Chris McCosky's "Burning Questions" in today's Detroit News is worth a read, even if only for the first two questions:
Q. Ben Wallace will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, right?
Q: Why aren't the Pistons negotiating with his agent to try to work out a deal before he goes on the market?
A: That would be in violation of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. Any window the Pistons had to renegotiate Wallace's contract, or for Wallace to opt out of this deal, closed a couple summers ago. The Pistons cannot begin negotiations until after July 1.
I get the feeling that most fans don't realize this, so kudos to McCosky for pointing it out.
He also addresses the NBDL againHe wrote more in-depth on the NBA farm league last month. :
Q: Do you believe the Pistons will use their development-league team in Fayetteville, N.C.?
A: Not any time soon. Scott Perry, director of player personnel, plans to visit the operation in Fayetteville next month. He wants to get a feel not only for the style and caliber of coaching and play but also for the living conditions.
The Pistons will be cautious about sending 18-year-old Amir Johnson into a new environment. They would rather keep him close to home, where they have a support system for him.
They might be more inclined to send Alex Acker there. He is 22 and played three years in college. He would be better equipped to handle the lifestyle.
Right now, though, with Hunter hurt, they need Acker as their third point guard.
Ideally, and this is what the NBA wants, too, the Pistons' minor league affiliate would be closer to home -- such as Toledo, Grand Rapids or Flint. That way, it would be easier for the organization to monitor the activities and progress of players.
Such a thing could happen in the next couple years.
While I'd love to see the Pistons get a farm team nearby, I still question the financial viability of the NBDL as a league. Do people really want to see minor league basketball? Seems to me that if you don't live in an NBA town, you could easily get your live basketball fix from the nearest college, where at least you could form real allegiances toward teams. Unless the NBDL is almost completely subsidized by the NBA, I just don't see it actually expanding to a true minor league system where each NBA team had its own unique affiliate. Granted, I say this with zero-knowledge whatsoever regarding their attendance figures, so maybe I'm completely off-base. But to me the NBDL still seems like one of those things that will stick around for five years or so before fizzling out.
Burning Questions: Pistons, Ben put on hold [Detroit News]