No longer rebuilding, Pistons hope to improve in offseason
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) The Detroit Pistons have finally moved beyond the rebuilding stage. After their first playoff appearance since 2009, Stan Van Gundy's Pistons can look ahead to the offseason knowing that if they simply keep their current starting lineup intact, the future could be fairly bright. That's not to say that Detroit will stand pat, but the team's key players are young enough that the Pistons can envision more success if this group stays together. ''We're now not at the time of wholesale change anymore. We wen
Cavaliers making most of long break between playoff rounds
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Kyrie Irving's freakish knee injury in the NBA Finals last year taught him a valuable lesson about what it takes to get through a postseason. ''A lot of luck,'' he said. One year after medical misfortune sabotaged their title hopes, the Cavaliers, unlike the Golden State Warriors, are relatively healthy as they wait to find out if they'll play Boston or Atlanta in the second round. Cleveland came out of its first-round sweep of Detroit in good shape, and the Cavs should be close to 100 percent when they
Analysis: Although Johnson was the Pistons' leading scorer, his efficiency left much to be desired. He shot 35.5 percent from the field and a dismal 26.7 percent from deep. With Tobias Harris ahead of the 20-year-old on the depth chart at small forward, Johnson is likely to continue developing his game while serving as the Pistons' sixth man in the coming season.
Analysis: Like Baynes, Marjanovic began his career with the Spurs before joining the Pistons, but the 7-foot-3 Serbian is still a relative NBA neophyte compared to Baynes, who was serviceable while stepping in at center last season when franchise cornerstone Andre Drummond needed a breather, averaging 6.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per game. While Marjanovic was more productive of the two on a per-minute basis in 2015-16, Baynes isn't on the trade block and should enter the coming campaign second on the Pistons' depth chart. Rather than challenging Baynes for playing time this season, Marjanovic's signing instead looks to be a hedge by the Pistons against Baynes opting out of his contract for 2017-18 and becoming a free agent next summer, which seems like a virtual certainty.