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Man, I wish it were that easy to improve my rec team’s three point shooting. Without a doubt, the target this off-season for Stan Van Gundy and company has been improving perimeter shooting and perimeter defense.
Last night, they improved both — with the signing of point guard D.J. Augustin and small forward Caron Butler.
How were those signings view and how do they affect the rest of the free agency period?
We take a closer look with this morning’s Palace Picks.
Well, if there is one thing we know, The Pistons want to make Andre Drummond happy. It looks like the big man was stoked last night to add fellow Huskie Caron Butler to the squad.
@AndreDrummondd thx young fella lets get better#100#uconn
— Caron Butler (@realtuffjuice) July 14, 2014
Better is what the Pistons are, now that they have used most of their cap room. Vinnie Goodwill tweets that there isn’t much room to play with for Detroit, besides the 10 million dollar hold on Greg Monroe.
Butler at 4.5, Augustin at 3, the Pistons’ cap space is pretty much done. Minimum deals for Martin/Gray. — Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 14, 2014
The Detroit roster is now at 18 players, which could set up for an interesting couple of weeks. The signing of D.J. Augustin doesn’t bode well for Peyton Siva, whose contract will not be guaranteed until after July 20th.
Speaking of Mr. Goodwill, he reminds us this morning that it’s not a done deal that Greg Monroe returns to the Pistons next season.
Even if the Pistons gave Monroe a max contract now, the salary cap stands to rise exponentially two years from now, so it wouldn’t be as bitter of a pill to swallow because he wouldn’t take up such a huge chunk.
Public posturing is a necessary evil for people in Van Gundy’s position. He’s dealt with Monroe’s agent, David Falk, on other matters, considering Falk represents former Van Gundy coaching assistant Patrick Ewing, and Falk has wisely chosen to keep his plans close to the vest.
Mlive’s David Mayo also touched on the situation Sunday. He is concerned that the stall between the Pistons and Monroe means that there could be a stall in matching rights from the big man.
Nearly two weeks into NBA free agency, and more than three days into the signings process, and Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe, one of the biggest names still in play, has been the subject of hardly a peep.
Someone unencumbered by much imagination may translate that as a lack of market interest.
But as Pistons-Monroe talks turn into something of a blank-stare-a-thon between them, there’s this to consider: What if Monroe’s agent, David Falk, doesn’t want his client signing an offer sheet from another team?
That is, what if Falk has determined the best course of action is to take away the one hammer the Pistons have — first-refusal rights on their own restricted free agent — by not taking the step which allows them to exercise those rights?
If there is a free agent that I wish the Pistons had room for, it would be DeAndre Liggins, who played on Detroit’s Summer League team in Orlando. Piston Powered’s Brady Fredrickson takes a closer look at Liggins.
When it came to the Pistons in Orlando, Liggins was one of the more surprising stories. He lived up to his reputation as a sticky defender, forcing turnovers and being a gnat all week long. The Pistons have a laundry list of needs and a perimeter defender like Liggins is near the top, but it was what he did on Wednesday and Friday that caught him some attention.
Like Liggins, there are a lot of stories of guys trying to make there way back into the NBA during the summer Pro Summer Leagues. One of those stories is from former Piston DaJuan Summers, who played in the hostile Ukraine last season. Vince Ellis has a great write up on the story.
Summers said he never really feared for his safety during the political turmoil that engulfed the country with threats from neighboring Russia. Although it was tough to stay focused on basketball with frightening images daily, he managed.
“It made you focus a lot more on basketball,” said Summers, who was in Orlando with the Brooklyn Nets’ summer league team. “Over here in the States it’s comfortable for a lot of guys just to get up and get to the gym because it’s very comfortable for you.
“But being in that situation it was humbling and eye-opening to my career, my craft.”
Summers started 4 games for Brooklyn in the Orlando Summer League and averaged 10 points per game.
And finally, Andre Drummond will take his game from Chicago’s Chi League Pro-Am to the big show. He’ll join players across the league trying to make the USA team as they prepare for the 2016 summer Olympics. The Free Press’ Perry Farrell breaks it down for us.
Drummond, who won’t be 21 until Sept. 10, joins a group of some of the best big men in the NBA in hopes of representing the U.S. in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Other big men on the roster are Anthony Davis of New Orleans, Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets, Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks, LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers and DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings.
The team reports to Las Vegas on July 27 under Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and is scheduled to play a showcase game Aug. 1 at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Have you guys seen the team USA uniforms? I don’t know what’s uglier — the unibrow or the uniform.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) July 10, 2014
Tags: Detroit Pistons