- Both Luke Kennard and Henry Ellenson are entering a crucial offseason as they hope to be a part of the Pistons‘ long-term future, Ansar Khan of Mlive.com writes. Coach/executive Stan Van Gundy previously said that the team hasn’t decided if the pair of former first-rounders will play in the summer league.
- It’s crucial that point guard Reggie Jackson stay healthy next season for the Pistons to get into the playoffs, according to Rod Beard of the Detroit News. Jackson battled a knee injury throughout the 2016/17 season after missing the first month, then suffered a severe ankle sprain this season that kept him out for nearly three months. “It’s about getting healthy once again in the offseason and getting back to training,” Jackson told Beard. “I just want to be healthy again.”
Pistons owner Tom Gores and coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy will meet this evening to begin discussions on the franchise’s future, including Van Gundy’s job status, Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press tweets.
This will be the first of what will likely be several meetings between Gores and Van Gundy, Ellis adds.
The Pistons have failed to qualify for the playoffs in three of the four seasons with Van Gundy running the show. Gores could opt to stick with the status quo regarding Van Gundy’s coaching and front office duties, bring in another executive to run the show while retaining Van Gundy as head coach, or let Van Gundy go and seek a new direction.
The mid-season acquisition of Blake Griffin from the Clippers could work in Van Gundy’s favor, as the Pistons didn’t have the services of point guard Reggie Jackson at the time. The Pistons are hoping that the trio of Griffin, Jackson and the NBA’s top rebounder, Andre Drummond, can lead them back to prominence. They only played four games together after Jackson returned from a high ankle sprain, as Griffin missed the last eight games with a bone bruise on his ankle.
Gores told reporters during the team’s final home game that he would meet with Van Gundy after the season to determine what changes, if any, would be made. Van Gundy has one season remaining on his five-year, $35MM contract.
The Pistons finished 39-43 this season, ninth-best in the Eastern Conference.
- The Pistons don’t have financial flexibility heading into the offseason but head coach Stan Van Gundy doesn’t view that as an impediment to improving the roster. Van Gundy tells Keith Langlois of the team’s official site that there are benefits to returning so many key rotation players and that they’ll always have options in terms of trades when the time comes.
Pistons head coach/president Stan Van Gundy and owner Tom Gores will meet next week to discuss Van Gundy’s future with the organization, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Van Gundy has one year left on his contract.
Van Gundy, 58, has been at the helm as head coach and president since 2014 when he replaced interim coach John Loyer. As the head coach, Van Gundy has led Detroit to a 152-176 record in four seasons. The Pistons have made the postseason just once in four years under Van Gundy, losing in the first round in 2016 after a 44-38 regular season.
Gores spoke to reporters earlier this month and said he would meet with Van Gundy before making a concrete decision on his future.
“We’re not winning. It’s just that simple,” Gores said. “Whatever mistakes we’ve made or why we haven’t won, we have to evaluate that. I see value in the front office and the coach being connected.”
Power forward Anthony Tolliver would like to stay put but his future with the Pistons is uncertain at best, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. Tolliver, 32, quickly emerged as a rotation player in his second stint with the franchise and posted career highs in field-goal percentage (46.4) and 3-point percentage (43.6), Khan notes. But Tolliver becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and the Pistons still have Jon Leuer, who missed most of the season with an ankle injury, and Henry Ellenson at that spot behind Blake Griffin. “I’ve been here longer than anywhere else in my career and would love to keep that going,” Tolliver told Khan and other beat writers. “But at the end of the day, got to see what’s up this summer.”
- Griffin told his Pistons teammates during their postseason meeting that he wants to be the leader of the team, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com relays. Griffin arrived in a late January trade with the Clippers and feels he needs to take more responsibility. “It’s a role that he should and does embrace,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s not he and Chris Paul. Clearly, he’s the most accomplished guy on our team to this point. Five-time All-Star. Guys look up to him, so people are going to be looking at him and I think he wants that.”
- Expect the majority of Pistons players to return to Detroit next season but some are more likely to leave than others. Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press writes that he believes the players most likely to suit up for the team in 2017/18 are Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard, while the odds of Andre Drummond returning to Motor City are closer to 85%.
- Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders relays what he has heard on head coaching situations around the NBA. Besides examining the five teams without a permanent coach in place, Kyler also takes a look at the Hawks, Hornets, Pistons, and Clippers.
More importantly for fans of most non-playoff teams, the end of the regular season means that the 2018 NBA draft picture is clearer than ever. The 2018 draft order is close to being set and – with a small handful of exceptions – most of this year’s traded draft picks with protections on them have now officially changed hands or officially stayed put.
However, there are still some major question marks surrounding the draft order, since several clubs finished the regular season with identical records, and draft tiebreakers don’t work like playoff tiebreakers do. In order to break these ties, the NBA will conduct random drawings this Friday, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN notes (via Twitter).
[RELATED: 2017/18 NBA Reverse Standings]
For lottery teams, such as the 24-58 Mavericks and Hawks, who finished tied for third in the lottery standings, the implications of those drawings are huge. Whichever team wins that tiebreaker will have ever-so-slightly better odds at the first overall pick (13.8% to 13.7%), and will be in position to claim the higher first-round pick if neither team lands in the top three.
For instance, if the Suns and Grizzlies remain at No. 1 and No. 2 in the lottery and another team leapfrogs the Mavs and Hawks, the winner of the tiebreaker between Dallas and Atlanta would claim the No. 4 overall pick — the loser would get No. 5. For the second round, the loser of the tiebreaker would receive the higher selection.
Here are the draft tiebreakers that will be conducted on Friday:
- Mavericks vs. Hawks for Nos. 3, 4.
- Kings vs. Bulls for Nos. 6, 7.
- Bucks vs. Heat for Nos. 16, 17.
- Spurs vs. Timberwolves for Nos. 18, 19.
- Pacers vs. Pelicans vs. Thunder vs. Jazz for Nos. 20-23.
Several of those tiebreakers will also affect this year’s traded picks. Most notably, the Bucks/Heat drawing has massive implications for Milwaukee and Phoenix — the Bucks’ first-round pick will head to the Suns if it lands at No. 16, but Milwaukee would keep it if it ends up at No. 17. In other words, each team has a 50/50 shot at the pick. If the Bucks keep it, they’d owe their 2019 first-round selection to Phoenix, albeit with somewhat similar protections.
Here’s a breakdown of the traded first-round picks for 2018. A check mark indicates the pick will definitely be sent to the indicated team:
- Nets pick to Cavaliers (✔️): Eighth in lottery standings
- Lakers pick to Sixers (97.1%) or Celtics (2.9%): 10th in lottery standings
- Note: Celtics will receive pick if it lands at No. 2 or No. 3 via the lottery.
- Pistons pick to Clippers (97.5%): 12th in lottery standings
- Note: Pistons will keep pick if it lands in top three via the lottery.
- Heat pick to Suns (✔️): No. 16 or 17 (tie)
- Bucks pick to Suns (50%): No. 16 or 17 (tie)
- Note: Bucks will keep pick if it lands at No. 17 via a random drawing.
- Timberwolves pick to Hawks (✔️): No. 18 or 19 (tie)
- Thunder pick to Timberwolves (✔️): No. 20, 21, 22, or 23 (four-way tie)
- Pelicans pick to Bulls (✔️): No. 20, 21, 22, or 23 (four-way tie)
- Cavaliers pick to Lakers (✔️): No. 25
- Raptors pick to Nets (✔️): No. 29
- Rockets pick to Hawks (✔️): No. 30
Here’s a breakdown of the traded second-round picks that will change hands in 2018:
- Bulls pick to Knicks (✔️): No. 36 or 37 (tie)
- Nets pick to Sixers (✔️): No. 38
- Knicks pick to Sixers (✔️): No. 39
- Lakers pick to Nets (✔️): No. 40
- Hornets pick to Magic (✔️): No. 41
- Clippers pick to Nuggets (✔️): No. 43
- Bucks pick to Nets (✔️): No. 45 or 46 (tie)
- Heat pick to Rockets (✔️): No. 45 or 46 (tie)
- Nuggets pick to Lakers (✔️): No. 47
- Trail Blazers pick to Mavericks (✔️): No. 54
- Cavaliers pick to Hornets (✔️): No. 55
- Celtics pick to Thunder (✔️): No. 57
- Warriors pick to Nuggets (✔️): No. 58
- Raptors pick to Suns (✔️): No. 59
- Rockets pick to Sixers (✔️): No. 60
- Pistons owner Tom Gores is scheduled to meet after the season with president and head coach Stan Van Gundy. While Gores is still said to be mulling Van Gundy’s future, the Pistons owner has treated Van Gundy as a partner during his time in Detroit, and figures to give the veteran coach an opportunity to make his case to stick with the team, says Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press. Ellis wonders if Gores and Van Gundy could agree to bring a new voice into the front office to help with salary cap management, since the Pistons have had a habit of overpaying role players in recent years.
- Although the Pistons fell short of the postseason this year, Blake Griffin believes the club has the talent to “make a run” in the East in 2018/19, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News.