic then re-signed with the Heat this summer.

But it’s the last line that is the most interesting from Jackson: “But, anyway, that’s not really the way I want us to play.” Dragic, like any traditional point guard who needs the ball in his hands, is not a fit in the triangle.

Jackson wants to validate his vision of the triangle in a new era. He wants an unselfish team where players cut and move off the ball, where the system is as big a star as the players. Like the Hawks, I guess.

But the system is only going to be as good as the players in it. What both the Bulls and Lakers for Jackson did well was put in role players who fit and bought into the system around their elite stars. Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, Pippen, etc. would have been successful regardless of the system. We can debate whether Carmelo Anthony can be one of those elite stars, but there is no debate the Knicks need more of them. Maybe Kristaps Porzingis can be, but we’re a few years from finding that out for sure. In the short term, the Knicks did a good job getting solid role players like Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez that will work in the triangle. That’s a start.

As much as changing the culture and putting in a system, Jackson knows he needs more elite players if he is going to bring a title back to NYC. Even if that means bending the triangle a little to make them work.

Jackson knows, he can talk all he wants about system and style, it comes down to talent first. Restock that cupboard and the triangle will look great again.

Pistons sign Adonis Thomas, giving them 18 players with at least partially guaranteed contracts

Los Angeles Clippers v Detroit Pistons
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The Pistons already had a pretty crowded roster – 17 players with guaranteed contracts.

They’ll need to trim that to 15 by the start of the regular season, but for now, they’re going the opposite direction.

Pistons release:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Adonis Thomas.

Jason Smith of The Commercial Appeal:

Thomas, a D-League All-Star for the Detroit Pistons-affiliated Grand Rapids Drive last season, will sign a two-year partially guaranteed deal with the Pistons today, his agent, Travis King, told the Commercial Appeal.

Thomas went undrafted out of Memphis in 2013. The 6-foot-6 wing has nice physical ability, but his skills lagged a bit behind NBA level when he turned pro. He has continued to develop since, and he’s on the cusp of being NBA-ready.

But it will be difficult for him to make the Pistons.

Danny Granger, whose career has been derailed by injury as he’s hit the wrong side of 30, is probably Detroit’s easiest cut. Cartier Martin and Reggie Bullock are competing for roster spots, too. It’s possible second-round pick Darrun Hilliard needs to prove his worth, but I doubt the Pistons waive him so soon after signing him.

So, Thomas would likely have to beat Martin and Bullock, both of whom have fully guaranteed contracts. Detroit might not mind eating those low-paying deals, but it would be cheaper just to waive the partially guaranteed Thomas.

The Pistons clearly like Thomas, and he’ll have a chance to prove himself in training camp. But this might end up being a way to funnel him some money to entice him to return to Detroit’s D-League affiliate rather than playing overseas next season.

Report: Pistons sign Darrun Hilliard to three-year contract

Detroit Piston Introduce 2015 Draft Picks

It was a bit surprising when the Pistons picked Darrun Hilliard with the No. 38 pick in the draft.

But they obviously liked the 3-and-D wing from Villanova then, and they haven’t changed course.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

If the Pistons haven’t officially signed Reggie Jackson, who agreed to an $85 million deal, they could fit Hilliard into cap space. Otherwise, they had to use part of their room exception. (Minimum-salary exceptions can be for up to two years.)

Giving Hilliard three years makes sense, because it gives the Pistons his Bird Rights if he plays well through three years. With a partially guaranteed second season and non-guaranteed third season, the downside is low for Detroit.

The Pistons’ more-immediate challenge is trimming the roster. They’re committed to 17 players, including Jackson and Joel Anthony, who has yet to formally sign. Danny Granger and Cartier Martin are prime candidates to get waived, and Reggie Bullock could fall in that group, too. There’s no rush. Detroit doesn’t need to reach a 15-man roster until the regular season begins.

So, these battles could extend into training camp. The Pistons will explore trades in that time, too.

Really, it shouldn’t be out of question to waive Hilliard if other players shine in the preseason. But given the contract he got today, I’d be shocked if Detroit seriously considers it no matter how he plays before his rookie year.

Report: Suns trade Marcus Morris, Reggie Bullock and Danny Granger to Pistons in cap-clearing deal

Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris

After signing Tyson Chandler, the Suns seemingly needed a sign-and-trade to be able to afford LaMarcus Aldridge, whom they’re said to still be in the running to sign. That’s not the case anymore: Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that they’ve cleared an additional $8.5 million off the books by sending Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock to Detroit.

Two thoughts. First of all, you can’t break up the Morris twins. That’s bad karma. But that aside, even if the Suns don’t land Aldridge (and I still think he ultimately ends up in San Antonio), they have the space to make another move now. They’ll still need to do a sign-and-trade or shed more salary to land Aldridge, but they have some pieces left on the roster (Alex Len, Archie Goodwin, TJ Warren) that could be of interest to the Blazers. This is a situation worth keeping an eye on.