If the accounting department notices a spike in the Pistons’ utility bills this summer, it’s not because Joe Dumars and his basketball staff are cranking up the air conditioning to combat the heat. It’s because the place has been overrun with basketball players who’ve kept the lights burning virtually since the regular season ended in late April.
It would be an exaggeration to suggest the Pistons will go as far as Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight can carry them in 2012-13, but not entirely inaccurate to say the difference between the floor and the ceiling on their expectations will be determined by the amount of progress their two young franchise cornerstones can make over the summer.
I got a little anxious, of course, when I saw the rookies who were my teammates during Summer League – Kim English and Andre Drummond and Kyle Singler – sign contracts when I hadn’t. I wanted to come up here and get some work in and find a place to get settled. I enjoyed being back home and working hard while I was down there, but it was a delay. I just tried to work out and make it work.
The Pistons have 15 players with guaranteed contracts, the NBA limit. But they’re not taking the team picture just yet.
Charlie Villanueva doesn’t hope for playing time in the 2012-13 season, his fourth with the Pistons. All he hopes is granted him is good health. He’ll take his chances with everything else.
“Hopefully, I’ve put the injury-plagued season behind me,” he said this week after a workout with Arnie Kander and members of the Pistons coaching staff. “That’s my main concern, just staying healthy. If I stay healthy, everything will take care of itself. Just having a year under coach Frank – I didn’t play much last year, but I know the system already, so I should fit in perfectly.”
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