It’s July 1, which means the official kickoff to the NBA offseason is finally upon us. Though teams can’t officially announce their signings until July 10, we’ll keep you as up to date as possible with the latest rumors and rumblings involving the Pistons.
Basketball’s free agency negotiating period has only been open for a matter of hours, but the Detroit Pistons have wasted no time identifying and speaking with two major targets in Josh Smith and Andre Iguodala. Other possible targets, such as O.J. Mayo and Brandan Wright have also come to light as the market begins to set itself. Here’s a rundown of the latest rumors and information from a very frantic day one.
J-Smoove Within Sights? At the onset of free agency’s opening bell at 12:01 a.m., Pistons’ general manager Joe Dumars was already speaking with Smith in Los Angeles according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Smith is arguably the second biggest name available this summer behind Dwight Howard. The two parties reportedly met for five hours in talks that were described as “intriguing” by a source close to Smith. Originally, rumors had centered around Detroit preparing a lucrative 4-year offer to Smith, but that hasn’t happened and early talks seemed to have taken on an exploratory tone.Getting Iggy With It? Today, also in Los Angeles, Dumars is reportedly setting a visit with Iguodala, another top name that Detroit’s long been rumored to be chasing. Igodala, of course, fits given his role as a defensive small forward and also due to his previous playing experience under Mo Cheeks. The Denver Nuggets, though, may be planning a significant pitch to resign Iguodala and rumors have Detroit not wishing to enter a bidding war to secure his services.
Don’t Hold The Mayo? Another intriguing option on the wing is Mayo, who is also on Detroit’s radar. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported that news today as well, and said the Pistons join the ranks of the Timberwolves, Clippers, Bucks and Jazz as interested parties with whom Mayo will meet. It’s been rumored that new Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers personally spoke to Mayo about playing for him in Los Angeles, so that could certainly impact Detroit and others involved in this derby greatly.
The Wright Move? Perhaps a lower profile name than all the rest, Wright is said to interest Detroit as well. Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported that news earlier this morning, and said the Pistons will be among the bidders for Wright’s services along with other teams from the Eastern Confrence like the Hawks, Raptors, Magic and Knicks. Wright, a center, has seen his numbers improve nearly every year he’s played in the league, and could be in line for more money and a bigger role.
Being that he seems to be chasing nearly every marquee unrestricted free agent available, Dumars apparently wasn’t kidding when he said Friday that he wasn’t finished renovating the Pistons after the NBA Draft. With nearly $20 million dollars at their disposal, one would figure Detroit’s fingerprints would continue to cover the free agency landscape the rest of this week.
As of now, given the lengthy talks and reported heavy interest, Smith seems like the top target on Detroit’s board. Will they make the rumored “lucrative offer” official in the days ahead? Could they land two top tier free agents? Finally, what will become of those mysterious Jeremy Lin rumors?
We’ll continue to learn more as the hours tick by. For now, let the drama (and the fun) commence.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax