Round two of Keith Langlois’ interview with Joe Dumars is posted, and much of it is focused on the young players. With Tayshaun Prince hitting free agency and possibly seeking a new team, a logical choice to succeed him as the starting SF would be Austin Daye. Dumars discussed what it would take for Daye to be viewed as a starter next season:
KL: If off-season moves leave open the possibility of Austin as a starter next year, is that something you feel he’s ready to assume?
JD: I always say about a young kid starting, the opportunity can be there, but it’s always up to the young guy to embrace it and make it a reality. So if it’s there for him, it always comes back to the young player. What are you doing to prepare yourself over the summer? Are you getting stronger? Are you getting bigger? And are you ready to step into that position for 82 games, night after night, to step into that position and play. It always falls back on the player and what are you doing to prepare yourself. That’s a conversation that, of course, we will have with him. There’s a possibility you could start next year, so get your body ready for that.
There’s probably all kinds of opinions on statements like this by Dumars, but this is something I’ve alwasy been OK with. Fans tend to want to see young players play more. Dumars’ philosophy has always seemed to be to make them earn every minute they get on the floor. It certainly has caused the team to miss on some guys, particularly Arron Afflalo and Carlos Delfino, who could be contributors right now, but the principle is not a bad one.
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