Pistons Rumors

Magic, Pistons Interested In Markelle Fultz

The Magic and Pistons have expressed interest in trading for Sixers guard Markelle Fultz, who remains away from the team dealing with neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, according to Dave Early of SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers.

Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press also relayed Detroit’s interest in trading for Fultz, speculating that a future first-round pick and salary filler likely wouldn’t get a deal done. Jose Calderon, Glenn Robinson III and Zaza Pachulia all become trade-eligible for the Pistons on Saturday.

The Magic have long been targeting a point guard and could offer Terrence Ross in a potential package. Ross will become a free agent on July 1, which would allow the 76ers to re-sign him on a separate deal or create cap space for a star talent. Orlando has a talented young core of Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, with the team starting 11-year veteran D.J. Augustin in its first 27 games of the season.

The Suns have also monitored Fultz’ situation, although their interest has since cooled, according to the Liberty Ballers report. Phoenix prefers to find an established backcourt player in trade discussions to play alongside Devin Booker

Fultz would welcome a fresh start on a new team, The Athletic reported last month. He’s played in 33 games across two seasons since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Sixers in 2017, holding per-game averages of 7.7 points and 3.4 assists while shooting 41% from the field.

GRIII, Ellenson To Miss At Least Two Weeks

  • A pair of Pistons players, Glenn Robinson III and Henry Ellenson, have been diagnosed with ankle sprains and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Ellenson had only appeared in two games this season, so his absence won’t impact the team significantly, but Robinson has started 16 games so far, averaging 16.0 MPG.

Pelicans, Pistons, Kings Among Likely Buyers On Trade Market

The Pelicans, Pistons, and Kings have been among the most active teams calling around in search of potential upgrades to their respective rosters, league executives tell ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, those three clubs are expected to be among the NBA’s buyers leading up to this season’s trade deadline.

New Orleans and Detroit are both in win-now mode, and have shown a willingness in recent years to move first-round picks for immediate upgrades. Anthony Davis‘ uncertain future will motivate the Pelicans to be one of the most aggressive teams on this season’s trade market, and Pistons owner Tom Gores badly wants to see his team back in the postseason, as Windhorst explains.

As for the Kings, this is the second time this week that Windhorst has talked about them being potential buyers. Sacramento, which has traded away its 2019 first-round pick and has no incentive to tank, has exceeded expectations this year and is currently in the hunt for a playoff spot. Plus, the Kings are the only NBA team currently under the cap, and their $11MM in room could open up additional trade opportunities.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Cavaliers remain the NBA’s most noteworthy seller on the trade market, according to Windhorst. Even after moving Kyle Korver and George Hill, Cleveland may continue to be active — J.R. Smith is a prime trade candidate, and even Rodney Hood and Alec Burks could be on the block, Windhorst adds.

Although Hood and Burks are both in contract years, there would be some complications if the Cavs want to move either of them. Hood doesn’t become trade-eligible until January 15 and has the ability to veto any deal, while Burks can’t be aggregated with any other players until January 29.

Pistons' Interest In Dotson Confirmed

Following up on conflicting reports about the Pistons‘ apparent interest in Damyean Dotson, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News confirms (via Twitter) that Detroit has expressed interest in trading for the Knicks‘ swingman. It’s not clear how enthusiastic New York would be about moving Dotson, but both the Pistons and Nets have been linked to him within the last couple weeks.

While the Pistons could use a little more stability on the wing, Bondy’s report, which noted that Luke Kennard hadn’t yet found a fit in Dwane Casey‘s system, came just hours before Kennard went off for a career-high 28 points on Monday night. If the 2017 lottery pick can get it going, Detroit’s need for reinforcements figures to be less urgent.

Ish Smith Registering Interest On Trade Market

  • Pistons guard Ish Smith is said to be drawing interest on the trade market, according to Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Smith is expected to miss roughly three to six weeks with a right adductor muscle tear. Before getting injured, Smith was averaging 9.2 points and three assists per contest.

Knicks Notes: Ntilikina, Hezonja, Wall, Dotson

Before getting his third consecutive DNP-CD on Thursday night, Frank Ntilikina offered some terse answers when asked about his role, perhaps conveying a little frustration, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. Meanwhile, head coach David Fizdale made some ominous comments when asked about his lineup decisions involving Ntilikina and other Knicks.

“I got a front office that supports me in that,” Fizdale said. “We have to know who’s moving forward out of this group. And it won’t be every single player on this roster, unfortunately. That’s the nature of the business. We have to come out of this year knowing who those guys it’s going to be moving forward with us.”

After Thursday’s game, in which the Knicks surrendered 128 points, Fizdale acknowledged that maybe he should’ve given a strong defender like Ntilikina the opportunity to play, per Steve Popper of Newsday.

“I can always look at him,” Fizdale said. “It ain’t like he’s out, though. Again, it’s going to be a long season. Frank will be getting his opportunities again.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Fizdale said on Thursday that Mario Hezonja is still in New York’s starting lineup because of his effort on defense, as Popper notes. Berman of The New York Post passes along a tweet from former Knicks executive Clarence Gaines Jr. questioning Fizdale’s explanation, while sources also told Berman that Hezonja was happier during his Orlando days when he was in the starting five.
  • Following up on a pair of reports from earlier this week, Ian Begley of ESPN.com says (via Twitter) that the Knicks haven’t had any internal discussions about a possible trade for John Wall and haven’t heard from the Nets or Pistons about Damyean Dotson. Berman previously reported that people around the league believed the Knicks were gearing up to make a push for Wall and said that Detroit and Brooklyn had shown the most interest in Dotson.
  • Lance Thomas is getting close to returning to action, but – like Courtney Lee before him – may have a hard time carving out major minutes in a crowded rotation, Berman writes for The New York Post. Thomas and Lee look like potential trade candidates this season, so New York may make an effort to showcase both players.
  • Ten months after Kristaps Porzingis suffered his ACL tear, there’s still no set timetable for his return to the court, according to Berman.

Pistons’ Ish Smith Suffers Adductor Tear

10:49am: Smith is expected to miss about three to six weeks, head coach Dwane Casey said today, per Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).

10:37am: Pistons guard Ish Smith has suffered a right adductor muscle tear, the team announced today in a press release. Smith will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks, at which point he’ll be re-evaluated, according to the Pistons.

Smith sustained the injury during Wednesday’s game against the Bucks. While he initially stayed on the court after the injury occurred, he came out of the game a few possessions later and didn’t return. Now, he appears unlikely to re-enter the rotation until around Christmas, at the earliest.

Although Smith is technically just the Pistons’ backup point guard, his role has been more significant this season — he has frequently played alongside starter Reggie Jackson and has the fourth-highest minutes total on the club. In 22 games, the veteran guard is averaging 9.2 PPG and 3.0 APG with a .415/.329/.667 shooting line.

In Smith’s absence, veterans like Jose Calderon and Langston Galloway figure to see increased roles. The Pistons have also talked about using Bruce Brown at the point, so it will be interesting to see if he gets a shot with Smith on the shelf.

The Pistons currently have a full 15-man roster, but likely wouldn’t have have added reinforcements even if they had an open roster spot, given their solid depth at point guard and the relatively short-term nature of Smith’s recovery timetable.

Beard: Don't Expect Pistons To Trade Drummond Or Jackson

Don’t expect the Pistons to move either Andre Drummond or Reggie Jackson anytime soon, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes in a mailbag.

As Beard explains, Detroit views Drummond as a long-term core piece rather than a trade chip. And while Jackson may not be quite on that same level, he’s probably a more valuable asset to the Pistons than he would be to another team, according to Beard, who expects Detroit to “ride through Jackson’s contract.” Drummond and Jackson can both become free agents as early as 2020, though Drummond has a $28.75MM player option for 2020/21.

Pistons, Nets Show Interest In Damyean Dotson

After reporting last week that at least a couple teams have inquired on Knicks swingman Damyean Dotson, Marc Berman of The New York Post provides some additional details, identifying the Pistons and Nets as the two teams that have shown the most interest in Dotson.

While Dotson is drawing interest from rival teams, there are no indications for now that the Knicks intend to move him. At the time of Berman’s initial report, Dotson has fallen out of New York’s rotation and hadn’t played in over a week, which perhaps prompted teams like the Pistons and Nets to poke around to see if the 24-year-old might be available.

Since then though, Dotson has reclaimed a regular role and has taken full advantage of the opportunity. Over the Knicks’ last four games, the former second-round pick has averaged 17.8 PPG with a scorching-hot .625/.650/1.000 shooting line in 26.1 minutes per contest.

David Fizdale‘s rotation in New York this season has been somewhat inconsistent, with players moving in and out of the lineup over the course of the season. Given Fizdale’s frequent shake-ups, there’s no guarantee Dotson will continue to receive regular minutes the rest of the way, but for now he looks like a potential low-cost keeper for the club.

If the Knicks do make Dotson available before this season’s February 7 trade deadline, his on-court production and his team-friendly contract would make him an intriguing target for either a playoff contender like the Pistons or a rebuilding club like the Nets. Dotson is earning just $1.38MM in 2018/19, with a non-guaranteed $1.62MM salary for 2019/20. He’d be eligible for restricted free agency in 2020.

Another of the Knicks’ 2017 draftees, Frank Ntilikina, has reportedly received some trade interest from around the league too, having been linked to the Magic, Suns, Grizzlies, and possibly the Nets.

And-Ones: USA Basketball, Haddadi, Goodwin, Douglas, Griffin

USA Basketball has secured a spot in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 event, Sportando relays. The USA team captured a berth with a 78-70 win over Uruguay on Sunday. Venezuela and Argentina were the other teams from the Americas who also qualified for the FIBA tournament.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Center Hamed Haddadi and shooting guard Archie Goodwin will continue their careers in China, according to a pair of Sportando posts. Haddadi, 33, reached an agreement with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. He last appeared in the NBA during the 2012/13 season with the Grizzlies and Suns. Goodwin, 24, signed with the Qingdao Eagles. He most recently played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season, when he saw action in a combined 15 games for the Nets and Pelicans.
  • Former NBA guard Toney Douglas has reached an agreement with the Turkish club Darussafaka, according to another Sportando report. Douglas previously played for another team in Turkey, Sakarya. Douglas, 32, most recently played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season with the Grizzlies when came off the bench for 24 games.
  • The blockbuster deal that sent Blake Griffin from the Clippers to the Pistons last winter has worked out surprisingly well for both sides, as Matt John of Basketball Insiders notes. Griffin has stayed healthy and played like an MVP candidate for the Pistons through the first 20 games this season, while Tobias Harris is the leading scorer for one of the league’s most prolific offenses, John continues. The draft pick the Clippers acquired was used on point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has displayed unusual poise as a rookie, John adds.