SVG, Pistons happy to take a 'wait and see' approach with KCP's extension talks
Draft? Check. Free Agency? Check. Team bonding? Check. KCP's contract extension? ...
The Pistons are still considering their options regarding Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's extension, as Keith Langlois explains in his latest Mailbag. Coach & Executive Stan Van Gundy and Owner Tom Gores have been very positive when discussing Pope, with Gores saying he is ready to pay the luxury tax so the team can keep their defensive-minded swingman.
Whilst both teams seem eager to work out an arrangement, KCP and his agent have stressed since the beginning of negotiations that they are happy to take a gamble on the market to see how much the former Georgia Bulldog could fetch on the open market. The Pistons are ready to let him do that, but are very confident he'll be back in a Motor City jersey no matter what.
Would the Pistons be best served to hold off on a Caldwell-Pope extension until next summer? It should surprise no one if both sides decide that's the best course. Caldwell-Pope and his team surely saw the overheated market for wing players this summer. Unless the Pistons give them an offer they know they couldn't top next off-season, they might very well be encouraged to wait to see what another impressive season does for his market value in restricted free agency. It's worth remembering that restricted free agents rarely change teams unless the home team is at a competitive disadvantage. That won't be the case for the Pistons."
As we've covered previously, Pope's decision to hold out shouldn't be a sign of his reluctance to rejoin the team, but rather he would like to gauge his worth on the open market much like Greg Monroe did in 2014 and 2015, or Andre Drummond this past season. It is therefore entirely possible that Detroit doesn't reach an agreement with Kentavious prior to the Oct. 31 deadline, and will renegotiate his contract during the following offseason -- essentially the same thing the team did with Andre Drummond this past season. A mutual decision from both parties to review contract talks in a year is a sensible one, and one that seems very likely to happen.
Phil Jackson: "For a few minutes I thought about taking the Pistons up on an offer they made to trade Kobe for Grant Hill."
"... Make that a few seconds." In an interview with Today's Fast Break's Charley Rosen, Phil Jackson went over some of his memories regarding Kobe Bryant, and the time they spend together when he was still the LA Lakers' head coach. Amongst stories about the multiple championships the pair won, and how their relationship evolved into a collaboration, Jackson discusses how a disgruntled Kobe called Jerry West demanding a trade, after Phil had asked him to come off the bench to keep the current starters' chemistry intact.
"A couple of weeks later, we're still winning and Shaq is completely motivated. But Kobe was only averaging about 19 points per game. So Kobe called Jerry West and wanted to know how Jerry and Elgin Baylor both averaged 30 points. Kobe also said that he wanted to be traded. Of course, Jerry told me about the conversation. And, for a few minutes I thought about taking the Pistons up on an offer they made to trade Kobe for Grant Hill. Make that a few seconds.
"Anyway, he was not going to be traded. So we'd talk about being patient, and letting the game come to him. But Kobe would sometimes still go off on his own, disregarding the offense and trying to single-handedly take over the game. When I called him on this, he'd say that for us to keep on winning, there was a lot for him to do.
Whilst this trade never came as close to coming to fruition as the 2007 trade that Bryant nixed involving Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and several picks, both the Pistons' and Lakers' history would have changed dramatically had Bean joined Motown prior to the Goin' to Work Era. A straight swap would have seen Kobe lineup beside the likes of Lindsey Hunter, Jerry Stackhouse, Bison Dele, Jerome Williams and Joe Dumars to name a few. That Pistons squad finished 29-21 in a shortened season and would be eliminated in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks. The Lakers, meanwhile, finished 31-19 and lost in the Western Conference Finals.
Sometimes you just have to wonder what could have been.
Andre Drummond on par to make mark on team's record books
In another piece by Keith Langlois, the Pistons' web editor writes that Detroit's star pivot could see his name climb into the team's leaders in several categories should he continue averaging his current stat line until the end of his contract in 2021. So what exactly could Dre be in the running for?
Using his current output as the baseline, Langlois estimates that the big penguin could become the franchise leader in rebounds (currently held by Bill Laimbeer with 9,430) both offensive and defensive, whilst also claiming the second overall spot in blocks (currently held by Big Ben with 1,486). He could also slot in fifth in steals behind Isiah Thomas, Ben Wallace, Joe Dumars and Lindsey Hunter.
Langlois explains that Andre has already made a mark on the team's history books, having been named the League's most proficient rebounder last season and currently owning the franchise's second, third and fourth positions for most offensive rebounds in a season.
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