The 2020 NBA Draft is just over a week away and it appears that the Pistons have emerged as suitors for polarizing point guard LaMelo Ball. In a story from ESPN, Pistons GM Troy Weaver explained that Jermaine Jackson Sr., Ball’s trainer, has a long-standing connection with the city of Detroit. According to the report, that fondness has rubbed off on Ball.
“I’m always happy to hear players embrace our organization, our city. That never goes unnoticed. I know people around him. His trainer is a Detroit native, so I’m sure he’s been here for a while working out,” Weaver said during Thursday’s pre-draft media availability. “I’m sure he’s well versed in the city from traveling around, being with his trainer and hearing different things, so no, that doesn’t go unnoticed and that’s always a positive when prospects speak highly of the city and the organization.”
The Pistons currently own the No. 7 selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, but Weaver revealed that a trade to move into position for Ball is a possibility.
Weaver says “everything’s on the table” to bring the Pistons back to relevance, including an attempt to shuffle around in the draft, currently set for Nov. 18. The No. 7 pick is Detroit’s highest since Greg Monroe’s seventh overall selection in 2010.
Another player to keep an eye on? Justin Holiday.
Some decision-makers continue to see Holiday as a player worth pursuing in free agency, per SNY sources.
Holiday, a 6-6 wing, played in New York in 2016-17. He’s also played for Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago.
The 31-year-old would give New York a steadying, veteran presence in the locker room; he’s shown that he can impact winning on both ends of the floor.
In 73 regular season outings with the Pacers last season, Holiday averaged 8.3 points per game and connected on 40.5 percent of his three-point attempts.
Speaking of the Pacers, it looks like veteran point guard T.J. McConnell is set to stay in Indiana for another season. According to Indy Star NBA contributor J. Michael, the Pacers will not use the buyout option in McConnell’s contract.
The Indiana Pacers will not buy out T.J. McConnell’s $3.5 million contract for $1 million, a league source with direct knowledge of the situation tells IndyStar, though they’ve yet to make their intentions official.
McConnell played with the Sixers in his first four seasons in the NBA. Last year, his first with the Pacers, the former Arizona Wildcats guard averaged 6.5 points and 5.0 assists per game.
The start of free agency and the 2020 NBA Draft will unfold later this month.