Spencer Dinwiddie to finish season with Grand Rapids Drive
With Brandon Jennings' return creating a logjam in what was an already crowded point guard rotation, sophomore Spencer Dinwiddie has been re-assigned to the Pistons' D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids, where he is expected to finish the season. While it was previously reported that he would only be participating in the D-League Showcase, the departure of incumbent floor general Lorenzo Brown left Stan Van Gundy and Drive coach Otis Smith with an opportunity to give the seldom used guard some extended playing time. Per MLive's Peter J. Wallner:
"I landed on red eye and was headed to the practice facility and (general manager) Jeff Bowers called me and said I was going down for the rest of the season, and I said OK," Dinwiddie said after Tuesday's practice.
"There's nothing really more to say about it. A lot of people ask me for extended thoughts and I honestly just said, 'OK.'
"When you have a job and your employer tells you to do something, you go do it. You don't have time to second-guess it because you like your job and want to keep it."
The Colorado product impressed in his rookie year, putting together some strong performances against some of the NBA's best point guards and flashing some of the potential that had previously made him a potential mid-first round selection. Despite his struggles shooting the ball, Spencer has shown to be a capable decision-maker and serviceable backup.
The move to Grand Rapids makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons for Dinwiddie and the Pistons. From a depth standpoint, the 22-year old is the team's fourth-string point guard behind Reggie Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake, in Grand Rapids, Brown's departure has left the team with one point guard on the roster - Ryan Boatright. On the other hand, this gives Spencer an opportunity to polish his game and show the team he has improved, with his performance likely to affect Detroit's decision regarding his team-option this summer.
Additionally, MLive's David Mayo has reported that the Pistons will more than likely carry its four current point guards past the trade deadline, but can Spencer Dinwiddie tilt the balance either way and force the team to reconsider their position?
Pistons expected to go after Ryan Anderson in free agency
Stan Van Gundy and stretch-4s go together like bread and
vegemite butter, so it is no surprise to hear that Motown will be pursuing Ryan Anderson during the summer. As Michael Scotto from Sheridan Hoops explores, Anderson is one of the NBA's hottest commodities at the moment, with the Sacramento Kings reportedly ready to deal swingman Rudy Gay for the bigman's services, while the Phoenix Suns offered Markieff Morris in exchange for the sharpshooter. So far though, the Pelicans have refused to pull the trigger on anything.
There is obviously quite a bit of history between Anderson and Van Gundy, with the former Orlando Magic coach giving Anderson the chance to succeed in his stretch-4 dependent offensive system. Ryan complemented previous frontcourt mate Dwight Howard's post game well, and has done more of the same with Anthony Davis and the Pelicans since then, but could he do the same in Detroit? There is no reason to think he can't.
Earlier in the season, Van Gundy compared current Piston stretch-4 Ersan Ilyasova to Ryan Anderson, categorizing both players as being in a league of their own along with Kevin Love. As he pointed out, all three forwards excel at shooting the long ball and rebounding, something that isn't always a given at their position. Ilyasova has meshed well with the other starters, and has helped give Detroit a threat on the perimeter, knocking down 37% of his triple tries so far this season. For comparison's sake, Anderson is shooting 38% from deep this year, and Kevin Love 36%.
With Detroit vocal about not actively working the phone lines looking for a trade, it is fair to speculate that they won't be in the mix for a potential Anderson trade, but do expect to see them actively chase after him in free agency, where the possibility of continuing his partnership with SVG and a potential pairing with Andre Drummond could be strong enough to lure the 27-year old away from any other competitors.
Mutual interest between Pelicans, Joe Dumars could lead to eventual front office position
In other, not-entirely-relevant-but-somewhat-relevant news, former Motown General Manager and Piston great Joe Dumars may finally get another crack at an NBA front office with rumors of a potential deal between Dumars and Pelicans owner Tom Benson once again surfacing in the media, this time courtesy of Ken Berger at CBS Sports. There has been a very drawn out game of "will they or won't they" between Dumars and Benson, with rumors of a potential pairing emerging after Joe stepped down in 2014 from all basketball related activities in Detroit.
A Louisana native with multiple ties to the sporting community, Dumars has long been rumored to be the Pelicans owner's favorite to replace an embattled Dell Demps and an NFL-loving Mickey Loomis, and with New Orleans struggling to be relevant (13-26), the rumor mill has fired up once again. Dumars of course helped bring three Championships to Detroit, his legacy slightly tarnished by the Pistons' very poor play during the last five years of his tenure and several questionable personnel moves. There is no doubting that he is a great basketball mind, and with his home-state team misfiring on all cylinders, a little bit of Motor City savvy might help right the ship.
Tweet of the Week
This one is for you, Ben. #DetroitBasketball pic.twitter.com/VQX4ZrJEFh— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) January 17, 2016