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Archive → April, 2010

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 14, 2010

The Warriors and Kings each made fourth-quarter runs last night, but they both lost – meaning the Pistons will likely finish with the sixth seed.

Because the Kings lost to the Lakers, they’re guaranteed to finish with a worse record than Detroit.

If Detroit wins its final game against the Timberwolves tonight, it will get the sixth seed. If the 76ers lose to Orlando, they’d tie Detroit and hurt the Pistons’ odds.

If the Pistons lose to Minnesota, they will receive between a tie for the fourth and the sixth seed. If the Wizards or Kings win their final game, they’d tie Detroit and improve the Pistons’ odds.

As always, if anyone has any questions about the lottery, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Utah Jazz 103, Golden State Warriors 94
  • Los Angeles Lakers 106, Sacramento Kings 100

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Scenarios

  • Best case: Three-way tie for No. 4 seed
  • Worst case: Tie for No. 6 seed

Current standings

  • No. 4 seed: Washington Wizards (25-56) – vs. Pacers
  • No. 4 seed: Golden State Warriors (25-56) – at Trail Blazers
  • No. 6 seed: Detroit Pistons (26-55) – at Timberwolves
  • No. 7 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (27-54) – at Magic

Odds if the season ended today

image

  • No. 1 pick: 6.3 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 7.1 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 8.1 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 43.9 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 30.5 percent
  • No. 8: pick: 4.0 percent
  • No. 9: pick: 0.1 percent

Today’s key games

  • Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 p.m.
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic, 8 p.m.
  • Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards, 8 p.m.
  • Golden State Warriors at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m.

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 13, 2010

Charlie Villanueva’s guarantee of a win yesterday didn’t quite come true. But I’ll guarantee this: The Pistons will have a top-10 pick in the draft.

Because the Pistons lost, they can no longer fall past or tie the Knicks or Clippers for the eighth seed.

If Detroit wins its final game against the Timberwolves on Wednesday, it will get the fifth or sixth seed. If the Warriors win their final two games, they’d tie Detroit. If the 76ers lose to Orlando, they’d be tied, too.

If the Pistons lose to Minnesota, they will receive a top-six seed. If the Wizards or Kings win their final game, they’d tie Detroit. Golden State has two games remaining. One win would mean tying Detroit. Two wins would mean receiving a worse seed than Detroit.

As always, if anyone has any questions about the lottery, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Toronto Raptors 111, Detroit Pistons 97
  • Miami Heat 107, Philadelphia 76ers 105
  • New York Knicks 114, Washington Wizards 103
  • Houston Rockets 117, Sacramento Kings 107
  • Dallas Mavericks 117, Los Angeles Clippers 94

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Scenarios

  • Best case: Three-way tie for No. 3 seed
  • Worst case: Tie for No. 6 seed

Current standings

  • No. 3 seed: Washington Wizards (25-56) – vs. Pacers
  • No. 3 seed: Sacramento Kings (25-56) – at Lakers
  • No. 5 seed: Golden State Warriors (25-55) – vs. Jazz, at Trail Blazers
  • No. 6 seed: Detroit Pistons (26-55) – at Timberwolves
  • No. 7 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (27-54) – at Magic

Odds if the season ended today

image

  • No. 1 pick: 6.3 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 7.1 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 8.1 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 43.9 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 30.5 percent
  • No. 8: pick: 4.0 percent
  • No. 9: pick: 0.1 percent

Today’s key games

  • Utah Jazz at Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m.
  • Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Pistons lower season ticket prices

From a team release:

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons announced today that season ticket prices for the 2010-11 NBA season have been reduced between 10 and 50 percent in all price categories.  Also, for the first time ever, the team will offer a lowest-price guarantee to its season ticket holders.

“As an organization, we understand how fortunate we are to have such a loyal season ticket holder base,” said Alan Ostfield, President and CEO of Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Pistons.  “The economic situation here in Michigan continues to be a difficult one and we want to continue doing our part to respond to the stresses that have been placed on everyone in this region.”

The across-the-board price reductions for Pistons’ tickets are the largest rollbacks in team history, in response to the economic climate in the area. Additionally, the Pistons’ lowest-price guarantee insures season ticket holders that the team will not sell individual game tickets at a lower price.

For the 2010-11 season, the Pistons will increase the number of 100-Level season tickets available for less than $1,000. This popular season ticket offering sold out this past season.

“The Pistons’ experience will be enhanced for the season ticket holder next year by adding many new benefits,” said Shawn Kuzmin, Pistons’ Senior Vice President of Sales and Service. “These include a Loyalty benefits program, as well as a season ticket holder exchange program for unused tickets and access to ticket upgrades at all Pistons’ home games. The new Loyalty benefits program will reward ticket holders on their tenure with the Pistons by offering Palace cards, suites and concert tickets.”   

Current Pistons season ticket holders will begin receiving their renewal packets the week of April 12.   For information on purchasing season tickets or renewals, contact the Pistons ticket sales and services department at 248-377-0100 or log on to www.pistons.com.  Also, the entire Pistons’ season ticket sales program can be accessed at www.palacenet.com/renew/2010/booklet/.     

PNC, one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies, is the presenting sponsor for the Detroit Pistons.  For more information about PNC, please visit www.pncbank.com.

Detroit Pistons Roundtable recap

PistonPowered hosted a roundtable about the Detroit Pistons last week. A rundown to take you back to anything you may have missed or want to see again:

Panel

Posts

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 12, 2010

The Warriors somehow beat the Thunder last night, so that’s pretty cool.

The Pistons would still have the sixth seed if the season ended today, but they’re one game back from the third seed.

If the Knicks or Clippers win tonight or the Pistons lose, Detroit will be guaranteed to have a worse record than them.

If the Pistons win tonight and the Wizards or Kings win, Detroit will be guaranteed to have a better record than them.

Each team in the lottery race with the Pistons has two games remaining. I’ve included every team’s opponents in the standings. Unfortunately, I think Detroit has the easiest schedule left.

As always, if anyone has any questions about the lottery, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Miami Heat 111, New York Knicks 98
  • Golden State Warriors 120, Oklahoma City Thunder 117

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Scenarios

  • Best case: No. 3 seed
  • Worst case: Tie for No. 8 seed

Current standings

  • No. 3 seed: Golden State Warriors (25-55) – vs. Jazz, at Trail Blazers
  • No. 3 seed: Washington Wizards (25-55) – at Knicks, vs. Pacers
  • No. 3 seed: Sacramento Kings (25-55) – vs. Rockets, at Lakers
  • No. 6 seed: Detroit Pistons (26-54) – vs. Raptors, at Timberwolves
  • No. 7 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (27-53) – vs. Heat, at Magic
  • No. 8 seed: Los Angeles Clippers (28-52) – vs. Mavericks, vs. Lakers
  • No. 8 seed: New York Knicks (28-52) – vs. Wizards, at Raptors

Odds if the season ended today

image

  • No. 1 pick: 6.3 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 7.1 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 8.1 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 43.9 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 30.5 percent
  • No. 8: pick: 4.0 percent
  • No. 9: pick: 0.1 percent

Today’s key games

  • Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.
  • Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m.
  • Washington Wizards at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
  • Houston Rockets at Sacramento Kings, 10:30 p.m.
  • Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m.

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 11, 2010

If the Warriors lose to the Thunder tonight, the best the Pistons can do is tie for the third seed.

If the Knicks beat the Heat, Detroit will be guaranteed at least the eighth seed.

As always, if anyone has any questions about the lottery, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Charlotte Bobcats 99, Detroit Pistons 95
  • Atlanta Hawks 105, Washington Wizards 95
  • Philadelphia 76ers 120, Memphis Grizzlies 101
  • Dallas Mavericks 126, Sacramento Kings 108
  • Los Angeles Clippers 107, Golden State Warriors 104 

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Scenarios

  • Best case: No. 3 seed
  • Worst case: Tie for No. 9 seed

Current standings

  • No. 3 seed: Golden State Warriors (24-55)
  • No. 4 seed: Washington Wizards (25-55)
  • No. 4 seed: Sacramento Kings (25-55)
  • No. 6 seed: Detroit Pistons (26-54)
  • No. 7 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (27-53)
  • No. 8 seed: Los Angeles Clippers (28-52)
  • No. 9 seed: New York Knicks (28-51)

Odds if the season ended today

image

  • No. 1 pick: 6.3 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 7.1 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 8.1 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 43.9 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 30.5 percent
  • No. 8: pick: 4.0 percent
  • No. 9: pick: 0.1 percent

Today’s key games

  • Miami Heat at New York Knicks, 6 p.m.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors, 9 p.m.

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 10, 2010

Since I started this feature, the Pistons are 3-0, including two wins over playoff teams. So – yeah.

It’s great to see Ben Gordon playing well again, and to me, that outweighs a better lottery chance. But it’s also agitating to watch a chance at Wall, Turner or Cousins slip away.

It’s been so long so we’ve been torn with this dilemma. I say, the Pistons should just get back to the playoffs so we don’t have to worry about it.

Moving on.

If the Pistons beat the Bobcats and the Warriors lose to the Clippers tonight, Detroit’s best possible finish will be a tie for the third and fourth seeds.

As always, if anyone has any questions, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Detroit Pistons 106, Miami Heat 99
  • Orlando Magic 118, New York Knicks 103
  • Milwaukee Bucks 95, Philadelphia 76ers 90
  • Washington Wizards 106, Boston Celtics 96

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Scenarios

  • Best case: No. 3 seed
  • Worst case: No. 9 seed

Current standings

  • No. 3 seed: Golden State Warriors (24-54)
  • No. 4 seed: Washington Wizards (25-54)
  • No. 4 seed: Sacramento Kings (25-54)
  • No. 6 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (26-53)
  • No. 6 seed: Detroit Pistons (26-53)
  • No. 8 seed: Los Angeles Clippers (27-52)
  • No. 9 seed: New York Knicks (28-51)

Odds if the season ended today

image

  • No. 1 pick: 5.3 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 6.0 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 7.0 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 22.0 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 45.2 percent
  • No. 8: pick: 13.6 percent
  • No. 9: pick: 1.0 percent
  • No. 10: pick: 0.0 percent (There is a chance of landing this pick, but the odds round to 0.0.)

Today’s key games

  • Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m.
  • Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.
  • Philadelphia 76ers at Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m.
  • Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m.
  • Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Detroit Pistons Roundtable: Wildcard questions

This is the final installment of this year’s Detroit Pistons Roundtable. Again, here’s the panel:

I  want to thank everyone listed above for participating. I think this year’s roundtable has gone great and the bar is set very high for next year.

For the final question, I ask each roundtable participant a separate question. So, please give your thoughts on the questions that interest you in the comments.

Dave Pemberton, The Oakland Press

A lot of Pistons fans want to draft Keith Benson. How do you evaluate his NBA potential? (Pemberton used to cover the Oakland men’s basketball team for The Oakland Press.

The two big knacks on Benson are strength and defense. Benson has to add strength to his 6-foot-11, 225-pound frame to be affective at the NBA level. Defensively, he can come up with the highlight-reel block, but has trouble defending stronger players one-on-one. He averaged 10.5 rebounds per game, but will have trouble getting in good position against NBA talent unless he adds strength.

Benson’s offensive game showed a lot of improvement this past season. He has good footwork and a nice touch around the basket. He has a solid mid-range game and shot 72.4 percent from the free-throw line. The one knack again is strength and being able to get good position against NBA talent.

Head-to-head against likely lottery pick Cole Aldrich of Kansas, Benson had 20 points, six rebounds and four blocks, while Aldrich had four points, nine rebounds and three blocks. The two were roommates at the Amar’e Stoudemire skills camp last summer.

My guess is Benson will return for his senior season, but if he comes out and is available in the second round he might prove to be a good pick. I don’t see him as an early lottery pick this season, which is where Detroit will be picking.

Chris Iott, MLive.com/ Booth Newspapers

What has surprised you most about your first season covering the Pistons?

It is shocking how good the chocolate chip cookies that get delivered each game to Rick Mahorn are, but I have had only one, so further testing is needed. The Pistons’ locker room is substantially smaller than I expected, especially when compared with the Tigers’ clubhouse. The officials yell at the coaches a lot more than I thought they did. Ben Wallace had a much bigger impact on the team than I thought he would.

Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press

Which of the new Pistons is the best interview and why?

I actually like Ben Wallace. When he has something to say, he is very insightful and is a lot more gregarious than he lets on.

Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

You’ve written that Pistons fans have become apathetic. Does it surprise you how disinterested they’ve been this year, and do you think their enthusiasm has room to go lower?

I’m not surprised. This was the convergence of a lot of different forces. The first and most obvious is the economy which has affected all of the local teams. The second is the long, sustained run of success that the team had. It was a terrific decade, but by the end, it had grown stale to the point where fans actually complained that the winning had gotten boring. Third was the wildly unpopular trade for Allen Iverson. Joe Dumars traded away the most popular player on the team (and maybe in the state) for a malcontent who submarined everything. And now we’re left with a bad team where the effort is easy to question on any given night. Can it go lower? I suppose anything is possible. What is there here to root for? There are no stars. There is no excitement. There is no trademark for the team. If ESPN were promoting a game, how would they do it? Come see Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons? That won’t sell any seats.

Keith Langlois, Detroit Pistons

Who in the organization do you think has taken this season’s struggles the hardest?

Anybody who hates losing has absorbed the agony of this season, but John Kuester has to be the one who’s endured the most anguish. Veterans like Wallace, Prince and Hamilton haven’t experienced losing of this magnitude for years, if ever, but the success they’ve experienced has to mitigate this season’s disappointment to some degree. Joe Dumars knows the ebb and flow of the business. The rookies and young veterans have to focus as much on finding their niche as on the bigger picture of team success. But Kuester waited a long time for his shot at being a head coach and he knows this goes on his record. To have his shot undermined so thoroughly by injuries clearly has worn on him.

Eli Zaret, Detroit Pistons

Which current Piston do you think would make the best broadcaster after he retires and why?

Autin Daye wants to be a broadcaster and has a great grasp of the language; has an high basketball IQ and comes from a basketball family (Darren). He’s the obvious choice,seeing as he’s already doing man on the street interviews for the team website and in-arena show.

Patrick Hayes, Full-Court Press

As you’ve researched rookies for your Draft Dreams series, who has impressed you most compared to your initial impression and why?

Wall and Turner are obviously amazing and getting either of those guys could be potentially franchise-altering for Detroit. But there are a few less heralded players who I really like.

Feldman’s already made fun of me for this (I think it’s just the jilted UM fan inside him), so others will probably follow suit, but I love Ekpe Udoh. The knock on him as a prospect was the fact that his offensive game is not NBA ready. After watching about four Baylor games late in the season, including their tourney game against Duke, I think he’s much better offensively than people give him credit for. He’s a very good passer for a big man — Baylor was running their offense through him at times. He can turn and face up, put the ball on the floor a bit and he has range out to the college three-point line, something he didn’t have at Michigan. Udoh’s surged up draft projections as the season’s went on because of this.

Defensively, he’ll block shots. He needs to get stronger if he’s going to be the biggest player on a NBA team, but he’ll really help a team picking in the 10-15 range. The Big 12 was a good league for big men this year, and Udoh held his own.

I also love Georgetown’s Greg Monroe and Xavier Henry of Kansas. Monroe is one of the more polished bigs offensively in recent drafts and is a great passer. His defense is iffy, but he’s the most NBA-ready offensively of any college big.
Henry is raw, but he’s going to develop into an insanely good, physical and intense perimeter defender. He’s quick, he’s strong, he’s athletic and he’s competitive, all the traits in a lockdown defensive guy. I’m not as sold on his offense as his defense, but he’ll be a very good NBA player for a long time.
I like Patrick Patterson a lot as a late lottery/mid first round big who’s just solid in several facets of the game. Basically, I love everyone except Cole Aldrich.

Justin Rogers, Full-Court Press

Who will be a better defender with the Pistons, Ben Gordon or Charlie Villanueva?

This is a tough question to answer, but I’m leaning toward Gordon. He’s fairly strong for his size and he’s quick. If the Pistons offer solid help defense, Gordon’s deficiencies can be covered up. For his size and skill set it always surprises me how painfully slow Villanueva moves. His only serviceable defensive skill is the occasional blocked shot.

The number one thing I’d like to see both players work on is their pick-and-roll defense. Gordon has to be more physical working through screens and Villanueva has to be more efficient at both showing on the ball handler and recovering to his man.

Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed

If you were going to reconstruct Sheed using elements of current Pistons, what traits would you take from whom?

I would rather focus on the Swede than Sheed right now, but here goes.

The new and improved Sheed would have:

  • Jonas Jerebko’s heart and hustle.
  • Ben Wallace’s shot blocking.
  • Jason Maxiell’s ability to take on anyone and go after every board.
  • Tayshaun’s wingspan.
  • Will Bynum’s speed.
  • Ben Gordon’s shot (from last season).
  • Rip Hamilton’s training techniques.
  • Austin Daye’s temperament.
  • And nothing from Charlie Villanueva.

Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys

Your bio (on the left sidebar) says you took a charge from Shane Battier. What’s the story there?

There is no story – it’s just a joke. Battier went to my high school and was friends with my older brothers (he was a baseball teammate of one of my brothers). I played AAU basketball through ninth grade and attended the Duke basketball camp in 8th grade because Battier went there. We talked a lot and played one-on-one, but I never took a charge from him. In fact, I was terrified of him (6’8" vs. 5’10") and he blocked A LOT of my shots. I think I lost like 21-1. I know some people don’t like Duke very much, but there’s nothing to dislike about Battier – he’s an all-around class-act, a smart basketball player, and an even smarter person.

Kevin Sawyer, Detroit Bad Boys

You wrote at midseason, "I don’t think the Pistons are a playoff team with Jerebko playing 30 mpg." Do you still think that’s the case and why?

I do. First, I think he needs to grow into his role as a sort of enforcer on the defensive end. Second, I think he’s going to need those three fouls a game in order to maintain his effectiveness. He’s new to the league, so his profile could change, but I think he’s going to bring the bulk of his value at the defensive end. Again, I’ll cite Varejao as a comparison point.

Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys

Do you think Charlie Villanueva realizes how good he is inside? After writing that post, is it even more infuriating watching how he plays?

I think Charlie’s confidence has taken quite a hit, but I’m sure he realizes how good his inside game is (hey, he shared my article on Facebook).  Personally, I’m not bothered by Charlie’s offense.  Some may complain about his three point attempts, but this is as much a result of coaching as it is about Charlie’s preference on offense.  Pistons fans are still scarred from the Ways of Rasheed, and Charlie’s three point shots are not as welcome as a result.  If Kuester didn’t want Charlie taking perimeter shots, he’d draft plays accordingly.

The infuriating part about Charlie’s play is obviously his defense.  It’s absolutely painful to watch.  His non-existent D and bad fouls have led John Kuester to pull him out of the starting lineup and then limit him to less than 18 minutes a game.  Kuester’s philosophy with Charlie is that you can earn minutes and shot attempts by playing solid defense.  What’s ironic, however, is that Villanueva earned solid minutes under stern, defensive stalwart Scott Skiles.  Now, Villanueva has begun earning DNP-CDs and no one really notices.

I’m hoping, as he likely is as well, that Charlie can turn it around next year.  In a perfect world, Villanueva would spend the summer in Ben Wallace’s weight room, drinking Myoplex and guarding pick-and-rolls.  With our luck, he’ll likely end up in Sean May’s kitchen drinking mayo and eating dinner rolls.

Jesse Murphy, Pistons Nation

You always seem to enjoy highlighting former fringe Pistons. Who is your favorite and why?

Never thought about it that way. I guess more than anything I enjoy being a fan of Pistons basketball and the team’s history. It’s easy to root for players like Grant Hill, Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, etc., but real fans know that the stars need guys to fill roles to help the team excel.

I don’t know if I can point to a clear favorite but one guy I feel that was pretty underrated that I enjoyed was Zeljko Rebraca. Zelly was a rugged low post player who had a nice touch down low. Plus he had that cool Silver Surfer tatt on his left arm.

Jon Young, Flagrant2

With a relatively new blog, what do you add to the Pistons blogosphere?

I do a weekly top-5 countdown on Mondays. It can range from anywhere to top 5 ugliest players to top-5 dunks, blocks etc. I mix it up and do something different every week. I try to have a recap of each game before the morning, and give insight to every game.

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Detroit Pistons Roundtable: How to fix this mess

We’re back for the fourth question of this year’s Detroit Pistons Roundtable. Again, here’s the panel:

I  want to thank everyone listed above for participating. But I don’t want to hear just from them. Please post your answers to the question in the comments.  We can make this an even larger collection of thoughts about the Pistons.

Here’s today’s question:

If you were Joe Dumars, would you be on a one-year plan, two-year plan, three-year plan, etc.? What does your answer mean for this offseason?

Dave Pemberton, The Oakland Press

My top priority this offseason would be to bolster the Pistons frontcourt and help get the team in position to compete for a playoff spot next season. Whether it be in the draft, free agency or a trade, the Pistons have to improve up front. It’s frightening to think how bad Detroit’s frontcourt would have been without Ben Wallace this season.

This all starts with the draft and depending on the pick is likely the best option. Free agency won’t bring anything more than a temporary solution. Signing someone like Brad Miller, Erick Dampier or Brendan Haywood would be an improvement, but not a long-term solution. Bringing back Wallace would be among my plans, but only with a deal similar to the one he had this season.
Re-signing Will Bynum would also be a priority this offseason. Bynum’s a young player that has shown he can provide a nice spark off the bench and fill in as the starting point guard if needed.

Adding young talent this offseason or during next season would be part of my long-term plan because I would be looking to compete for a championship two or three years down the road.

Tayshaun Prince will be an attractive option in trades because of his expiring contract, but I wouldn’t give him away. He’s shown he can still play and with the motivation of getting a new contract could be a nice piece for Detroit next season. I would actively shop other veterans, but make sure I get some value in return.

Chris Iott, MLive.com/ Booth Newspapers

Joe Dumars has to be on an "every-year plan." Championship teams are not built overnight or even an offseason. Dumars has his work cut out for him, but no matter what he does, the Pistons are not going to win the 2010-11 NBA title. The Pistons can make a leap forward and make the playoffs next season, but Dumars will have to make one really good to great move in free agency and via a trade in addition to getting it right when it comes to the draft. But even a perfect offseason will leave another year or two of work to do. This truly is a team in transition.

Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press

I wouldn’t necessarily put a time frame on when the Pistons could return to challenging for a title. I would just treat this season as hitting rock bottom and work from there. If it takes one, two, three or however long, that’s how I would treat it. As for this off-season, without even making a move you are looking at a top-five pick, a high second-rounder and the midlevel exception. That offers the potential for three nice pieces (two of those slots should be big guys). And you assume Rip or Tay will be moved so who knows how many more new players will be around.  I will say this off-season will be huge for the future.

Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

It’s impossible to define how long a plan can be. Dumars made it clear last off-season that he wasn’t content to allow for a long rebuild. So he got aggressive and signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to awful contracts. And with the future of the franchise so unclear, I wonder how aggressive Dumars will be allowed to be. But I’m sure he’d love to unload some contracts, so there will be a lot of proposals and phone calls and offers. But in this economy, what team is going to want Rip Hamilton for three more years at 12.6 mil per year? Dumars has had a very good run as the Pistons GM. And I think he deserves the chance to fix this mess. But he did create the mess. And I don’t see many ways out. At least not in the short term.

Keith Langlois, Detroit Pistons

My answer would be that I won’t limit the possibilities for next season but I also won’t do anything that limits the possibilities beyond next season. I think he’d say his intent is to put the Pistons in the best position to win as many games as possible next season without damaging their future beyond that. Get better now, but avoid the quick fix. He’s more likely to trade veterans for younger talent than vice versa, but I don’t think he’d rule out anything that would improve the Pistons now without recklessly endangering their future. As for what will shape his off-season, I think where the May 18 lottery places them will be a big piece of the picture.

Eli Zaret, Detroit Pistons

I think it’ll be at least a 2- if not a 3-year plan. This offseason he’ll get a top 5 pick; will probably try to trade some of his assets that need a change of scenery, like Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince and use his midlevel exception wisely. Billups was a midlevel back in ’02-’03 and that worked out pretty well.

Patrick Hayes, Full-Court Press

The Pistons aren’t far off. They need what most teams do – a star playmaker, regardless of position. You can’t win in the NBA right now without a guy who can get his own shot on any possession. If the Pistons luck out in the draft and end up with Wall or Turner, then sign a serviceable big for part of the midlevel or make a trade for one, they’ll be a middle of the pack playoff team in the East next year.

This rebuilding project is going to take as long as it takes for the Pistons to get a top two pick in the draft. If that happens this year, they’ll be back soon. If it doesn’t, next year they should be better with improved health, but not significantly enough to become a playoff threat.

Justin Rogers, Full-Court Press

The Pistons are at least two years away, but they can make significant strides this offseason. First and foremost the Pistons can start the turnaround process in the NBA draft.The team is likely to have a top-six-or-seven pick, hopefully top three. Second, Tayshaun Prince’s value is starting to peak again. He’s been fantastic on the last third of the season and he’s entering in the final year of his contract. Dumars should be able to get pretty good value in a trade. Finally, the MLE must be used wisely. Free agency is flooded with superstars, so Dumars should be able to find a bargain on the market. Obviously the goal is to find another player like Billups, a younger player who is hasn’t met their potential, but is willing to work hard. Clearly that’s easier said than done.

Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed

Right now you want to get better every season. You don’t ever want to be on a two- or three-year plan. You focus around making your team the best you can every season. If it takes three years to make a championship push, so be it, but you need to go all out each year if you think you have the pieces that might work together.

As far as the offseason, Dumars needs size. Kwame Brown is gone, Ben Wallace might retire, and Chris Wilcox was like a ghost all season. That just leaves the undersized Jason Maxiell. If Austin Daye doesn’t go on a weightlifting, eating binge during the summer or gets blasted with whatever Bruce Banner did, the Pistons are in serious trouble.

Dumars also either needs to resign Will Bynum, who will get much more than his $825,000 salary next season, or find a point guard to take his place.

As for the current duo of Tayshaun and Rip, I’m sure he’ll take calls on both. Rip has a difficult contract to move, but Tayshaun’s 12 million will come off the books after the 2011 season, so the Pistons could get someone to make that deal.

Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys

Presumably, the Pistons are going to add 2-3 quality talents this off-season with the draft and the MLE. Hopefully, one of those will be the big-man, paint presence the Pistons so desperately need. Of course, whether this year was a result of all the injuries, or a true indication of the talent on this team will also affect Joe’s plan significantly.

Kevin Sawyer, Detroit Bad Boys

I’d look toward 2011-2012. Gordon and Villanueva will still be in their 20s, Stuckey will be hitting his stride, Austin Daye should be a major player and our lottery pick will have a year under his belt. I think Dumars needs to think about what he can do to move Hamilton. If that means moving an asset (like Jerebko, or even a draft pick), I think that he should consider doing so.

That said, economics being what they are, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend a few million toward a playoff push next year.   

Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys

Although I’d love to see Joe Dumars turn this ship around in one, two or even three years, I remain pessimistic about the future. The Pistons are locked into some serious contracts with under-performing players and a roster with no real identity. Sadly, my hope for this team’s future is entirely dependent on numbered balls in a lottery machine.

If Detroit winds up with any of the top three picks, the future will again be bright. I like DeMarcus Cousins and Evan Turner a lot more than I like John Wall, and would prefer either going forward. If we draft 4th or beyond, we’ll likely snag a role player and a longer wait for a turn-around.

Should we draft after the top three are taken, and Minnesota nets DeMarcus Cousins, we could find a trade partner in Wolves GM David Kahn. I suggested a trade scenario with Minny back in January, moving Tayshaun and Stuckey for Jefferson and Sessions. If Minnesota drafts Cousins they will most certainly move Jefferson, and Detroit should do whatever it can to bring him to Detroit. A starting line of Sessions, Gordon, Jerebko, Jefferson and Aldrich sounds quite attractive to me (well, any lineup with Jerebko is attractive, of course). Although some may question giving Sessions the keys at the point, he is precisely the kind of rare player that ends up making a GM look brilliant – just like Chauncey did of Dumars many years ago.

Jesse Murphy, Pistons Nation

That’s a tough question because of the salary commitments that Joe has made the past few seasons, see question #2.

Jon Young, Flagrant2

If I was Joe Dumars I would be on a one-year plan.

The Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva contracts look real bad right now, and the chance of shedding them is unlikely. If they could find any team willing to trade an above average big man for Rip I would jump on it.

The offseason depends a lot on the draft. If the Pistons get the #1 pick I think they would get John Wall at point guard and move Stuckey to the 2 guard. That would make trading Rip a lot easier. If they get a big man in the draft they could cut Chucky Atkins and go for a veteran point guard, not even necessary to start but to help run the team and manage the offense (Jason Williams for example).

The Pistons need to find a big man this offseason, preferably one who can shoot the ball maybe a Brad Miller type. The post has been very weak this year. I don’t see any point in resigning Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox hasn’t done nearly as much as expected and Ben Wallace isn’t going to give you a scoring option. If the Pistons can draft a solid big man and keep Ben Wallace around for defense, the post situation will at the very least upgrade from this year. Tayshaun has been playing good lately and he might be the best option for acquiring a big man through trade, which if you’re Joe Dumars you have to be looking for.

Jonas is most likely going to improve next year, Charlie V has something to prove, and Ben Gordon can’t be any worse than this season. Through the draft, hopefully a trade, and development of the current roster the Pistons should improve in the next few seasons.

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered

I’d be on a one-year plan – almost completely.

I’d still draft the best player available rather than someone with limited upside who’s more apt to contribute right away. And I wouldn’t trade Rodney Stuckey, Jonas Jerebko or Austin Daye for someone much older.

But I’d be willing to trade Charlie Villanueva, Ben Gordon or Will Bynum for someone with less upside, but who would be better right now.

I’d also go for need over luxury in free agency – not what Joe Dumars did with Ben Gordon last summer.

Dumars isn’t stupid. He knows Gordon plays a similar role to Richard Hamilton. But I think he saw Gordon as the type of special player on whom you don’t pass. (Whether he’s right remains to be seen.)

I’d use the mid-level exception on the big man who can help Detroit most right now – regardless of his age. Luis Scola or Marcus Camby would be ideal, but they’re probably a stretch. Someone like Jermaine O’Neal, Udonis Haslem or Drew Gooden would likely make more sense.

The goal should be to get good right away, especially because it will increase the value of the expensive players the Pistons already have. Detroit’s high-priced players are good, but if they play for a loser too long, their value will plummet.

Look at Andre Iguodala, Elton Brandon and Samuel Dalembert in Philadelphia. They’re overpaid, but all three can still play. Their trade value is shot because the 76ers have been so miserable.

On the other hand, check out Rashard Lewis in Orlando or Kenyon Martin in Denver. They’re overpaid and productive, too. But their trade value is much higher than it should be because their teams are so good.

Winning masks a lot of issues, and the Pistons have plenty of those. Winning won’t make the problems completely disappear, but it will make them a lot easier to fix.

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Like with the other questions, please post your answer in the comments. I’d like this roundtable to involve everyone reading, too.

Detroit Pistons lottery rundown: April 9, 2010

Because the Kings beat the Clippers yesterday, the Pistons move up from the sixth seed to the fifth seed. But that also means the Clippers are closer to passing Detroit.

If the Pistons lose to the Heat tonight, they’ll be guaranteed to at least tie the Knicks for the eight and ninth seeds. If the Knicks beat Orlando, Detroit will do no worse than the eighth seed (solo).

As always, if anyone has any questions, post them in the comments, and I’ll answer. If you’re unsure about something, I’m sure someone else is, too.

Yesterday’s key games

  • Sacramento Kings 116, Los Angeles Clippers 94

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)

Scenarios

  • Best case: No. 3 seed
  • Worst case: No. 9 seed

Current standings

  • No. 3 seed: Golden State Warriors (24-54)
  • No. 3 seed: Washington Wizards (24-54)
  • No. 5 seed: Detroit Pistons (25-53)
  • No. 6 seed: Sacramento Kings (25-54)
  • No. 7 seed: Philadelphia 76ers (26-52)
  • No. 8 seed: Los Angeles Clippers (27-52)
  • No. 9 seed: New York Knicks (28-50)

Odds if the season ended today

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  • No. 1 pick: 8.8 percent
  • No. 2 pick: 9.7 percent
  • No. 3 pick: 10.7 percent
  • No. 4 pick: 0.0 percent
  • No. 5 pick: 26.1 percent
  • No. 6 pick: 36.0 percent
  • No. 7 pick: 8.4 percent
  • No. 8: pick: 0.4 percent

Today’s key games

  • Detroit Pistons at Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m.
  • New York Knicks at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.
  • Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m.
  • Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m.

(teams in lottery race with Pistons are bolded)