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Van Gundy Swats Aside Trade Rumors: 'They Don't Mean A Damn Thing'

By Will Burchfield
Twitter @Burchie_kid

AUBURN HILLS (CBS DETROIT) - The Pistons, namely Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, have been ensnared in trade rumors all season long. The speculation has heated up in advance of Thursday's trade deadline, with Marc Stein reporting on Tuesday afternoon that Detroit appears open to dealing its franchise center.

But president-coach Stan Van Gundy was adamant on Tuesday evening that general manager Jeff Bower hasn't come close to pulling off a trade.

"I don't know how many more times I can say this or how many more ways I can say it. Jeff talks to virtually every team in the league all the time and I am sure, as I've said before, that every name on our roster has come up," said Van Gundy. "That's his job, that's what we're supposed to be doing, is talking to everybody and seeing what's out there and Jeff will continue to do that probably until 3:00 on Thursday. That's the way it goes."

In regard to Drummond, Van Gundy said the organization's trade talks have been especially tame.

"Some discussions get more serious than others and that's what happens. There hasn't been a serious discussion about Andre, but that doesn't mean there haven't been discussions about Andre. I mean, the concern, from Andre's standpoint, would be if nobody had any interest in him."

Still, rumors involving both Drummond and Jackson continue to swirl.

ESPN reported last week that "Detroit has quietly explored the trade market for each of its franchise centerpieces...and come away disappointed with the potential return." According to Sports Illustrated, these discussions have been going on "for weeks," and the Raptors recently "called the Pistons pitching a package centered around (Jonas) Valanciunas for Drummond before Toronto acquired Serge Ibaka.

Van Gundy suggested it should all be taken with a grain of salt.

"Chart all the rumors, and 95 percent of them will not happen and probably 90 percent of them were never even discussed seriously. 95 percent of them, at least, won't happen, and at least a couple (will) never be in the papers before (they) get done, like Cousins for the guys in New Orleans," Van Gundy said, referencing the stunning trade over All-Star weekend that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans.

"All the rumors and stuff don't mean a damn thing. They don't. They really mean nothing…It's just interesting, because you've got all these things flying around that don't happen and then nobody ever hears of that one and it happens. And that's typical of the trade deadline and stuff that goes on," he said. 

Van Gundy also brushed aside a rumor that the Pistons have been working on a trade with the Orlando Magic involving Reggie Jackson.

"One of you guys asked me over the weekend about how far all along the D.J. Augustin and Jeff Green trade for Reggie was, and the first time I heard about it was when I got that text — so I would assume not that far. I usually can just laugh it off, but it gets a little bit annoying because you go through this for two weeks and it's just bullsh*t after bullsh*t after bullsh*t," said Van Gundy.

Still, the Pistons' coach was clear that he can't - and won't - promise his players anything.

"I'm not ever going to be that guy, rightly or wrongly, to gather them up and say, 'Look, we're not trading any of you.' You don't know what could come up, so you have to learn to deal with this in the NBA...That's all part of the job description. Do I worry about it? I mean, you get concerned if they're distracted, but, hell, that's only one of about a thousand things I worry about them being distracted with over the course of an NBA season," said Van Gundy.

Despite the Pistons' disappointing first half and reports of locker room unrest, Van Gundy doesn't sense the organization's phone line has been any busier in regard to trade talks.

"I wouldn't say that. Jeff could answer it better. To me, at least the things that I hear about, it's a pretty normal trade deadline thing. There's activity, there's talks with people, most of them aren't very serious and a very small percentage of them will ever even be discussed beyond the first time," he said.

"Most of them amount to absolutely nothing," Van Gundy added, "but you have those discussions all the time. If somebody finds out about the discussions, or even if they don't, they just make up a rumor and put it out there. So some of them have actually been discussed that are out there, and then there's a bunch of them out there that I know for damn sure we've never even talked about...This what it is for two more days. 3:00 Thursday, this part of it stops."

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