Stan Van Gundy weary of overworking Ersan Ilyasova
After a handful of games, Ersan Ilyasova has proved to be a valuable offseason pickup for Detroit, as the former Milwaukee Buck has been providing range and hustle for Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons. Ilyasova spent his summer playing for the national Turkish team, and his new head coach is monitoring the forward's minutes in order to make sure he doesn't burn out early into the season or suffers an exhaustion-based injury, per MLive's David Mayo:
"I'm concerned with him," Van Gundy said of Ilyasova. "He plays at a real high pace and intensity level. He had a long summer. I am somewhat conscious of not over-playing him needlessly. Now, there may be games where we need him, like game one we did (against Atlanta), where we need him big minutes (34). But I am trying to -- 26 might actually be a little low -- but I'd like to keep him around that 28 to 30 range, and not have him up in the mid- to upper-30s, and keep him fresh."
Through seven games, the 28-year-old is averaging above 25 minutes per game in which he is putting up 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting over 39 percent from deep. His minute restriction shouldn't affect Detroit's rotation too much, with Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes and Anthony Tolliver all capable of playing extended minutes at power forward, however the current lack of production from the bench could end up pushing Stan Van Gundy to increase Ilyasova's minutes or lean more heavily on Morris, who has been a big revelation for the Pistons this season.
SVG isn't only worrying about the welfare of his starting stretch-4, but that of his whole team, with the head coach deciding to reduce the total amount of time spent training, with the Pistons' bench boss setting a 75-minute benchmark for the team's training sessions. After a series of injuries to Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks over the course of both seasons, its understandable that Motown is weary of preventable injuries, especially considering the team's playoff aspirations.
Could Stan Van Gundy, Pistons be violating CBA?
After a busy offseason spent rehauling the Pistons, Stan Van Gundy and Andre Drummond had talks regarding the bigman's extension, ending with Motown's pivot deciding to wait until the following summer to extend his contract, this despite reports Andre was more than willing to put pen to paper prior to the start of the season. Detroit lauded the center's maturity, whilst the Connecticut product talked about his growth as a player and leader being behind his decision to postpone contract talks -- not the substantial cap space the team would save from inking the 22-year-old at the end of the season. One anonymous NBA exec has told CBS Sports' Ken Berger that the move could be tantamount to collusion, something that is strictly forbidden in the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement.
As NBC Sports' Dan Feldman explains, the CBA states that players and teams should have no unauthorized agreements pertaining to contracts, extensions or even endorsements outside of the NBA's designated negotiation period. This same CBA rule landed the Los Angeles Clippers in hot water during the offseason when the team offered DeAndre Jordan an endorsement deal with Lexus that would pay the bigman over $200k a year, resulting in the League slapping the team with a $250k fine.
Whilst this unnamed NBA exec seems certain that the Pistons and Drummond have colluded, it could be a hard claim to back up, as the NBA proved when it looked into the dealings that saw Andrei Kirilenko opt out of a $10M contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves to sign a $3M deal with Mikhail Prokhorov and the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 -- a move that had multiple execs crying foul. However, David West's move from Indiana to San Antonio this offseason didn't garner as much negative attention, and Detroit wasn't the only team to reach a mutual agreement to negotiate extensions at the end of the year, with the Washington Wizards and Bradley Beal also waiting until the 2016 offseason to talk business. So far though, the Association hasn't made any moves suggesting it could look into the Pistons or Wizards for violating the CBA.
Tweet of the Week
Andre Drummond is the best big man in the NBA right now. He's playing outta his mind!!! And he's top 5 player in the league right now.— Brandon Jennings (@thinkiminthe90s) November 4, 2015