Mike Lantry, 1972
- The NBA draft is on this upcoming Thursday night. The green room invitations were announced, i.e. the players the NBA are reasonably certain will be picked in the lottery will be present to when their names are called. Here are the names:
PG Kyrie Irving (Duke); F Derrick Williams (Arizona); C Enes Kanter (Turkey); PG Brandon Knight(Kentucky); PG Kemba Walker (UConn); C Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania); F Jan Vesely (Czech Republic); SF Kawhi Leonard (San Diego St.); SF Chris Singleton (Florida St.); SG Klay Thompson(Washington St.); PF Tristan Thompson (Texas); GJimmer Fredette (BYU); PF Marcus Morris (Kansas); G Alec Burks (Colorado); PF Markieff Morris of Kansas.
- What this means for the Pistons: It looks like one of the Morris twins or Thompson will be our selection at #8, as they have had positive workouts with the Pistons and are green room invitees. Bismack Biyombo has long been my favorite for the pick, as he is an adept rebounder and shot blocker, two statistics the Pistons finished in *last* place last season. He would automatically be second on the depth chart, at backup C (Ben Wallace is on his last legs), whereas a PF would have to beat out Jonas Jerebko (soon to be extended, or at least tendered a qualifying offer; starter two seasons ago when healthy), Charlie Villanueva (making starter's money at 7.54 million), and Jason Maxiell (5 million a year). Alas, Biyombo is probably not Joe's pick, and I am frustrated to no end.
- Dwayne Casey was considered a frontrunner to fill the Pistons head coaching vacancy, but word is that now he's very close to taking the Toronto Raptors head coaching position.
- What this means for the Pistons: Lawrence Frank is now the favorite to coach the Pistons, and I would be on board with that decision. He set an American professional sports record by winning his first 13 games when taking over for the New Jersey Nets. He's a little man, literally (5'8"), with no competitive playing experience to his name, and would need fill his staff with some tough assistants. This is the perfect scenario for Bill Laimbeer to return to the Pistons, as Frank's lead assistant.
- Pat Riley has sent out a message to the rest of the league, in that he is not breaking up the Big Three. This team is two Mid-Level Exception players away from becoming a dynasty. Bleh....Golden State and Orlando have denied that the DraftExpress reported offer of Monta Ellis/Ekpe Udoh/Andris Biedrins (former Wolverine transfer) ever took place, but I doubt it. Can't blame GSW for trying, and short of offering David Lee, that's the best package they could come up with. At the deadline next season that deal would be far more enticing to the Magic, especially if picks were involved...
- What this means for the Pistons: Nothing. We aren't a free agent hot spot. We'll have to draft our big three.
- Last of all, and most importantly, the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement expires on the 30th of this month. In the end, all that matters to most fans is that no games are missed, but there has already been a casualty for avid followers in that the Las Vegas Summer League has been cancelled. This has historically been an opportunity to get a good first look at rookies, and some vets even play in the summer to support their new teammates (Kevin Durant, Ron Artest, and more).
- What this means for the Pistons: Well, with a new coach, we need every game we can get to prepare. We're likely losing Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady to free agency, two vets that were key rotation pieces last season, adding a #8 overall draft pick, and returning a healthy Jonas Jerebko. There's been a lot of turnover for the Pistons, and if the preseason loses any games (there are 8), I'll be unhappy.