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Pistons address Darko and Arroyo rumors

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Pistons vice president John Hammond was quoted in the Free Press squelching trade rumors:

There are two Pistons' names that come up most frequently in Internet trade rumors -- Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo . The Pistons have gotten calls on the former, none on the latter, and plan on moving neither.

"We're getting calls, but not on any particular player," said John Hammond, Pistons vice president of basketball. "The player we get the most calls on is Darko. But we are in a position where, I wouldn't say we were hesitant to make any deals, but we have a pretty good thing going on. To pull the trigger on a trade right now would be tough to do."

Especially since, Hammond said, the Pistons have made it clear they weren't moving any of their core players.

It doesn't sound like Hammond is ruling out any potential deals, but it's clear that Detroit would have to be overwhelmed to give up Darko -- which may not make sense to some outsiders but has been the company line for a couple of years.

As for Arroyo, it's true that his role will be reduced in the coming weeks with Lindsey Hunter due back on January 16, but I don't think the Pistons will be entirely ready to rely on Hunter as Chauncey Billups' main backup. Hunter is a better defender, but Arroyo has done a solid job directing the offense -- he's second in the league with 12.1 assists per 48 minutes, and he's fourth in the league with a 3.81 assists to turnover ratio.

Granted, Arroyo would probably love the chance to take on a larger role, but for the time being he hasn't made much noise about his role.

"Winning championships is the No. 1 priority for everyone," [Arroyo] said, when asked if he preferred playing a limited role for the Pistons over a larger role on a non-contender. "For me to be on a great team that has a chance to go to the Finals, it's a blessing."

Saunders indicated before the game that he may be altering Arroyo's role, bringing him in earlier in the game to play alongside starters Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince .

"I know I am better and I know I can do a lot more," Arroyo said. "But I am playing with great players, backing up a great point guard in Chauncey (Billups ) and that's the fun side of it."

All in all, I wouldn't be completely surprised to see Arroyo dealt, but it's definitely not something that I'm rooting for. Occasional defensive lapses (and mental lapses -- bumping an official?!) aside, he's been a productive player and certainly seems to be a good fit for the offense.

Saunders OK with his choices [Detroit News]