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The Big Question: Ike Diogu

With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.

DF: Did he pass his physical with flying colors?

I’d like to believe, even if he’s not as nimble as he once was, Diogu is as recovered from microfracture surgery as one can be. Because I’m with Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game: Diogu can be a rotation player on a good team.

Maybe he’s just in camp to spell Ben Wallace and make John Kuester’s practices run smoother. If that’s the  case, it doesn’t matter how healthy he is. He’s just a warm body.

But I hope he’s healthy, because, if he is, I think he can make this team.

PH: Can he beat out Chris Wilcox?

Last year, the Pistons brought in Chris Wilcox because he was an athletic, strong, once-promising but still young big man who bounced around and had occasionally put up solid numbers in limited minutes. That same description could be used for Diogu.

The difference is Wilcox has a guaranteed contract, and Diogu doesn’t. Last year proved the Wilcox is not likely to help the team.

If Diogu proves he can, would he cause the Pistons to consider eating the last year on Wilcox’s deal?


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  • Oct 4, 20101:03 pm
    by brgulker


    I’m surprised so many authors and bloggers are pointing to Wilcox as the guy who’d be cut. From my perspective, Summers would clearly be the guy who gets cut. He plays a position which is already incredibly redundant, he didn’t impress last year, and he’s on a second-year rookie contract which to my knowledge isn’t fully guaranteed.
    Why we’d take the financial loss of eating Wilcox’s deal — not to mention the fact that he’s on an expiring deal that could help facilitate a larger trade — is confusing to me.

  • Oct 4, 20101:47 pm
    by Patrick Hayes



    I take the position basically because I think Wilcox sucks and I kind of like Summers. Certainly, it might make more sense to cut Summers. I’d just prefer to see Wilcox go.

  • Oct 4, 20105:17 pm
    by detroitpcb


    Wilcox has offensive ability. He can run the floor, get up and dunk, grab offensive rebounds, and occasionally score – his shot from 10 ft is actually not bad. Supposedly he has been playing very well during camp and catching the coach’s eyes. This is unfortunate, because the one thing Chris Wilcox cannot do is defend. His athleticism is just eye candy.  Wilcox is one of the worst defenders i have ever seen, especially for such an athelete

  • Oct 4, 20108:17 pm
    by gmehl1977


    I agree with both Patrick and brgulker. I am not a fan of Wilcox but it would be silly to cut Wilcox and not Summers. The thing i would worry about is Summers going some where else and performing like Afflo. We have seen it so many times before. Still if it was a choice between the 2 then i am affraid Summers days would be numbered if Diogu was to be considered.
    The annoying/frustrating thing with Wilcox is that he will more than likely play his heart out this year being a contract year for him. Don’t be suprised if he puts up 8 points & 6 boards a game. If he was to do that then i am sure Joe would be happy. Still it is not about the points you score but rather the points you save which is why guys like Big Ben make it in this league.

  • Oct 4, 20108:30 pm
    by nuetes


    Why not cut White? He’s never going to be any good either and Mcgrady can handle the ball and play point if by some chance Stuckey and Bynum both get hurt.
    Diogu and Hamilton were both brought in for practice purposes with an extreme outside shot at making the roster. Diogu has always had some game, but never put it together in the NBA. I’d prefer to keep Wilcox. For one he’s a big body and for another he’s a $3 mil expiring contract that can be thrown in a deal if need be. Also he’s on a contract year and if he’s looking for another pay day he’s going to be working his tail off to earn it.
    If someone had to go I’d prefer it be White or Summers. And those are probably the candidates anyway. Also Summers is Monroe’s G-town buddy so keeping him seems like a good thing to do in that regard, but not a real good reason.

  • Oct 4, 20108:42 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    Summers and Monroe played pretty well with each other at G-Town too.

  • Oct 5, 20102:50 am
    by travis


    Maybe Sheed will come back, he was at the open practice talking with joe D.  I don’t think he officially retired and he was waived by Boston, so maybe he wants to get wallace x2 back together.  It would be fun to see.

  • Oct 5, 20102:03 pm
    by frankdog


    from reports wilcox is actually playing much better…seems his back issue from last year was bigger than expected. i say give him a try. if he has any competitive spirit he will have a maaaaasive chip on his shoulder which could be a good thing.

  • Oct 5, 20102:12 pm
    by frankdog


    very decent point brgulker…as much as i wanted summers to be a lebron-like player given his size he hasn’t lived up to his potential. i do think tho he would be a player if there weren’t 50 plus guys ahead of him. i still can’t figure out why we drafted 3 small forwards and now are trying to shoehorn jonas into the PF. It absolutely kills me to see other teams who have a natural line-up and a natural second team…i know it’s not easy but damn it seems we’re making it hard for ourselves

  • Oct 5, 20105:04 pm
    by Laser


    hey everyone, stop sh*tting on summers. this isn’t walter sharpe here. he can play. he is obviously extremely skilled, has all the physical tools to be a great defender, has a SWEET stroke. every single time i saw him take the court last season, he impressed. every time. daye might have more potential (or maybe not), but the kid made a lot of dumb rookie mistakes and turnovers. i saw no such problems from summers, albeit with much less opportunity.
    up until the last season i would have trusted the pistons’ ability to evaluate talent and just assumed that if he’s not playing he’s not earning playing time and is not worth worrying about. but after the last few years of abysmal personnel decisions and evaluations, i no longer trust that the “brains” of this franchise know what’s good for the team.
    let’s look back at the brilliant recent track record of the team: evaluating stuckey as an all-star to hitch the franchise to… trading chauncey for cap space… locking rip up with an unmovable 3 extra years at $38 million dollars in his declining years… AND IMMEDIATELY locking up ben gordon for one year more at $58 million… dumping afflalo outright in the process… dumping amir johnson as well so you can sign chris wilcox, who amir outperformed… locking charlie v up with a rich, long-term contract that’s basically unmovable, because if you ever intend on moving it, it means he’s underachieving and nobody will take him… cutting deron washington prematurely, even though we could have held onto him until january without paying him any more money, and doing nothing with the roster spot this move created, so when injuries hit we were hopelessly shorthanded… leaving bynum on the bench, regardless of how soundly he outperforms stuckey and the fact that bynum pairs best with rip and stuck pairs best with gordon… drafting terrico white over a project big man only to have him permanently in street clothes… AND IMMEDIATELY signing t-mac to further crowd an already logjammed backcourt. i mean, no matter how you slice it, i’d rather see all of t-mac’s minutes go to some combination of rip, gordon, daye and terrico; we’re not winning anything this season anyways. i’m probably missing some horrid
    what is it about these moves and the “direction” this team is moving that leads you to trust this organization’s built-in assumption that dajuan summers isn’t living up to his potential?? he hasn’t gotten a chance. he dazzled in summer league (which i know doesn’t mean too much), played almost never being buried behind an overloaded perimeter, and everything i ever saw him do looked good and showed promise. i no longer trust the idiots at the helm of this franchise to make sound judgments. and why would i??

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