Pistons' free agent haul makes them biggest spender in Central Division
$207,171,313. That is the amount of money the team has invested in Andre Drummond, Jon Leuer, Boban Marjanovic and Ish Smith throughout the lifetime of their respective contracts. Did they overpay them? No, not really, but that $207 million price tag makes the Pistons the biggest spenders in the Central Division, and second overall in the East behind the Washington Wizards ($239,223,166) as Hoops Rumors' Luke Adams breaks down.
The Milwaukee Bucks spent the second most in their Division, committing $119,530,000 in salaries over the next four years to Miles Plumlee, Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic. Meanwhile, the Championship-winning Cavaliers (who are still waiting on LeBron James and J.R. Smith to re-sign) have spent the least, with a whopping $9,573,362 to be paid out to Richard Jefferson, Chris Andersen and James Jones.
A lack of depth and consistency on the bench let Motown down, so they went into the offseason with a sole objective in mind: improve it. They've succeeded in doing so, but pundits have mixed opinions about the Motor City's acquisitions. In summer power rankings, Hoops Hype's Jorge Sierra ranked Detroit 9th in the East, while CBS Sports' Matt Moore and Bleacher Report's Dan Favale think the Pistons are 9th overall and 5th in the East. Even ESPN thinks Motown is gearing up for a good season, listing Detroit as tied 4th in with the Indiana Pacers but with a surprisingly low record (45-37).
Wherever they land, one thing is for sure, the Pistons are here to play ball. A taste of the playoffs and a first round exit to the Cavaliers (which many called the most competitive sweep in recent memory) has the team hungry for more. Bring on the 2017 season.
Tom Gores opens up on range of topics during Q&A
In a great interview with the Detroit Free Press' Vince Ellis, Pistons Owner Tom Gores talks basketball, the future of Detroit and it's basketball team and several other topics. Here are some of the best quotes from their Q&A session:
On Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's extension potentially going over the luxury tax line:
“Look, if we weren’t building a core, there’s really no point in paying the luxury tax. Because we are building a core, would I do it? Yeah, absolutely. This is a tremendous team. If you go down the line, player by player, and especially our young folks, these are real players. You look at KCP as a very diverse player. He keeps working at his game and you look at his improvement and just like anybody else, he will improve in other areas. Part of Stan’s coaching philosophy obviously is defense. So you say go into the luxury tax for nothing, then that would be silly because then we’re putting the franchise behind. But given that we have such a good core, if that’s what it took, and we feel we’ve made such progress this year, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it because we want to keep getting better.”
On his thoughts regarding the acquisition of Ish Smith and Jon Leuer:
“I think Stan evaluated where we could have done better (last season) and I think building the bench was key. I have not met Ish (Smith) yet. I will meet him, but I understand he has great energy. He’s very well-liked. He’s quick and all, but I think it’s important in that position to have good energy. It’ll only be helpful to Reggie coming in and backing him up. We’re bringing good energy in. I think Stan and Jeff worked all of that. Stan’s big thing is how do we compete with every lineup? The NBA is getting a little more complicated in a way with these small lineups and so on. Part of competing is dealing with all of this, the different lineups. If you look at (Stan’s) board, he’s got hundreds of scenarios, but the hundreds of scenarios as a coach converts to what Bower looks for. And that’s some of the magic that’s in there where they sit down and they really talk about all the scenarios and why did we lose certain games last year, and then they match that with the kind of players that they want.”
On Andre Drummond's progress:
“He’s just at the beginning. I don’t think he, at 18, or even Christine (Cameron), his mom, totally knew what it meant to just get into the league. I have a lot of pride in the way he deals with people. … At same time, I also want to give him enough credit. He came into the league at 18, not expected to do that much and in these four years, there’s a lot thrown at the man. The way he’s handled it is something to be proud of. And these last couple of years, he’s really worked hard on really knowing his game, developing his game. … Sometimes we take all this stuff for granted. I think he’s just going to continue to mature. It’s only the beginning for him.”
You can read the rest of the interview here. I highly recommend it.
Anthony Tolliver named Pistons' best teammate in NBPA's second annual Player Awards
The Pistons won an award! Well, Anthony Tolliver won an award. The journeyman forward won the 2016 Teammate of the Year Award for being the best teammate on the Pistons last season as voted by his peers, per SB Nation's Jesus Gomez. The award was one of many handed out during the the second annual NBA Players' Association Awards, and gives the players a voice while also giving an insight into how they perceive their NBA teammates.
Other awards and winners included your usual MVP (Stephen Curry), Best Off the Bench (Jamal Crawford), Best Defender (Kawhi Leonard) and Best Rookie (Karl-Anthony Towns), but also had a few fun ones such as: Coach You Would Most Like to Play For (Gregg Popovich), Best Dressed (Russell Westbrook), Best Social Media Follow (LeBron James) and Best Comeback Player (Paul George). Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan also took home awards (Global Impact and Most Influential Veteran, respectively). The full list can be seen here.
No other Pistons were represented in the awards, and, technically, they no longer are, considering Tolliver signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Sacramento Kings during the offseason. That being said, the stretch-4 could have another go at winning the Kings' Teammate of the Year award, with last season's winner, Quincy Acy moving to the Dallas Mavericks on a two-year pact worth the veteran's minimum. Who do you think could win the 2017 Pistons' Teammate of the Year award? Have your say below!