Tag Archives: Detroit Pistons

Free Agency Watch List

 

NBA Free Agents 2014: Updated Rankings of Top 5 Players at Every Position

Eric Gay- Associated Press

     As we await July 1st for the start of NBA free agency, the free agent class of this summer that is being presented to us is intriguing. Very few marquee players are available that can change a franchise immediately, but many players are capable of being the missing piece to a championship puzzle. Here are the top free agents to keep on your radar during the off-season.

 

 

Pau Gasol Injury: Updates on Lakers Forward's Groin and Return

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Pau Gasol

 

     The past two seasons for Pau Gasol has been rough as he has been on a team consisting of disloyalty and lack of trust between a player and a head coach that was Mike D’Antoni. While being put in difficult positions and rumored in various trade talks, he would average 17.4 ppg and 9.7 rpg in an injury riddled season. Gasol is not the go to player he once was in the early stages of his Lakers career and as a member of the Grizzlies, but he is more than capable of being a reliable option for a championship contending team.

 

 

Kelly L Cox- USA Today

 

 Isaiah Thomas

The former last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft has come into the league and surprised many by what he has been able to do for the Sacramento Kings. Averaging career highs with 20.3 points per game and 6.3 assists per game, his numbers have been comparable to the number one pick in his draft who happened to be Kyrie Irving. The 5’9″ point guard is becoming a household name that will receive a lucrative for his talents at his position that is valued.

 

 

Daniel Shirey- USA Today

 

Lance Stephenson

 

     Lance Stephenson has made himself a hot commodity for free agency this summer after having a breakout season as he became a focal point of the Indiana Pacers success. Yet, the antics on display during the postseason in the Eastern Conference Finals may have cost him millions of dollars while showing us the immaturity that once hindered his draft position. Stephenson is a unique player who can play and defend multiple positions along with having star potential, but the concern for him is if he can control his emotions on the basketball court.

 

 

Christian Petersen- Getty Images

Gordon Hayward
 
     It will be interesting to see where Gordon Hayward will land in free agency after Utah decided not to offer a contract extension. On the right team, Hayward can be a difference maker who can elevate his team to the next level with his talents and versatility at the wing position. As a member of the Jazz, he averaged career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. Seeking a lucrative contract, teams may shy away from him for his desire of big dollars wanted. If some team grants him his wish, Utah is set to match their offer.

 

NBA Free Agency

Gary A. Vasquez- Getty Images

Nick Young
     As the Los Angeles Lakers season was filled with injuries and disappointment , the one bright spot that kept fans excited was the on and off the court performance of Nick Young. In his return home, Young has arguably had his best season in his seven year career averaging 17.9 ppg. ‘Swaggy P’ will look to return to his hometown team under a long term contract that will keep him in purple and gold for years to come. The idea of bringing him back to the Lakers should be a top priority this offseason as he will become a target for teams looking for instant offense to uplift them.

Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today Sports


Eric Bledsoe
 

     In his first season as a starter, Eric Bledsoe found a home in the Phoenix Suns where early success was found during the 2013-14 season. It was a short stint season for Bledsoe as he sidelined with a knee injury. However, he would show promise as he averaged 17.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 5.5 apg and is now known for his defense. His return to Phoenix may be slim to none with the recent draft acquisition of TJ Warren in the NBA Draft with no qualifying offer being proposed to him, making him an unrestricted free agent. The success of the Suns without Bledsoe may also be a factor in whether to pay the dynamic point guard. For his talents, teams will be willing to offer him top dollar where the feeling from the Suns is not mutual.

Report: Los Angeles Lakers Interested in Kyle Lowry During 2014 Free Agency

Kathy Willens- Associated Press

Kyle Lowry

    Kyle Lowry’s breakout season with the Toronto Raptors has led him to being a marquee free agent acquisition during this off-season. With trade rumors swirling around him for majority of the season, he was able to perform at a high level averaging career highs 17.9 ppg and 7.4 apg and becoming Toronto’s leader on the floor with his play and emotionally. Lowry can take his talents elsewhere to elevate a teams chances of fulfilling his championship aspirations.

 

Longest-Tenured Houston Rocket, Chandler Parsons, Is Also Likely Most Important

Scott Halleran- Getty Images

Chandler Parsons

     After the recent story of the Houston Rockets deciding to decline the option to maintain Chandler Parsons, the market for the small forward has became more attractive for him. Helping Houston lure in Dwight Howard, he would be the glue guy to this team with his play on both ends of the floor while improving his offensive game as he goes forward with a career high 16.6 ppg and 5 rpg. In Parsons case, a team may overpay for Parsons due to a high demand of interest by other teams. Being a 6’10 small forward will also help as teams will look for a wing that can deal with the likes of a Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, and Kevin Durant.

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Chris Bosh Says Miami Heat 'Must Win' Game 4 of 2014 NBA Finals

USA Today Sports

Chris Bosh

     Coming off a sub par season to his standards, Chris Bosh has became under appreciated in South Beach. Having catered to Miami’s game plan revolved around LeBron James can be a detriment to the team’s success, more plays should have been called for Bosh during games as he would display his clutch ability in moments. Although, the situation that was brought upon him has also improved Bosh’s overall game by expanding his outside perimeter game that leads to bringing out the opponents best big man into unfamiliar territories. A center in today’s NBA who can play both offense and defense at an exceptional level is rare. Bosh can easily become a second option elsewhere for a team who is looking to get over the hump of being a championship team if Miami is not willing to make him one.

 

 

The Detroit Pistons Have a Major Greg Monroe Dilemma

Rick Osentoski- USA Today Sports

 

 

Greg Monroe

     Greg Monroe’s name has been mentioned with many teams as a potential addition to their roster for next season. While playing for the Detroit, he may be unknown to many outside the Motor City. Monroe continues to remain consistent with his play, but also can be a household name with the right team in a major market with the right supporting cast around him. At 24 years old, he has not reached his ceiling that makes him more attracting to teams moving in a new direction. Monroe’s addition could work out immediately along the likes  of the Bobcats signing Al Jefferson last offseason. Monroe is a blue collar player who comes to work with his lunch box ready to go.

 

New York Knicks Giving Carmelo Anthony Every Reason to Leave in 2014 Free Agency

Daniel Shirey- USA Today Sports

Carmelo Anthony

 

     Carmelo Anthony’s journey has been well documented starting with the force trade from Denver to  New York all the way until the present where he has chosen to opt out of his final contract to become a free agent. Having to carry a heavy load of the work last season, the same may await Anthony next season with majority of the same players under contract for next season. The chances of Carmelo returning to the Big Apple are slim to none with what is set in place looking forward to destinations such as the Chicago Bulls and the Houston Rockets becoming more appealing for a chance to win a NBA title and cement his legacy as a great during his era.

LeBron James' Mask Hides Miami Heat's Real Story vs. New York Knicks

Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports

LeBron James

 
     LeBron James created headlines by making the choice of opting out of his current contract that has now led to many teams preparing to make a pitch to the best player in the NBA. Does this give any implications of him leaving Miami? Not at all. The Miami Heat will do anything possible to retain James by any means. By opting out of his deal, King James is allowed to re-sign for a max contract that is well deserved while giving the Heat a chance to bolster its roster with talent that can take the pressure off of himself. Miami is has already made a step in the right direction in acquiring Shabazz Napier via trade during the NBA Draft, who LeBron is a huge fan of. Assuming Chris Bosh & Dwyane Wade come back to accept less money, it gives the team a chance to appease James with his needs.
 
     While we await the decision from LeBron James, teams have to remember not to focus on one player, running the risk of missing the opportunity to bring in exceptional players that are available. The free agency season is around the corner with plenty of players who are ready to step in right away and contribute to a new franchise. Other players that could become a factor on teams include Trevor Ariza, Marcin Gortat, Loul Deng, and Patty Mills as well as possible big trades with players like Rajon Rondo or Kevin Love. Let the July fireworks begin.

 

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Top 10 NBA Draft Busts of the Decade (2000-2010)

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     We have seen NBA Drafts where general managers and player personnel have the fate of the franchise futures in their hands with lottery picks. Every player selected in the top half of the draft is going to be a superstar. However, you are held to a higher standard than other players when your name is called upon on by the commissioner. You will see players who were once “can’t miss” prospects to “where are they now?” players. Here are your top 10 NBA Draft Busts we have recently seen.

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10. Marvin Williams- No. 2 pick in 2005 NBA Draft

Marvin Williams has never been able to live up to his lofty expectations as a NBA player. Coming into the 2005 NBA Draft, he averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a freshman standout for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Many scouts believed Williams offensive potential would increase. After 8 seasons in the league, his game has remained grounded.

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 9. Sebastian Telfair- No. 13 pick 2004 NBA Draft

Sebastian Telfair’s greatest highlight reel was the documentary of his high school senior season with “Through the Fire”. With endorsements from Jay-Z and many supporters, he never was the player he was expected to become in the association. Telfair was one of the best point guards to come out of the historic Lincoln High School in New York where he drew comparisons to his cousin Stephon Marbury. Telfair has averaged 7.6 points while handing out 3.8 assists finding himself on many teams in a short span.

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8. Eddie Griffin- No. 7 pick 2001 NBA Draft

The former Seton Hall standout had sky-high expectations to become a special player in the NBA. Eddie Griffin draft status had dropped where he was taken 7th overall by the New Jersey Nets and suddenly traded to the Houston Rockets for the draft rights of Brandon Armstrong, Jason Collins, and Richard Jefferson. Griffin’s career was cut short due to alcohol then later lost his life in a car crash. May his soul rest in peace.

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7. Eddy Curry- No. 4 pick 2004 NBA Draft

A lot of promise and potential was shown in Curry with his size at 7’0 295 pounds. His career did not pan out as well as many people believed it could have. With career averages of 13.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest, many would consider him a bust with how early he was taken. It all started to go downhill when major injuries from 2008-2010 kept him sidelined, only playing a total of 10 games.

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6. Stromile Swift- No. 2 pick 2000 NBA Draft

Stromile Swift had high hopes coming in to the then Vancouver Grizzlies organization in 2000. The 6’10 big from LSU was anything but outstanding, averaging 11.8 points and 6.3 rebounds which would turn out to be his best stats in his 9 season stint in the league. Swift was out of the NBA after playing a total of 19 games with the Phoenix Suns and New Jersey Nets.

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5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili- No.5 2002 NBA Draft

Can you name this guy (without looking above)? Better yet, can you pronounce his name? I don’t blame you. Nikoloz Tskitishvili had a brief stint in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors making his exit out by 2006. Tskitishvili, 7’0″ 225 pounds best career average came during his rookie season with 3.9 points per game. He would go back to Russia where he would continue to play professionally.

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4. Darko Milicic- No.2 2003 NBA Draft

Darko Milicic is considered to be one of the worst draft picks to be selected in NBA history, being drafted ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. In his first three seasons in Detroit, the big man from Montenegro averaged 5, 6, and 7 minutes on the floor where he was able to produce 1.4, 1.8, and 1.5 points a game. His best season was in Minnesota where he produced 8.8 points along with 5.2 rebounds per contest in 24 minutes. Milicic is currently out of the NBA where many Pistons fans are filled with overjoy.

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3. Kwame Brown- No. 1 2001 NBA Draft

Kwame Brown is arguably the worst pick of the decade and might go down as the worst pick of the century. Hand picked by Michael Jordan himself, only averaged double figures once in his career with 10.9 points per game. Brown was a detriment to his team as he could not finish around the hoop, could not rebound nor play defense. After recently being released by the Philadelphia 76ers, many became skeptical of how he remained in the league for 13 seasons. Congrats to Kwame Brown for collecting a paycheck from a NBA team over the past years.

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2. Hasheem Thabeet- No. 2 2009 NBA Draft

Many questioned the Memphis Grizzlies decision to draft Hasheem Thabeet. Coming out of Connecticut his senior season, he averaged 13.6 points and 11 rebounds a game, showing his upside to NBA teams. In his first two seasons in the league, Thabeet averaged 2.3 points and 2.7 rebounds that led him to being the highest draft pick to be sent down to the NBA’s Development League. Now in Oklahoma City, Thabeet is trying to find a spot in the Thunder’s rotation where his days could be numbered as a NBA player.

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1. Adam Morrison- No. 3 2006 NBA Draft

The player who was once considered the greatest college basketball player who has now became a never was. After he sobbed following a defeat by the UCLA Bruins in the NCAA Tournament, Adam Morrison was the third player selected in the 2006 NBA Draft by none other than Michael Jordan. The 6’8 forward was once considered the second coming of Larry Bird. Morrison has became the biggest disappointments by NBA standards, while officially being labeled a bust. The former National Co-Player of the Year was fortunate to be a part of the back to back championship team of the Los Angeles Lakers. However, nothing was the same for Morrison as he is now out of league.