Report: Pistons Have Discussed Contract Extensions with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock
The Detroit Pistons have reportedly been in talks with both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Bullock regarding contract extensions for both players. The Pistons Assistant General Manager, Jeff Bower, confirmed this on Friday when he spoke to the media.
From MLive’s Aaron McMann:
“The thing for both of them, we have had some discussions with their representatives,” Bower said. “They both know the value we have on them, as far as the organization and their growth potentially down the road. We’re all in agreement about that atmosphere and environment. We’re probably going to take those talks further through the month to see if there’s an opportunity to reach an extension now.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a shooting guard, and Reggie Bullock, a small forward who can also play shooting guard, are two valuable pieces to Detroit’s young core.
Caldwell-Pope has been the Pistons starting shooting guard since he was drafted by Detroit back in 2013 with the 8th pick in the draft. Last season he had a career year, averaging 14.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He received national attention last season, after having magnificent defensive performances against the likes of Stephen Curry and Dwyane Wade. He led the Pistons in minutes per game, averaging 36.7 minutes per game. While Caldwell-Pope is certainly a good player, there are still questions to his game. Although he improved as a ball handler significantly last season, he is not a good distributor, even for a shooting guard. He averaged only 1.8 assists per game last season. The other major knock on his game is his shooting inconsistency. He shot just 30.9% from the three-point line last season. That percentage needs to increase for him to be worth the money that he most surely believes he is worth. There are talks that Caldwell-Pope could make $20 million annually, a hefty price for a player with those flaws. What makes him so valuable is his defense, as he makes up for Detroit’s starting point guard, Reggie Jackson’s, flaws on that side of the ball. Caldwell-Pope also showed an improved three-point shot when it mattered most. He went 12-27 in the NBA Playoffs from the three-point line last season, good for 44.4% in that area. While he will likely never be able to get his three-point shot to nearly 45%, getting it closer to 38% and above is more ideal. He shot 34.5% from three in the 2014-2015 season. Caldwell-Pope is just 23 years old, and the Pistons, rightfully so believe his game still has much growing to do.
Reggie Bullock is an interesting decision in himself. Last season he struggled to see the floor, but when he did, he was a very solid and efficient player. He only averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 37 games, but he did so shooting well. He shot 46.7% from inside the arc, and 41.1% from the three-point line. In the NBA Playoffs he was fantastic, as he forced Stan Van Gundy to play him against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. He averaged six points, one rebound, and 1.5 asissts in 11 minutes per game. He appeared in two games before he suffered an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the playoffs. He also continued his hot shooting, as he knocked down 66.7% of his three-point shots. His PER 36 numbers in the playoffs were 19.4 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. Bullock was not part of Detroit’s regular season rotation, as Stan Van Gundy ran a 9-man rotation throughout the season, but it is expected that Detroit goes with a 10-man rotation with a much deeper team this year. The expected bench unit includes, Ish Smith, Stanley Johnson, Jon Leuer, Aron Baynes, and either Reggie Bullock or Darrun Hilliard at backup shooting guard, with Bullock having the obvious edge in that competition. Bullock is worth good money, with role players such as Moe Harkless, who signed an extension with Portland for $40 million this offseason. The Pistons were interested in signing Harkless this offseason, but nothing ever came to fruition. That is likely because they realize the potential Bullock has, and the fact that he can come at a cheaper price most likely.
The Pistons have until October 31st to agree to a contract extension with Caldwell-Pope and Bullock or they will enter the 2017 free agency period as restricted free agents.
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