The Pistons don’t get a lot of national coverage right now, but when I saw the headline of John Hollinger’s latest article – All-Disappointment Team – I knew this one would be an exception. To my surprise, Ben Gordon was the only Piston to make the cut:
Ben Gordon, Detroit — Last year was easy to blame on a bad ankle that Gordon gamely fought through for much of the season. This season? I’m at a loss. Gordon can still stroke the 3 (39.5 percent from the distance) but doesn’t do anything else well enough to justify his $10.8 million salary unless he’s setting the nets ablaze. His rather tepid production thus far — 17.3 points per 40 minutes at a league-average TS% — won’t cut the mustard, and it’s even more puzzling because the Pistons’ lack of scoring options should allow him to put up big numbers. It’s hard to believe Detroit talked itself out of Carlos Boozer and plunked down its cash on Gordon and Charlie V instead, and it largely explains why the once-mighty Pistons are headed back to the lottery.
I can’t disagree with Hollinger’s choice. After a strong start, Gordon hasn’t contributed much.
I also found Hollinger’s last sentence interesting. I’m not sure exactly what he meant. Boozer, although he had an opt-out clause for that summer, wasn’t a free agent in 2009. Would he have opted out if the Pistons indicated more interest through the backchannels? Did the Pistons decline a trade for Boozer that would have eaten into their cap room so they could sign Gordon and Charlie Villanueva? Did the Pistons consider waiting a year to spend their cap room so they could sign Boozer?
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