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NBA Rumors: Pistons Haven’t Contacted Hollins

The Pistons haven’t had any contact with Lionel Hollins … The Raptors are telling teams they won’t trade Kyle Lowry … Wizards, Knicks talking Beno Udrih trade?

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Lionel Hollins Hasn’t Heard from Pistons

Hollins is a regular host of shows on SiriusXM NBA Radio (channel 217) and when he was on Wednesday host Bill Lekas if there was interest from Detroit.

“I can’t tell you. I haven’t had any contact with them, nor has my agent. I’ve expressed to different media outlets that I would have an interest in listening to what they have to say. They have an intriguing team with some of the young big guys that they have. So I would definitely be interested in talking to them. I’m flattered by all the non-decision makers coming out and saying that the job is mine and I’m the first choice and they are coming after me. Well, none of that has happened and it only matters what the Detroit Pistons are thinking. Again, I’m flattered with the respect that has been shown me by some of the national media.”

via Kurt Helin of NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk

After firing Maurice Cheeks, Pistons owner Tom Gores said that John Loyer would serve as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season, which is likely why Hollins hasn’t been contacted.

It’s rare for a head coach to agree to take a job in the middle of the season because it’s very hard to hire a staff and implement all of things they want, but Hollins was willing to do it. Giving the job to Hollins would’ve been smart, since there will certainly be a lot of competition for his services over the offseason, but it seems they’re committed to Loyer and want to see what he can do at the helm.

Hollins went on to say that the Pistons job was extremely attractive for any coach given the pieces that they have, talking specifically about Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.

He did mention some things that Detroit needs to work on saying, “I think they need to learn how to play together on a consistent basis and play hard, but they’ve got some intriguing pieces that make me say, ‘Wow, there’s possibilities there.’”

If Loyer doesn’t work out, the Pistons may regret not hiring Hollins when they had the chance.

Raptors Telling Other Teams Kyle Lowry Won’t be Traded

The Toronto Raptors are showing significant resistance to trading point guard Kyle Lowry and appear determined to keep him as they pursue a postseason berth, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“We’ve heard it from [Toronto] that he won’t be moved,” a rival front office executive told Yahoo Sports.

While there are never absolutes – especially if a team makes an unexpectedly rich offer – Toronto officials and sources close to Lowry have emphasized lately that Lowry appears destined to finish the season with the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.

via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Recently, there had been a number of reports indicating that the Raptors were leaning toward keeping Lowry for the remainder of the season. Now, with rival executives being told that the veteran point guard won’t be moved, that pretty much seals it.

Unless something drastic happens between now and next Thursday (or a team makes an offer that Toronto can’t refuse, as Woj points out), it seems that Lowry will remain in Toronto and the Raptors will focus on making some noise in the playoffs.

The Raptors’ success this season is the reason that Lowry will likely remain in town. Shortly after the Rudy Gay trade earlier this year, when the Raptors were just outside of the playoff picture in the weak Eastern Conference, Toronto GM Masai Ujiri reportedly considered trading away Lowry and other veterans so that the Raptors would have a better shot at landing a top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The fact that Canadian phenom Andrew Wiggins had gone on the record and said that if could pick an NBA team to play for, it’d be Toronto may have factored into this decision. The Raptors likely saw a chance to land a potential superstar talent like Wiggins and keep him for years to come.

However, the Raptors got ridiculously hot and climbed the standings in the East. With Gay gone, DeMar DeRozan took his game to another level and made the All-Star team. Toronto currently sits as the third seed in the Eastern Conference and they’ve reached the point where they couldn’t get to the bottom of the standings if they wanted to.

Now, the question about whether to trade Lowry comes down to the fact that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the year. If the Raptors feel like Lowry wants to leave or if they aren’t willing to give him a lucrative new contract, trading him may be the right move so that they don’t lose him over the summer with nothing to show for him. It’s always dangerous to hold onto a player past the deadline when he’s approaching unrestricted free agency. But based on this report and many others, it seems that Toronto is willing to take that risk with Lowry and keep this team together for a postseason run.

Wizards Interested in Knicks’ Beno Udrih

Though Woodson is going with the two-point-guard starting alignment, he still has no room for Udrih, who has received eighth straight DNPs and has played just once in the past 11 games (garbage time in Charlotte rout).

Murry, who has a future in the organization, is ahead of Udrih, who appears to have none. Murry saw some rotation minutes vs. Portland last week, and Woodson is committed to playing him in garbage time over the veteran Slovenian.

The Wizards reportedly have interest in Udrih. The Knicks would love to stockpile a second-round pick or Wizards rookie Glen Rice Jr., whom the Knicks had as one of the candidates to draft last year at No. 24 if Tim Hardaway Jr. was off the board, according to multiple sources.

via Marc Berman of the New York Post

This is a trade that makes sense for both parties.

The Knicks have no use for Udrih, who is out of the rotation, as the article states. Several weeks ago, Udrih’s camp reportedly demanded a trade from New York because he wasn’t getting on the court. The Knicks were clearly ready to part ways with Udrih, but finding a taker seemed like a long shot.

That’s where the Wizards come in. They’ve been talking to a number of teams in search of a reserve point guard. They signed Eric Maynor over the offseason and while Maynor had a reputation for being one of the better back-up point guards in the league, he hasn’t lived up to the hype in Washington. He struggled so much that he has lost minutes to Garrett Temple. Washington has talked to several teams about their back-up point guards, so this deal isn’t imminent or anything.

But I’m sure this isn’t the last that we’ll hear of this potential trade since it helps the Knicks get something back in return for Udrih and helps the Wizards fill their hole at back-up point guard.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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