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Archive → August, 2010

Detroit Pistons are actually kicking the tires on Tracy McGrady

I’ll have to ask Feldman when he gets back from one of his many vacations, but do I win some sort of prize for this?

When I wrote the Tracy McGrady MLE Dreams post a week or so ago, I did it for one reason: I’ve always loved Tracy McGrady. I’m not really convinced he’s a very good player anymore, and I’m even less convinced there’s much room for him on the Pistons with the 23 wing players they already have on the roster. The post was strictly for fun, summer down-time speculation. And if I riled up commenter laser along the way, then so be it.

But then Jonathon Givony, out of the blue, Tweeted that McGrady to the Pistons on a one-year deal was done. That rustled Oakland Press beat writer Dave Pemberton out of his pajamas on a Saturday night, and he got a text from Joe Dumars, who said the team was merely “discussing” a deal.

Did this offseason suddenly get more interesting or what? Let’s pretend they sign him. It could mean one of several things:

• Another move is in the works. McGrady, a veteran superstar, would want minutes. The Pistons don’t have any to give out on the perimeter. I would think they would be considering clearing a spot for him to play if they are considering bringing him on.

• Maybe he’s insurance in case they have concerns about the full-season health of Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton, who both had major injury struggles last season.

• Maybe the team wants to bring in a star to sell tickets, but Dumars is not familiar with any stars post 2003 or so.

• Maybe they’re not convinced that Austin Daye is ready to provide big minutes and/or production. Or, maybe they are bringing in the lanky, finesse perimeter player in McGrady to mentor the lanky, finesse player Daye.

Basically, if it happens, it raises a lot more questions and makes a normally dull part of the offseason more interesting. And it’s nice to find out Dumars is a reader of PistonPowered. My goal has always been to be the first blogger-turned-assistant-general-manager in the NBA.

Pistons have been active recently – depending your definition of recently

Joe Dumars has taken a lot of criticism for being complacent with his roster. But is that fair?

Like many, if not all, of you, I’d like to see a roster move, too.

The Pistons have added only one player since last season began – Greg Monroe. Terrico White will likely be a second. As much as I like Monroe, that’s hardly inspiring for a team that has averaged 33 wins the last two years.

But to pretend Dumars has sat around and done nothing is a fallacy. The simple argument is that he’s trying. But I also think the numbers show Dumars has been active – if you view the numbers with a certain lens.

The Pistons have eight players they acquired in the last two years.

Seven of them – Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Ben Wallace, Chris Wilcox, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and DaJuan Summers – were added last summer.

Only adding one since then is a league low.

Combine those totals, and the Pistons are right at the league average for number of new players still on the roster who were acquired since the summer of 2009.

But I don’t think merely counting new players is a strong enough test. Adding a Gordon is much more meaningful than adding a Summers. So, what about judging by minutes?

The Pistons led the league – by far – in percentage of minutes played last season by players acquired the previous summer. Unfortunately, players acquired this offseason can’t be judged by minutes played yet.

Here’s a graph to show where the Pistons stand:


 

I understand the frustration. The team went 27-55 last year, so Dumars should know there is still work to be done. The seven additions from a year ago aren’t enough.

But don’t say he’s done nothing.

Please, don’t make this about the quality of Dumars’ moves. That’s a different argument for a different day. But for everyone who has said Dumars is just sitting around doing nothing, I don’t think that’s fair.

Miami Heat trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to debut in preseason opener against Pistons; Pistons will also play preseason games in Grand Rapids, Toledo, Ohio, Syracuse, N.Y., and Columbia, S.C.

From a team release:

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club will open their eight-game 2010 preseason schedule at the Miami HEAT on Tuesday, October 5 (7:30 p.m.).

Three of the team’s eight games will be played at The Palace, featuring contests against the Milwaukee Bucks (October 8), Atlanta Hawks (October 11) and Memphis Grizzlies (October 22).  Tickets for all pre-season home games at The Palace will go on sale Monday, August 16 beginning at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at The Palace Box Office (248-377-0100), online at www.pistons.com and at all TicketMaster outlets.

“There is always a sense of excitement to start a new season and we look forward to this year’s slate of preseason contests,” said Dan Hauser, Executive Vice President with Palace Sports and Entertainment and the Pistons.  “Playing in the Toledo market for the first time since 1989 and once again visiting Grand Rapids for the Meijer Basketball Classic gives fans in and around our area the opportunity to experience Detroit Basketball first hand.”

The Pistons will make their eighth consecutive trip to Grand Rapids to play in The Meijer Basketball Classic at Van Andel Arena on Wednesday, October 13 against the Dallas Mavericks (7:00 p.m.). Tickets for the Meijer Basketball Classic will go on sale Friday, September 10 beginning at 10:00 a.m. and will be available at the Van Andel Arena Box Office and at all TicketMaster outlets.

This year the Pistons will host the Washington Wizards in a second off-site home preseason contest at the Huntington Center in Toledo, OH on Tuesday, October 19 (7:00 p.m.).  The game will feature two of the top picks in the 2010 NBA Draft with Washington’s John Wall (selected No. 1 overall) and Detroit’s Greg Monroe (selected No. 7 overall) expected to participate.  It also marks the first time in 21 years that the Pistons have hosted a preseason game in Toledo.  Tickets for the game will go on sale Friday, August 20 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Huntington Center Box Office and at all TicketMaster outlets.

“We are excited to host NBA basketball at the Huntington Center,” said Steve Miller, General Manager of the Huntington Center. “It’s been a long time since the NBA has been in Toledo, but we hope all basketball fans will come and welcome the Detroit Pistons back in Toledo on October 19.  We are proud to partner with the Detroit Pistons and hope to grow our relationship in the future.”   

Television and radio broadcast schedules for all preseason games will be announced at a later date.  Following is the Pistons 2010 preseason schedule (all times are Eastern Standard Time):

PISTONS 2010 PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME
October 5       at Miami        American Airlines Arena 7:30 p.m.
October 8       Milwaukee       The Palace of Auburn Hills      7:30 p.m.
October 11      Atlanta         The Palace of Auburn Hills      7:30 p.m.
October 13      Dallas  Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI       7:00 p.m.
October 15      at Minnesota    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY      7:30 p.m.
October 16      at Charlotte    Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC       6:30 p.m.
October 19      Washington      Huntington Center, Toledo, OH   7:00 p.m.
October 22      Memphis The Palace of Auburn Hills      7:30 p.m.

Detroit Pistons go 1-for-2 in accuracy of leaking contract information

When Ben Wallace agreed to terms, I wondered why he wasn’t getting more money. I think it was obvious he felt a minimum contract wasn’t respectful enough.

Turns out he will get the full Bi-Annual Exception.

ShamSports updated its Detroit Pistons contract information and has Wallace pegged to make $4,326,400 the next two years – $2,080,000 this season and $2,246,400 the following.

That’s encouraging, because I like Wallace and am glad the Pistons didn’t nickel and dime him. But I also wished he signed using the Mid-Level Exception. At this point, the Pistons aren’t going to use the entire MLE, so if they had done that, they’d still have the Bi-Annual Exception available next year.

Bynum will make what Pistons, not Bartelstein, said he will

Will Bynum is set to make $3,250,000 each of the next three seasons. That’s the $9.75 million figure the Pistons leaked, not the $10.5 million Bynum’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, claimed.

Bynum’s contract also contains unlikely incentives – I’m guessing to the tune of $750,000. That would make Bartelstein truthful, just misleading.

The Detroit Pistons contract information page will be updated shortly.

Did Detroit Pistons use mid-level exception to sign Ben Wallace?

The Pistons announced they officially signed Ben Wallace. Given his signing was reported a few weeks ago, this isn’t interesting.

What interests me – and perhaps nobody else, given the comments for my post about the inconsistencies in reporting Will Bynum’s contract – is that Wallace didn’t officially sign until now.

Larry Lage of the Associated Press initially reported the Pistons signed Wallace with the Bi-Annual Exception. I’m hoping they changed their mind and used the Mid-Level Exception instead.

As it’s name suggests, the Bi-Annual Exception can be used every other season. If the Pistons used it on Wallace, it wouldn’t be available to them next year.

It’s become abundantly clear the Pistons won’t use the full amount of the Mid-Level Exception’s starting salary this year. So, why not use a portion of the MLE to sign Wallace? The Pistons will have the full MLE at their disposal next summer regardless (unless they get under the cap).

The Detroit Pistons contract information page has been updated with my suspicions.

Report: Detroit Pistons will open season at New Jersey Nets on Oct. 27

The Detroit Pistons will open the season at the New Jersey Nets on Oct. 27, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

I’m sure both side will be excited about opening with what they’ll see as a winnable game.

Ben Gordon is on Twitter, and he’s changing his number to 8

Ben Gordon is on Twitter – @BenGordon8 (hat tip: Need4Sheed).

Why 8? Gordon answered Sunday:

Yes! I am changing my # to 8!

Hopefully, the new number gives Gordon a fresh start in Detroit.

Update: Gordon explains his choice:

8 for 8th ave

Read more about Eighth Avenue if you want to know more about Gordon’s motivation.

Poll: Will the Pistons make another roster move before the regular season begins (besides signing Terrico White)?

Will the Pistons make another roster move before the regular season begins (besides signing Terrico White)?

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Updated Detroit Pistons contract information

It’s long overdue, but thanks to Graham’s constant reminders, I’ve updated the site’s Detroit Pistons contract information page. It’s more in-depth than ever, so check it out.

You can always get to it by clicking “Salaries”  on the menu at the top of this site. I will do a better job of updating it in a timely manner.