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Zach Randolph to Pistons rumor shot down by agent November 11, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Zach Randolph

Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph / AP Photo via MLive.com

Sports Illustrated speculated in this week’s issue that Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph, an All-Star with an $84 million contract that expires at the end of this season, could be shipped off to Detroit.

Randolph’s agent, however, squashed those rumblings the next day, according to The Memphis Edge.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press thinks a deal could work. The Grizzlies are trying to clear big contracts after extending Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, and Randolph would be a sorely needed scorer and rebounder in the post for the Pistons (after averaging 20 and 10 the last two seasons). It’s a low-risk deal for the Pistons, too, as they could either extend Randolph’s contract or let him walk at the end of the season.

But the Life On Dumars blog thinks there’s “no conceivable way” a deal gets done, in part because the Grizzlies would be left with a thin frontcourt.

At the very least, Ellis notes, it’s more plausible than the Tayshaun Prince for Jamal Crawford rumors from earlier this week.

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Tayshaun Prince to Hawks trade rumors are bogus, source says November 9, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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The speculation of Tayshaun Prince being dealt to the Atlanta Hawks are reportedly false, according to a source who talked to Chris Iott of MLive.com.

Sekou Smith blogged Monday on NBA.com about the possibility of a Tayshaun Prince and Will Bynum to Atlanta for Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague deal.

But the source who spoke with Iott claims there have been no talks between the two teams.

Although many Pistons fans — including this blogger — have called for trading Prince, sending him packing in return for two more guards on a guard-heavy team makes little sense for Detroit. Management may as well wait some more for a smart deal to present itself.

Celtics’ Garnett calls Pistons’ Villanueva a ‘nobody’ November 7, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Kevin Garnett

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett. / AP photo via MLive.com.

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett took another shot at Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva on Friday, calling him a “nobody” when asked if he had moved on from the several day controversy between the two.

Villanueva declined to comment Saturday.

The verbal fighting began in Tuesday night’s game between the two teams. Later on Twitter, Villanueva accused Garnett of calling him a “cancer patient.”

Garnett claims he called Villanueva “cancerous to your team and our league.” Celtics coach Doc Rivers backed up his player, saying he only heard Garnett call Villanueva a “cancer.”

Villanueva has a condition known as alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss over the entire body.

Pistons’ player-coach tensions boil over November 7, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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The Detroit Pistons are on the verge of imploding.

After a Tuesday loss to Boston, coach John Kuester called for more leadership from the team. Forward Tayshaun Prince pointed the finger right back at his coach.

The Detroit News reported that Kuester held a team meeting after the loss to the Celtics and his uncharacteristic public criticism of players. Kuester said he was pleased with the team’s effort in the next game, a loss to Atlanta the following night that put the Pistons at 0-5.

It was the team’s worst start since the 1980-’81 season.

However, during that game against the Hawks, guard Rodney Stuckey — one of the team’s supposed leaders — ignored his coach when he called to him from the sideline in the third quarter. Kuester benched Stuckey for the rest of the game.

According to the Detroit Free Press, all Stuckey would say about the incident was that, “It is what it is.” Kuester cut interviews short after the game.

Kuester may be on the verge of losing the players, wrote Jamie Samuelsen, the sports director for the morning show on WCSX-FM (94.7) and a blogger for the Detroit Free Press.

Samuelsen thinks the players are in the wrong and need to grow up and show support for their coach.

But if recent Pistons history is any indication, Kuester could soon go the way of Rick Carlisle, Larry Brown, Flip Saunders and Michael Curry — all canned or pushed out, in some cases perhaps prematurely.

Pistons players getting psyched for opener October 27, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Pistons players are stoked for the regular season opener tonight against the New Jersey Nets. Check out a few recent Twitter posts by forward Charlie Villanueva and guard Ben Gordon:

About an hour ago from Villanueva:

CV31: Okay, Fantasy is fun and all, actually helps me with scouting techniques. But enough of that, it’s time… GAMETIME. Tonight vs. NJ Nets. G1

And just a few minutes later:

CV31: It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday, last week, last month or last year – today we overcome our challenges. Let’s go to work Detroit.

Wow. Sounds like he’s focused.

Finally, Ben Gordon is getting into the routine:

BenGordon8: Pregame meal…chicken and pasta w/ asparagus…mmhhmm

Take a look at the Twitter feeds from several Pistons players on Championship Drive’s right sidebar, and be sure to check back often for updates throughout the season.

Dumars going dealing? October 25, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Pistons President Joe Dumars / Photo via Clarence Tabb, Jr., The Detroit News

It’s no secret the Pistons have long been trying to make trades to improve the team. Even guard Richard Hamilton and forward Tayshaun Prince, holdovers from the championship glory days earlier this decade, have been on the table.

Pistons President Joe Dumars recently told The Detroit News he’s “comfortable” with the current roster, but not “content.”

Pure logic would have the Pistons trade one of the myriad of wing players they have on the roster, (i.e. Hamilton or Prince to free up playing time for star guard Ben Gordon and newcomer Tracy McGrady), to fill holes in the post, especially with the injury to forward Jonas Jerebko.

But as Dumars told The Detroit News, he won’t pull the trigger on a deal unless it clearly benefits the team. So unless such a trade falls in his lap, the Pistons may stand pat for the foreseeable future.

Ease up on the Magic to Pistons talk October 20, 2010

Posted by Jeff Engel in Home, Off the court.
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Earlier this week, Lakers legend Magic Johnson sold his share of the team, rumored to be more than $27 million, although no official figure was announced.

If you’re a basketball fan from the state of Michigan, your mind probably jumped straight to a vision of the former Michigan State great buying a stake in the Pistons and continuing his basketball glory for the Mitten State. As mentioned on PistonPowered.com, that’s exactly where Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk went.

Not so fast, says the Detroit Free Press.

According to J.A. Adande of ESPN, Johnson’s agent said Monday that Johnson will not jump to the Pistons. Adande suggests buying into the L.A. Dodgers instead.

While I get most of Adande’s points in his argument, it would pain me — as a Michigan sports fan who is crazy for basketball and indifferent toward baseball — to see Johnson have a foot in the baseball world with no stake in basketball. But hey, Johnson seems to be business savvy, so I’m sure he’ll make the best financial decision. And I’d bet even if he held a stake in a baseball team that he would remain visible in the NBA.

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