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Pistons’ president-coach Stan Van Gundy on job rumors: Nobody has told me anything

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The Pistons hired super agent Arn Tellem as a business-side executive in 2015, and his primary responsibility became the stadium situation. He resolved that by overseeing a move to a new downtown arena.

What’s next for Tellem?

Rumors have swirled about him taking over basketball operations, supplanting president-coach Stan Van Gundy in the front-office. With Detroit (29-35) freefalling out of playoff contention, rumors have even emerged about Van Gundy’s status as coach.

Van Gundy, via Rod Beard of The Detroit News:

“Nothing has been said, so I won’t even comment on that,” Van Gundy told The Detroit News Friday. “I don’t have any idea. It’s Tom’s team and he’ll make whatever decisions he wants to make and we’ll go from there.

“Nothing has been broached with me, so I’m not even going to comment on it.”

File this under: What else is he supposed to say? Even if owner Tom Gores informed him he’d lose his presidency, Van Gundy probably wouldn’t address it now.

Van Gundy appeared to be in charge of the Blake Griffin trade. The results have been underwhelming, but Van Gundy might argue it’s unfair to assess him with Reggie Jackson injured and Griffin still learning the playbook.

That’s more likely to fly for coaching, where Van Gundy has a lengthy track record of success with the Magic and Heat. His front-office record, which began in Detroit, is far less impressive.

It’s far too soon to close the book on any of his first-round picks – Stanley Johnson, Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard – but none have made a mark. Van Gundy has also handed out too many expensive contracts to borderline rotation players – Jon Leuer, Langston Galloway and Boban Marjanovic.

All that squeezes a team trying to put a supporting cast around Griffin and Andre Drummond. Those mistakes might eventually squeeze out Van Gundy.

The Griffin trade particularly looked desperate, and it’s hard to separate Van Gundy’s job security – in the fourth year of a five-year contract – from the deal.

Maybe it’ll buy him more time. I’d guess Van Gundy will return to the Pistons next season, though I’m far more confident about as coach than as president, and I’m not that certain on coaching.

But, even if he won’t publicly respond to it, Van Gundy is facing increasing scrutiny.

PBT Extra: One last mock draft of NBA lottery

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DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).

After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.

Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.

Report: Dewayne Dedmon opts in for $6.3 million with Hawks

AP Photo/Todd Kirkland
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The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.

And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.

He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.

Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.

If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.

Nick Young says ‘everybody needs to do cocaine,’ later insists he was joking

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.

Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.

Young, via TMZ:

“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”

Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.

Report: 76ers trade No. 39 pick to Lakers

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.

Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.

So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.

Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.