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Pistons News: Detroit showed interest in Evan Fournier; Team making most of D-League

Could the swingman find himself donning a Pistons jersey come opening night?

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons inquired about Fournier prior to trade deadline, could still harbor some interest

Can Stan Van Gundy and Jeff Bower snag another Orlando Magic player from under their nose? The Detroit News' Rod Beard certainly thinks so, revealing that the Pistons front office initially inquired about another Magic player before beginning negotiations over Tobias Harris. Beard believes the other player in question was 23-year-old shooting guard Evan Fournier, who has just wrapped up his fourth year in the Association and is heading into the summer as a restricted free agent.

Initially drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2012 with the 20th overall pick, Fournier played two years for the Nuggets before being traded to Orlando along with Devyn Marble for Aron Afflalo in 2014. The guard had a breakthrough season this year with the Magic, posting career highs in minutes (32.5), points (15.4), rebounds (2.8), assists (2.7) and steals (1.2) to go along with a shooting line of .462/.400/.836 -- all also career highs.

While it makes sense for the Pistons to be interested in a young shooting guard with potential, it seems counter-productive to kick the tires on a player who figures to be a starter, if not an emerging star in the next few seasons when Detroit currently has Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jodie Meeks filling out the depth chart. Despite rumblings that Orlando wasn't sold on Fournier earlier in the season, Magic GM Rob Hennigan has told the media their biggest priority during the offseason is to re-sign the 6-foot-7 shooting guard.

Although you could chalk it up to Bower and Van Gundy doing their due diligence, there is another possibility worth discussing, as Beard touches upon briefly: Fournier could be brought in to replace KCP. With news that the Pistons' incumbent shooting guard is non-committal on whether or not he will sign an extension with the team over the summer, Fournier could be Motown's backup plan should Pope decide to leave.

Pistons putting D-League affiliate to good use

When Motown secured its own D-League affiliate in Grand Rapids and staffed it with coaches who understood Stan Van Gundy's system it was a given that the Pistons would be using the D-League a lot more than it had in past seasons. As Hoops Rumors' Eddie Scarito breaks down, Detroit's D-League usage was one of the highest in recent memory, with the team sending down four different players over the course of the season. But how did they fare?

  • Spencer Dinwiddie saw the most time on the D-League hardwood, playing 13 games for the Drive, for whom he averaged 14.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, whilst shooting 42% from the field, 34% from deep and 87% from the charity stripe.
  • Rookie Darrun Hilliard started all three games he played as a member of the Drive, and averaged 25.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game, bolstered by an impressive .490/.440/.800 shooting slash.
  • Reggie Bullock and Brandon Jennings both played one game with the Drive, putting up 29 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 11 points, 3 rebounds, 11 assists respectively. Bullock especially left a lasting impression after hitting an eye popping 83% of his field goal attempts on the way to his 29 points.

Additionally, following a trend set last year by Van Gundy & Co., the Pistons called on two D-League players to fill out their roster on ten-day contracts -- Justin Harper and Lorenzo Brown -- with the latter earning himself a two-year contract with the team.

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