Pistons hire Dave Hopla as a specialized shooting coach
Stan Van Gundy has crossed another item off his offseason 'to do' list, as MLive's David Mayo reports that the Pistons have added Dave Hopla to the coaching staff as a specialized shooting coach, the first such coach in the Pistons' basketball history. The sharpshooting coach has had previously successful stints in Toronto, Washington and New York, and has trained with the likes of Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant, according to Hoop Group. Hopla's duties are expected to be solely shooting-related, and he will not have any other responsibilities.
The newest addition to the Pistons' staff will start next week, when he joins assistant coach Malik Allen in California to work with Andre Drummond. Adding Hopla should also benefit new Piston draftee Stanley Johnson, who struggled with his shot at times in college, as well as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jodie Meeks and Brandon Jennings who all had trouble with their shot last season.
This move should help with the Pistons overall shooting, with the team finishing the 2015 season with a shooting slash of .432/.344/.703. Streaky shooters and poor shooting nights regularly affected the team, with notable marksmen unable to hit the mark consistently (Shawne Williams, Cartier Martin), and others just unable to find the hoop (Brandon Jennings, Jodie Meeks, Spencer Dinwiddie). Hopefully, Hopla fine tunes the Pistons' shooting mechanics and helps Detroit make its first postseason appearance since 2008.
Detroit start securing players for Orlando Summer League
With the draft over, many young, undrafted players flood the free agency market looking to earn a roster spot, and, as a result the Pistons have started filling out their Summer League roster. So far the Pistons have received commitments from UTEP forward Julian Washburn and Canisius point guard Billy Baron. Washburn was one of several prospects to work out for Motown prior to the draft, the 6'8" forward shot a career high 38.1% from three and averaged 10.3 points 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists over the course of his final year. Baron went undrafted in last year's draft, and spent the year in Europe playing for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. The 6'2" point guard played in 17 games, averaging 11.5 minutes per, in which he put up 6.1 points 1.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists, shooting .534/.475/.700.
Quincy Miller, Spencer Dinwiddie, Stanley Johnson and Darrun Hilliard are also expected to take part. Miller, 22, who the team acquired shortly after the February trade deadline, has been spending the offseason in the gym, putting on weight to play power forward, and is expected to have a strong SL showing. Dinwiddie rebounded well from an ACL tear suffered in college, and showed off the tantalizing skillset that had previously made him a mid-first round prospect. He should start alongside Piston draftee Darrun Hilliard in the backcourt, who will have the opportunity to showcase the talent and grittiness that led Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy picking him 38th overall. Johnson will start at SF, and give fans a preview of what the future will be like at the 3 for Motown, and hopefully shut down any lingering doubts regarding his fit in Detroit.
The Orlando Summer League starts on July 4. Start getting excited!
UPDATE: Steven Gray has also agreed to join the Pistons for Orlando Pro Summer League, per Dave Mayo.
Roster starts taking shape after draft
Anthony Tolliver's contract was fully guaranteed yesterday, and after adding Stanley Johnson and Darrun Hilliard through the draft, the Pistons' roster is starting to take shape with free agency looming. The current roster counts twelve players, one center (Andre Drummond), three power forwards (Ersan Ilyasova, Anthony Tolliver & Quincy Miller), two small forwards (Stanley Johnson & Cartier Martin), three shooting guards (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jodie Meeks & Darrun Hilliard), and three point guards (Reggie Jackson, Brandon Jennings & Spencer Dinwiddie).
Barring a trade or smaller roster move, there will be at least three roster spots to fill during free agency. One is presumably reserved for Joel Anthony, whom the Pistons had shown interest in re-signing, leaving two spots up for the taking. With Detroit in the market for a starting small forward, and with practically $19 million in cap space to play with. it certainly seems to suggest an entertaining offseason for Pistons fans. Lets take a look at what has emerged so far in Detroit's quest for a wing:
- Jason Brunskowski has all the latest information on Detroit's interest in Tobias Harris, DeMarre Carroll and Danny Green, here and here.
- Ben Quagliata explored the possibility of a Piston comeback for Caron Butler, who was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of the Ersan Ilyasova move.
- Sean Corp explained why Motown is unlikely to pursue Draymond Green in free agency.
- Mike Payne also took a look at a potential sleeper candidate in Will Barton.
Who do you think the Pistons should go after?
Tweet of the week
Pistons’ Brandon Jennings expects to meet goal of being at training camp on 9/1 after suffering a torn Achilles on 1/24, a source told Yahoo— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 25, 2015