In our series of season outlooks for the players on the 2017-18 Detroit Pistons roster, we’ll run through expectations for each. Next up is Stanley Johnson.Of all the Detroit Pistons who had seasons they won’t remember fondly, Stanley Johnson might be near the top of the list. After an inspiring rookie season, he hit the summer circuit last year with a re-worked jump shot and the promise of an Orlando Summer League in which he was consistently the best player on the floor in spite of coaching restrictions hindering the use of his right hand. He tore up summer league, the Drew League, Drake’s OVO league and just about every competition he found himself in, but when training camp began everything started off poorly. Johnson missed time due to foot pain from his shoes, and his stubborn tendencies clashed with Stan Van Gundy and the duo struggled to get on the same page most of the season. Johnson didn’t see 20-plus minutes of playing time for the fourth time until December 11th, by which time he had already had three DNP-CD’s and a one-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules. In spite of this, and the fact that somehow his shot ended up more broken than in his rookie season (he had an effective field goal percentage of 42.8 in his rookie season and it dropped to 41.5 percent last year), the Pistons were generally better when he was on the floor than off. Some of that is due to the fact that much of his playing time came against second units, but he had great chemistry with Ish Smith, Tobias Harris and Aron Baynes and his defense was generally excellent. This quartet (which earned the nickname of “Voltron”, coined by Rod Beard of the Detroit News) thrived all season, but particularly in February when they led all non-Golden State Warriors four-man combos in the NBA in net rating with a glittering +25.9. The only better four-man unit that month was Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Johnson’s performance will be vital to the Pistons this season. With the trade of Marcus Morris to the Boston Celtics for Avery Bradley, Stanley Johnson has been forced up the pecking order in the forward rotation. Instead of backing up Kentavious Caldwell-Pope last season out of position at shooting guard, where 45 percent of his minutes were played, he’ll be playing in his more natural small forward spot, with the possibility of some small-ball power forward minutes. In some starting lineup projections, Johnson would start for the Detroit Pistons at the three, cheap jerseys authentic although Stan Van Gundy may take a more patient approach installing him into the starting lineup. Without a doubt, he is much better positioned to make an impact playing his physical style of defense this season. In addition, an offensive approach that is more focused on cutting off ball and slashing to the rim than spotting up can only benefit him, and playing at the three will aid that.
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Australian centre Andrew Bogut is hoping to play in the NBA for three more seasons ahead of competing in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.The Australian centre expects to find a new home in coming weeks as he approaches full fitness after breaking his leg in March. Bogut, 32, has been cheap jerseys China in hometown Melbourne for the past three months receiving treatment on the injury and is awaiting news from his management around joining a fifth NBA team. “There’s still some interest there,” Bogut told RSN radio on Tuesday. “It’s been about a handful of teams – three or four last week and one more team came into the mix a couple days ago. “Something will get done. It’s just a matter of when. “I’m happy to do a shorter-term deal, which it will most likely be with my injury history, trying to play back into some form and squeeze a few years out.” The former Milwaukee, Golden State and Dallas big man broke his leg playing his first game for Cleveland during the 2016-17 season. Bogut’s optimism around his prospects next season extends to the Olympics, where he could play alongside the NBA’s Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Ben Simmons, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and Thon Maker. “(Yes) if the body’s holding up. That’s the big question,” he said when asked if he’d consider the Tokyo 2020 campaign. “I feel pretty fresh, believe it or not. Thankfully it wasn’t a joint injury. The one positive over breaking a leg, if there is such a thing, is it heals stronger than it was before you broke it. “I reckon once this heals, I should be good to go and hopefully I’ve got three or four years left in me.”
With the NBA playoffs behind us, the 2017 off–season is here and many teams must make massive decisions. CBA expert Danny Leroux breaks down the major challenges and opportunities for the Detroit Pistons in The Crossover’s NBA Summer Preview series.The Pistons are in an unenviable position to start the summer. While they have a talented roster, they are a rare non-playoff team with very little flexibility. Spending up to the salary cap line and then giving Andre Drummond a big raise last off-season was a reasonable use of resources since that cap space was going away as soon as Drummond re-signed but it functionally locked in their team for another few years. That decision by coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy did not bear out in the 2016-17 season, as Detroit fell short of the playoffs with a 37-45 record. Now their salary situation gets even more challenging as shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will receive his raise with the team’s other principals already under contract. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: The 24-year old restricted free agent will likely get a serious contract offer due to his ability to defend, hit open threes (35% this season) and play a scarce position. Van Gundy can either analyze the decision on Caldwell-Pope’s offer sheet in isolation or in the greater context of the Pistons’ substantial salary obligations. Additionally, the two sides could attempt to come to an agreement on a deal outside of the restricted free agency process, as the Magic did with Evan Fournier last season. #12 pick: One silver lining to Detroit’s disappointing season is that they have the chance to draft a talented prospect who could also provide some cost-controlled value on an expensive team. There has been reporting that Van Gundy could move this choice for a veteran and while there are certainly some who would provide a meaningful upgrade, those decisions often hurt teams down the road. Furthermore, while some feel the 12th pick may be just after a potential drop-off point in this draft class, it would only take one or two reaches to change that cheap jerseys China dynamic and open up a great opportunity. Luxury tax avoidance: If Caldwell-Pope ends up close to his maximum salary (about $25 million for 2017-18), the Pistons will be over the luxury tax line even before using their Mid-Level exception. Aron Baynes will likely factor into the resolution of that because he can decline his player option worth $6.5 million or he can pick it up and Detroit can trade him to a team more interested in a backup center on a one-year contract than the free agents on the market. If free agents Reggie Bullock and Beno Udrih are headed elsewhere, the Pistons will still need to clear about $4 million more to get under the tax, not including any new salary signed during the off-season. Fortunately, the front office has more time to get it done because teams only need to get below the line by the end of the regular season, making the trade deadline another opportunity to shed salary.