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Cheikh Samb will be a Piston in 2007-08

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Or perhaps more accurately, he'll be a Mad Ant.

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com has the scoop from John Hammond:

Maybe the biggest news coming from Las Vegas is that Hammond said the Pistons have decided to get Samb signed so he can split time between the Pistons and their new Development League affiliate in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Samb had one year left at his option on his contract with his Spanish professional team, but the Pistons saw enough in Samb’s development in the year since they’ve had him to believe the time was right for the leap to the United States. It helps that the Pistons’ new D-League affiliate is a three-hour drive away instead of in Sioux Falls, S.D.

"It makes life easier for everyone," Hammond said. "It’s easier for Cheick and his travel and easier for us in the front office that want to have an opportunity to go and check him out. We can drive three hours and see him. What a big difference it will be for us to be able to do that."

[Update: Krista Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press reports that Samb signed a two-year deal with the Pistons.]

Also of note:

It also now appears likely that the Pistons will carry Sammy Mejia on the 15-man roster, Hammond said.

Let me see if I have this straight ...

  1. Chauncey Billups
  2. Rip Hamilton
  3. Tayshaun Prince
  4. Rasheed Wallace
  5. Nazr Mohammed
  6. Antonio McDyess
  7. Jason Maxiell
  8. Amir Johnson
  9. Rodney Stuckey
  10. Lindsey Hunter
  11. Flip Murray
  12. Aaron Afflalo
  13. Ronald Dupree
  14. Cheikh Samb
  15. Sammy Mejia

Of course, none of this is set in stone -- Flip Murray could still be dealt (for yet another second-round pick?) and Lindsey Hunter might still retire (although reports indicate he's leaning against it). If Chris Webber was willing to return, I'm sure the team would make room somehow -- even if it meant releasing Murray outright. But either way, barring something completely unexpected, we're close to done.

Thanks to DBB reader Juggernaut for the heads up.