Oct 10, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is defended by Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe (10) during the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Palace Picks: Waiting on the King and the Moose

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Hello and welcome to another awesome Friday. What’s so great about today? The Pistons fire things in a couple hours from Orlando and wrap up Summer League play against the Magic. Yet 23 NBA teams will continue Summer League play in Las Vegas.

Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker will square off at 8 PM ET tonight. Here’s to hoping that both form a solid rivalry inside the Central division.

And that the NBA TV broadcast of this games doesn’t talk about planes to Brazil, Pat Riley mean muggin’ LeBron’s Posse, or website color palettes.

You know, maybe the best solution is to just put graphic overlay of the countdown to Lebron’s decision in the corner of the screen.

Is it Thursday at 3 PM yet?

See how annoying free agency can be?

I don’t know what’s worse. Waiting for the King, or waiting for the Moose.

Here are your Friday Palace Picks.

Talks between teams and Greg Monroe have been really quiet, as we wait for the King to get off his throne and make a decision already. Pistons president/head coach Stan Van Gundy has made it clear that the number one priority (since he was hired) has been reeling in Monroe. Van Gundy reminded media though on Wednesday that the feeling has to be mutual. I’m not sure if Monroe feels like the Pistons are the organization he belongs in, but I can tell you that despite how quiet it’s been — Monroe has suitors.  Basketball Insiders’ Jabari Davis cited that the Houston Rockets might be one of those teams if all falls out with Chris Bosh.  Davis also broke down an interesting sign and trade submission from a reader that would involve the Celtics, Pistons and Timberwolves. After watching Marcus Smart yesterday, I’d actually consider it a decent move.

Pistons get – Marcus Smart, James Young

Wolves get – Josh Smith, Brandon Bass

Celtics get – Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, JJ Barea

Here is Jabari’s commentary:

While I normally can’t get into these multi-team hypothetical trades (most of the time they simply aren’t realistic or wouldn’t work), this is actually intriguing. Trouble is, what does Detroit do with Jennings? They also just agreed to a 3-yr, $19+ deal with Jodie Meeks. Unless able to move Jennings, I don’t think Smart would be a guy they’d look to bring into a crowded backcourt (Jennings/Meeks/Bynum/Pope). I like where your head is, but also keep in mind that Josh Smith is also owed $13.5 per over the next three years. With Pek also on the books for another four years and Rubio coming up, do they want so spend that type of money on Smith over the next 3 as well?

It’s also clear that the Lakers are still in the hunt for Monroe — especially when they officially lose out on Carmelo Anthony. I have a hard time seeing this play out, especially since you know — not even Swaggy P is on the Lakers roster anymore. Who are they going to send over on a sign and trade? The Pistons already signed the best player on their roster a year ago.

Pistons czar Stan Van Gundy was proud of it too yesterday, as the Pistons officially introduced him to media. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News wrote yesterday about how SVG sees Meeks as a perfect fit. He also believes the Pistons didn’t overpay, they were just aggressive.

“He was the guy we wanted to make sure we got. We were very aggressive early on to get that done and we did that,” Van Gundy said. “He’s got great athleticism. He’s a perfect fit. To give them the room they need to be successful, you gotta have people on the perimeter to shoot the ball.

“It’s important when you’re in our situation and trying to turn things around, that you be aggressive in what you’re doing.”

Mlive’s David Mayo asked SVG about the shooting guard position and where the competition between KCP and Jodie Meeks stands. Van Gundy doesn’t see competition exactly, just a well rounded position.

“Between his (Caldwell-Pope’s) summer league and us getting Jodie Meeks, that’s a position I feel really, really good about,” Van Gundy said. “And Cartier (Martin) and Kyle (Singler) can both swing there and play some two also, especially Cartier. So that’s a position that I think looked very thin when I got the job and now I’m really happy with that spot. I think that’s a good, solid spot for us.”

Our friend Jakub Rudnik at Bleacher Report graded every offseason move so far for the Pistons. Let’s just say that C’s get degrees, and the Pistons are rolling in the honors. We’re talking 3.5 GPA or higher people.

The offseason is far from over, and the Pistons still have plenty of room to maneuver. But they have been one of the most active teams in the NBA since the San Antonio Spurs won Game 5—a good thing since the Pistons’ last winning season came in 2007-08.

Finally we get an insight of Tony Mitchell being Tony Mitchell after taking on the Celtics on Wednesday in Pro Summer League play. Thanks to Mass Live’s Jay King who caught a Mitchell shoutout to Boston center Kelly Olynyk.

More importantly, Tony Mitchell approached Olynyk in the hallway after the game. “Sunshine!” Mitchell called out. “Good sh–, boy.” Maybe I’m weird but I really appreciated that moment.

Two for the Road

RIP Brooklyn Knight — For those of you that thought that having a horse like Hooper as your team’s mascot, say hello and goodbye to Brooklyn Knight, the worst mascot in the history of mascots. Just remember, know matter what the Nets dream up, he’ll have nothing on the horsepower that Hooper possesses.

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Blatt Timeouts — So you wanna know what LeBron is going to hear during timeouts next season?  David Blatt owns the huddle. You wanna talk LeBron? Better do it on the floor and not on Blatt’s clock.

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Tags: Detroit Pistons Greg Monroe Lebron James

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