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Archive → August, 2010

Remember that one time the Pistons ran an awesome play last season?

When Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook e-mailed me to let me know the Pistons ran one of his favorite deadball sets of the year, I thought it was a mistake. Surely, he must’ve meant a different team.

But as soon as I saw the video, I remembered. Check out Sebastian’s post analyzing the play. Definitely one of the highlights of the season.

Sebastian speculates John Kuester drew up the play on the fly, but I’m not so sure. I think there’s a good chance he learned it from his mentor, Larry Brown. When Brown coached the Pistons, under-the-basket out-of-bounds plays were like automatic points.

Also, read what Sebastian says about Rodney Stuckey’s importance in the play. If the Pistons had the smaller, weaker “true” point guard so many of you are clamoring for, Tayshaun Prince may not have come around the screen cleanly.

George Postolos emerges at potential Detroit Pistons buyer

George Postolos met with the Pistons on Wednesday about buying the franchise, according to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Ellis:

Postolos, a former special assistant to league commissioner David Stern, is currently president and CEO of The Postolos Group LP, a company that helps with the acquisition of sports franchises.

This won’t be the first time he has tried to purchase a franchise. He also tried to buy the Charlotte Bobcats, who recently were purchased by Michael Jordan.

Postolos also served as the Houston Rockets’ president and CEO.

Conveniently, Henry Abbott of TrueHoop interviewed Postolos in May. Give it a read. Postolos sounds very smart about the business of owning a professional basketball team.

My gut reaction is I’d be happy with him as the Pistons’ owner. Check out this excerpt from an article by Peter St. Onge of The Charlotte Observer:

When George Postolos took over as president of the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 1998, his city was beginning to be worn out on his basketball team. The owner, based in far-away Florida, was complaining about his arena lease. Relationships in the business community were fractured. Fans, smarting from the loss of their NFL team the year before, braced for another heartbreak.

By the time Postolos left the Rockets in 2006, he had changed the franchise inside and out, mended the team’s rifts with the community, and come away from it all in a most uncommon way – as someone almost universally well-liked.

“There are not a lot of sports executives that get as good of a response as George does,” says Bob Lanier, the popular former mayor of Houston.

If only that were the same Bob Lanier, this would be a perfect match.

But in his interview with Abbott, Postolos also talks about buying a franchise only at the right price. Unless Karen Davidson is willing to cut a deal, Postolos might not be a likely buyer.

Detroit Pistons sign Terrico White, contract information page updated

Terrico White signed a two-year, partially guaranteed minimum contract with the Detroit Pistons, according to Chris Iott of MLive. It was just a matter of time until the second-round pick agreed to terms.

Now that Tracy McGrady has officially signed with the Pistons, I’ve updated the Detroit Pistons contract information page.

Aldridge source: Pistons will work to “un-jam the log-jam” on the wing

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

A league source indicated Tuesday that the Pistons will work to "un-jam the log jam" the team now has at the shooting guard and small forward spots.

The source said that McGrady agreed without conditions to play behind starters Rip Hamilton and Tayshawn (sic) Prince next season, though it’s likely that Detroit will move either Hamilton or Prince before the start of next season. It’s more likely the Pistons will move Prince, who is entering the last year of his contract.

A second source said Sunday that Detroit won’t move Prince unless he requests a trade.

So, either the first source has different information or Tayshaun Prince has requested a trade. My guess is the former, and Joe Dumars is more motivated to move Richard Hamilton.

Detroit Pistons schedule in 82 sentences

Wed. Oct. 27 at New Jersey 7:00 p.m.

Both teams are excited to open the season with a game they’re convinced they’ll win. -Dan Feldman

Fri. Oct. 29 Oklahoma City 8:00 p.m.

Sorry, but I think Oden-over-Durant will go down as a worse pick than Darko-over-Melo. -Patrick Hayes

Sat. Oct. 30 at Chicago 8:00 p.m.

With four years and 81 games left until his contract expires, don’t expect max effort from Carlos Boozer. -D.F.

Tue. Nov. 2 Boston 7:30 p.m.

I know it’s early in the season, but I would be willing to bet that at least one of the McGrady-Hamilton-Prince-Shaq-Jermaine O’Neil-KG group misses this game. -P.H.

Wed. Nov. 3 at Atlanta 7:00 p.m.

Joe Johnson and Richard Hamilton square off to prove the other is the league’s most-overpaid shooting guard. -D.F.

Fri. Nov. 5 Charlotte 7:30 p.m.

Larry Brown’s three PGs are D.J. Augustin, Sherron Collins and Shaun Livingston, which is great considering how much LB loves young PGs. -P.H.

Sun. Nov. 7 Golden State 6:00 p.m.

Greg Monroe said he doesn’t play with a chip on his shoulder, so this game has no significance. -D.F.

Tue. Nov. 9 at Portland 10:00 p.m.

Nicholas Batum will become a young, super-charged version Tayshaun Prince this season. -P.H.

Fri. Nov. 12 at L.A. Clippers 10:30 p.m.

How are the Pistons going to spend their two days off on the West Coast before this game? -D.F.

Sun. Nov. 14 at Sacramento 6:00 p.m.

Prediction: DeMarcus Cousins will play awesome, followed by MLive commenters saying, “Dumars is an idiot for not trading Jason Maxiell for him.” -P.H.

Mon. Nov. 15 at Golden State 10:30 p.m.

The Warriors become the first team the Pistons can scratch off the schedule – until June. -D.F.

Wed. Nov. 17 L.A. Lakers 7:30 p.m.

Greg Monroe will get tested against the best frontcourt in the NBA. -P.H.

Sun. Nov. 21 Washington 6:00 p.m.

Flip Saunders could be a great coach for John Wall in the short term. -D.F.

Tue. Nov. 23 at Dallas 8:30 p.m.

Tyson Chandler will play well and MLive commenters will say, “Dumars is an idiot for not trading Rip Hamilton for him.” -P.H.

Wed. Nov. 24 at Memphis 8:00 p.m.

I really like Xavier Henry’s game and look forward to watching him – if the Grizzlies sign him. -D.F.

Fri. Nov. 26 Milwaukee 7:30 p.m.

Prediction: After the Corey Maggette trade and Drew Gooden/John Salmons signings don’t work out so well, people will stop treating John Hammond like a genius. -P.H.

Sun. Nov. 28 New York 1:30 p.m.

Amar’e Stoudemire should be well rested if he observes the Sabbath the day prior. -D.F.

Tue. Nov. 30 at Orlando 7:00 p.m.

You know, even when they were terrible last season, the Pistons still inexplicably played Orlando pretty well. -P.H.

Wed. Dec. 1 at Miami 7:30 p.m.

I can’t see any reason to be intrigued by this game whatsoever. -D.F.

Fri. Dec. 3 Orlando 7:30 p.m.

Tight-shirt-loving Dwight Howard will say “forget the extra smalls” and just make the jump to youth-sized jerseys this season. -P.H.

Sun. Dec. 5 Cleveland 6:00 p.m.

I’m legitimately curious whether the Pistons or Cavaliers will be better this year. -D.F.

Tue. Dec. 7 at Houston 8:30 p.m.

Tracy McGrady’s return to Houston should be intriguing, because even if things didn’t end well there, it wasn’t his fault. -P.H.

Wed. Dec. 8 at New Orleans 8:00 p.m.

Happy seventh night of Channukah! -D.F.

Fri. Dec. 10 at Minnesota 8:00 p.m.

Darko, Kahn! -P.H.

Sat. Dec. 11 Toronto 7:30 p.m.

Could Richard Hamilton be auditioning for a trade to the Raptors this night? -D.F.

Tue. Dec. 14 Atlanta 7:30 p.m.

The Hawks fired Mike Woodson for not always getting through to his players, among other things, so it makes sense that they replaced him with a first-time coach from his own staff. -P.H.

Fri. Dec. 17 L.A. Clippers 7:30 p.m.

I liked the Clippers’ roster – then they hired Vinny Del Negro. -D.F.

Sun. Dec. 19 New Orleans 6:00 p.m.

Over/under on how many “Pistons should trade for Chris Paul” comments will show up in game threads all over the state is 425. -P.H.

Wed. Dec. 22 at Toronto 7:00 p.m.

I hope the Pistons use one of their five days off surrounding this game to enjoy the amazing internationalness of Toronto that endeared the city to Hedo Turkoglu. -D.F.

Sun. Dec. 26 Chicago 6:00 p.m.

The Pistons get a coveted day-after-Christmas game. -P.H.

Mon. Dec. 27 at Charlotte 7:00 p.m. NBA TV

Does it count as a nationally televised game if I don’t know anybody who gets the channel? -D.F.

Wed. Dec. 29 Boston 7:30 p.m.

Bets on whether Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal will combine to average 15 points per game? -P.H.

Fri. Dec. 31 at Phoenix 9:00 p.m.

Being Canadian, will Steve Nash also celebrate New Year’s this night? -D.F.

Mon. Jan. 3 at Utah 9:00 p.m.

With Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap up front, the Pistons might actually have a height advantage in this game. -P.H.

Tue. Jan. 4 at L.A. Lakers 10:30 p.m.

Loss. -D.F.

Sat. Jan. 8 Philadelphia 7:30 p.m.

Prediction: Rip Hamilton will give Philly assistant Michael Curry an anti-shoutout before the game. -P.H.

Mon. Jan. 10 at Chicago 8:00 p.m.

Hopefully, Ben Gordon has hit his groove by this point and can make the Bulls regret letting him go. -D.F.

Wed. Jan. 12 Memphis 7:30 p.m.

Although the obvious choice for worst contract off the offseason is Joe Johnson, my underdog pick is Rudy Gay. -P.H.

Fri. Jan. 14 at Toronto 7:00 p.m.

I have run out of things to say about Pistons-Raptors matchups. -D.F.

Sat. Jan. 15 Sacramento 7:30 p.m.

OK, so the Pistons didn’t get Cousins, but how about trying to pry away Samuel Dalembert with Prince’s expiring contract? -P.H.

Mon. Jan. 17 Dallas 3:30 p.m.

I legitimately enjoy tying basketball with Martin Luther King Day and Fox Sports Detroit’s tasteful broadcasts. -D.F.

Wed. Jan. 19 at Boston 7:30 p.m.

I don’t know how Rajon Rondo is going to make it through this season with all of these old people without going crazy. -P.H.

Fri. Jan. 21 at New Jersey 7:00 p.m.

Hey, maybe Sebastian Pruiti will do an NBA Playbook post about the Pistons after watching this game. -D.F.

Sat. Jan. 22 Phoenix 7:30 p.m.

Guy who is going to have a breakout year: Hakim Warrick, whom Nash will make a poor man’s Amar’e Stoudemire. -P.H.

Mon. Jan. 24 at Orlando 7:00 p.m.

Third game in three cities in four nights + playing premier team = loss. -D.F.

Wed. Jan. 26 Denver 7:30 p.m.

Chauncey Billups and Arron Afflalo returning will cause a larger than normal number of “Dumars sucks” comments (PP commenter Laser nods head in anticipation). -P.H.

Fri. Jan. 28 at Miami 7:30 p.m.

Calling right now that the Pistons will win this game. -D.F.

Sun. Jan. 30 at New York 7:30 p.m.

I’m actually more intrigued by Anthony Randolph in Mike D’Antoni’s offense than Amar’e. -P.H.

Wed. Feb. 2 Charlotte 7:30 p.m.

The combined agony of the Pistons’ 6,000 wing players about being defended by Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson will be a league high. -D.F.

Fri. Feb. 4 New Jersey 7:30 p.m.

Nellie Ball guys all over the league (Randolph, Matt Barnes, Anthony Tolliver) will all help, but I love Anthony Morrow on the Nets. -P.H.

Sat. Feb. 5 at Milwaukee 8:30 p.m.

If you want to argue there was a free agent the Pistons should have, and could have signed, it’s Drew Gooden. -D.F.

Tue. Feb. 8 San Antonio 7:30 p.m.

We’ll know how well the season is going for the Pistons if Antonio McDyess gets a bigger ovation than anyone in the Pistons’ starting five. -P.H.

Wed. Feb. 9 at Cleveland 7:00 p.m.

When guys talk about not going pro early, spending a Wednesday night in Cleveland in February is usually their main reason. -D.F.

Fri. Feb. 11 Miami 7:30 p.m.

The Heat will be considering trading Chris Bosh by this point in the season. -P.H.

Sun. Feb. 13 Portland 6:00 p.m.

Could Chris Paul be a Trail Blazers by now? -D.F.

Mon. Feb. 14 Atlanta 7:30 p.m.

Bold prediction: The Hawks will not be a playoff team this year. -P.H.

Wed. Feb. 16 Indiana 7:30 p.m.

The Greg Monroe-Roy Hibbert Georgetown center matchup won’t resemble Patrick Ewing-Alonzo Mourning in the slightest, but because of lack of storylines, it will be mentioned leading up to, and after, the game. -D.F.

Tue. Feb. 22 Houston 7:30 p.m.

Bold Prediction part deux: The Rockets will be a playoff team, whether or not Yao is healthy. -P.H.

Wed. Feb. 23 at Indiana 7:00 p.m.

The Greg Monroe-Roy Hibbert Georgetown center matchup won’t resemble Patrick Ewing-Alonzo Mourning in the slightest, but because of lack of storylines, it will be mentioned leading up to, and after, the game. -D.F.

Fri. Feb. 25 at Philadelphia 7:00 p.m.

One day, Philadelphia is going to regret passing on DeMarcus Cousins the way the Pistons regret passing on Melo. -P.H.

Sat. Feb. 26 Utah 7:30 p.m.

Gordon Hayward will be the first of this year’s draft picks to be labeled a bust, and by this point, most will see why. -D.F.

Tue. Mar. 1 at Milwaukee 8:00 p.m.

Seriously, signing Drew Gooden long term is indefensible. -P.H.

Wed. Mar. 2 Minnesota 7:30 p.m.

Darko makes his triumphant return to The Palace as the Timberwolves’ third highest-paid player (Michael Beasley is No. 1!). -D.F.

Sun. Mar. 6 Washington 6:00 p.m.

I think the Wizards will be really fun to watch this year, and Gilbert Arenas will be the biggest redemption story of the season. -P.H.

Wed. Mar. 9 at San Antonio 8:30 p.m.

The Pistons were the Darko pick away from being the Spurs. -D.F.

Fri. Mar. 11 at Oklahoma City 8:00 p.m.

It seems like only yesterday the atmosphere at the Palace was fun like it is in OKC – actually, no, Detroit fans got pretty lame and bandwagony after 2003. -P.H.

Sat. Mar. 12 at Denver 9:00 p.m.

Before this game, I will likely bring up how badly I wanted to draft Ty Lawson over Austin Daye. -D.F.

Wed. Mar. 16 Toronto 7:30 p.m.

Bryan Colangelo should’ve got more heat for calling out Chris Bosh – not classy. -P.H.

Fri. Mar. 18 New York 7:30 p.m.

Prediction: Landry Fields or Andy Rautins will carry the Knicks to victory. -D.F.

Sun. Mar. 20 at Atlanta 2:00 p.m.

At least once, Josh Smith is going to threaten a quadruple-double this season. -P.H.

Wed. Mar. 23 Miami 7:30 p.m.

Will this game get more coverage as part of the chase for 72? -D.F.

Fri. Mar. 25 at Cleveland 7:30 p.m.

Is it a stretch to think Mo Williams will make the All-NBA Second Team? -P.H.

Sat. Mar. 26 Indiana 7:30 p.m.

This game is so jealous of the next one for being on ESPN. -D.F

Wed. Mar. 30 at Indiana 7:00 p.m. ESPN

I don’t understand how people can watch the Pacers on local TV, let alone national TV. -P.H.

Fri. Apr. 1 Chicago 7:30 p.m.

Hopefully, this game has real playoff implications, but that’s probably a dream. -D.F.

Sun. Apr. 3 at Boston 6:00 p.m.

This should be right in the midst of Boston actually trying hard in preparation for the playoffs. – P.H.

Tue. Apr. 5 at Washington 7:00 p.m.

By this point, Gilbert Arenas has probably undone any good Flip Saunders did for John Wall. -D.F

Wed. Apr. 6 New Jersey 7:30 p.m.

Remember when the Nets made a huge splash by signing Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw and Jordan Farmar? -P.H.

Fri. Apr. 8 Milwaukee 7:30 p.m.

If this game occurred one day earlier, the Pistons could avoid a Thursday-less regular season. -D.F

Sun. Apr. 10 at Charlotte 6:00 p.m.

Prediction: At least six players who weren’t on Charlotte’s roster to start the season will now be on it – that, or Larry Brown will be coaching at Chaminade or something. -P.H.

Mon. Apr. 11 Cleveland 7:30 p.m.

If we’re still happy the season is going at this point, I’d consider that a minor victory. -D.F

Wed. Apr. 13 at Philadelphia 8:00 p.m.

I was talking myself into liking Wes Johnson more than Evan Turner before the draft, but then I found out that David Kahn also liked Wes Johnson and I felt like an idiot. -P.H.

Detroit Pistons release 2010-11 schedule

From a team release:

Day Date Opponent Time TV
Wed. Oct. 27 at New Jersey 7:00 p.m.  
Fri. Oct. 29 Oklahoma City 8:00 p.m.  
Sat. Oct. 30 at Chicago 8:00 p.m.  
         
Tue. Nov. 2 Boston 7:30 p.m.  
Wed. Nov. 3 at Atlanta 7:00 p.m.  
Fri. Nov. 5 Charlotte 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Nov. 7 Golden State 6:00 p.m.  
Tue. Nov. 9 at Portland 10:00 p.m.  
Fri. Nov. 12 at L.A. Clippers 10:30 p.m.  
Sun. Nov. 14 at Sacramento 6:00 p.m.  
Mon. Nov. 15 at Golden State 10:30 p.m.  
Wed. Nov. 17 L.A. Lakers 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Nov. 21 Washington 6:00 p.m.  
Tue. Nov. 23 at Dallas 8:30 p.m.  
Wed. Nov. 24 at Memphis 8:00 p.m.  
Fri. Nov. 26 Milwaukee 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Nov. 28 New York 1:30 p.m.  
Tue. Nov. 30 at Orlando 7:00 p.m.  
         
Wed. Dec. 1 at Miami 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Dec. 3 Orlando 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Dec. 5 Cleveland 6:00 p.m.  
Tue. Dec. 7 at Houston 8:30 p.m.  
Wed. Dec. 8 at New Orleans 8:00 p.m.  
Fri. Dec. 10 at Minnesota 8:00 p.m.  
Sat. Dec. 11 Toronto 7:30 p.m.  
Tue. Dec. 14 Atlanta 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Dec. 17 L.A. Clippers 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Dec. 19 New Orleans 6:00 p.m.  
Wed. Dec. 22 at Toronto 7:00 p.m.  
Sun. Dec. 26 Chicago 6:00 p.m.  
Mon. Dec. 27 at Charlotte 7:00 p.m. NBA TV
Wed. Dec. 29 Boston 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Dec. 31 at Phoenix 9:00 p.m.  
         
Mon. Jan. 3 at Utah 9:00 p.m.  
Tue. Jan. 4 at L.A. Lakers 10:30 p.m.  
Sat. Jan. 8 Philadelphia 7:30 p.m.  
Mon. Jan. 10 at Chicago 8:00 p.m.  
Wed. Jan. 12 Memphis 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Jan. 14 at Toronto 7:00 p.m.  
Sat. Jan. 15 Sacramento 7:30 p.m.  
Mon. Jan. 17 Dallas 3:30 p.m.  
Wed. Jan. 19 at Boston 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Jan. 21 at New Jersey 7:00 p.m.  
Sat. Jan. 22 Phoenix 7:30 p.m.  
Mon. Jan. 24 at Orlando 7:00 p.m.  
Wed. Jan. 26 Denver 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Jan. 28 at Miami 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Jan. 30 at New York 7:30 p.m.  
         
Wed. Feb. 2 Charlotte 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Feb. 4 New Jersey 7:30 p.m.  
Sat. Feb. 5 at Milwaukee 8:30 p.m.  
Tue. Feb. 8 San Antonio 7:30 p.m.  
Wed. Feb. 9 at Cleveland 7:00 p.m.  
Fri. Feb. 11 Miami 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Feb. 13 Portland 6:00 p.m.  
Mon. Feb. 14 Atlanta 7:30 p.m.  
Wed. Feb. 16 Indiana 7:30 p.m.  
Tue. Feb. 22 Houston 7:30 p.m.  
Wed. Feb. 23 at Indiana 7:00 p.m.  
Fri. Feb. 25 at Philadelphia 7:00 p.m.  
Sat. Feb. 26 Utah 7:30 p.m.  
         
Tue. Mar. 1 at Milwaukee 8:00 p.m.  
Wed. Mar. 2 Minnesota 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Mar. 6 Washington 6:00 p.m.  
Wed. Mar. 9 at San Antonio 8:30 p.m.  
Fri. Mar. 11 at Oklahoma City 8:00 p.m.  
Sat. Mar. 12 at Denver 9:00 p.m.  
Wed. Mar. 16 Toronto 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Mar. 18 New York 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Mar. 20 at Atlanta 2:00 p.m.  
Wed. Mar. 23 Miami 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Mar. 25 at Cleveland 7:30 p.m.  
Sat. Mar. 26 Indiana 7:30 p.m.  
Wed. Mar. 30 at Indiana 7:00 p.m. ESPN
         
Fri. Apr. 1 Chicago 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Apr. 3 at Boston 6:00 p.m.  
Tue. Apr. 5 at Washington 7:00 p.m.  
Wed. Apr. 6 New Jersey 7:30 p.m.  
Fri. Apr. 8 Milwaukee 7:30 p.m.  
Sun. Apr. 10 at Charlotte 6:00 p.m.  
Mon. Apr. 11 Cleveland 7:30 p.m.  
Wed. Apr. 13 at Philadelphia 8:00 p.m.  

Reports: Detroit Pistons sign Tracy McGrady to one-year deal, he agrees to come off the bench

UPDATE: David Aldridge Tweets that McGrady has agreed to come off the bench. Joe Dumars must’ve been very careful about not wanting a replay of the Iverson situation.

Sources tell PistonPowered that the Pistons and Tracy McGrady have agreed to a one-year, $1.3 million deal. Those sources are MLive and the Detroit Free Press.

I’ve already analyzed this move to death here and here. But one thing I don’t really agree with is this common sentiment, expressed here by Vince Ellis:

If he is signed, he would create even more of a logjam as he can play the same positions as Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton and would seem to open the door for a possible trade of either of the long-time Pistons.

There is no guarantee that McGrady, Hamilton or Prince can be counted on for an entire season. McGrady has been chronically injured the last two years. Hamilton has had two straight unhealthy seasons. And Prince’s back problems last year, combined with high mileage and a slight frame, make him far from a sure bet to bounce back from injury.

Adding McGrady could mean either Prince or Hamilton is getting traded. But it could also mean one or the other isn’t entirely healthy. Just because McGrady creates a bigger logjam at the wing spots doesn’t necessarily mean another move is imminent. I think it’s worth at least waiting until training camp to not only allow the three prideful vets to push each other and see who still has the desire (and skill) to be a starting player in this league, but more importantly, to see if McGrady is capable health-wise of even stepping into a prominent role should one of the incumbents get traded.

It’s a low-risk signing for one year at the vets’ minimum. It’s not bringing in a guy who’s necessarily an upgrade over Hamilton or Prince. I would think that’s what the hope is, best case scenario, but McGrady still has a lot to prove himself, and the Pistons would be wise to see him in action before determining how much he can help them.

Mike Ilitch could be good Pistons owner – if he handles complications well

Maybe this all a giant exercise in honesty and simplicity.

Karen Davidson doesn’t want to own the Detroit Pistons. Mike Ilitch does.

Both have stated so publicly, and there’s little reason to believe they’re lying. On top of that, Davidson said she wants to sell the team to a local owner. Ilitch said he wants to buy the team to keep it in Michigan.

How much easier could this get?

As a Pistons fan, I hope this deal goes smoothly. I doubt the Pistons will be sold before the season begins, like Davidson suggested, but Ilitch making a deal that quickly would be encouraging.

I don’t think Ilitch would be a great owner for the Pistons, like he is for the Red Wings. I don’t think he’d be a very good owner for the Pistons, like he is for the Tigers. But I think he’d be a good owner for the Pistons.

Complications

Owning three teams is costly, especially in a depressed Michigan economy. Ilitch’s sporting passions appear to be hockey, a sport he has generously supported at the youth level, and baseball, which he played in the Tigers minor league system in the 1950s.

How will basketball fit?

Ilitch is competitive enough that I’m not too worried. Even after cutting the Tigers’ payroll last offseason, he couldn’t help but sign Johnny Damon when he realized the outfielder could help the team win its division.

Even if the Pistons are his third priority, I think Ilitch will devote enough resources to make them viable contenders.

But I worry they’re his fifth priority – behind the Red Wings, Tigers, Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Palace is still one of the league’s best arenas. Joe Louis Arena, for all its tradition, is woefully outdated. Ilitch needs a solution for the Red Wings, and packaging both teams into one arena could help him find it.

Of course, many have speculated Ilitch buying the Pistons would lead to the team’s return to Detroit. I think the Pistons playing in Detroit would be great. I love the city, and Ilitch does, too. It also doesn’t hurt that several of his other business interests would benefit from more visitors to Detroit.

But if Ilitch buys the Pistons, they and the Red Wings should play at The Palace until the building is no longer viable. It has suites, parking and the capacity to host concerts. Best of all, it’s privately owned. The profit it generates goes to its owners.

The city can’t afford to publicly finance a new downtown arena anytime soon unless it’s a clear money maker, and maybe not even then. Owning three teams, and following the precedent of nearly every owner besides Bill Davidson, Ilitch probably won’t offer the city such a sweet deal. Even though Ilitch said keeping the Pistons in town was a prime motivator in getting involved, I doubt he’s so altruistic he wants that at all costs.

And of course, before we can get that far, the transaction has to occur. Would any bitterness over Tom Wilson’s departure complicate discussions?

But all these issues pale to the upside of Ilitch buying the Pistons.

Opportunity to have it all

I took a class at Michigan called Sports Ethics, and one of our discussions was based on a hypothetical cash offer Ilitch received to move the Red Wings out of the Detroit area. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was exorbitant enough that even a billionaire would pay attention.

A couple classmates, probably out-of-staters, said he should take the deal. Most said he should pass, because it just felt wrong. I said, given his age, forging his legacy was more important than money. Throughout the discussion, everyone basically stuck with their beliefs about what Ilitch should value.

If Ilitch does this right – buying the Pistons could be the Machiavellian, legacy-building and just-feels-right move wrapped into one.

Mike Ilitch interested in buying Detroit Pistons to keep them in Michigan

Mike Ilitch’s statement (via the Detroit Free Press):

"Marian and I grew up here, we raised our family here and we built our businesses here. Detroit is our home. When I read in the paper there was the chance that this great sports town could lose one of its professional sports franchises, I just didn’t see how we could let that happen.

"The Pistons, just like the Red Wings, Tigers and the Lions, have a rich and storied tradition in this community and they’ve brought pride to fans and our community.

"You all know I love sports – all sports, from amateur sports to the various pro sports we’ve had the privilege to be involved with, and like a lot of others I’m sure, I really want to see the Pistons remain the Detroit Pistons.

"We talked about it internally and when you take our 33 years of experience in professional sports, our commitment to this community, our passion for winning and pursuing championships, and you couple that with the opportunity to have a local, engaged owner for the Pistons, we decided to take a run at it.

"We believe we could bring a lot to the table that could be tremendously positive for the Pistons franchise, the NBA, and the fans of this community.

"So, today, we formally notified the Detroit Pistons that we have interest in purchasing the team. This is a required first-step and we look forward to the opportunity to move forward in the process."

David Aldridge: Detroit Pistons deal with Tracy McGrady not imminent, Tayshaun Prince trade even less imminent

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

The Pistons "are not about to do anything" imminently with McGrady, the source said, disputing reports that the team had signed McGrady to a contract. Detroit is considering offering McGrady a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $1.352 million, but the team continued internal discussions on Sunday between the front office and the coaching staff, trying to decide if the 31-year-old McGrady would be a good fit for the team.

Detroit is making a full evaluation of several factors before deciding what to do: McGrady’s health, his impact on team chemistry, what role he would feel comfortable accepting and whether adding McGrady would create an unwanted log jam at the shooting guard and small forward spots.

A second source said that the team would not trade Prince unless the veteran asked to be dealt, and even if that happened, a trade would probably not happen until closer to the trade deadline next February.