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Pistons Links: A NBA draft mistake article (surprise, surprise); some potential 18th pick projects; plus Arnie Kander likely retiring

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Stay the course. Now the links to follow!

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft mistakes: Every team's ugliest, most painful regret -- SportingNews

You feel like you need a nice, swift kick to the head today (after you first revel in other franchises' miseries)?

Well, here you go. SportingNews would like to help.

As East playoffs unfold, Pistons should feel even more that they're on the right course -- Pistons.com

Along the way, I would suspect they're at least observing the unfolding Eastern Conference playoffs with more than passing interest. It would be folly to think that because the Pistons played more competitive games with Cleveland than Atlanta -€” and Toronto, for that matter, until the Raptors got home and Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, for the first time this postseason, remembered who they are -€” that that they've elevated themselves to chief challenger status for 2016-17.

But it's not nothing, either. It's a data point, and a pretty good one. I'd bet Van Gundy and Bower felt coming out of that Cleveland series that there was a chance -€” if they did their homework and executed their off-season game plan with discipline blessed by a little fortune -€” they could be the best non-Cleveland team in the East next season. And I'd bet the results of the rest of the Eastern Conference playoffs have only fortified that confidence.

Arnie Kander has been fired from the Minnesota Timberwolves

Thanks to silver85 for the FanPost alerting us of the news. Early last week it was noted in a links post that the first priority of new head coach and President of Basketball Operations, Tom Thibodeau, was to keep Kander. Seems it just couldn't be done. Kander will ultimately retire, and likely stay retired this time.

Here's more from the Timberwolves SBNation blog, Canis Hoopus:

This comes as no surprise: When a new boss comes in to a franchise, changes are to be expected. Many will be disappointed that Arnie Kander, who oversaw team health last season, is among those who won't be returning, but that was always a long shot. Kander postponed his retirement as a favor to long time friend Flip Saunders, but was ready to return to Colorado where his family resides. There was little chance of him staying, though he will be missed.

Projects Projects Projects

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press lists three projects/developmental flyers for the Pistons to consider for the 18th pick -- as Pistons GM Jeff Bower said it's a possibility "we could" go that direction.

Kansas C Cheick Diallo, 19: Dominated during 5-on-5 scrimmages at the combine and impressed with a 7-foot-41/2 wingspan, the second longest at the event.

Sudanese C Thon Maker, 19: A legit 7-footer, Maker came to prominence via YouTube videos where he displays outside shooting and ball-handling skills.

Washington PG Dejounte Murray, 19: Declined a combine invite with rumors of first-round promise swirling. He offers a 6-5 package that could be intriguing.

Eventually I'll go on a YouTube binge and select several player's best mixes (or worst mixes, since highlights can only show us one side) and wax poetically about each player in a post. I'll try to avoid only saying that a player could be intriguing. Maybe I shall compare certain players to vegetables to beef up the analysis some.

I now look to my calendar and it's already May 26th -- where has year 2016 gone?!? Heck, spend a few too many more hours idling away on the web and ZOOM, it'll be June.

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Time is of the essence.