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Walker Russell says the Knicks contacted him – tampering or considerate?

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press on Walker Russell, whose contract becomes guaranteed Feb. 10:

The point guard said before Saturday that some teams — including the Knicks — have reached out to him in case the Pistons cut him loose before then.

Larry Coon:

Tampering is when a player or team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anybody (player, general manager, etc.) who is under contract with another team to negotiate for their services. The NBA may impose stiff penalties if tampering is discovered, however the league’s practice has been to wait until a team lodges a complaint before investigating (but that’s not to say they don’t continue to monitor the leauge and won’t take action independently if they discover that tampering has occurred).

Perhaps, the Pistons gave other teams permission to speak with Russell. If so, that could be a sign they don’t plan to keep him the rest of the season. Or maybe the Pistons are just being considerate to a player on an unguaranteed contract and want him to have options in case they release him.


  • Jan 30, 20121:47 pm
    by Richard


    I think the Pistons should use him a little more time and give him more shots

    • Jan 30, 20121:59 pm
      by Jodi Jezz


      What?? Have you watched a Pistons game lately?? Russell is good at disturbing the ball, but that guy is horrible at shooting or finishing at the rim…

  • Jan 30, 20122:04 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    God I hope the Knicks are tampering and I hope Isiah Thomas is involved somehow.

    • Jan 30, 20123:00 pm
      by Tiko


      Why do u hate Isiah?

      • Jan 30, 20123:07 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        Far from it. I love the guy. He’s the most highly entertaining executive in the modern NBA. I would love for him to cost the Knicks another draft pick when he doesn’t even technically work for them, just serves as an unofficial adviser to Dolan.

        • Jan 30, 201210:16 pm
          by Tiko


          hahah that would be pretty funny

  • Jan 30, 20123:00 pm
    by vic


    keep him! we need somebody to model pass first to our guards and team them how to make a bounce pass in the paint.  sad, but true

    • Jan 30, 20123:40 pm
      by frankie d


      yes, sad, but true that detroit needs such a player and that russell is the best option the team has in that regard.
      if he was 5-6 years younger, he would be a great find.  i’d rather they bring in a guy like ish smith, someone with the same kind of game, but is 6 years younger.  
      you know exactly what russell is going to be, and in fact, at 29, his game is probably going to start deteriorating very soon.
      smith, at 23, at least provides some promise that he will get better as he gains more experience.   and if he does get better, you could have a nice rotation player, ultimately, or an asset that you can trade.
      right now, there is no…none…zero upside with russell.  at least you have some possibility with the younger smith.
      for a team that is supposedly rebuilding, that is an issue.
      but of course, coach frank apparently didn’t get the memo about rebuilding.
      this is what he just said to vince ellis of the freep:
      “You owe it to your group to play who deserves to play — whether they are young or old. Once you start discriminating one way or the other, you better just say what it is,” Frank said. “Our priority is to try to win the game. Young, old, male, female, whatever the case may be, we’ll put you out there.”
      i guess he forgot the rebuilding memo…
      say what it is?  
      you mean, “rebuilding”?
      our priority is to win games…whatever…
      rebuilding?  giving young players time so they can develop?
      forgot the memo!

      • Jan 30, 20123:50 pm
        by Patrick Hayes


        What exactly do you expect of Frank? He wasn’t your guy, I get that. But you have some crazy expectations and over-analyze every word the dude utters. What is he supposed to say?

        Do you really expect him to say to Tayshaun Prince or Damien Wilkins or whoever, “Hey, no offense, but we’re rebuilding and you’re old, so I’m playing this guy more.”

        Do you expect him to tell reporters he’s not trying to win games? Do you expect him to say that he’s basing who he plays on anything other than who works the hardest in games/practice? Do you expect him to sit there and say over and over that the team is rebuilding? No coach would do those things.

        • Jan 30, 20124:53 pm
          by frankie d


          yes, i do expect him to do just that.
          no coach would ever do that?
          well, coaches and gms sometimes do that and  that is exactly what monty williams and NO just did with kamen.
          they specifically sat him down, not because he’s not a good player, but because they are going wiith their young players.
          this is what williams said:
          It’s just something (where) we want to play our young guys and we certainly don’t want to disrespect Chris at all,” Hornets coach Monty Williams told local reporters before Friday night’s game against the Magic.”This is something we want to keep internally. It’s certainly not disciplinary and he understands and I talked to him. We’re going to play Jason Smith, Gustavo Ayon and Al-Farouq Aminu. It’s just difficult to play that many bigs and I understand how difficult it is for (Kaman) to not get the minutes he wants.”http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7511891/new-orleans-hornets-actively-shopping-c-chris-kaman 
          so, no, i would not advise using the specific language you employ above, but i would suggest that if the team is rebuilding – and joe just said that he was – then you rebuild.  you play the young guys, you get young players, you develop those guys and deal with older players accordingly.
          now i would love for joe d to do what NO has done with kamen and sit a guy like tay down until he could be traded.  i don’t expect that to happen.
          but it is a sign of mixed signals in the franchise when the gm says that he is rebuilding and that he is trying to develop young players and then the coach comes out publicly and specifically states that he is not doing that.  that he doesn’t care about playing young players.
          and yes, franchises do sometimes simply state that they are rebuilding with young players and jettison and/or reduce the role of older players.
          NO is just a very recent example.  
          if two of the main decision-makers in a franxhise cannot agree on something so fundamental, something is wrong.   i see this dissonance as just another example of the confusion, regarding the team’s direction, that has existed for the last 3 years.

          • Jan 30, 20125:12 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            You’re comparing really different situations. Kaman is a free agent to be who the team clearly has no interest in keeping long term.

            Frank has a 31-year-old SF who was just re-signed for four years and who has played so poorly that, unless he improves, will make it hard to convince teams to take the remaining years on his salary to move him. Frank might be stuck with Prince for the entirety of his coaching tenure. If the Hornets can’t move Kaman, Williams is only stuck with him a few months.

            It doesn’t matter that Dumars has said they’re rebuilding. He signed Prince for four years. The message, clearly, was that this player, in the eyes of the GM, is a part of the team for the foreseeable future. So yeah, it makes sense to see if Daye can develop. But the coaches are simply not in a position to turn over big minutes to him because he’s blocked at two positions by veterans in Gordon, Stuckey and Prince who are all signed long-term. New Orleans is a horrible comparison. Williams essentially has his gutted roster. Frank doesn’t. He has to work with the assumption that the players who are signed are going to be here.

        • Jan 30, 20125:55 pm
          by frankie d


          i originally wasn’t focused on tay.  i get that he is here, and the team will do what it must with him.  they can play him and still pursue rebuilding.  the two are not entirely inconsistent.  not the best situation, but not entirely inconsistent.  and i never stated that it was.
          but that still doesn’t explain the lack of common mission.
          and i disagree with the idea that it doesn’t matter what dumars says.  or by implication that it doesn’t matter what frank says.
          of course it matters.
          if the team is struggling, and not winning, if you are playing young players, then the coach – and the gm –  simply state:
          we are playing young players and it will be difficult and while we want to win, the specific number of wins is less of a priority than allowing our young players to play and develop.
          or something of that sort. 
          it explains a season that may end up with a record low number of wins.  it buys time with fans.  it explains lots of bad news that happens during the course of this type of season.
          joe d essentially said that in his interview a couple of weeks ago.
          now frank comes out and says that he is trying to win every game and doesn’t care about young players.
          how can that conflict possibly be positive? or consistent with anything that joe d – the supposed general manager who sets the team’s direction – has said?
          NO may or may not be a horrible example.  that was not my point.  you indicated that no coach would ever do exactly what monty williams just did.  i simply brought up NO because it is an example of something you claimed would never happen.
          and regarding gutted rosters, i don’t think detroit’s roster is in much better shape than NO’s.  i won’t get into a player by player comparison, but their roster is fairly comparable to detroit’s.
          but they have  made a choice to rebuild and they are taking specific action that is consistent with that stated goal.
          joe d has said that he is rebuilding, but his actions are not entirely consistent with his words, and now his coach has come out and specifically stated that he is not in a “rebuilding” mode either.  and not only has he said this, but his actions clearly back up what he has said.  
          and, no, playing a retread journeyman like wilkins, at the expense of daye – and now jj seems to be  losing minutes to him – is not consistent with “rebuilding”.
          and not playing a young big man when you need young big men, while playing a guy who should be an assistant coach 17 minutes a game is not consisteent with “rebuilding”.
          what could the team do that is consiistent with “rebuilding” as joe d stated?
          make wilkins an emergency player, one who only plays if the young guys are hurt
          play ben w. a max of 12 minutes a game and play maclklin until he proves that he cannot competently play.
          sit ben g. until you can trade him for anything of value, and if you cannot, make him the 3rd or 4th guard.
          find a young point guard and have him do the things that walker russell is doing.
          there are lots of good pass/non-shooting young point guards out there.  find one and see if he can develop into something worthwhile.  
          make sure your coach understands clearly that winning each game is NOT the priority, but playing the young guys and developing them is the priority.
          to this fan, that is “rebuilding”. what the team has been doing for the last 3-4 years is in betwix and in between and guaranteed to keep the team in mid-lottery hell for years.

          • Jan 30, 201211:30 pm
            by Max

            No one needs Dumars and Frank to say these things to understand what is going on but you.

          • Jan 30, 201211:32 pm
            by Max

            You are describing the Washington Wizards style of rebuilding.

      • Jan 30, 201211:29 pm
        by Max


        NO doesn’t compare to any other team in the league, Kamen was acquired to make numbers work and was not a fixture of the team like Prince and they are playing a veteran Okafur over Kamen.

  • Jan 30, 20124:10 pm
    by Max


    1. Isiah Thomas was seen eating with Mike Woodson and Knicks Vice President Glen Grunwald this week and they all played on Indiana together………………..
    2. If the Knicks want Russell, and as a New Yorker, I can attest that he actually could help them and might even start because they have no one who looks comfortable running the offense; the Pistons should trade him to New York for any young player or 2nd round pick they can get.
    3. That said, @Frankie D; is it not impossible that Russell could be here for the next 2-5 years as a very effective 3rd or even 4th point guard option?  Isn’t that his upside?  Doesn’t every team need at least three point guard and don’t most teams carry at least four players who can play the position?
    4. Question to group: Can charging the Knicks with tampering help the ‘Stones in any way other than hurting the Knicks?

    • Jan 30, 20124:18 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I would guess that if there were legit tampering, the Knicks would have to give compensation, most likely a draft pick.

      The Knicks don’t have a 2012 1st or 2nd round pick though, so it would be a future pick. As Dan said in the post, it’s possible the Pistons gave Russell permission to talk to other teams knowing they weren’t going to have a roster spot for him all season. But it would be really interesting if that’s not the case.

  • Jan 30, 20124:27 pm
    by Max


    I think Knight and Stuckey’s youth leaves the Pistons free to choose whatever back pgs they want on a year to year basis regardless of age.

    • Jan 30, 20124:58 pm
      by frankie d


      why would you choose older players with no upside and no possibility of transforming into valuable assets when you could choose younger players who might develop into assets and/or valuable rotation players for the next 5-7 years?
      that makes no sense.  the team may find a young gem.  or they may decide to trade stuckey and then that older player would have to be relied on to move into stuckey’s role.  and if he is just being looked at as strictly a 3rd, emergency point guard, you have to go out and get someone to fill that role.
      to say that it doesn’t matter is incredibly shortsighted.

  • Jan 30, 201211:38 pm
    by Max


    I generally don’t look at 3 or 4th string pgs who are playing behind core members of a franchise as possible assets.  They are fill in and spare parts and the players I would want in those roles are the ones who would be most complimentary to the nucleus.  If all things are equal, fine, younger is better, but whether a player can possibly fit in with the core group is much more important, because you are looking for those guys who can be fixtures of the bench for 2-3 year stretches.  You don’t have to project further into the future than that and for all we know, Walker Russell could have his best individual year at 32 years old, three years from now and really help this team or another.   Much stranger things have happened.

  • Apr 9, 201311:41 pm
    by hair chalk


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