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Pistons news roundup: Shawne Williams and Joel Anthony's contract situations

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Two more Pistons free agents are under the microscope in this roundup, and we ask the question: What if the new Thunder head coach had been on the Pistons' sidelines?

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Shawne Williams could get another shot at making Pistons' roster

Despite a very disappointing Motown stop over, Keith Langlois over at Pistons.com explains Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons could look to retain the 29-year-old forward due to the journeyman's past ability to stretch the floor. Williams, who has a career average of 33.9% from three, shot 39.5% from deep for the Miami Heat this season, but converted only 15.4% of his long range attempts whilst in Detroit.

Williams has a team option for next season worth $1.35 million, and depending on how the draft and free agency pans out, Shawne could get another chance to stick with the Pistons. Considered a coin toss prospect by Langlois, Williams figures to be below Butler, Tolliver and possibly even Quincy Miller on the team's free agent depth chart. Anthony Tolliver is practically guaranteed to make the final roster, Caron Butler showed he still has some potential as a three point threat, hitting 37.9% of his threes over the course of the season, whilst Quincy Miller was deemed important enough by the organization to be tendered a guaranteed salary.

If retained for training camp, Shawne Williams' immediate competition for a roster spot would most likely be Cartier Martin or possibly the team's second round pick. Initially picked up after the deadline to fill in the hole left by Jonas Jerebko's departure, Williams came highly recommended by Mike D'Antoni, and Stan Van Gundy was intrigued by the 6-foot-10 Williams' ability to become a situational stretch-4 for the Pistons - a thought that might still have some weight within SVG's mind when it comes to shaping the team's 2016 roster.

Just like Cartier Martin and Caron Butler, Shawne Williams' contract situation should be clarified by the end of June.

All indications point towards Pistons retaining Joel Anthony

Probably one of the more clear-cut free agent decisions for the Pistons this summer, the re-signing of Joel Anthony seems to be in the cards as the Canadian center continues to draw praise from the Pistons' front office. Already known as the team's resident defensive anchor, his professionalism and veteran leadership has made the backup center position his to lose as the Pistons head into the offseason.

Both Anthony and Stan Van Gundy have expressed interest in keeping the 32 year old in the fold for the upcoming season, but the team will wait until it has filled more pressing issues -- namely the depth at both forward spots -- before securing his services. As Langlois explains in the same article, the biggest threat to the reunion is the draft, as there will be a bevvy of centers available when Detroit will pick, with Langlois naming Willie Cauley-Stein as a possible draft option.

The Pistons would like to bring back Joel Anthony for the latter role, Van Gundy said, but it will require the right timing for that to happen. The Pistons will have to fill the more pressing needs - small forward and power forward starters - first to preserve cap space. A team that has less pressing needs could snag Anthony - who, like Lucas, expressed his pleasure with the way his Pistons season went - from the market quickly.

Like many other offseason decisions, Anthony's return to Detroit may be dependent on Greg Monroe's free agency and whether or not the Louisiana native decides to return to Motown. That being said, it seems as though Joel Anthony's return is one of the few things Pistons fans can bank on to happen this season.

Tom Gores and the Pistons reached out to new Thunder coach Billy Donovan prior to SVG hire

Few things are usually certain past death and taxes, but the writing was on the wall for Scott Brooks as the Oklahoma City Thunder's season came to a disappointing close.  The Thunder lost no time naming his replacement, with Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan making the leap from the NCAA to the NBA to the tune of 5 years, $30 million. It was a move many expected, Donovan was good friends with Sam Presti, and was a successful college coach, leading the Gators to two consecutive NCAA Championships in 2006-2007 amongst many other accolades.

What wasn't expected though, was that the Florida head coach had been pitched the same position by the Pistons a year earlier, as Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski reports:

Billy Donovan listened to every pitch a year ago – the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Detroit Pistons – and forever found a reason to turn jobs down. From rosters to geography to ownership styles, Donovan passed with an understanding that Oklahoma City loomed in the distance.

During his time in Florida, Donovan not only proved he could coach, but that he knew how to develop young bigmen, with the likes of Joakim Noah, Udonis Haslem, Mareese Speights, David Lee and Al Horford all playing under his tutelage. It is no surprise Tom Gores and the Pistons were intrigued in his ability to get the best out of  the bigman trio of Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.

Would the Pistons be a better team had Billy Donovan taken the job? Could he have managed the Big 3 better?

Hindsight is 20/20, but for what its worth, Tom Gores made the right decision to hire Stan Van Gundy in a dual role as an executive and coach, as linking the floor to the front office offers SVG and Gores better flexibility and understanding as to what the team's real needs are.

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