NEW YORK -- In the NBA, there are no secrets and one player whose name was out there during trade deadline rumors was Langston Galloway, the former St. Joseph’s star and veteran on a suddenly young Detroit Pistons team.
Galloway remained with the Pistons, who will visit the 76ers on Wednesday, and has continued his best all-around season.
While the Pistons have suffered through one debilitating injury after another, Galloway has appeared in each of Detroit’s 65 games after appearing in 80 last year. Coming mainly off the bench, he is averaging 10.2 points in 25.8 minutes.
A playoff team last year, Detroit is 20-45 and is clearly in a rebuilding phase. Whether the future includes Galloway remains to be seen. His three-year, $21 million deal with the Pistons expires after this season, making him an upcoming free agent.
“Several teams called about him at the trade deadline," said Pistons assistant general manager Malik Rose, the former Drexel star and 13-year NBA veteran. “Several contenders and non-contenders called about him and I think it is just a testament to his hard work.”
Speaking before Sunday’s 96-84 loss to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Galloway acknowledged that he knew that he was the subject of trade rumors. The Sixers were among the teams to show interest at the trade deadline. When asked if he had heard about the Sixers reported interest, he said, “For sure, yes.”
Galloway, 28, would have helped the Sixers or many other contenders as a shooter off the bench. Known as a player who stretches defenses, Galloway is shooting 40.1% from three-point range. Of the current Sixers players, only Shake Milton (46%) has a higher percentage from beyond the arc.
That type of shooting skill alone by Galloway should garner interest on the free-agent market.
“I think there will be a lot of interest in him, judging by the amount of interest we had at the trade deadline," Rose said.
Known for his singular focus, Galloway says he hasn’t spent any time thinking of free agency.
“Not at all. I just, you know, go out there and play my game and just have fun with it and wherever the cards lay at the end of the day, that is where it lays," he said.
Galloway, whose senior season at St. Joseph’s was 2013-2014, ended with 1,991 career points for the Hawks. During his senior year, the Hawks qualified for the NCAA tournament, losing 89-81 in overtime to eventual champion UConn in its first game.
“I had great times there,” said Galloway, who recently visited with his former college coach Phil Martelli, an assistant at Michigan during a game between the Wolverines and Nebraska.
After going undrafted, he worked his way up, beginning in what is now the NBA G League, averaging 16.5 points in 19 games. Galloway was signed to consecutive 10-day contracts by the New York Knicks and ended up finishing the season there, averaging 11.8 points in 45 games.
He played another year with the Knicks and then signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, of which the second year a player option. As a native of Baton Rouge, it was a homecoming of sorts.
During his first year with New Orleans he was dealt to Sacramento at the trade deadline. He finished the year with the Kings and then signed his three-year deal with the Pistons.
“He came up through the hard way,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said of Galloway. “The good thing about Langston is that he appreciates the grind, understands the grind and he has really worked.”
While Galloway didn’t get dealt to a contender at the trade deadline, he said he wasn’t disappointed.
“No, not at all because it gave me opportunity to, you know, mentor, the young guys on our team and just try to work on my leadership skills every single day,” he said.
That leadership and his production are two of the reasons Galloway has been such a positive element in an otherwise disappointing season for the Pistons.