Pros at Drew League dish on league happenings, teammates, more
LOS ANGELES -- Detroit small forward Austin Daye had grown accustomed to getting the inside scoop on Pistons news.
General manager Joe Dumars was always a quick call or text away, meaning he didn't have to rely on those of us who spend our days hustling for the very information that he could always get. At least, that was the case before the lockout.
With all lines of communication cut off between players and team officials, Daye is left to browse the Internet for updates on his team's coaching search (And for the record, Lawrence Frank and Mike Woodson are reportedly neck-and-neck for the job.)
"I'm looking at RealGM.com more than I ever have before, looking at all the websites, just to see what's going to happen," Daye said. "But whatever Joe Dumars decides, I'm sure it's going to be a good decision."
Daye -- who, as I mentioned a while back
"[Lacob and Guber] are definitely showing that they're serious about being new owners and getting the right personnel around there. With coach Jackson, you can't take 17 years of [playing] experience at the highest level away from him. I'm really looking forward to playing with him. They're making the power move to get guys in the right situations so we can be the team we know we can, and that's to be a playoff team."
"[Trade rumors] are part of it. I spoke to him recently. It's part of the game. Your name is always going to be talked about when you're one of the best players in the league. It's just part of the business, and I think he's pretty cool with that."
"I liked [the draft picks]. Jeremy Tyler is a friend from L.A., and Klay Thompson is a shooter who will definitely help us spread the floor, so I think it's going to work out real well. I think [Tyler] can [reach his potential]. He brings toughness, and that's something you can't teach. Everything else you can teach. He's very fundamentally sound. There are still some things in his game he needs to work on, but the toughness he brings is definitely going to work out."
"I'm 100 percent. My foot is fine. I'm just looking for this year to start and to go out there and play. When it's time, I'll go out there and just play like I played my first year in the league. [Last season] I was [always] thinking about it."
"It's a great look. Young team, up-and-coming. We had a knock on us that we're always young, but you don't want to always keep hearing that. We want to be a winning team. We just added pieces to the puzzle.
"We've got Jimmer, who's a great player and can shoot from anywhere if you watch his highlights. We've got J.J., who's a great player from Cleveland, and we got Salmons, a great '3' man, a great wing man to have out there."
"Definitely. I can score and I pass. I can do it all. I don't need to score. As long as we win, I'm happy. I've been winning all my life, and I'm not used to losing. We don't know yet [who will be the point guard]. The point or the shooting guard is good for me. I'm good at either spot, so if I get the ball on the rebound if I'm at the '2,' I get up and go and bring it up. Whatever coach Paul [Westphal] wants me to do, I'll do."
"I knew [Casey] from when I used to work out in Vegas during the summer. He was always there working out guys. He helped me out a lot. I've known him for the last two summers. He's definitely a good dude, a humble dude. I can't wait to get out there and work with him."
"[Defense] is what we need. I think last year we could score with the best players in the NBA, but the only thing that killed us was the defensive end. That's a critical part in the NBA. Once you get that down and are a top five, top 10 defensive team, that'll take you far.
"[The Drew League] is tough for big guys, but just to get in shape it's good. You get to do something other than working out and playing pickup. It's fun, man. I like it. It's top three [among non-NBA sanctioned summer leagues in the country].
"I'm feeling good. One of the main reasons I'm out in L.A. is so I can be with DeMar and Amir and all the L.A. guys, just to be sort of like a [bonding] thing for all us Raptors guys to spend some time together."
"I really like it. The community is coming together to watch us play. It may not be to see one person play or two people play; it's people coming out to see their cousin play, their friend play, so it's a little more rowdy in the crowds. People are passionate out here, and they like to see close games. You can tell, with coaches talking smack back and forth to each other, it's really competitive.
"No one wants to be shown up by an NBA player, and no NBA player wants to be shown up by someone who's not in the NBA. So when I get the ball, when I get a possession, I make it a point to show that's why I'm in the NBA."
"[Abunassar] is one of the best in the business. I love working out with him because he has been with me since I left [Gonzaga] my sophomore year [in 2009] and I plan on working out with him for the rest of my career. He has just been great to me.
"Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry, we're all good friends. Of all the guys who come there, I think us three are really close with [Abunassar] and it's really like a father-son relationship. We're really good friends, so it's really fun, especially when we compete against each other in games or when we're on the same team."