Every Morning, Pistons Palace brings you the reading material you need before you start your day at the office. We bring you the morning’s Palace Picks across the web to get you ready for the day.
It’s Thursday, NFL Draft day but that won’t stop us from talking round ball. The Pistons are in an interesting time in the off-season where it’s about time they start making decisions. Yet there is nobody in place to make to even discuss the direction this organization should go. That doesn’t stop us here though at PP. We keep fighting through like Ron Artest on a hot Thursday.
Here’s today’s Palace Picks.
It’s always tough to find the positive in a very upsetting season, but there is no doubt that Kyle Singler proved that he belonged in the NBA last year. Bucket Man did anything that the coaching staff asked of him and at points gave the team nobody else could. There wasn’t a night that the former Duke Blue Devil didn’t leave it all on the floor. That’s why Hoops Habit’s Adam McGee believes that he is the Pistons Most Improved Player from last season. We know about the defense he offers, but according to McGee it’s the major improvement in his three point shooting that makes him an important piece.
Last year, the right corner was a particular area of weakness for the Oregon native as he averaged only 29.1 percent from that spot. This season, he upped this to an outstanding 53.9 percent, to contribute to a 49.3 percent average from the corners overall.
It’s still unknown what his role will be next year, but at the least, he could be a top role player in this league.
Let’s head out east to Boston, where the Celtics will be looking for a starting center this off-season. Hardwood Houdini Lead Editor Richard Spalding continues his series on possible acquisitions to fill the Celtics void at center. Up next is RFA Greg Monroe. I swung by to share my thoughts on a possible move in where Monroe could end up in Boston.
The only question about how Greg Monroe would fit in Celtic green is if the front office is willing to give a max deal to a center with Monroe’s skill set. He is not going to protect the rim on defense, and in a ever so changing NBA, he might create defensive nightmares. He isn’t much for banging in the low post, and has a tendency to let cutting wings and guard eat him alive. Will he get a max deal as a restricted free agent though? There is no doubt about it. With Roy Hibbert‘s struggles this post-season under a microscope, a list of 12 teams with plenty of cap space will probably shrink to two or three.
The Celtics should be one of those teams.
His offensive strong points fit their offense. Every big man with good hands inside needs a great point guard to distribute them the ball. Monroe is great on the pick and roll, and could take his offensive game to another level by getting the opportunity to master the mid-range jumper because he can get the ball open off the screen. Rondo gives him that ability unlike Brandon Jennings. In under 100 attempts, the big man made 44% of his shots from 8-16 feet. If you add in the fact that Jared Sullinger can settle in at power forward and Kelly Olynyk can provide help off the bench, and you have a formidable front line.
Boston is going to have a ton of cash this off-season. As we wrote about yesterday, a possible Jeff Green or Avery Bradley swap would be beneficial for both teams.
Speaking of beneficial, could you imagine a day where LeBron James suits up in Motor City blue? Corey Young with our friends down the road at Detroit Jock City asks, “why not?” The main point that Young touches on is that the Stones could have a ton of cap room, and a lot of young talent to play with.
So who’s available? LeBron James can opt out but it’s more than just him. Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Trevor Ariza, Ray Allen, Kyle Lowry, Rudy Gay, Mike Miller, Luol Deng, Josh McRoberts, Danny Granger, Lance Stephenson, and Evan Turner just to name a few.
Most of the players mentioned are at positions of need being at small forward and shooting guard. The Pistons should be able to make a run at a few of these players but everything is predicated on the hiring of a marquee coach and general manager.
Even if it isn’t LeBron, why not an elite free agent? To me, there is no way James is leaving palm trees for the pot hole filled roads of Detroit. If he wins another championship, there is no way he signs anywhere else. Could the Pistons target a marquee name? Yes, but most of the GMs being targeted for the job like to build from the inside out.
There is some good news this afternoon in Los Angeles as Clippers guard Jamal Crawford has been named the KIA NBA Sixth Man of the Year. J Crossover is well deserving and just edged out Taj Gibson of the Chicago Bulls. He led all bench players in points scored this season, but is the second straight award winner to shoot below 44% for the season. As a basketball fan, I’d love to have this guy on my team’s bench. J crossover has smooth moves and a heat check button that is nearly unmatched in the league.
And some good news out of Atlanta, where Craig Sager is continuing his fight against adult acute myeloid leukemia. Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling brings us Sager’s account of his time in the hospital, through chemo, and what it’s meant to receive all the love he has. Sager has turned a corner in treatment and is creating his own white blood cells now.