Rod Beard: #Pistons GM Troy Weaver on the roster: "You …

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Eric Woodyard: Pistons Owner Tom Gores on hiring new GM Troy Weaver: "We just felt it was time to go big or go home." Gores said they tried to talk with him a few years ago, too, but OKC wasn't ready to let him go.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Gores: "He's the GM, no doubt about it; he's in charge of a lot of decisions ... he has a great grasp of our basketball team and the roster, but I like his leadership."
Rod Beard: #Pistons coach Dwane Casey on new GM Troy Weaver: "We're rebuilding our roster and Troy brings a tremendous amount of experience. He's one of those guys who has a knack for talent ... the next couple of years of developing our roster is a key team in our organization." via @NBATV
Nets director of player personnel J.R. Holden and Warriors assistant GM Mike Dunleavy are among the executives on the Pistons' radar as they look to add to their front office, per SNY sources. Holden had a remarkable Euroleague playing career and worked for both the 76ers and Pistons in scouting roles before Nets GM Sean Marks added him as director of player personnel last year.
Dunleavy Jr., a 15-year NBA veteran, started scouting with Golden State in 2018 and was promoted to assistant general manager last season. Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Thunder VP of basketball operations Troy Weaver are among the top candidates for the Pistons' opening, SNY sources confirm.
James Edwards III: I'm told that the #Pistons' plan is still to hire a GM first and then allow that person to fill out his team. Unless things fall through, expect assistant GMs to be named after GM is hired.
Marc Stein: Longtime Thunder executive Troy Weaver has emerged as the top choice in Detroit's search for a new GM, @NYTSports has learned, with the Pistons actively working to complete a deal to hire Weaver
Marc Stein: Longtime Thunder executive Troy Weaver has emerged as the top choice in Detroit's search for a new GM, @NYTSports has learned, with the Pistons actively working to complete a deal to hire Weaver
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.
After hiring a general manager, the front office will begin its search for an assistant. The goal is to find someone light on experience who could eventually grow into a larger role within the organization. The timing of the decision to fill one or both positions shows that the organization is committing to change. Per a source, the team is prioritizing diversity in both searches. 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 Pistons are in the market for their first general manager since 2018, but it remains to be seen if the role will be filled for the 2020-21 season. Sources told The Athletic that while the team’s focus is on hiring for that job, Detroit could consider hiring multiple assistant general managers instead. The timing of the hires and what roles will be filled will be dependent upon how the search pans out, per a source. Assistant GM Malik Rose left the team earlier this week for a role with the NBA.
Among those who could be on the consider list for the assistant GM job? Former Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince, now the Grizzlies’ vice president of basketball affairs. Prince has been working in Memphis’ front office only since 2017, so it appears the team would target him only for an assistant general manager position.
The Pistons also have had interest for many years in finding an assistant general manager job for former point guard Chauncey Billups. Per a source, Billups, to this point, has shown interest only in lead GM jobs if he is to make the leap from TV analyst to a team executive.
It appears the team would prefer an experienced candidate for the GM job, someone who can step in and make an immediate impact. With Detroit rebuilding and focusing on young talent, a decision-maker with an eye for player evaluation and drafting seems to be of the utmost importance. The Pistons are likely to hold high lottery picks for the foreseeable future, and building the organization through young, cost-friendly talent appears to be their best path back toward relevancy.
Eric Woodyard: As Detroit continues its GM search, multiple sources tell ESPN that the Pistons haven’t requested permission to interview former Piston Tayshaun Prince for the role. Prince is currently Memphis’ Vice President of Basketball Affairs and wasn’t on Detroit’s initial interview list.
Stefan Bondy: Detroit assistant GM Malik Rose is leaving the organization to take a job with the NBA, according to multiple sources. The Pistons are searching for a new GM to work with Ed Stefanski.
Rod Beard: The #Pistons still are working on their list of candidates for their GM opening. One would have to think that Tayshaun Prince would be on that list, along with possibly Chauncey Billups.
Vincent Goodwill: Ed Stefanski will remain at the top of basketball operations for the Pistons, if they hire a GM, a source tells Yahoo Sports. Pistons have been quietly vetting candidates since before the league shutdown, according to sources. @Adrian Wojnarowski first on official news of search
The Detroit Pistons are opening a search to hire a general manager to work with senior adviser Ed Stefanski, sources told ESPN. Detroit plans to begin contacting potential candidates to start an interview process this week, sources said.
Stefanski will be working with Pistons and Palace Sports vice chairman Arn Tellem on the process to hire a GM, sources said. The new GM will work closely with Stefanski and coach Dwane Casey on personnel matters. Stefanski and Casey were hired in 2018.
Vincent Ellis: But some #Pistons tidbits. Everyone is expected back from coaching, front office. Coaching consultant Corey Gaines was on a one-year deal, but could return.
DFP: Going into trade season, what are you trying to get accomplished? Ed Stefanski: “We as a front office, we talk to the league on a regular basis, finding out from teams what their philosophy may be right now, but the thing is, it always changes. A lot of teams — trying to make the playoffs — will wait to see where they are at the trade deadline in February to discern whether they are buyers or sellers. The majority of teams are waiting. Teams that are struggling mightily may be sellers right now and if there’s a deal out there, they’ll pull the trigger, but like every year, more trades are going to occur closer to the deadline.”
DFP: Besides the obvious issue of creating a future problem to solve a current one, can you further explain the reluctance to create a better cap situation at all costs? Ed Stefanski: “We’re in cap restrictions right now. We were this past free agency and we will be again the next free agency. If we had to get off assets for cap relief, with our cap situation it really wouldn’t improve more than what we already have — the midlevel exception — for next year. We wouldn’t improve substantially so to use assets to get off some of the contracts you may want to get off — I’m not saying we want to — but to do something like that? It still wouldn’t create a lot of room.”
DFP: Has Blake Griffin exceeded expectations? Ed Stefanski: “I didn’t know what to expect from Blake. In talking to him this summer, he mentioned this is the first summer in a while he’d been totally healthy and I think it’s shown. He’s very difficult (to defend), he’s a force out there, he’s playing at an All-Star level. I enjoy watching how the other teams want to come out and play him. A lot of teams get physical with him, … teams bring double teams, teams bring triple teams and he’s been real good at finding the open man. … Most of this year he’s found the open man and we run a lot of our offense through him.”
Vincent Ellis: The Detroit Pistons announce Sachin Gupta has been named assistant general manager. He will oversee analytics, source tells the Free Press.
James Edwards III: The Detroit #Pistons have announced the hiring of Gregg Polinsky as director of player personnel. He's been with the Nets since 1999 in various scouting and personnel positions.
The Pistons have hired Gregg Polinsky as director of player personnel, a league source confirmed to The Detroit News on Thursday. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the hiring. In his new role with the Pistons, Polinsky he will oversee the scouting department and report to senior adviser Ed Stefanski. The two worked together previously with the Brooklyn Nets.
Vincent Ellis: Aside from Nets exec Gregg Polinsky joining #Pistons front office, Pat Garrity and Andrew Loomis, holdovers from SVG staff, are here in Vegas and are likely to remain.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit has hired Brooklyn's Gregg Polinsky as Director of Player Personnel, league sources tell ESPN. Ed Stefanski and Polinsky worked together for years with the Nets. Polinsky will take on a larger front office role with Pistons.
Marc J. Spears: Former NBA forward Malik Rose is expected to be hired as the @Detroit Pistons assistant general manager tomorrow, a source told @TheUndefeated. The two-time champion has been the @Atlanta Hawks basketball operations manager since 2015.
James Edwards III: Stefanski echoes Van Gundy's thoughts when the trade for Griffin went down: "I'd rather have Blake than whoever we'd get at No. 12"
James Edwards III: For all of those who still are unsure or unclear, Ed Stefanski was just introduced as "leader of our front office."
James Edwards III: In the front office, the #Pistons were looking for a young, promising person to put in the mix. Rose fits the bill. And given the new structure of the front office, it's unclear if he'll be labeled as "general manager." But he'll be involved.
Shams Charania: The Detroit Pistons have offered a front office role to Atlanta Hawks executive Malik Rose and sides are in conversations toward deal, league sources tell Yahoo. Rose was awarded G League Executive of Year this season with Erie.
Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka meeting with Pistons owner Tom Gores today, according to sources. Dwane Casey met with Gores yesterday. Pistons very impressed with Casey, appears to be leader at this point
Dwane Casey met with Detroit owner Tom Gores on Tuesday, league sources tell ESPN --- and now, Michigan's John Beilein has pulled out of Pistons search. Beilein had talked separately with Gores and Detroit management in process, league sources said.
Vincent Ellis: In the wake of GM Jeff Bower leaving the #Pistons, I gather assistant GM Pat Garrity is a strong candidate to have a role in #Pistons front office.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Amid a regime change, Detroit and GM Jeff Bower have parted ways, league sources tell ESPN. Bower has been a GM for two playoff franchises, as well an an NBA and NCAA head coach.
Zach Lowe: Note on Pistons continuing front-office search: Shane Battier has withdrawn from consideration for a leading front-office role in Detroit, sources tell ESPN. Rod Beard: #Nets Trajan Langdon is still the name to watch here.
Zach Lowe: Note on Pistons continuing front-office search: Shane Battier has withdrawn from consideration for a leading front-office role in Detroit, sources tell ESPN.
With the hiring of Ed Stefanski to a senior executive role, the rumor mill is focused on Tayshaun Prince, who has spent one season working alongside Stefanski with the Memphis Grizzlies. Stefanski said he hadn’t yet spoken with Prince about a role with the Pistons, but a source with firsthand knowledge of the situation told the Free Press that Prince is under consideration for a spot in the front office. Such news isn’t surprising to one of Prince’s former teammates. “Tayshaun is one of those guys that’s flying under the radar, but his basketball I.Q. is incredibly high,” former Pistons defensive stalwart Ben Wallace told the Free Press on Thursday. “He’s been in the business for a year or so; it definitely shows he’s willing to take the job seriously. He’s proven he can do it.”
Rod Beard: Keep an eye on Trajan Langdon as the potential #Pistons general manager. Shane Battier is also a possibility but with Stefanski in place, they could choose to go with a younger, less-experienced GM who could grow into a bigger role.
Television analyst Brent Barry, a 14-year NBA veteran and two-time champion, is a front-runner to land in a complementary role in the Pistons' front office. Popular ex-Pistons player Tayshaun Prince -- who is completing his first year in the Memphis front office -- will also be a strong candidate to join Stefanski in Detroit, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Detroit Pistons have hired Grizzlies executive Ed Stefanski as a senior advisor responsible for overhauling the franchise’s basketball operations, league sources told ESPN. Stefanski will assess the current front office, and oversee the process of hiring a GM and coach.
Stefanski, who will report to owner Tom Gores, has a three-year contract and will be tasked with overseeing the assemblage of a new Detroit front office and coordinating a head-coaching search in Detroit's post-Stan Van Gundy era.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Ed Stefanski tells ESPN on priority with Pistons: "The big thing right now ... is that we need a head coach and a GM. Those will be two items that we will probably do simultaneously.” Stefanski will meet with current GM Jeff Bower and discuss possible role. They have long history
The Pistons' new front office, centered on Stefanski, will look closely at hiring a rising front-office executive in a general-manager-type role, league sources said. Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon met with Detroit officials to discuss such a high-level role and will remain a serious candidate, league sources said.
Vincent Ellis: Also, it's highly likely Dwane Casey will be a candidate for the coaching opening ... as soon as they fill the president of basketball ops post. Time frame for president spot? Sometime around the first week of June.
Storyline: Pistons Front Office
More HoopsHype Rumors
August 7, 2020 | 2:51 pm EDT Update
Although Black Lives Matter continues to get resistance from disingenuous people seeking to distort and diminish its purpose, the meaning in the message has remained consistent: the fight for equality should transcend partisan politics. The league doesn’t fear a backlash for embracing the phrase, believing that anyone upset enough to stop watching its games would be alienating themselves. Equality isn’t up for debate.
“We didn’t view ‘Black Lives Matter’ as a political matter. We viewed this as a broader movement. This is a human rights issue,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in a telephone interview with The Athletic. “Black Lives Matter has come to represent a broader movement around racial inequality and we support our players, our coaches, our staff, our teams, in speaking out on these critically important issues.”
Sure, there was money to be made for network partners but there also was the potential for something powerful to emerge for what they believed was a necessary distraction at this time. “Our league has a long history of addressing racial and social issues,” said Tatum, who is Black. “You go back to Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, and the lineage from those guys today, to LeBron (James). A guy like Malcolm Brogdon. A guy like Jaylen Brown. We have a responsibility and an obligation, given the prominence of our players and the influence that they have. We’ve always encouraged our players to take a stand on issues that are important to them and they are doing it.”
Storyline: Social Justice Messages
August 7, 2020 | 2:01 pm EDT Update
It started out as most of these things do: With an ill-advised tweet. On July 13 when the NBA announced the schedule for its restart games, the eyes of Toronto Raptors fans narrowed on an Aug. 9 date with the Memphis Grizzlies. In recent years following the franchise’s move from Vancouver to Memphis, Canada’s former second team has morphed into, well, Canada’s second team. Armed with former Raptor Jonas Valanciunas and exciting Canadians in Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke – with recent cameos from Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and Bruno Caboclo – the Grizzlies were a natural Western Conference rooting interest for Raptors fans.
When the Raptors and Grizzlies were awarded expansion franchises for the 1995-96 season, a healthy rivalry was anticipated. While some rivalries are built on playoff series and animosity, others are based on proximity. A pair of new Canadian teams expected to struggle out of the gate were natural to pit against each other, and putting something on the line was a clever way to make sure both sides had a chance at bragging rights during some lean years. The decision was made that the Raptors and Grizzlies would square off in each preseason, with the winner being awarded The Naismith Cup, in honour of the Canadian inventor of the sport, James Naismith.
If the choice to award the Cup in exhibition games strikes you as strange, consider that the teams, in conjunction with NBA Canada, used it as an opportunity to host the events around the country. The five Naismith Cup matches held between 1995 and 2000 (the 1998 game was cancelled due to the lockout) were played in Winnipeg, Calgary, Halifax, Edmonton, and Ottawa. That’s a tradition the Raptors do their best to continue to this day, holding recent training camps in Victoria or Quebec City, and exhibition games in Montreal, Vancouver, and London. (They still owe St. John’s a game, as former Raptors general manager and current CEO of Canada Basketball Glen Grunwald is quick to remind us.) The touring Naismith Cup games were well-attended, ranging from 8,190 to 15,104 fans in attendance.
August 7, 2020 | 1:25 pm EDT Update
August 7, 2020 | 12:17 pm EDT Update
On the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down the latest scuttlebut: Well, the latest is, you really got only one shared goal between these eight teams and that is to get some kind of formal group activities authorized by the league and the players association. How that plays out and the form that takes, there are different goals. There are some teams that wouldn’t mind doing a bubble. There are other teams that would rather stay in their own practice facilities and not travel. There are other teams that want to do regional scrimmages against another team. And complicating this is that Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players association, is on record as saying: Unless there are the exact same safety protocols going on in Orlando for the second bubble, it’s a non-starter for her.
The league’s attention mostly has been in Orlando, obviously, and that was a signficant financial undertaking. So you’d also have to factor in that, what kind of financial undertaking would they commit to these eight teams. It did look like there was some positive momentum for, not a bubble, but for each team to be able to hold some sort of offseason training sessions, group sessions in their own facilities, like OTAs in the NFL. And I don’t think that’s dead, but there’s certainly not as much optimism as there was maybe a week, ten days ago for that. I mean, it’s fluid, and there’s nothing definitive yet, but you may be staring at that dreaded eight month window between formal group activities for these eight teams.
I’ve heard from players that the lack of a crowd feels awkward. The normal energy isn’t there. That stinks. But the quiet has benefits for TV viewers: We hear every “Hell no!” from bench players mocking opponent shooters. Those shooters hear it, too; the bubble is producing record levels of mean-mugging and bad words directed at bench jokesters. A reminder for refs: Shooters who return taunts at yappy benches should be immune from technical fouls.
August 7, 2020 | 9:23 am EDT Update
Durant believes Crawford can add a lot to a team even in a limited role. “You need people like that on your roster, even if they’re the 15th, 14th man,” he said. “I think Jamal can provide a lot for you in that role, you know what I’m saying? If you can throw somebody like him out there, end of a playoff game or end of a game, he can definitely win you a game, hit some shots. “And you minimize his role? Give him a few minutes with the third unit or the second unit? He’ll get buckets. He can swing a game, be an x-factor still.”
LeBron gave a weird answer about this. He agreed that he and the Lakers were looking for a rhythm on offense. And then he said: “It’s just some things that you can’t control that’s here, that I really don’t want to talk about, that’s off the floor.” What did he mean? The food? The fishing? Tee times not abundant enough? I wrote down on a piece of paper what I thought he meant and showed it to him, and his answer was “Hell, nah.” So, whatever. It was an interesting thing to hear and there is obviously something on LeBron’s mind beyond Davis and his other teammates bending the rim with the bricks they’re throwing up there.
In 20 minutes against the Mavericks, Zubac put up a perfect: 21 points and 15 rebounds on 10/10 FGs. His play earned massive praise from his teammates. “Zu is like a little brother,” Paul George said. “He’s got a ton of upside. He really has tons of potential. He can do a lot of things. I’ve seen it. I’ve been on the other end when he was with the Lakers and he dominated.”
How did how does the knee feel right now? And as you project forward to the playoffs? Do you see it being any kind of, you know, inhibition to your ability? Kemba Walker: Well, it feels good man. That’s me being completely honest. You know, the whole reason I’m only stretching is to see how it reacts after every game. And it’s been it’s been doing well and it’s me feeling better and better after every game, so I’m definitely trending upwards. I think I’m gonna be fine. I think I’ll be fine.
Storyline: Kemba Walker Injury
Obviously the physical aspect of recovering from an Achilles tear and then an ACL tear is intense. When I saw you around the Lakers this year you looked like you were in great shape. How hard is the mental aspect of the recovery? DeMarcus Cousins: It’s tough, no lie. I’d be lying to say it’s been an easy journey or it hasn’t been tough. It’s definitely been a rough journey. But that’s the nature of this business. That’s what separates the guys that last 15 years in the league to the guys that have a short stint. The thing that I preach to a lot of young players and the younger generation in general, when it comes to being successful or being the best you can be in the business, whatever the field may be, it’s going to take a commitment. There’s going to be ups and downs but as long as you’re committed to whatever you’re doing in life, that’s what it’s going to take. I accept this is part of the business. All I can do is work my tail off to get back to where I want to be.
Do you feel like you’re missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience by deciding not to play? DeMarcus Cousins: I miss basketball in general. I’ve been playing this game since I was a kid, and I’ve never been away from it for this long, so I’m missing it more than ever. But due to the circumstances, it’s a different game right now. Nothing but respect to the guys who went out there to the bubble and are doing what they’re doing. For me, it just wasn’t the right situation or the right time to be trying to force myself. It’s already me battling to get healthy and the obstacles in front of me. On top of that to add the different elements that are amongst us, it wasn’t the right time for me. I look forward to next season.
August 7, 2020 | 1:39 am EDT Update

Kemba Walker seriously considered the Knicks

Kemba Walker, the four-time All-Star point guard who joined the Boston Celtics in 2019 after eight years with the Charlotte Hornets, said the Knicks were “very serious” contenders for his services: “To be honest, yes. Yes, very serious. Very,” Walker said on The Ringer’s R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia. “… Before Boston actually came along, the Knicks was one of my top priorities, actually, because I was thinking they were gonna get another player, but it didn’t work out.”
Per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the supposed hierarchy system has somewhat been ignored, as concerned parties deemed that their pleas will be addressed quickly if they cut off the middleman. Instead of using the so-called “snitch hotline”, players are reaching out directly to Commissioner Adam Silver. “Much has been said about the anonymous tip hotline intended for players and staff to report violations inside the bubble. But what I found out was that players have been circumventing that process. Multiple players are personally calling Commissioner Adam Silver to issue their complaints about things they’re seeing in the bubble,” Haynes revealed during the third quarter of the Clippers-Mavericks game on Thursday.

Mo Bamba had coronavirus in June

In the last several months, Mo Bamba has employed his platform as a professional athlete to encourage children to stay in school, urge adults to vote in the upcoming election and ask people to donate money to provide food for children, the elderly and frontline workers in need. And now, he’s imploring you to do something else. Something he has learned from painful experience. He wants you to take precautions against the coronavirus. On Thursday, Bamba revealed to The Athletic that he suffered from COVID-19 in June.
The illness temporarily robbed him of his senses of smell and taste, made him unusually fatigued and caused muscle soreness. “I think the lesson is to take it seriously, to take it as seriously as possible,” said Bamba, who added he doesn’t know how he contracted the coronavirus. “I think we all play a part in making sure that we all stay safe. It’s going to take everyone.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Infections
After pausing, and then listing the five teams behind Milwaukee in the standings — Toronto, Boston, Miami, Indiana and Philadelphia — the NBA’s reigning and presumptive Most Valuable Player made his choice for who has the best chance of stopping the Bucks: Themselves. “I think the biggest challenge for us is ourselves,” Antetokounmpo said. “How are we going to play? How hard are we going to play? Are we going to play for one another? Are we going to defend hard? Are we going to be able to rebound the ball? Are we going to be able to make the extra effort? Are we going to dive on the floor? “It’s all about us. It’s all about us.”
“When it comes to the whole ‘all eyes are on me,’ I feel like a lot of eyes have been on me since high school, so that feeling was nothing new. I don’t consider it being thrown in the fire because I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. But it was definitely a dream come true to finally get thrown out there and enjoy the moment,” recalls Williamson. “If I’m being honest with you, it was very frustrating at first. I’m in the game and I feel like I could maybe change the outcome and you hear the horn go off. You know it ain’t for nobody but you because your time is up. It’s one of those sickening feelings, because I’m one of those players that if I could do anything to help my team win, I want to do it. So it was very frustrating at first from that perspective. But outside of that, it was a blast.”
13 hours ago via SLAM
“I have social media but I don’t let social media dictate my life. I will never let that happen,” he says. “But as far as winning Rookie of the Year and competing in that race, I’m a competitor. If there’s a chance that I could win it, I’m going to go after it. I’m not going to doubt that. Ja [Morant] has had an incredible season and he is the current front-runner, but it’s not over until they announce who it is, so, I’m going to keep battling for it. [A few weeks after our shoot, the NBA announced that performance in Orlando would not be taken into consideration for the player awards.—Ed.] But my top priority is getting into the playoffs first.”
13 hours ago via SLAM
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