Andre Drummond

Former Warriors center Jordan Bell vs. Cavaliers
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Report: Cavaliers signing Jordan Bell

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Two years ago, Jordan Bell was drunkenly celebrating the Warriors’ NBA Finals victory over the Cavaliers.

It has been a tough decline for both Bell and Cleveland.

Now, they’re linking up.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:

League sources tell cleveland.com the Cavaliers agreed to a two-year contract with free agent forward Jordan Bell and converted the Two-Way pact of forward Dean Wade into a multi-year deal.

Sources say Wade, who was garnering interest from the Washington Wizards over the last few weeks, will receive a team-friendly four-year contract that pays him $375,000 for the rest of the 2019-20 season. The final three years, starting in 2020-21, are non-guaranteed. According to sources, Bell will get $250,000 for the rest of 2019-20. His second year is non-guaranteed.

This is a head start on next season for the Cavaliers, who didn’t qualify to continue this season at Disney World

Bell signed with the Timberwolves last summer. Just before the trade deadline, he got traded to the Grizzlies (via the Rockets). He got waived by Memphis after just two games, but too late for him to be playoff-eligible elsewhere.

Though Bell is just 25, players like him – mobile centers who play versatile defense and finish well above the rim – can peak early. Bell must retain his athleticism to contribute.

Cleveland already has a few expensive bigs: Andre Drummond (who’s staying), Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. But Bell is a reasonable option – especially at this price.

Adding Bell effectively costs only his real-dollar salary for this season, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has shown a willingness to spend. If Bell looks promising, the Cavs will keep him cheap next season. If not, they can clear his roster spot with no future cap consequences.

Cavaliers, Andre Drummond reportedly have interest in extension

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For next season, Andre Drummond wants to get paid. He has said he plans to pick up his $28.8 million option and stay with the Cavaliers, which was the only smart move on his part.

Beyond that, the two sides may try to work something out this offseason.

There is mutual interest in an extension, but it’s too preliminary to have serious talks, notes Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

At this point, sources say, both sides have shown interest in an extension. But there’s so much to figure out before late October, when Drummond could technically sign a new deal.

Two key questions come up when thinking about this kind of extension.

First, what are the Cavaliers’ long-term plans at center? Very little of their rebuild is set (Darius Garland may be able to take a couple steps forward and be part of that, Colin Sexton could as well, but both have a long way to go), so it is possible in this draft the Cavaliers pick up a more modern five (James Wiseman and Onyeka Okongwu are the top centers on the board). If not, Drummond could be a stop-gap for a few years while the Cavaliers figure out their direction and get the right players.

Second, and more importantly, at what price would Drummond sign an extension? Drummond puts up numbers — 17.7 points and 15.2 rebounds a game last season — and he remains the best rebounder in the game today (he had the highest total rebounding percentage in the league last year). He’s going to expect near max money. However, he’s a traditional center who does not space the floor on offense, nor can he step out well on defense, and the value of that kind of player is shrinking in the NBA now. How much would te Cavaliers pay, and at what price is he still a valuable trade chip with other teams?

None of that can be answered right now, heading into an offseason — and a couple of years — of turbulent finances around the league.

But the Cavaliers and Drummond are both interested in finding a deal. That’s a start.

Troy Weaver takes over as GM, looking to ‘restore’ Pistons

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DETROIT — The timing eventually worked out for Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons introduced Weaver as their new general manager on a video conference Monday. The former Oklahoma City Thunder executive joins a Detroit team that was interested in him previously – and he takes over a GM spot that was vacant for a couple years.

“We had actually tried to talk to Troy a couple years ago. OKC wasn’t quite ready to let him go,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said. “So he’s been on our radar for a while.”

The Pistons shook up their front office two years ago. Stan Van Gundy had been the coach and team president, and after Detroit moved on from him, there was no official GM. Ed Stefanski took over the front office, and Dwane Casey was hired as coach.

Now Weaver will fill the GM role, with Stefanski remaining as a senior advisor to Gores.

“Troy, Ed and Dwane will work on a day-to-day basis with each other,” Gores said. “Troy will have normal, and even higher than normal, GM responsibilities.”

Weaver said he felt loyal to the Thunder and wanted to help bring a championship to Oklahoma City – but he thought now the fit was right with the Pistons.

The Pistons haven’t won a playoff game since 2008, although Weaver described the situation as a “restoring” and not a rebuild. The Pistons went 20-46 this season and traded Andre Drummond in February. They hope to have more flexibility going forward.

“We didn’t have a lot of cap room at the time when Ed came on, so we felt like we really needed to clean things up,” Gores said. “I think he did a great job. … The reason Ed did not come on as GM, we had decided that Ed was going to be one level kind of above that, and that we needed to leave that spot open for our next 10, 15 years, for somebody like Troy.”

Although the Pistons dealt Drummond and bought out point guard Reggie Jackson, they still have an expensive star on the roster in Blake Griffin. Weaver mentioned Griffin and guard Derrick Rose immediately when asked about Detroit’s roster.

“Those guys have had some injury history, and they’re looking forward to building their careers back, so that stood out. Excited to get them healthy and help us move forward,” Weaver said. “Then the second piece of it is the young players on the roster – Sekou (Doumbouya), (Luke) Kennard, Bruce Brown, Svi (Mykhailiuk).”

Weaver did not want to discuss forward Christian Wood because of his free agency.

The Pistons announced the hiring of the 52-year-old Weaver last week. He spent the past 12 seasons with the Thunder, including three-plus years as vice president of basketball operations. He served eight seasons as vice president/assistant general manager.

Weaver, Gores, Casey, Stefanski and Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem were all on the video conference Monday.

“I always recognized Troy as one of the top talent evaluators – you just look at the finished products in OKC, he had a big part of doing that. Not only that, he’s a man of his word,” Casey said. “He’s genuine, he’s real, and I will say this, and in today’s time, with all the unrest, here’s an opportunity for an African American man to be named to this position, and I’m going to credit Tom and Arn and Ed for opening up the door for the opportunity for him to step in.”

Gores was asked about the importance of diversifying the front office with this hire.

“Did we put an emphasis, and make it a priority? Yes,” Gores said. “But at the same time, can’t take an ounce away from Troy. He was the best person in the world for this job.”

Thunder’s Troy Weaver is reportedly favored to become Pistons GM

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His name has been at or near the top of the “next guy in line to be a GM somewhere” list for a long time, and he’s interviewed/been considered for multiple jobs. It looks like Tory Weaver finally will get his chance in Detroit.

Weaver, who had been mentioned as a candidate before, is the frontrunner to become the Pistons’ GM, something first reported by Marc Stein of the New York Times and confirmed by others.

Weaver is currently the vice president of basketball operations and the No. 2 guy with the Thunder, behind Sam Presti. Weaver has been there a decade and would only leave for a job that’s a promotion in title and power.

Ed Stefanski is in charge of basketball operations in Detroit, he is the man hired to rebuild the Pistons. He has the ultimate hammer, but was hired as a consultant to the owner and may want to return to more of that role. The Pistons have been looking for an experienced person to step into the general manager role, and Weaver fits the bill.

Presti’s Thunder front office has produced a number of people poached by other organizations. Most recently, the Knicks pulled Frank Zanin out of Oklahoma City to be part of Leon Rose‘s staff.

Once hired, Weaver and the Thunder front office would have big decisions to make. Stefanski traded Andre Drummond during the season, whether Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose should follow Drummond out the door to jump start the rebuild becomes the big question.

Pistons reportedly interested in Tayshaun Prince, Chauncey Billups as assistant GM

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Ed Stefanski has the hammer in Detroit. First hired as a senior adviser to owner Tom Gores, he quickly became the head of basketball operations and is now the man in charge trying to rebuild the Pistons.

Detroit has not hired a general manager to work with Stefanski, but it has some serious ideas who should be an assistant GM serving under whomever they hire, reports Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

Former Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, who is currently the vice president of basketball affairs for the Memphis Grizzlies, is a candidate for the assistant GM job.

The organization would also welcome a reunion with Chauncey Billups, who has maintained that he is interested in being hired only as general manager, according to a source. The Pistons would prefer to hire Billups, who has no NBA executive experience, as an assistant, where he could learn the ins and outs of working in a front office.

Both Prince and Billups would be good hires (although it doesn’t sound like Billups would take that job).

However, first the Pistons need to hire a GM. Then said GM should have a significant say in who his top assistant will be. The Pistons are reportedly looking for someone with experience as the GM and some of the names in the rumor mill are former Suns GM Ryan McDonough, the Thunder’s Troy Weaver, the Nets’ Jeff Peterson, the Clippers’ Mark Hughes, and there are others.

Once the Pistons get their front office in place, they have some big decisions to make. Stefanski traded Andre Drummond, whether Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose will follow Drummond out the door are the next big questions.