The Bulls held the No. 2 overall pick by virtue of a trade with the Knicks, and were trying to figure out which player to select among a trio of college stars, Texas Center LaMarcus Aldridge, LSU forward Tyrus Thomas and Washington shooting guard Brandon Roy. Roy was the most accomplished collegiate player, but guard wasn’t considered a position of need since the Bulls already had Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon and Chris Duhon on the roster. That narrowed it down to Aldridge and Thomas, and at the time, scouts and executives around the league were intrigued by Thomas’ potential after a strong NCAA tournament showing. Aldridge was considered too thin and potentially too soft after playing out of position at Texas, and scouts feared he wouldn’t develop the face-up game needed to become a successful NBA power forward.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ben Gordon scored 22 points off the bench, and the Charlotte Bobcats cruised to a 110-84 preseason win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.Kemba Walker and Jeffery Taylor each scored 13 points for the Bobcats, and first-round draft pick Cody Zeller had 10.Philadelphia was led by Tony Wroten with 20 points. Vander Blue added 15.The Sixers shot just 2 of 15 and committed eight turnovers while falling behind 25-10 by the end of the first quarter.
Joe Dumars has shown he’ll strike quickly to get the players he wants, price be darned. Sometimes, that means getting Chauncey Billups. Other times, the result is Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Dumars appears to be going full speed ahead to get his man again. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: Detroit Pistons general manager Joe…
In a move that seemed more and more inevitable as another miserable Detroit Pistons season droned on, Lawrence Frank was fired as Pistons coach on Thursday . The former Nets head man had compiled a 29-53 record in his final season with Detroit, and a 54-94 mark overall. No immediate replacement was named, and by all accounts longtime Pistons GM will be given the go-ahead to seek out his seventh (!) head coach since taking the reins of the Detroit front office in full during the summer of 2001.
In Frank’s defense, Dumars did hand him a mish-mash of a roster for both 2011-12 and 2012-13. Dumars wrongly assumed that his batch of homegrown talent mixed with the arrivals of free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva would push the Pistons back into contention back in 2009, and the series of quick-fix veteran additions Dumars chased following that misstep hardly helped. By 2011, the Pistons were clearly rebuilding around talented scoring forward Greg Monroe, but because of the hangover of both an ownership change and salary cap frustrations, Frank never really had even a mediocre outfit to work with.
For the past several seasons, the Detroit Pistons have been a picture of NBA irrelevance. In the summer of 2009, general manager Joe Dumars used the team's considerable cap space to hand out above-market deals to Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon, too capable players very poorly suited to taking on major scoring loads or functioning as leaders in any meaningful way. At the same time, their coaches have shown a commitment to playing veterans to maximize short-term wins instead of aiming to build for the future. That means the Pistons have been just good enough to end up with middling lottery picks, ensuring that they'll miss out on the true difference makers in any draft.
[Also: Heat rally from 27 down to beat Cavs, extend win streak to 24 ]
It's a vicious cycle, although the franchise has occasionally looked capable of turning things around. Rookie big man Andre Drummond has been extremely impressive even in limited minutes , although he has been out of action since February 6 with a stress fracture in his back. Without him, the Pistons have seemed increasingly directionless, and it shows on the court. They've lost nine games in a row and 12 of their last 13, and only one of the losses had a single-digit margin.
The team is reeling. Things are so bad, in fact, that head coach Lawrence Frank finds them tough to watch. From Vincent Goodwill for The Detroit News (via SLAM ):
The Bobcats continue to look to trade Ben Gordon after he disrespected coach Mike Dunlap.
The Scoop: None.
Feb 14 8:56 ET
News (various sources)
Warriors bench continues to shrink (Comcast SportsNet Bay Area) (1 Day Ago | courtesy: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area) OAKLAND – After a profoundly unsatisfying three-game road trip, the Warriors' return to the warm embrace of home was offset by the cold reality of a relentlessly shrinking roster. Five Warriors were unable to participate in practice Tuesday, the latest additions to the spectator's crew being forward Draymond Green and center Jermaine O'Neal – the first two players off coach Mark Jackson's threadbare bench. Burdened with a road-heavy schedule over the first six weeks, the Warriors already were coping with a thin, unreliable crew of backups. With a full roster, Harrison Barnes likely would be the sixth man, with Toney Douglas, Marreese Speights, O'Neal and Green filling out the rest of the second unit. More...