Tom Gores, Arn Tellem in the early stages of discussing a potential move to downtown Detroit
Big things have been happening on the court for the Pistons over the past two seasons, but it seems that the biggest move could be happening off the hardwood, as the team considers its arena options. For years the Pistons have been reproached for playing out in the suburbs rather than close to the city they represent, but all that may be coming to an end in the near future, as Tom Gores has been considering relocating the team to downtown Detroit.
As the Detroit News' Rod Beard relays, Gores and Arn Tellem have been scoping out the logistics for a move, and have gone as far as discuss it with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. That isn't to say that a deal is imminent, far from that, per Beard:
"Arn (Tellem) is doing some heavy lifting on really trying to understand what's the best thing for everybody. I'd say we're in the diligence process and we're keeping a close eye on it but we just made a philosophical decision that we want to do more in Detroit," Gores said Monday morning at a ceremony to announce a community partnership between the Pistons and S.A.Y. Detroit.
"Whether it's a stadium or not, let's just get our feet on the ground. There's going to be a lot more of this that we're going to do. From my side, I want to hit two sides of the equation: one is the kids and the youth and help the businessmen. If I can do those two things, I'm kind of covering both ends of the spectrum."
News of the potential of additional involvement in Detroit comes on the heels of Forbes publishing its most recent NBA franchise valuations, with Motown settling as 22nd overall behind a $850 million net worth, whilst raking in a cool $154 million in revenue (H/T Detroit Free Press). With revelations that Gores has spent over $40 million to upgrade the Palace of Auburn Hills, and has pledged to make more of a financial impact on Detroit and its' citizens, it certainly seems like the team could be serious about moving closer to the city, with Beard suggesting the Pistons could enter an agreement with the Red Wings to play in their new arena, which is due to open in 2017.
Stan Van Gundy adds Donatas Motiejunas to offseason wishlist?
After some trade chatter surrounding Ryan Anderson revealed that Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons would pursue the Pelicans stretch-4 in free agency, another name on Motown's wishlist has been revealed courtesy of ESPN's Zach Lowe. Fourth year forward Donatas Motiejunas is on the team's radar along with Anderson according to Lowe, this despite the 25-year old Lithuanian posting a career 31.9% 3-point conversion rate.
"They want a four in free agency this summer, the Pistons, really badly," Lowe said. "They're going to look at Stan's old friend Ryan Anderson. I've heard they're hot on Motiejunas from Houston who's always hurt. So, who knows how hot they actually are?"
Motiejunas, who has shown promise since arriving in the League, is having what can be considered his best season yet although he has only appeared in 14 games so far, averaging 13 minutes per. In that time, Donatas has averaged 5.6 points 2.1 rebounds and an assist, posting a .500/.412/.643 shooting slash in the process. As far as offseason targets go, the Lithuanian bigman is a downgrade from Ryan Anderson, but will more than likely be a cheaper option.
If Lowe is indeed correct about how badly the Pistons want to upgrade their power forward position, it could indicate that Anthony Tolliver and to a lesser extant Ersan Ilyasova may not stay in Detroit past this season. Of the two, Tolliver stands to be in the hot seat, with the veteran's contract ending this year; this, along with his inconsistent performance as Van Gundy's backup stretch-4 may have lead the way for the team to look at other opportunities.
Could Pistons look to acquire a veteran presence?
With SVG and Brandon Jennings calling out the team for their lack of effort in their blowout loss to the Pelicans on Jan. 21, many started asking themselves if the team had enough veterans and/or leaders to help steer the ship. Last season's roster featured a very vocal locker-room presence in Caron Butler, who became the team's captain and routinely imparted some wisdom to his younger teammates, but his offseason departure has left very few leaders on the team... So could the Pistons look to acquire one? Per Hoops Rumors' Chuck Myron:
The Pistons might have interest in someone like Al Horford to offset a lack of leadership, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press hears (Twitter link).
A free agent pitch would appear more likely than a trade, since the Hawks would no doubt be reluctant to break up a team that's just two games behind second place in the Eastern Conference with a deal that sends out a player they reportedly view as a building block for now and the future.
As Myron goes on to explain, Horford's relationship with Arn Tellem's previously affiliated Wasserman Media Group and the Pistons' interest in adding a stretch-4 could make both parties gravitate towards each other during the summer. As Ellis also notes, one thing Horford would bring to the table (apart from a larger contract) would be his veteran leadership, but it remains to be seen if the Hawks would be willing to let go of him via trade or otherwise.
With several rumors of the Pistons' interest in Motiejunas and Anderson surfacing over the past few weeks, this latest news surrounding Detroit's interest in Al Horford certainly seems like more of a roomer... It certainly is the season for them, and although Motown could use some veteran leadership, don't expect it to come from the Hawks' bigman.
Tweet of the Week
What the hell just happened in Cleveland???— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) January 22, 2016