Tons of Pistons Rumors

Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

The NBA Draft is Thursday, then July 1 teams can start courting and negotiating with free agents, though they can’t sign any until July 7.

It’s called the silly season because of the wild and incessant rumor mongering it spawns. The Pistons, because they have four draft picks, a roster in flux and more available salary cap space than most, are caught in the vortex of it all.

If you believe all the Internet reports, the Pistons have interest in just about every top-level free agent available and have made monetary promises to a few. If you believe Internet reports, the Pistons are trying to trade Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and their first-round draft pick (No. 15).

The official salary cap won’t be set until the first week of July, but with $41 million worth of salary commitments for the 2009-10 season, the Pistons expect to have no less than $17 million of available cap space to work with.

Only Memphis and Oklahoma City will have as much.

To get to the $17 million number, though, the Pistons will have to renounce free agents Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. They could re-sign Wallace, but that does not appear to be the plan.

Given all of those factors, the priority will be to sign a young, top-tier power forward. Carlos Boozer, 27, is expected to opt out of his contract with the Jazz. If he does, he most likely would be the Pistons’ first option.

The Pistons also have some hope of re-signing McDyess, though they acknowledge that he is expected to be courted by several contending teams (Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio).

The Pistons also need perimeter scoring help and it appears the primary target will be Bulls shooting guard Ben Gordon.

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