Apr 4, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Marcus Thornton (10) blocks a shot by Detroit Pistons guard Peyton Siva (34) during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Palace Picks: Introducing the Grand Rapids Drive


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It’s official.

The Pistons have a name for their new NBA Developmental League affiliate in Grand Rapids. Let’s just say the name doesn’t drive me to the Deltaplex to watch games starting in November.

Okay, I understand wanting an automotive theme but the Drive? Anyone that has driven on Michigan roads knows that there are better adjectives to choose from.

How about the Grand Rapids Potholes?

Actually, I really like the sound of the Michigan Sinkholes.

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The official name of the Pistons NBADL affiliate will be the Grand Rapids Drive.

Grand Rapids and Developmental League officials made the announcement this morning. Sean Baligian of ESPN 96.1 in Grand Rapids has the details this morning. Including thoughts from Drive team president Steve Jbara.

“Today is an exciting day for the Grand Rapids Drive,” said Jbara. “Unveiling the team’s new name and logo is an important step in our history and brings the team one step closer to tipping off the season at the DeltaPlex in November. I’m proud to have worked with the fans in Grand Rapids on the nickname and I’m excited to have landed on a name that so fully embodies the city of Grand Rapids as well as the great state of Michigan.”

Speaking of radio stations, 1130 WDFN’s Parker and the Man had a great guest on their program recently. Gregory Kelser stopped by to talk about his basketball camps across the metro Detroit area. He also dished out his thoughts on the hiring of Stan Van Gundy and the staff he’s bringing to motown. Kelser also shares his thoughts on retaining Greg Monroe and changes that need to be made to have success.  Kelser was making the rounds on Monday. He also talked to Detroit Sports 105.1′s Matt Dery.

During the upcoming NBA Draft, the Pistons will be looking for value with their only pick, the 8th overall selection in the second round. The Lottery Mafia’s David Brown has a solid look at value players in this years draft class. Allen talks about two potential draft targets — Michigan’s Mitch McGary and Baylor’s Cory Jefferson, who we will break down in our Prospect Profile series later this morning. Allen’s breakdown of potential first rounders who will fall to the second also feature Pistons targets Isaiah Austin of Baylor and Spencer Dinwiddie of Colorado.

First and foremost from this category is Michigan big man Mitch McGary. Likely a lottery pick in last year’s (awful) draft had he entered, McGary missed all of last season recovering from back surgery and then dropped out for testing positive for that darn cannabis rather than face the NCAA’s draconian penalties. Likewise, UNC refugee PJ Hairston is a great gamble for any team needing a good shooting guard (so, every team more or less). His character’s red flags are as numerous as a Chinese nationalism rally, but the talent is too good to pass up. Versatile Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie could also surprise people, dwelling in second-round purgatory status thanks to an ACL injury. Former McDonald’s All-American and measuring tape-busting Isaiah Austin from Baylor should be a pleasant low-risk/high-reward pick after the Center’s draft stock plummeted thanks to the news that he’s blind in one eye.

One day after Baylor big men Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson joined Florida State’s Jordan Bachynski and Stanford’s Dwight Powell for a workout in Detroit, another big man is on his way to workout for the team. LSU’s Johnny O’Bryant has been added to the list of players that will workout for the Pistons. To view the full list of players that have worked out or are scheduled to before the draft, head to our workouts page.

It’s still unclear if the Pistons will be looking for a point guard in this draft class, but Sports Illustrated’s Point Forward site has a ranking of the top facilitators in the draft. Pistons targets Jordan Clarkson of Missouri, Vasilije Micic of Serbia and surprisingly Russ Smith from Louisville cracked the top ten list.

And with the talks of the New Orleans Pelicans wanting to land Greg Monroe via sign and trade, there is some interesting news about a player that could be included in some type of deal. Eric Gordon has been a target for the Pistons in the past, and is getting healthy after a minor knee surgery. Most people believe that Ryan Anderson would be part of a deal, but it’s Gordon who shot 39% from three last year. Gordon told Vigilant Sports some interesting things on his view of the New Orleans franchise.

“Well, it’s different,” he said. “What people have to understand with this team, we’re trying to do things like the Spurs system. It’s just weird because we’re such a young team and we need to be used towards our personnel’s ability. Like I said, it’s all about having everyone on the same page and doing what’s right.”

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