Mickael Pietrus was on the radar of teams looking to add veteran talent for a playoff run last season, but elected to try to get right physically instead, with an eye on returning to the NBA the following year.
That time is upon us, and Pietrus has begun the workout process to try to show he still has something left — and the Sacramento Kings appear to have been his first stop.
From Shams Charania of Real GM:
The Kings worked out free agent forward Mickael Pietrus this week in Sacramento, league sources tell RealGM. Pietrus is on workout trail.
As noted by our own Dan Feldman the last time he entered the NBA news cycle, Pietrus has a reputation of being a good defender, and is a decent career three-point shooter (35.5 percent) with postseason experience.
But his skill level has diminished in recent years, and he’s a quirky locker room personality that can rub teammates the wrong way when not in an ideal situation.
Pietrus will get workouts from teams based on his body of work and his agent’s relationships. But he would have to show a significant increase in ability from the last time we saw him on the court in order to earn a spot on a roster.
Minnesota has been ravaged by injuries — Kevin Love (hand), Ricky Rubio (knee), Chase Budinger (knee), Brandon Roy (knees), J.J. Barea (foot), and Nikola Pekovic (ankle).
So as we hinted could happen, they have brought in some help — a one-year deal with swingman Josh Howard, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN and other sources. This is a one-year minimum deal and he could play for Minnesota on Friday if he passes a physical (he worked out for the team already, this shouldn’t be an issue).
While many people remember the Howard who was a scoring machine with Dallas five years ago, he was not nearly as effective his last couple seasons in Utah. Last season he averaged 8.9 points per game on 39.9 percent shooting and 24.3 percent from three, with as many turnovers as assists. He had a PER of 10.5 — the kind of number that gets a younger player sent to the D-League.
But he may be the best guy out there on the free agent market. Minnesota also reportedly talked with Mickael Pietrus but he wanted more than the veteran minimum. If Howard can give Minnesota any depth until their guys get healthy (Roy may not be that far away, but he can’t take on heavy minutes).
To make room for Howard someone on the roster has to be let go, so it sucks to be Will Conroy with a non-guaranteed contract right now.
The Pacers may want to add some wing depth to their roster following the news that Danny Granger is out for three months allowing his left knee to heal.
Which may mean enter Mickael Pietrus, reports Mike Wells of the Indy Star on twitter.
Pietrus has bounced around the NBA for nine seasons and last season was coming off the Boston bench, playing even more minutes for them in the playoffs and while he hit a few big shots never really being all that efficient or effective (he shot just 38.5 percent in the regular season and 32 percent in the playoffs).
He would come off the bench and play limited minutes. He could be a small help, but what the Pacers really need is guys already on the roster — Roy Hibbert and Paul George — to step it up.
Since the NBA announced they were going to be reviewing potential flops at the league office the next day, and fining players determined to have flopped, the big question has been “where will they draw the line?”
Friday, the league released a video showing what would and would not draw a flop (that video is only on league sites currently). But the people they used to show flops were big names — Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Danilo Gallinari and others. Don’t think for a second that is an accident. People in the video who may have embellished but it was not so blatant as to draw a fine were people like Ronny Turiaf — not stars.
Basically, the video suggests it will be the most obvious, over the top flops that draw fouls — it shows Wade taking a jumper in last year’s Eastern Conference finals then flopping to draw a foul on the Celtics’ Mickael Pietrus. It was blatant and obvious.
Here is how the league describes what will be called.
“The main factor in determining whether a player committed a flop is whether his physical reaction to contact with another player is inconsistent with what would have been expected given the force or direction of the contact. For example, a player will be considered to have committed a “flop” if he falls to the floor following minimal contact or lunges in a direction different from the direction of the contact.
This is what we should expect — if it is a blatant and obvious flop, a fine is coming (a warning for the first one, $5000 for the second, $10,000 for the third, $15,000 for the fourth and $30,000 for a fifth).
But for a lot of things fans want to see called, there will be nothing. If you exaggerate existing contact — within reason — the league can’t fine you for it after the fact watching a video.
Hat tip to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.
Time is its own kind of pressure. And some of the unsigned NBA veterans out there are really starting to feel it. They are feeling the pressure to make a decision.
Anthony Tolliver and Mickael Pietrus are two of those guys, and both say they are close to a decision.
With Lou Amundson having agreed to terms with the Timberwolves, that door has been shut to Tolliver. So he is narrowing his options and we should soon know his choice, reports Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.
Tolliver said it’s down to Atlanta, Phoenix and Minnesota for his services and he’ll decide by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. He said all three teams have offered a one-year deal for the minimum.
“A lot of veterans are taking the minimum,’’ Tolliver said. “That might be the new normal.’’ Tolliver made $2.05 million last season. But he will have to take a cut to $915,852.
It is the new normal. Welcome to the new CBA.
As for Pietrus, he doesn’t like the new normal but added he is down to two teams, reports basketsession.com. I would expect a decision soon, the money is not going to change for him.