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TWENTYMAN: 8 pro days to watch this week

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TWENTYMAN: 8 pro days to watch this week


2. Michigan, Fri., March 22

Who to watch: Guard Zak Zinter was still recovering from a gruesome broken leg suffered against Ohio State and didn’t take part in the Combine drills. He said he’d be ready to take the field by Michigan’s pro day. Zinter is a fringe first-round pick and some good drill work here could put his name among the first three interior offensive linemen hoping to hear their names come off the board in the second half of the first round.

Also keep an eye on: QB J.J. McCarthy, LB Junior Colson, WR Roman Wilson, DT Kris Jenkins, CB Mike Sainristil, RB Blake Corum, G Trente Jones, G Trevor Keegan, TE AJ Barner, EDGE Braiden McGregor, WR Cornelius Johnson, EDGE Jaylen Harrell, CB Josh Wallace, C Drake Nugent, LB Michael Barrett, G Karsen Barnhart, G LaDarius Henderson

Who to watch: It will be a big day for expected No. 1 pick quarterback Caleb Williams, as this will be his first chance to throw in front of what’s expected to be a large Chicago Bears contingent – Chicago owns the No. 1 pick – at this pro day. Williams’ arm strength, accuracy, presence and communication will all be evaluated.

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Also keep an eye on: RB MarShawn Lloyd, S Calen Bullock, WR Brenden Rice, CB Christian Roland-Wallace, WR Tahj Washington, G Jarrett Kingston, Edge Solomon Byrd



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Detroit, MI

Should the Detroit Pistons go star hunting this offseason?

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Should the Detroit Pistons go star hunting this offseason?


It is clear that Cade Cunningham need help and that it is unclear if there are more than two or three players on the Detroit Pistons’ current roster capable of giving it to him. Maybe two or three years down the line, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, and Ausar Thompson put it all together and create a perenial playoff team. Do the Pistons have that kind of time to wait? Cunningham is eligible for a max extension soon, and after so much losing it is unclear how much more patience he has for development.

The next question then becomes, what kind of help does Cunningham need? There are two primary avenues here. Down one road, you self off the remaining upside of some your young players, you attach some draft picks, and you grab a star to play as a 1B beside Cade’s 1A.

The other path is to forgo big-game hunting and instead sign players who are much more likely to be named a “Luke Walton All-Star” than to make an actual NBA All-Star team.

This debate had been rattling around in my head for a while when news first started bubbling that Trae Young might be on the trade block in Atlanta. After another disappointing season, it’s clear the Hawks are ready to change the chemistry of the team in a significant way, and moving on from their All-Star point guard for a haul of assets is one path they could take. The Pistons, meanwhile, will always be lumped in as a possible destination because “they have to do something” and “are so desperate they would overpay.”

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When this news hit Pistons fans on social, I was a bit taken aback by how people were firmly on the side of trading for Young if it was possible. If it costs you Ivey and Duren and other assets, be damned. Cade needs someone good to play off of because that will finally turn Detroit’s ship back toward relevance.

Maybe that’s all correct, but my gut instinct is to say no way. Regarding Young, both he and Cade feel like players whose games would be diminished by having to split possessions and both being weaker defenders. It feels like it amplifies weaknesses instead of maximizing strength.

Perhaps another star disappoints in the playoffs and hits the trade market. In fact, can Devin Booker please shoot 8-for-100 in a Suns sweep that also somehow culminates in him getting in a shouting match with both Kevin Durant and Mat Ishbia? Please?

If no stars emerge then what is the optimal pathway for the Pistons? For me, it’s to go the Luke Walton All-Stars route.

I have no illusions about Detroit’s young players being some crop of great young assets. But I do think they’ve all shown signs, and are all so young that you don’t know who or how each player will work alongside Cunningham.

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The problem is not that you have a bunch of 22-year-olds who are not good enough alongside Cade. The problem is that your 22-year-olds are all somehow the best players on your team so when they are struggling you can’t swap them in for something better.

Duren just delivered an atrocious defensive performance for a center, but he spent the entire season with James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley as his backups. Jaden Ivey’s shot frequently abandoned him and his decision-making left a lot to be desired. His backup was Alec Burks, who hemorrhaged points on defense, and Evan Fournier who did the same.

Cunningham had some remarkable turnover issues early in the year and sometimes went very cold from deep. His backup was Killian Hayes (when he wasn’t starting next to him), and he ended up being one of the least efficient guards in NBA history.

I’m not sure the Pistons need a Trae Young. What they need is four more Simone Fontecchis. Players who are capable scorers who complement Cunningham’s (and other young players’) strengths and are natural to above average on defense. They need players better, or at least more reliable on both ends, than Duren, Ivey, Thompson and Sasser.

They need vets to set a standard that the young guys know they need to surpass to get or keep a starting role or to play crunch time in the fourth quarter.

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They need a quality defensive center, an above-average backup point guard, a starting two-way forward, and one or two more depth pieces. The good news is that the team has $60 million to make all that happen. The bad news is that I’m not sure there are $60 million worth of capable free agents who would take their money.

But I don’t personally need a Trae Young trade. I don’t need a Zach LaVine trade. I don’t need Paul George.

Look to the Houston Rockets model. Yes, they spent $200 million in one free agent period and they missed the playoffs. But they didn’t sacrifice young assets, they improved to 41-41 and the vibes are good.

The Rockets didn’t sacrifice much young, but Amen Thompson, Tari Eason and Cam Whitmore started a total of 25 games. That’s fewer games started than Killian Hayes.

What about players like Isaiah Hartenstein and Malik Monk? Both are free agents around 26 years old you could reliably offer a big paycheck to and not expect an immediate fall off. Tyus Jones was a forgotten man in Washington, but he had another excellent season. Nic Claxton is a 25-year-old defensive force who might be done in Brooklyn.

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When engaging in what I would call a healthy dialogue about Trae Young and whether he made sense for the Pistons, I floated the idea of a threshold of 2500 total minutes and averaged about .100 win shares per 100 possesions, which is about starter level while not making an All-Star team in the past three seasons.

Some players might be too old and clearly on the downswing, others might be great stopgap candidates. Maybe a buy-low opportunity or a guy like Okoro worth taking a real swing on in a trade.

Is this a reasonable path or is this just a road to nowhere? Generally curious where people fall. I’m all for making a huge swing if the person is right, but I don’t see Young being that guy. Conversely, it’s easy to say a new smart GM can target a bunch of worthwhile free agents, but those guys will have offers from other, much better teams.

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Detroit, MI

Stop Human Trafficking event held in Metro Detroit

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Stop Human Trafficking event held in Metro Detroit


Stop Human Trafficking event held in Metro Detroit – CBS Detroit

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The event was held at the Bethel Baptist Church on Gratiot and featured a multitude of speakers in law enforcement, individuals who say they’ve been groomed, as well as others.

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Mark Canha starts at first base. Here’s how often Detroit Tigers plan to put him there.

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Mark Canha starts at first base. Here’s how often Detroit Tigers plan to put him there.


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MINNEAPOLIS — For the first time, Mark Canha started at first base for the Detroit Tigers.

He isn’t a first baseman, but has experience there throughout his career. The 35-year-old, primarily a corner outfielder and designated hitter, already spent two innings at first base — one inning April 9 and one inning April 15 — this season, both times as a defensive switch after starting in the outfield.

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Canha started his first game at first base in Sunday’s series finale against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Manager A.J. Hinch plans to start Canha at first base approximately once every two weeks.

“He’s done it,” Hinch said. “He doesn’t do it often, but he puts in a lot of work to play the position. He’ll only be a fill-in from time to time, but it’s good to get Tork a day to just DH and keep Mark fresh at first base. It’s a little bit different on the body for him, as well. It’s not a DH day, but it’s certainly less running than in the outfield. It’s something we were looking forward to at some point.”

KENTA EXPLAINS: Tigers’ Kenta Maeda pinpoints pitching mechanics as reason for bad start to 2024

Don’t expect Canha to become the new regular first baseman.

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That job still belongs to Spencer Torkelson.

Torkelson, who made a costly fielding error in Saturday’s 4-3 loss, served as the designated hitter in Sunday’s series finale. As for the outfield in Sunday’s game, the Tigers put Riley Greene in left field, Kerry Carpenter in right field and Parker Meadows in center field.

“We need Mark to play,” Hinch said, “and I wanted to keep the outfield intact, too. It’s hard to get the outfield configuration that we want. Going into the turf in Tampa (at Tropicana Field), I think everybody’s going to DH that’s out there, except for Parker. I’m looking at the next four days.”

KERRY BONDS: Kerry Carpenter: The one Tiger locked in and raking all season

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Canha, a 10-year MLB veteran, entered Sunday’s game with 139 games — but just 96 starts and 69 complete games — at first base, covering 871⅔ innings. He is worth minus-5 defensive runs saved at first base throughout his career.

His best position is right field.

Colt Keith on the bench

Second baseman Colt Keith is hitting .183 with six walks and 14 strikeouts across 77 plate appearances in 20 games. He has 13 hits, but just one of those hits — an April 4 double — is an extra-base hit. The 22-year-old has two hits in his last 25 at-bats, spanning seven games.

He didn’t start in Sunday against the Twins.

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Hinch started Buddy Kennedy at second base. The Tigers called up Kennedy from Triple-A Toledo before Saturday’s game to take the place of injured third baseman Gio Urshela, who is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a right hamstring strain.

THE OTHER ROOKIE: Tigers switch-hitter Wenceel Pérez fulfills childhood dream by making MLB debut

“He’s scuffling,” Hinch said of Keith. “I want to get Buddy up and running to feel like he’s on this team. Combine that with trying to give Colt a day to decompress. It’s tough in the big leagues, especially when you’re going through it. He’s more than equipped to come out of it. Those two things kind of paired together.”

[ Listen to our weekly Tigers show “Days of Roar” every Monday afternoon on demand at freep.com, Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. And catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefing at freep.com/podcasts. ]

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him @EvanPetzold.

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