October 5th 2020 at 6:33pm CST by Alex Kirschenbaum
Pistons big man Thon Maker has been working to expand his game, including his long-range shooting stroke, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Detroit can extend Maker a $4.64MM qualifying offer to keep him on the team heading into his fifth season in 2020/21. Langlois anticipates that the Pistons will opt not to do so, however, making Maker an unrestricted free agent — and possibly available for less than his qualifying offer on the open market.
“I’ve always loved Detroit since the first day I got here,” Maker said of his tenure with the Pistons. “I just focus on the basketball and that’s between my agent and the team. My focus is to come here in this [mini-camp] bubble and just play.”
There’s more out of the Central Division:
- The Cavaliers have several prospects they would prefer to interview during the ongoing NBA combine, writes Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. Virtual interviews commenced last week and wrap up on October 16. Medical exams by the nearest NBA physician and a series of on-court activities completed near the players’ homes are set to take place this month. Fedor reports that Cleveland appears to have a strong interest in talking to top draft candidates LaMelo Ball, Deni Avdija and Isaac Okoro.
- Cavaliers rookie swingman Dylan Windler, who missed the entire 2019/20 season with a left leg stress fracture, is expected by the team to have a significant on-court role for Cleveland in 2020/21, according to Fedor elsewhere in the same piece. Sources tell Cleveland.com that the 2019 first-rounder is the Cavs’ “most asked-about” player in trade talks, though the team has no interest in moving him.
- After a disappointing second-round elimination at the hands of the Heat, the Bucks face an interesting offseason, according to The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. Assuming no major cost-cutting trades are made, the team is anticipated to be over the salary cap next season. GM Jon Horst has a few options he could exercise to creatively make changes around the periphery of the team, including not guaranteeing forward Ersan Ilyasova‘s $7MM salary.