By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Rumored to be interested in Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks as well as Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets and Andre Iguodala of the Denver Nuggets — the Pistons are pursuing more athleticism just as Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars said they would.
Dumars has consistently said that Detroit particularly needs more speed on the perimeter.
“We’re going to continue to try to address the wing positions, the one, two and three,” Dumars said Friday. “We will not be off-limits on any of those positions. In free agency and trade, if we can upgrade in those positions, we will. We definitely will.”
USA Today reported that the Pistons met with forward Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks Monday and are meeting with Andre Iguodala of the Denver Nuggets Tuesday.
Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks was the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers from 2005 to 2008, where Iguodala played from 2004 to 2012, so that relationship may give the Pistons a better shot at landing Iguodala. He averaged 13.0 points and 5.4 assists in 80 games for Denver in 2012-2013.
Smith, a nine-year veteran who averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists for the Hawks last year, would add a veteran presence to the Pistons’ young frontcourt, which currently includes Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe and is one of the few strengths of the team that struggled to a 29-53 record last year.
Ken Berger of CBS tweeted Sunday that the Pistons are considering a sign-and-trade that would send Detroit guard Jose Calderon to the Houston Rockets and bring Lin to Detroit.
Another possible landing spot for Jeremy Lin is Detroit, source says. Rockets would acquire Jose Calderon in sign-and-trade in such a deal.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 1, 2013
Unlike many other teams, Detroit has salary cap space – between $21 million and $25 million, Dumars said a few weeks ago - that will allow them to add important pieces this off-season.
“We’re in a good position now to definitely make a significant jump right now,” Dumars said at the time, after the introduction of new head coach Maurice Cheeks. “It’s tough to get to his point, where you can get to this kind of cap space and flexibility … It’s tough to ride through that to get to this point. But now that we’re here, I think it allows us to be in a position to make a pretty significant jump.”