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Pistons Roundtable: Dangers of the mediocrity treadmill

Former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard recently warned against getting stuck on the "mediocrity treadmill," where teams are barely good enough to make the playoffs, too good to secure a high draft pick, and therefore, stuck in that position. How much are the Pistons in danger of running in place on the mediocrity treadmill?

Dave Hogg, Associated Press freelancer

I’m not a big believer in the theory of the "mediocrity treadmill", because it is predicated on not being able to get talent without top picks in the lottery. The draft doesn’t work that logically – there
are too many mistakes at the top of the first round and too much value in the last 50 picks. Add in trades and free agency, and there’s no reason that a team should be stuck in some kind of feedback loop.

Look at the 2004 Pistons – the starting lineup was made up of a free agent, three trades and a 22nd pick. The Lakers didn’t get Kobe, Gasol or Odom with lottery picks. The same applies to the Celtics (KG, Rondo, Allen, Shaq) and the Heat – I think you know that one.

So, no, I don’t think that should be a problem for the Pistons. A good GM can build a team without a bunch of top-5 picks.

Dave Pemberton, The Oakland Press

The Pistons are not in danger of running in place. They have been running in place on the mediocrity treadmill the last three seasons, and there is no visible light at the end of the tunnel.

Detroit is not a destination franchise like New York, Los Angeles, Miami or Chicago. No big-time free agent is coming to Detroit anytime soon.

The fastest way for Detroit to turn the corner would be to land a franchise player in the draft. Unfortunately, to do that, you have to lose a ton of games or get lucky. The Pistons have lost their share of games this season, but still have plenty of teams ahead of them in the draft lottery.

Making matters worse is the fact that there are no guarantees in the draft. Turning this thing around is likely going to be a long process.

Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press

It’s impossible to know what the next two years of Pistons basketball will look like. We’ll see a new owner (hopefully), a new coach (probably) and perhaps a new GM. So what will the direction be? Who knows?

Regardless of who’s in charge, it’s safe to assume that Greg Monroe, Charlie Villanueva, Ben Gordon and perhaps Rodney Stuckey will be part of the mix. That’s a nice nucleus. But it’s certainly not a nucleus that will challenge in the Eastern Conference or make any noise in the playoffs. But it is just good enough that the Pistons likely won’t slip to the bottom of the standings and contend for a good lottery pick.

To change that fate, the Pistons either need to get really lucky in the draft or get really lucky with a trade. The last franchise-altering trade that the Pistons made was when they dealt Grant Hill for Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins. There’s no Grant Hill on this roster in terms of a trading chip. But to be fair, when that deal went down, nobody forecasted the impact Wallace would have on this franchise over the ensuing decade. Maybe the next GM (if it’s not Joe Dumars) can unearth a deal like that for someone (Gordon?). But that’s hope, not strategy. In terms of strategy, the Pistons are really up against it due to the fat, long term contracts that are already in place on this roster.

Justin Rogers, MLive.com

I always referred to this as the Dominique Wilkins effect. The Hawks had some good seasons when Wilkins was there, but could have really benefited from one more impact player.  Because they were always just good enough to make the playoffs, they could never land that player in the draft.

To answer the question, I don’t the Pistons are good enough to fit Pritchard’s description.  The best chance to turn things around is getting lucky in the lottery, but as Greg Monroe proved last season, you can find quality players at No. 7. 

Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys

A month ago on a game preview, I called our position a Lagrangian Point because I am a colossal nerd.  But using Pritchard’s terminology, we’re not in danger of the "mediocrity treadmill", we define it.  We’ve been stuck roughly five games behind the eighth seed and five games ahead of the second best lottery pick since, well, last season.  We’ll be here until a full cleaning of house is completed and we’re able to wipe the roster of its bad contracts (Hamilton, Gordon, Villanueva, Maxiell and Stuckey’s forthcoming over-priced extension).  The real question is how long do we want to be stuck in this treadmill of mediocrity?  Answer: for as long as we continue to support this GM’s vision.

Brian Packey, Detroit Bad Boys

Running in place on the mediocrity treadmill would be a clear improvement over this team, but I think the alert level of that happening is a Spalding orange. I’ve never been the fan to actively root for tanking and a major reason for that is I don’t think it’s necessary to build a contender. The 2004 team was largely built on trades and mid-level draft picks (Darko doesn’t count, obviously), and tanking doesn’t guarantee a top pick (worst record hasn’t picked No. 1 overall since 2004, in fact). I still maintain the Pistons have enough, diverse talent to be a lot better than they’ve shown, and I don’t think they’re too many moves away from getting back into the playoffs on a regular basis again.

Kevin Sawyer, Detroit Bad Boys

The danger is there, sure. If Dumars locks Prince into a long-term contract, and overpays Rodney Stuckey, then the team might as well secure a NordicTrack sponsorship.

Dumars needs to let Prince go, re-sign Stuckey for something in the $6 million-7.5 million range and evaluate the market for Rip’s expiring, with an eye toward 2012-2013. In the interim, he needs to hold tight to the wallet, store up draft picks, and avoid making the Al Harrington type signings that set the treadmill in motion.

The fear I have is that this is the first offseason Joe D. might be feeling insecure in his job. The temptation to lock up Prince and Stuckey, add some middling talent, and hope for the best will be strong. Such are the perverse incentives of NBA management.

Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed.com

They have been running on the treadmill so long they probably need a new pair of shoes.

Ben Gulker, Pistons by the Numbers

We’ve spent almost three years running on that treadmill already, and without decisive action from Dumars this spring and summer, the Pistons are definitely in danger of being stuck there for some time to come.

As currently constructed, the Pistons are just good enough to minimize their chances at a top pick and just bad enough to miss the playoffs. Given how weak the 2011 draft class projects to be, I don’t think we can expect to find another Greg Monroe in the middle of the lottery.

Pritchard’s point is compounded by the lack of financial flexibility the Pistons may be facing this summer. Two key rotation pieces in Prince and McGrady don’t appear likely to re-sign in Detroit, and
losing both players will certainly hurt. While Prince’s contract coming off the books helps, Dumars has to make two significant decisions about Jerebko and Stuckey; bringing back both could quickly eat up any cap space Prince’s departure would create.

If you can imagine where this team would be this year without Prince and McGrady, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of where we could be next year at this time without some savvy moves from the front office.

Steve Kays, DetroitBasketball.net

I actually referenced the “mediocrity treadmill” in a game preview about a week ago and in the NBA Tonight Podcast The Pistons are very much in danger of getting stuck on it.

They have a talented, albeit flawed roster that isn’t bad enough to get a high lottery pick, but isn’t good enough to be a top playoff team. There’s no joy in winning 32-35 games a year, missing the playoffs and drafting at No. 10 in the lottery. Just ask the Indiana Pacers.

The Pistons need to flat-out rebuild. They should have done it back in 2009. It’s been proven that in the NBA, the teams with the superstars win. And the easiest way to get a superstar, especially for a market like Detroit, is through the lottery.

Jakob Eich, Bynumite Blog

There is some truth to the mediocrity treadmill. You just have to differentiate between having a young roster stuck in mediocrity and a veteran roster stuck in mediocrity. The Bulls are the perfect example. They had been mediocre since 2005 and they make a few smart decisions, get a free-agent to complement their roster and all of a sudden they are title contenders. It does not work for every team, but for some. Look at the pieces you have and add new pieces accordingly.

You can steal players later in the draft too, a lot of very good NBA players were picked late in the draft. Think about Manu Ginobili or Michael Redd, when he was healthy.

Still, I’d rather take two losing seasons and get a great player than get pushed around as the eighth seed every year. That is embarrassing. But that’s just me!

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered

The mediocrity treadmill is probably more avoidable than the supporters of the theory believe.

Sometimes, young teams just need a little extra time to get over the hump. Sometimes, a veteran team instills a winning atmosphere that will require only minimal talent upgrades to reach the next level. Sometimes, a team makes a good draft pick in the mid-first round.

And, of course, some teams regress into the high lottery.

So, there are plenty of ways a team can have a middling record and avoid a similar fate the next season.

But I don’t think the Pistons fit into any of those categories.

Actually, the Pistons aren’t good enough to run on the mediocrity treadmill right now.

But I think they could easily jump on it within a season. The Pistons are probably the only team in the NBA that would improve by shedding a productive rotation player. I don’t mean someone like Keith Bogans (for arguments sake, assuming the many Bulls fans believe hurt their team are correct), and I don’t mean losing a player and his contract would help the team’s salary structure. I mean right now, dropping a player and getting better the next day.

If the Pistons dump Richard Hamilton in the offseason – and I think there’s a good chance they do – even if the trade doesn’t create any cap room, they’ll get better. Shedding Hamilton will alleviate some of the confusion about minutes and roles that have plagued this team. It won’t fix all, or even most, of the Pistons’ problems, but they’ll get marginally better.

Then what?

Are they a young team that needs more time to gel? Nope.

Do they have a winning atmosphere that – OK, no need to even finish that one.

Their best chance to avoid the mediocrity treadmill is nailing this summer’s draft pick, which I think will be their highest pick in the next couple years.

If they don’t add an impact player in this year’s first round, they’ll probably have to do so with a lower pick another year. Not impossible, but just another obstacle in the path for a team that already has plenty of them.

Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Pistons can even be called mediocre right now. They are going to win fewer than 30 games for the second straight year, and that’s not even good enough to sniff the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. To me, that’s not mediocre. Mediocre is a team like the Houston Rockets, a team that is solid enough to contend for the eighth spot in the West, yet will only pick in the low lottery, if at all. The Pistons don’t have those concerns, because with their cap situation, they will be picking in the lottery for, I would wager, at least two more seasons after this one.

"Mediocre" teams like Houston have the means to improve because they’ve collected below-market, high-value, solid players as well as draft picks who could be packaged together and make them players on the trade market should a superstar become available. The Pistons are in no such boat. Because their roster consists of high-priced, underachieving vets, the Pistons would inevitably receive less in return in trades for those players to offset the financial burdens any acquiring team would be taking on. And because most of the team’s young players have either been given up on too soon (Afflalo, Johnson, Carlos Delfino) or not developed as rapidly as the organization has hoped (Rodney Stuckey) or developed at all (Summers, Walter Sharpe), the Pistons cannot afford to dangle the few promising and cheap guys they have in Jerebko, Daye and Monroe because the rest of the roster is so devoid of young, cheap talent.

The odds are against the Pistons falling into the 10-15 win range that gives them the best chance at the lottery, but it’s hard to imagine this roster, which will probably lose McGrady and Tayshaun Prince as free agents at the end of the season, improving to anything more than a 25-30 win club in the next season or two. The Pistons will be a lottery team, and although they may not have the best odds of winning the draft lottery in the ensuing years, the fact that they’ll be in it is the only realistic chance they have of landing the young and affordable talent they need while they figure out to do with their overpriced contracts.

I’d like this roundtable to include you, too. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s answer to the question in the comments.

Previous

How much blame does Joe Dumars deserve for the state of the Pistons?

95 Comments

  • Mar 15, 20114:29 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @davehogg: the draft isn’t the only aspect of the mediocrity treadmill. you say the championship pistons’ starters were a 22 pick, 3 trades and a free agent. but detroit’s not going to be able to improve itself via trade with the players on this roster. plus, no free agent worth a damn would come here for the MLE, and we’re capped out with a bunch of bad contracts. the draft is just one part of the problem.
     
    @jamiesamuelsen: i wouldn’t say it’s “impossible” to know what the pistons will look like for the next two years. in fact, i’d say it’s rather predictable. here, i’ll predict it: a soft, jumpshooting team that’s not great at defense, loses 50 games. core players include rodney stuckey, ben gordon, charlie villanueva, will bynum, greg monroe, austin daye, jonas jerebko and probably one more season of richard hamilton. maybe max finishes out his contract too. we’ll finish around 23rd in the league both years and add good (not great) building blocks. let’s see how that prediction holds up… what’s impossible to know is what the team will look like three or four years from now, when these horrid contracts are off the books and the team has a chance to be interesting again. and until we start focusing on that, we’re stuck running in place.
     
    also: stuckey, gordon, villanueva and monroe is not a nice nucleus.
     
    with all due respect, brian packey doesn’t get it. it’s not ALL about tanking to land a pick. there are things the team could have done to improve its fortunes, being decisive, making necessary moves, rolling over some assets (tayshaun, tracy). but now we’re left with a roster full of players who we will not be able to use to upgrade the roster. the best we could hope for is for someone merely to take the contract off our hands, and in some cases that’s asking too much. so the draft is the obvious route to swift improvement. but that didn’t have to be the only way off the treadmill. the current roster has been together long enough that anyone who thinks they’re going to suddenly start playing significantly better now isn’t being realistic. it’s not realistic to foresee a few easy moves that makes the team a safe bet for the playoffs. nobody’s going to give you an upgrade when you’re trading anyone on this roster. someone’s going to trade you the kind of players we need and take back rip hamilton or BG, CV or max?? it’s not realistic. that entire paragraph is a perfect demonstration of the attitude that keeps the team on this damn treadmill: “i don’t believe in tanking the season. i think this team has enough talent to do more than they’ve shown consistently for two years running. we’re only a few moves away from being good again.” it’s textbook.
     
    @natalie: girl, i love ya and your site, but where’s your frustration?? it’s insane to me that you can run a popular pistons site and basically shrug off all the ridiculous bullshit this team’s been through for the last three years. i feel like your attitude (both here and on on N4S) is, “aw shucks. the pistons stink. tee hee. o well, hope they fix it soon! LOL” where’s the outrage?? just my two cents.
     
    @jacobeich: this team’s not that young. gordon, charlie, max and rip are your highest paid players, all on multi-year contracts. no spring chickens there. you could say those guys are not in decline, but they’re sure not getting any better. and your young players aren’t good enough to get very excited about. and there isn’t “some truth” to the mediocrity treadmill. it’s very real, and we’re very much on it.

    • Mar 15, 20117:44 pm
      by Jakob Eich

      Reply

      I think you misunderstood. I already consider Rip as a part of the past to a certain degree. Gordon, Stuckey and Charlie are entering their prime (ridiculous as it sounds) and Monroe, Jerebko are very young talent. On average, the 6 key players on the team are pretty young. I don’t believe in the mediocrity treadmill, because I firmly believe in an organization’s capability of turning things around just like Chicago this year. Mediocrity means 7-10th seed, everything above and below is better or worse than mediocrity. I’n not saying this team is average right now, I’m saying it’s not stuck as bad as you think it is.

      • Mar 15, 20118:45 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        i didn’t misunderstand. what you “consider” rip is irrelevant, because he’s very much a part of the present. maybe even the most unmovable piston. and neither gordon nor charlie are “entering” their prime. they’re already there, and they’re not getting any better. stuckey may have room for improvement, but he’s taking an absurd path getting there, and it’s not smart to hold out hope for him anymore. he’s certainly never going to be the all-star the organization envisioned. in fact, none of our young core are realistic all-star hopefuls. none of them. and, again, what you “believe” as far as the mediocrity treadmill is irrelevant. it exists, and we’re chugging away. so we’re an 11 seed. ok, then we’re on the barely-sub-mediocrity treadmill. what’s the difference? this team is stuck HORRENDOUSLY, and i welcome your reasonable suggestions for improving the future.

      • Mar 15, 20118:51 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        also, save your chicago comparison because there is no comparison. chicago did it the right way, with ACTUAL BUILDING BLOCKS. they have an all-star starter in rose, a solid center in noah, and they lured an all-star caliber free agent in boozer. the pistons have none of that. the analogues we have for their core are stuckey, monroe and charlie villanueva. the only genuine building block we have is greg monroe, and he’s not enough to build a team around. all of our young pieces are good, not great. chicago’s backup PF would be a no-brainer to start on our team. what am i missing here?

        • Mar 16, 20116:33 am
          by Jakob Eich

          Reply

          Before Chicago drafted Rose they were in a bad situation as well, a sure playoff-contender but nowhere near being a contender. As for Detroit, I don’t see Rip as a part of the feature and the now doesn’t count as much. If we can’t move Rip then we need to move Gordon or Villanueva and shed 2 of the 3 bad contracts. Villanueva might be almost as immovable as Rip, but there’s always a market for 3-point-shooting bigs, although I think he’s overrated. I fully agree on the Stuckey thing, he would make a very good sixth man on a contending team. Think about Chicago taking him on to back up Rose or even start at the two right now?

        • Mar 16, 20111:04 pm
          by Tim

          Reply

          It does help with getting off the treadmill (whether it exists or not) when you barely miss the playoffs, still win the lottery, and have your number 1 pick turn into the frontrunner for mvp 3 years later.

      • Mar 15, 20119:00 pm
        by dandresden

        Reply

        yeah once stuckey turns into derrick rose and we get a coach who can instill the best defense in the nba, somehow land a great defensive center and a power forward who can thrive in the pick and roll along with a small forward who can play d and hit shots we will be all set.
        the pistons are nowhere near the bulls man. cmon.

        • Mar 16, 20117:21 pm
          by Jakob Eich

          Reply

          I never said we were, I just said it is possible and players sometimes turn out better (Rose) or way better (Noah, Gibson) than you imagined.

  • [...] Part two is up today, asking if the Pistons are in danger of getting caught on the mediocrity treadmill. [...]

  • Mar 15, 20114:43 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    @everybody.  Show me a team that has won by completely rebuilding.   Show me a team that has a chance to win the title with young players.   Dumars is not stupid like most of you writers.   If you guys think getting lucky in the draft is the answer then watch out for me posting comments for the next five to ten years when we continue to fall way short. I will remind you guys!  

    Look isnt this the site that thought we could still trade Rip after the trade deadline.  Or wants to draft more guards and small forwards!

    This whole discussion of the Pistons is useless until the team is SOLD!

    • Mar 15, 20115:31 pm
      by Mike Payne

      Reply

      @Jason:  your mom goes to college.

    • Mar 15, 20115:34 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Jason,

      “Show me a team that has won by completely rebuilding.” I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but here are teams who won a title without any key players who played for that franchise the last time it contended for a title. I’ll list them by year of their first title, but I’m lumping teams together for as long as they had the same core (e.g., the 2000-2004 Lakers are one team).

      • 2008 Celtics
      • 2006 Heat
      • 2004 Pistons
      • 2000 Lakers

      “If you guys think getting lucky in the draft is the answer…” Only one team in the lottery era has ever won a title without one of its top players being someone it picked in the lottery. That was the 2004 Pistons. It’s not the only answer, but it’s the most common answer.

      “…then watch out for me posting comments for the next five to ten years when we continue to fall way short.” Every year, a large majority of NBA teams don’t win a title. Just because a plan doesn’t result in a title doesn’t make it a bad plan.

      “Look isnt this the site that thought we could still trade Rip after the trade deadline.” Because the deadline means the prohibition of trades is permanent?

      “Or wants to draft more guards and small forwards!” Show me where Patrick or I wrote that.

      “This whole discussion of the Pistons is useless until the team is SOLD!” If you believe that, why are you commenting?

      • Mar 15, 20116:32 pm
        by Jason

        Reply

        @Dan

        Just backing the top GM in the league!

        Noticed your list of draft picks you think Dumars missed.  Only one I see who won a championship was Tony Parker.   And we had a better option with Billups.

        You really think we are going to be that bad for while. Come on buddy.  You have your own website. Dumars was stuck in a bind during his attempt to change the team around.  Thats all that is going on. 

        How the hell you think are cap situation is that bad?   Please take a look at the other teams cause I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.  

        • Mar 15, 20116:56 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          When you do it with baseless points, nobody thinks of Dumars in a more favorable light.

          Where did I make such a list?

          For all intents and purposes, only six teams have more money committed for the 2012-13 season than the Pistons: the Hawks, Bulls, Lakers, Heat, Magic and Trail Blazers. Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum Austin Daye and Greg Monroe don’t compare to the players those other teams have.

          • Mar 15, 20119:01 pm
            by Laser

            don’t forget the financial commitments we’re going to have to make to stuckey and jerebko. they’ll add to that total and maybe even reduce the number of teams with more money committed. and we have a pretty damn good idea of what we’re capable of with a core including the likes of stuckey, rip, gordon, bynum, daye, jerebko, villanueva, max and monroe. look familiar? it’s good for 50 losses, and i can’t figure how anyone supposes we’ll add upgrades with late lottery picks and free agents who are willing to sign here for the MLE. the future looks hopeless.

          • Mar 16, 20118:51 am
            by Jason

            Baseless?

            You know what is baseless our the comments from you media guys cause it SOUNDS GOOD.

            Some common themes with all your comments!

            “Tay needs to go”   He is our best player.  Played great minutes and USA Basketball when players like Lebron and Anthony and Wade are on the team.  Please back that one up with something concrete Dan.

            “Gordon and Charlie V were a bad signing”   Do you remember him on the Bulls when he had a point guard.  Most teams would die for a shooting big guy that spreads the offense out like him.   If and when we get a good point guard these guys will look much better.   Please back that one up with something concrete Dan.  Also compare who these guys are with other players getting paid way more.  And look at it on a per year basis.

            “trading billups was bad”  First all you media guys after a year were saying this trade was good.  It was the best thing cause if we still had him we would have worse off.  No young veterans and no young guys like Daye and Monroe.   We would of never signed anyone last free agency and with the sale of team we still would not have traded for anyone good. Please back that one up with something concrete Dan.

            You guys sound like crying babies!  yeah you can say we are losing but its not it sucks watching them but suck it up and back your team.  Small mistakes have been made like thinking Stuckey was our point guard and signing Kuester.   But in reality what is the downfall of this?  We still have solid player going to be a restricted free agent in Stucky and we now have better draft picks cause of Kuester.  Those mistakes may have a better outcome if they weren’t made in the FUTURE!

          • Mar 16, 20118:58 am
            by Jason

            I will admit after reading my last comment some of my sentences don’t sound that great.  Little too early in the morning.

            But my point is still the same.  Suck it up and back your team up.  Stop bitching and complaining when you still have the top GM in the league.

        • Mar 15, 20119:42 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “How the hell you think are cap situation is that bad?”

          How the hell do you think it’s good? You’ve criticized the points that were well-argued by others, but backed up none of your points with any relevant data. Explain to me why it’s a bargain that the team will pay Rip Hamilton, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Jason Maxiell a combined $36 million next season.

          • Mar 16, 20119:15 am
            by Jason

            @Patrick

            You havent seen them play to there potential.  They are worth that with the correct mix. We need a point guard and Kuester sucks ass.   And if there wasn’t a sale going on we probably wouldnt have all them right now.  

            You need to step back and look at the whole picture (personal attack deleted)!   Yeah we have the wrong mix of players right now but do you want Dumars trading for crap just so some can go out and play better this season. 

          • Mar 16, 20119:38 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            Jason:

            Gordon was a good scorer for the Bulls, you’re right. He was also only making about $4.5 million or so per year, so he represented good value. But your point that he needs to be next to a good point guard is exactly the problem. You don’t pay a complimentary player $12 million per year. Guys who make his salary should be able to create their own shot and handle the ball well if they’re a guard. Gordon isn’t really that good at either of those things, hence his need to have a playmaker next to him. My point isn’t that Gordon is not a useful player. He clearly has a nice skillset offensively. He’s just significantly overpaid.

            If you read through these comments, plenty of people disagree without calling each other morons. Grow up.

          • Mar 16, 201110:00 am
            by Jason

            @Patrick

            Don’t take it personally.  You put your opinion out there please expect to be criticized.  What are we in high school?  Telling me to grow up.  MAN UP!

            Go look at his minutes that year and what he showed in big games.  Complimentary player.  PLEASE!

            Also what do you think a naturual shooting guard is?  They feed off the ball and make shots. Get involved in plays through the point guard and obviously transition. Same reason Rip is having problems. Point guards naturally create plays.  Do you need a coach to tell you that! 

            He is not overpaid! 

          • Mar 16, 201110:56 am
            by Jason

            @Patrick

            Just thought you might want to know.

            Gordon average 37 minutes and game with 20 points his final season with the Bulls. His stats basically increased every year with them.  I am not a stat guy but you also have to consider his play in big games as well.

            WE NEED A REAL POINT GUARD IN MY OPINION!

          • Mar 16, 20111:19 pm
            by Tim

            @Jason “what do you think a natural shooting guard is?” Yeah, an average shooting guard needs a good point guard to be effective. Ben Gordon does indeed fit into that category. But a $12M SG should be able to do pretty decntly without a great PG. Look at Eric Gordon, Brandon Roy (pre-injury), Ray Allen, Kevin Martin, Monta Ellis, Joe Johnson etc. These are the $10-15M deserving SGs. I’m not including Kobe and Wade because those are clearly max contract deserving players. But none of these guys need a great PG to be effective. It would sure help, but they are good enough to be the man on a bad team, not just an essential piece of a good team. Ben Gordon does not fit that category.
            With Deng having a down year, those Bulls just didn’t have a scorer. Of course Gordon could get his. Put today’s Marcus Thornton or OJ Mayo on that team and they could approach 20 ppg too. Those are still $7M players, tops.

          • Mar 16, 20112:27 pm
            by Jason

            @Tim

            Yeah but they need a natural point guard buddy.

            Do we have a natural point guard.  NO.  So whatever your point is way off base.

            He is not overpaid.  I will say again again.  He is not producing up to what he is paid but its not his fault. He ranks with your examples up there as well.   Are you that stupid to realize none of them have to share time with as many players as BG does.  Come on Timmy.  They all have decent real point guards as well.  Except maybe Ellis and Gordon.  But BG at least plays better defense then Gordon.

            And your point below is valid to the point I am making on veterans win championships.  Which is why I disagree with the census that we should get rid of Tay and that our ANSWER is the draft. 

    • Mar 15, 20119:17 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      Jason,
      I would point to OKC to the mix as well. They’ve rebuilt completely through the draft, and they’ve also made some very, very savvy free agent signings.

      • Mar 15, 201111:23 pm
        by Mike Payne

        Reply

        My plan was to reply to his “Show me a team that has a chance to win the title with young players” with “OKC, dude”, but I figured “your mom goes to college” was more his speed.

        • Mar 16, 20111:02 pm
          by Jason

          Reply

          And how far are they still away from winning a championship?

          • Mar 16, 20111:43 pm
            by Tim

            Hard to say, but ultimately, if you’re going to deal with teams that win championships, you will never be able to avoid the small sample size problem that makes much of analysis useless. I would encourage instead looking at teams that are title contenders. Because that’s the best a GM can do is build a contender. After that, there’s too much randomness to control.
            But let’s look at this year’s contenders: Chicago, Boston, Miami, LA, San Antonio, Dallas, and OKC and Orlando are maybes. Let’s see, how many of their key players did they draft (I’m also counting players acquired immediately after being drafted by another team): Rose, Noah, Deng, Pierce, Rondo, Wade, Kobe, Bynum, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Nowitzki, Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Howard, Nelson. And Garnett and Allen were acquired by dealing big draft picks in Jefferson and Green. And Perkins and Green are important players who just got swapped for each other, but that doesn’t reduce the importance of drafting them.
            So the important players that were acquired by contenders not as a direct result of drafting well are down to just: Boozer, James, Bosh, Gasol, Odom, Kidd, Chandler, and Richardson. That’s a nice list, but it’s got nothing on the one above it. And it’s way skewed by two freak occurences too. Miami’s joining of the big three was unprecedented and I don’t know if there has ever been another trade that could immediately been evaluated as such a ripoff as the Gasol deal. Sure, some trades have turned out that way a few years later. And that deal is actually looking less so now that Marc Gasol is decent (hey look another contender’s draft pick). But it was arguably the most lopsided trade ever in terms of current values of the moving parts when it went down.
            Don’t tell me that rebuilding via the draft wasn’t key to any of those contenders. All of them except Miami got their best player via the draft (I guess Boston is arguable). And several got their best two or more. And with the exception of Kobe and Rondo (although one could argue Pierce as the C’s best player as well), all those best players were very high draft picks as well, thus substantiating the need for the lottery.

          • Mar 17, 20111:23 pm
            by brgulker

            @ Jason:
            OKC is very close to being a legit contender. If Perk’s healthy, they could come very close this season.

  • Mar 15, 20114:52 pm
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    @Laser
    I agree that Dumars could have done more this year, but i don’t think the gap between teams seeded 6 or lower (including the non-playoff teams) is that large.  All we need is one magical event, and that is dumping one of the bad contracts (CV, BG, Rip) through a trade that can bring back a another bad contract that fits our “scheme” better; read: no more perimeter glut.  I don’t have any false illusions about BG and CV on defense, but I do believe we can extract more from them, specifically BG, on offense.  We are NOT as good as most people think we are or should be.  But we could be good enough to sneak into the back door of the playoffs.  With Prince leaving and TMac too, we have a chance to, however slightly, better balance this roster.  I think we have a limited ceiling, I just don’t buy that we’re stuck for the next 2-3 years (or the length of Rip’s contract).

    • Mar 15, 20116:21 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      the gap between the pistons and the bottom few seeds isn’t enormous, but i’m not interested in being a perennial fringe playoff team with no chance to win a title. heck, dumars blew everything up because he wasn’t interested in losing the eastern conference finals in six games. you identified a major problem and treated it like an afterthought when you said all we need is one “magical” event. because that’s what it would take, and it’s not likely to happen. we almost dumped rip, but it would have cost us a draft pick. and for what? the mediocre, overpaid tandem of stuckey and gordon?? this team needs a lot of work to have a bright future. and a lot of luck. and they’re not doing anything to help themselves.
       
      and even though tayshaun and tracy walking away will reduce some of our perimeter overabundance, but those guys have been our best perimeter players! we’d be better off with one less shooting guard, but those are not two of the guys i’d have nominated to shed, all things considered. they would have been two of my top keepers given a clean slate. but they’ll walk, and we get nothing for them. and i have a hard time seeing how a perimeter consisting of stuckey, gordon, rip, bynum and daye would inspire confidence in anyone. we’ve seen too much of them already. and ok so let’s say you can get someone to absorb rip’s contract. where do you go from there? you’ll probably still need to shed a good deal of money to lure a free agent (once you’ve extended stuckey and jj) and likely have to wait another season for that to happen. and that’s a best case scenario, assuming a productive free agent would even sign here.
       
      for all the optimism i see, i get nothing but vagaries about what is actually going to fix the team. it’s all uninformed nonsense and pie-in-the-sky hopes of some miracle joe doesn’t have up his sleeve. i’ve yet to be presented with a reasonable scenario of how this vague promise of improvement could possibly materialize. and that’s why i gave up on the team.

  • Mar 15, 20116:08 pm
    by khandor

    Reply

    1. Joe Dumars knows first-hand how to construct a NBA championship calibre team.

    2. If there is a GM who loyal Pistons fans SHOULD be prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to in times of trouble it should be Joe D.

    3. Although he has certainly made personnel moves which I’ve disagreed with over the last few years, re: the addition/subtraction of different coaches and players for the Pistons, there is no doubt that Joe Dumars: A. Is trying to build gradually towards the creation of a championship-winning team in Detroit; and, B. Is as good as [or better than] any other GM who the Pistons could possibly get to perform this job for their team.

    4. Once Joe Dumars finds the right coach for the Pistons to go forward with, there will be plenty of opportunities for Detroit to regain its former position in the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference, through a series of future draft picks and trades.

    5. Those who think that the Pistons have been a non-playoff calibre team the last two seasons because there has not been playoff calibre level “talent” on their player roster very simply are mistaken. Unfortunately for Pistons fans, the solidly middle-of-the-pack talent on-hand in Detroit for the last 3 years has been mis-handled by Michael Curry and John Kuester, neither of whom has yet to demonstrate that he is capable of head coaching in the NBA in a a first-class way. Once Joe Dumars solves his on-going “head coach” problem … and finds someone like Chuck Daly, who is a good fit with the way that Joe D. sees the game of basketball, then the Pistons will be back on the right track.

    Cheers

    • Mar 15, 20116:40 pm
      by Jason

      Reply

      @khandor

      Completly agree with you buddy.   You could make a case one through twelve on our team who would start with majore minutes on lots of other teams. Pesonally beleive we are a very good point guard away from being really good again.  Maybe a big man as well.   Not sure on Jorebko and Monroe as starters going forward.

      Imagine if we still had Billups waiting for the sale of the team.  Not that Billups is bad but our future would look a lot worse in my eyes.

      It was pretty obvious Davidson got rid of Brown as well.  

      • Mar 16, 20111:51 pm
        by Tim

        Reply

        Actually, that right there is one of the major problems. There is no talent gap from 1 to 12 on this team. And they all deserve to start on a bad team. They would all be significant role players on a good team. But this team can’t have 12 starters, and the assets it has can’t be solidified into better players because everyone is so overpaid.

    • Mar 15, 20117:47 pm
      by The Boourns

      Reply

      Khandor,

      You truly provide elite level basketball analysis.  Of the points you made, the only one I can even partially agree with is the first.  Joe D indeed knows first hand what is necessary to build a championship calibre team because he’s done so once.  But despite this first hand experience, he has retained none of the knowledge that he should have gained regarding building a contender.  Specifically, the team as JoD envisions it, needs:

      1) A Floor General of a point guard who knows and understands how to manage the pace of the game
      2) A Coach that the players respect
      3) A Centre that anchors a defensively sound team
      4) A PF that can provide scoring on the block AND stretch the defense consistently
      5) A positive team dynamic where players put the success of the team before their own PT/accolades.
      6) Acquiring players on reasonable/fair contracts

      Since our championship and the ensuing ECF runs, Joe Dumars has traded away a floor general for a score first point guard and fostered the growth of a score-first combo guard.  He then used the cap space from his first mistake to over-compensate an under-sized SG and a stretch PF neither of whom have shown much interest in playing fundamentally sound defense and while CV has shown the ability to play on the post, he’s shooting from beyond the arc at a higher rate than Rasheed ever did while giving up an additional 10 points per 100 possessions and showing almost no understanding of pick & roll defense.

      Meanwhile, he has hired 2 consecutive coaches that the players absolutely did not and do not respect when he had the opportunity to hire at least 1 coach (Avery Johnson) that while abrasive, has earned the respect of his players as a head coach.

      Throughout the past 2.8 seasons, we’ve continued to play without an actual center and JoD has refused to attempt to address this gaping hole in free agency or in the draft.  You can point to Kwame Brown and Chris Wilcox all you want, but at best these guys are end of rotation centers on mediocre teams and absolutely do not address the necessity for a center.  Additionally, you can make the claim that Greg Monroe is the center of our future.  But to say that Greg was a result of JoD’s ability to accurately measure talent is to give too much credit to JoD.  Monroe was the best player available when we picked at 7.  If Golden State had taken Monroe instead of Ekpe Udoh, we’d be in an entirely different situation right now.

      Lastly, all of these decisions that Joe has made have fostered an extremely poor team dynamic where players openly insult their coach in front of other players, and rarely if ever listen in gametime huddles.

      As to your other points, well they lack much, if any, weight to them what-so-ever. 

      “If there is a GM that loyal Pistons fans SHOULD be prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to, it should be JoD”.  Well duh.  He’s the only GM we’ve known for the past 10 years.  Who the hell else are we going to put our faith in?  The ownership?  The coaches? The players?  The part you’re missing is that Pistons fans SHOULDN’T be putting their faith in JoD at all. 

      While I can agree that JoD is certainly trying to succeed, that doesn’t mean he actually is succeeding.  If you disagree with some of his personnel decisions, then aren’t you also disagreeing with the path he’s taking to get us back to contention?  And your second point that JoD is the best we can currently get is making one big assumption.  True, the grass is often greener, but who can we compare him to?  I think the more accurate assessment is JoD is the best we got, not the best we can get…and thats still not saying much.

      “Once Joe Dumars finds the right coach…” Joe Dumars has had 5 coaches in the past 10 years, none of whom were “the right coach”.  While LB guided our ship to a ship, he wasn’t right because he lacked the loyalty necessary to retain him for more than a few years.  And finding a coach akin to Chuck Daly is like saying, “Once JoD finds the next Greg Popovich, we’ll be alright.” but Popovich, Jackson, Daly, or even Player-Coach Bill Russell couldn’t pull more than a few more wins out of this roster.  And in his constant quest for the championship calibre coach, he’s completely compromised the future faith of our next coach.  Avery Johnson wouldn’t agree to a contract because we wouldn’t give him a 4 year deal.  Coaches that build contenders need time to establish their chemistry and team dynamic.  No coach can be expected to not only do this, but contend in only 2 years.

      • Mar 15, 201111:30 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        The Boourns,

        re: “You truly provide elite level basketball analysis.”

        It is certainly interesting for you to say that, since the intent of my original comment in THIS thread WAS NOT to provide some type of “elite level basketball analysis”. From my perspective, I succeeded in doing that; while, from your perspective I might well have failed. :-;

        re: “Of the points you made, the only one I can even partially agree with is the first.  Joe D indeed knows first hand what is necessary to build a championship calibre team because he’s done so once.”

        1. As a Pistons fan, I should not have to tell you that Joe D. has been  a part of more than 1 championship team in Detroit. You are free to discount his experience as a player if you wish to do so; I choose not to do that.  

        2. I would hazard a guess that Joe D. has more first-hand experience in the building of a championship calibre in the NBA team than you do; unless, of course, you have been an integral part of this type of team yourself on 4, or more occasions. If this is actually the case, then, please do not hesitate to let me know. I will simply take you at your word because I believe you to be an honest and honourable person, based on the tone involved with your reply to my original comment. By all means, if I am wrong about this, too, please do let me know this, as well.

        re: “But despite this first hand experience, he has retained none of the knowledge that he should have gained regarding building a contender.  Specifically, the team as JoD envisions it, needs:
        1) A Floor General of a point guard who knows and understands how to manage the pace of the game
        2) A Coach that the players respect
        3) A Centre that anchors a defensively sound team
        4) A PF that can provide scoring on the block AND stretch the defense consistently
        5) A positive team dynamic where players put the success of the team before their own PT/accolades.
        6) Acquiring players on reasonable/fair contracts.”

        Yes. I agree that the Pistons are still in need of several of the items on your list. I have never heard Joe Dumars say that he believes the current version of the Pistons are what he considers a championship-winning team to be in the NBA.

        In my view, the Pistons talent level each of the last 3 seasons has been in decline AND still been good enough to compete effectively for mid-lower tier position in the Eastern Conference, if they had received high calibre coaching … which, unfortunately, they have not received in any way shape or form.

        re: “Since our championship and the ensuing ECF runs, Joe Dumars has traded away a floor general for a score first point guard and fostered the growth of a score-first combo guard.”

        That’s correct.

        In Joe D.’s judgment, Chauncey Billups was not capable of leading the Pistons back to the NBA Finals and the team needed to go in a different direction, while risking a drop in the standings, if it was going to have a legitimate chance at moving back towards the top of the East standings in the no-too-distant future, by re-tooling at the PG position.

        Rodney Stuckey has under-performed to this point. IIRC, so, too, did Chauncey Billups during the early stages of his career. It will be interesting to see how Rodney does once he matures as a PG, if he is able to play for a high end NBA coach.

        re: “He then used the cap space from his first mistake to over-compensate an under-sized SG and a stretch PF neither of whom have shown much interest in playing fundamentally sound defense and while CV has shown the ability to play on the post, he’s shooting from beyond the arc at a higher rate than Rasheed ever did while giving up an additional 10 points per 100 possessions and showing almost no understanding of pick & roll defense.”

        Charlie V is a poor player who I would not want on my team.

        Ben Gordon is a solid Combo Guard – i.e. PG, first; OG, second – who I would gladly have on my team, if I also had a PG like Rodney Stuckey and an OG like Rip Hamilton, and had a coach who was smart enough to use those 3 players in a 3-guard rotation, EXCLUSIVELY, at the PG and OG spots. 
        re: “Meanwhile, he has hired 2 consecutive coaches that the players absolutely did not and do not respect when he had the opportunity to hire at least 1 coach (Avery Johnson) that while abrasive, has earned the respect of his players as a head coach.”

        Agreed. Joe D. has made 2 consecutive mistakes in the hiring of Michael Curry and John Kuester. Hopefully he is able to hire a better coach when he finally decides to fire John Kuester.  

        re” Throughout the past 2.8 seasons, we’ve continued to play without an actual center and JoD has refused to attempt to address this gaping hole in free agency or in the draft.  You can point to Kwame Brown and Chris Wilcox all you want, but at best these guys are end of rotation centers on mediocre teams and absolutely do not address the necessity for a center.”

        Ben Wallace [at this stage of his career], Kwame Brown, and Chris Wilcox are not good enough to win a championship with … but, this point is an irrelevant.

        Those 3 players are good enough, at the Center position, to compete for a mid-lower tier playoff position in this league, if their team is coached in a proper way and has a collection of talented players like:

        PG – Rodney Stuckey
        OG – Richard Hamilton
        PG/OG – Ben Gordon
        SF – Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady and Austin Daye
        SF/PF – Jonas Jerebko and Dejuan Summers
        PF - Jason Maxiell
        PF/C – Greg Monroe

        on the roster, as well.

        re: ”Additionally, you can make the claim that Greg Monroe is the center of our future.”

        No. I would not make THAT claim.

        Greg is solid enough prospect but, to this point, he has not yet shown that he is capable of being a starting center on a championship-worthy contending team in the NBA.

        re: “But to say that Greg was a result of JoD’s ability to accurately measure talent is to give too much credit to JoD.”

        Nowhere did I say that, ”Greg Monroe was a result of JoD’s ability to accurately measure talent” … so, in future, please refrain from trying to put words YOUR in MY mouth.

        re: ”Monroe was the best player available when we picked at 7.  If Golden State had taken Monroe instead of Ekpe Udoh, we’d be in an entirely different situation right now.”

        IMO, Greg Monroe was not the “best player available” when the Pistons picked at 7.
        re: “Lastly, all of these decisions that Joe has made have fostered an extremely poor team dynamic where players openly insult their coach in front of other players, and rarely if ever listen in gametime huddles.”

        No.

        ALL of these decisions have not fostered THIS situation in Detroit.

        What HAS fostered THIS situation, however, is the fact that Joe D. has made 2 consecutives coach hires which have been poor fits for the Pistons current collection of players.

        IMO, these two decisions are on Joe D.

        The most difficult thing a GM has to do, if he’s going to be able to build a championship winning team in the NBA is to select the right person to coach his team.

        Lots of good GMs in the NBA get this decision WRONG on plenty of occasions, however; and, in isolation, getting this wrong on 2 consecutive occasions after getting it RIGHT for the Pistons championship team under the direction of Larry Brown is not deserving of the type of heat certain segments of the Pistons fan base has levied at him in recent years.

        re: “As to your other points, well they lack much, if any, weight to them what-so-ever.”

        Because it’s YOU that is making this remark, I will simply leave it alone. 
        re: ““If there is a GM that loyal Pistons fans SHOULD be prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to, it should be JoD”.  Well duh.  He’s the only GM we’ve known for the past 10 years.  Who the hell else are we going to put our faith in?”"

        No one other than Joe D.

        re: ”"The ownership?”"

        No. Bill Davison is no longer alive.

        re: “”The coaches?”"

        LOL.

        re: “”The players?”"

        No one other than Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince.

        re: “The part you’re missing is that Pistons fans SHOULDN’T be putting their faith in JoD at all. 

        While I can agree that JoD is certainly trying to succeed, that doesn’t mean he actually is succeeding.”

        At no point have I tried to say that Joe D. has succeeded, yet … in his efforts to re-build the Pistons.

        IMO, Joe D. began tearing the Pistons down 2 years ago, while still trying to retain their former status as a playoff calibre team.

        In this regard, he has failed to do this, so far.

        I, however, give him credit for at least attempting to do THIS sort of re-building job without dropping to the bottom of the league standings.

        SHOULD he be fired for trying to do the almost impossible?

        I don’t happen to believe that he SHOULD.

        Unlike other pseudo successful GMs in the NBA, Joe D. has actually built a championship-winning team before.

        If he’s afforded the time and space and resources to work with, I have every confidence that Joe D. has the ability to re-build the Pistons into an upper echelon team in the East.

        re: “If you disagree with some of his personnel decisions, then aren’t you also disagreeing with the path he’s taking to get us back to contention?”

        Because I disagree with some of Joe D.’s personnel moves does not mean that I would support anyone else’s contention that the Pistons should fire Joe Dumars and strike off in a different direction with the leadership of their team.

        Joe D. is a winner.

        Winners recover from their mistakes and then succeed again.

        Losers, OTOH, panic when the going gets rough.

        re: “And your second point that JoD is the best we can currently get is making one big assumption.  True, the grass is often greener, but who can we compare him to?  I think the more accurate assessment is JoD is the best we got, not the best we can get…and thats still not saying much.”

        You can compare him to Danny Ainge.
        re: ““Once Joe Dumars finds the right coach…” Joe Dumars has had 5 coaches in the past 10 years, none of whom were “the right coach”.”

        IMO, Larry Brown was the right coach for the Pistons.

        re: “While LB guided our ship to a ship, he wasn’t right because he lacked the loyalty necessary to retain him for more than a few years.”

        This aspect to Larry’s character is THE REASON Bill Davidson let Larry go.

        This fact has nothing to do with the question of, “Was Larry Brown the right coach for the Pistons to win a championship and compete in the EC Finals for the years they did under his direction.

        IMO, LB had the respect of the Pistons players AND he was able to win the NBA Title with their team.

        End of discussion.

        re: “And finding a coach akin to Chuck Daly is like saying, “Once JoD finds the next Greg Popovich, we’ll be alright.””

        That is 100% correct … because THAT is the most difficult thing a GM in this league has to do.

        re: “… but Popovich, Jackson, Daly, or even Player-Coach Bill Russell couldn’t pull more than a few more wins out of this roster.”

        So says YOU, and a bunch of other so-called NBA observers/experts who might not know what they are talking about either, save for their ability to regurgitate a pile of simple “game stats”.

        re: “And in his constant quest for the championship calibre coach, he’s completely compromised the future faith of our next coach. Avery Johnson wouldn’t agree to a contract because we wouldn’t give him a 4 year deal.  Coaches that build contenders need time to establish their chemistry and team dynamic.  No coach can be expected to not only do this, but contend in only 2 years.”

        IMO, no authentic championship calibre coach would be afraid to take the job in Detroit.

        Great practicioners are not wired like that.

        Phil Jackson did not build a championship winning team in Chicago overnight. Neither did Doc Rivrs become a championship-winning calbre coach overnight … despite what some peole will try to tell.

        Great coaches do however show signs fairly early on that they actually do know what they are doing, when it comes to developing a comprehensive system of play and an overall approach to the game, and dealing with their players in a variety of different situations … and, the sad reality is that neither Michael Curry nor John Kuester has come close to being THAT type of individual for the Pistons the last 3 years.

        • Mar 16, 20111:59 pm
          by Tim

          Reply

          Who, in your opinion, was better than M0nroe at 7?

          • Mar 18, 20113:43 am
            by khandor

            IMO, there were several players still available who I expect to eventually have a better long term career in the NBA than Greg Monroe, e.g. Al-Farouq Aminu, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Ed Davis, Patrick Patterson, Luke Babbitt, Dexter Pittman, Hassan Whiteside, and Landry Fields.

    • Mar 15, 20119:44 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “finds someone like Chuck Daly”

      Yes, because Hall of Fame level basketball coaches are just out there for the taking and readily available.

      • Mar 15, 201110:37 pm
        by The Boourns

        Reply

        You’re certainly much more succinct than I am :-)

      • Mar 15, 201111:35 pm
        by khandor

        Reply

        No. Finding the right coach to maximize the ability of the players on his team is actually the most difficult task which a GM in the NBA has to do … which is why so many of them get it wrong the vast majority of the time. In contrast, those few who actually get it right – e.g. RC Buford and Danny Ainge – are properly heralded as one of the best GMs in the business.

  • Mar 15, 20116:55 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    you’ve displayed a fabulous amount of ignorance and blind optimism, my friend.
     
    1) joe also apparently knows how to turn an embarrassment of assets into one of the worst teams in the NBA. he could have done anything with that elite team, and he turned it into this.
     
    2) “benefit of the doubt” requires doubt in the first place. there’s no doubt why the pistons are in this mess: dumars screwed the team up with a string of terrible moves, and ownership’s not giving him the chance to clean up his mess. before this past trade deadline i was 50/50 on letting joe clean up the mess he made, but he’s shown enough stubbornness and inflexibility to sway me. someone else should turn this thing around. to do the job right would involve more concessions about terrible mistakes than joe’s likely prepared to make. he’d rather shrug and say, “hey we almost traded rip, thereby fixing everything, but it just didn’t work out.”
     
    3) A. he’s trying alright; he’s just doing every wrong thing he can think of, and B. he’s been the worst GM in the league for the last three years by a wide margin. show me one team that’s fallen farther from where they were at the start of the 08-09 season, then we’ll see how much room there is for debate.
     
    4) you’re ridiculous and should be ashamed of yourself. if we can even execute trades in the first place to unload some of these contracts, it won’t be for upgrades at any position. count on that. and the draft is certainly our best (only?) avenue for improvement, but the picks will never be good enough to get us into that upper echelon. that’s the entire point of the mediocrity treadmill, but you just don’t get it.
     
    5) if you think this team’s great but has been merely mismanaged for three (3) consecutive seasons, you’re stupider than you look. if joe has some great vision and collected the players and hired the coaches, but nobody can get it right, why hasn’t he step in and give a little advice here and there? hm? or maybe it’s that the pieces don’t fit, which seems like the sensible answer, what with a roster made almost entirely of wing players. seems you think coaching is the only problem, but joe hired the coaches. and why o why is this great team so darn hard to coach.
     
    you’re the worst. cheers.

    • Mar 15, 20117:51 pm
      by Jakob Eich

      Reply

      3) Cleveland haha
      4) You CAN pick great talent later in the draft! That is what renders the treadmill useless. The Spurs prove it every year! They have Duncan, but the rest of the player were low draft picks.
       
       

      • Mar 15, 20119:18 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        3) cleveland has both an excuse for being terrible and a brighter future than detroit. we’re smack-dab in the middle of our third consecutive WASTED season. COMPLETELY WASTED. cleveland’s got a one year disaster, and as soon as next season they’ve got the expiring contract of antawn jamison to deal. they’ll have two lottery picks (their own which has the best chance of being #1, and the clippers’ which will be very close to ours). and the season after next they’ve got just $27 some million committed. that’s a load of cap space. by comparison, before factoring in extensions stuckey and jonas, we’ve got over $41 million committed. and basically no roster flexibility. i think i’ve made my point.
         
        4) “great” talent doesn’t usually come later in the draft. nobody’s banking on finding “great” talent later in the draft. nobody.

      • Mar 15, 20119:44 pm
        by brgulker

        Reply

        Jakob, I think you’re severely overstating how common it is to find “great” talent beyond the first handful of picks. Yes, they found Manu. And yes, they draft solid role players late in the draft. But SA proves you can get “great” talent in the draft “year after year”?
         
        No, I don’t think that claim squares with the facts. You’ve overstating your point.

        • Mar 16, 20116:43 am
          by Jakob Eich

          Reply

          I don’t think it’s likely, I just think it’s been done before. As for the Spurs, they’ve picked Gary Neal this year, DaJuan Blair(#37) in 2009, George Hill (#26) and Goran Dragic (#45) ind 2008, Tiago Splitter (#28) in 2007, Ian Mahinimi (#28) in 2005, Beno Udrih (#28) in 2004, John Salmons (#26) and Luis Scola (#55) in 2004, Tony Parker (#28) in 2001 and the aforementionen Gionbili (#57) in 1999. I realize not all of them are great player (‘only’ Parker, Ginobili and Scola), but considering how much talent they picked up late in the first and in the second round, they prove it year after year.

          • Mar 16, 20119:53 am
            by brgulker

            Not to sound cliche, but I think it depends on how we’re defining great. When I hear “great,” I think the truly elite players in any given generation, players who will go down in history as great. I personally think Ginobili is great, but I’m not convinced anyone but Duncan will be remembered as great from this Spurs team. Hope I’m wrong.
             
            Beyond that, I agree with your point that SA is the best team in the league at finding talent outside the lottery. It’s not even debatable, I don’t think. They are amazing at doing that. I just don’t think I’d count guys like Scola and Blair as anything more than role players, which isn’t a bad thing, but Detroit can’t rebuild its franchise solely through guys like that, IMHO.

    • Mar 16, 201112:17 am
      by khandor

      Reply

      Laser,

      re: “you’ve displayed a fabulous amount of ignorance and blind optimism, my friend.”

      Hmmm …

      You are certainly entitled to your own opinions about me.
       
      re: “1) joe also apparently knows how to turn an embarrassment of assets into one of the worst teams in the NBA. he could have done anything with that elite team, and he turned it into this.”

      I think it’s fair to say that Joe D. has not succeeded yet in re-tooling the Pistons.

      One of the problems inherent with having a terrific team for soooooooooo many years in a row is that some of the team’s so-called fans forget what’s involved with the long and winding journey to the top of the league standings, in the first place.
       
      re: “2) “benefit of the doubt” requires doubt in the first place. there’s no doubt why the pistons are in this mess: dumars screwed the team up with a string of terrible moves, and ownership’s not giving him the chance to clean up his mess. before this past trade deadline i was 50/50 on letting joe clean up the mess he made, but he’s shown enough stubbornness and inflexibility to sway me. someone else should turn this thing around. to do the job right would involve more concessions about terrible mistakes than joe’s likely prepared to make. he’d rather shrug and say, “hey we almost traded rip, thereby fixing everything, but it just didn’t work out.””

      We disagree with the number of terrible moves that Joe D. has made over the years.

      I believe that Joe D. has made some good moves and some bad moves over the years … in the aftermath of actually WINNING THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP and going to the EC Finals for too many times in a row to even remember.

      I will let you list all of Joe D.’s bad moves and simply give you some of those that I think have been pretty decent, if the goal is to try to re-build this franchise into an upper echelon team gradually over an extended period of years:

      - Acquisition of Stuckey
      - Decision to let Wallace walk away
      - Acquisition of Jerebko
      - Acquisition of Daye
      - Acquisition of Gordon
      - Acquisition of McGrady
       
      re: “3) A. he’s trying alright; he’s just doing every wrong thing he can think of, and B. he’s been the worst GM in the league for the last three years by a wide margin. show me one team that’s fallen farther from where they were at the start of the 08-09 season, then we’ll see how much room there is for debate.”

      The problem with being at the top soooooo long is that, unfortunately, you have nowhere to go but down.

      How far down you go AND how long you stay there is a better indication of your quality as a GM in the NBA than the mere fact that your eventually tumbled in the standings at all.

      IMO, there are several GMs in the NBA today who are not as good as Joe D., including those in Minnesota, Toronto, Memphis, Cleveland, New Jersey, Golden State, LA Clippers, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Phoenix, Portland, Washington and Atlanta.
       
      re: “4) you’re ridiculous and should be ashamed of yourself. if we can even execute trades in the first place to unload some of these contracts, it won’t be for upgrades at any position. count on that. and the draft is certainly our best (only?) avenue for improvement, but the picks will never be good enough to get us into that upper echelon. that’s the entire point of the mediocrity treadmill, but you just don’t get it.”

      Trust, instead, that I ACTUALLY DO GET IT more than you might think.

      IMO, the Pistons have had enough talent on their team to compete for a mid-lower tier playoff position the last 3 seasons, but have failed to do so because of the poor coaching they have received.

      Whether or not this will lead to the Pistons becoming a treadmill team will depend on:

      i. Who eventually buys the team from Karen Davidson;
      ii. If Joe D. is retained as the GM going forward;
      iii. The ability of the GM to find the right coach, who fits with the personnel on his team;
      iv. The players who the GM eventually drafts; and,
      v. The trades the GM eventually makes;

      in that specific order.
       
      re: “5) if you think this team’s great but has been merely mismanaged for three (3) consecutive seasons, you’re stupider than you look.”

      Please read carefully what I’ve actually written.

      At no time have I said something like, ” … this team’s great but has merely been mismanaged for three (3 ) consecutive seasons …”

      This team has been good enough to compete for a mid-loer tier playoff position for the last 3 seasons, if it had better coaching.

      re: “… if joe has some great vision and collected the players and hired the coaches, but nobody can get it right, why hasn’t he step in and give a little advice here and there? hm? or maybe it’s that the pieces don’t fit, which seems like the sensible answer, what with a roster made almost entirely of wing players. seems you think coaching is the only problem, but joe hired the coaches. and why o why is this great team so darn hard to coach.”

      This team is far from great.

      This team has been good enough to compete for a mid-lower tier playoff position, however, if it would have received first-rate coaching.

      This team isn’t THAT difficult to coach.

      Michael Curry and John Kuester have simply been BAD coaches.
       
      re: ” … you’re the worst. cheers.”

      All the best to you, as well.

  • Mar 15, 20117:12 pm
    by rick

    Reply

    The Pistons are sort of in the mediocrity treadmill, but at the same time they manged to land Monroe even at 7 last year, who, looking back, was the 2nd/3rd best player in the draft anyways.

    This year, its looking like they will end up picking 6th most likely, and going to by many mock drafts, could end up with Enes Kanter, the best big man in the draft anyways.

    So, I think a lot depends on what you end up getting out of the draft, and I think most of the teams running the mediocrioty treadmill are the teams that finish 7th/8th with no real prospects of the future on their rosters, and the teams that just miss the playoffs and end up picking like 11th-14th. Getting the 6th-7th pick means you were a bad team, not just mediocre, and its still high enough to get a great player if you draft smart.

    • Mar 15, 20119:23 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      monroe is the worst anecdotal evidence you could find. guys like him hardly ever fall to 7. and, frankly, a greg monroe doesn’t quite make up for the frustration of the season that netted us the lottery pick. and whomever we draft this season doesn’t figure to be nearly as good. we’re going to get another “nice” building block who’ll amount to “not enough.” it won’t be worth this dreadful season, and things aren’t going to get better. you’ve got too many silly, wishful “ifs” for my tastes.

      • Mar 15, 201110:08 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “guys like him hardly ever fall to 7.”

        It’s pretty common for guys like Monroe to fall, actually. He didn’t wow anyone in pre-draft workouts. In fact, he had a couple private workouts and reports came out that the teams were really unimpressed. He has only average athleticism. His best assets — passing, rebounding and basketball IQ — are not easily identifiable in workouts, and his college career was up and down.

        Guys like Monroe, who are superior basketball players, fall in drafts to superior athletes/upside guys all the time, particularly when it comes to big men.

        - 2000 – Stro Swift picked second, Joel Przybilla picked 9th. Stro was the athlete, Prz was a beast on the boards in college.

        - 2001 – Eddy Curry, Kwame Brown, Gana Diop all go top 10, Zach Randolph falls do 19. The high school kids who were big time athletes rose way above the below-the-rim post scorer.

        - 2003 – Mike Sweetney goes 9th, David West goes 18th. Sweetney wasn’t a fantastic athlete, but he was a longtime starter at a high profile school. West did everything Sweetney could do in college, he was just way better at it.

        - 2004 – Ike Diogu and Sean May go lottery, David Lee falls to 30. Diogu was an upside pick, May was a college star, and Lee was as good as both of them in college.

        - 2007 – Yi Jianlian and Brandan Wright picked ahead of Joakim Noah. Noah fell hardcore in this draft because his skills, like Monroe’s, don’t show up in individual workouts.

        - 2009 – Brook Lopez falls to 10. Brook was an old fashioned low post scorer in college, and virtually every team that past on him had a need for what he does, they just went with “upside” guys.

        - 2010 – Monroe has been much better than Favors and Udoh, and their is at least an argument to be made that he would’ve been a better pick than Cousins.

        Yes, the Pistons were very lucky some teams passed on Monroe. But to act like they simply inexplicably passed on a can’t-miss talent who fell into the PIstons’ lap isn’t accurate at all. There were plenty of doubts about Monroe. I forget which draft outlet it was, but in one of their polls, Monroe was actually predicted to be the biggest name bust in this draft by a lot of scouts.

        So the pick worked out great, way better than some guys who went before him, but there was risk involved to taking Monroe for sure.

         

        • Mar 16, 20112:11 am
          by Laser

          Reply

          my issue isn’t really that these teams were crazy for passing on monroe, just that joe deserves no credit for getting so lucky as to land the guy with the seventh pick. once golden state took udoh, everyone with a pulse knew the stones were drafting monroe. i feel like, as a GM, i would have easily passed on wes johnson and even evan turner for one of the top three bigs (udoh excluded from this mix).
           
          i’ll say this: maybe there was too much risk with monroe to take him with a top five pick, but at 7 he was every bit as easy a choice as lebron in 2003. joe wasn’t drafting anyone else. period. maybe he wouldn’t have panned out, but that kid wasn’t slipping past the pistons no matter what.

  • Mar 15, 20117:13 pm
    by rick

    Reply

    EDIT: I meant teams that finish with the 7th/8th seed in the playoffs, not 7th/8th worst record.

  • Mar 15, 20117:46 pm
    by DannyB

    Reply

    You mean, the same Kevin Pritchard who left the Trailblazers on a treadmill of mediocrity of their own out west?  I believe the Pistons are in year 2 of a 4 year process, which could’ve been accelerated by dealing Hamilton this year.
    The Pistons haven’t drafted a superstar style “cornerstone” since Grant Hill, and one could argue that since it has become popular to be “one and done”, drafts and even draft lotteries are getting to be weaker and weaker in terms of immediate impact players.
    I agree with Hogg – the 2nd round picks have been kind to the Pistons, but they’re good because when 1 hits it’s a big deal and people base their argument on JoD’s history of 2nd round picks around 1 or 2 guys.
    The 2004 Pistons team had 3 starters who were former lottery picks.  Aside from Rasheed who had come in to the league ready to play, Hamilton and Billups had yet to blossom into the players they became.  It takes time to develop players, and unfortunately if a player doesn’t “hit” right away, the coach and team GM’s heads are on the chopping block and they’re forced to deal against the statheads’ best interests.

    • Mar 15, 20119:38 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      You mean, the same Portland team that still manages to be in the thick of the Playoff hunt out West in spite of losing several of its best players to season-ending injuries year after year? That Portland team?
       
      Portland is middling right now because they got very unlucky. Detroit is (worse than) middling right now because its GM has made atrocious personnel decisions with respect to players and coaching.
       
       

      • Mar 15, 201110:01 pm
        by DannyB

        Reply

        1. There was never a comparison made to the Blazers OR the Pistons current situation.
        2. Pritchard gets a lot of credit for moves that were done when he wasn’t even the GM of the team.  The same goes for John Hammond and the 2004 Pistons (this argument is for another thread) – Rudy Fernandez was all hype and if Batum can manage to stay healthy, he’ll end up being a “Tayshaun” type steal with the 25th pick.
        3. Portland is middling right now because they missed a #1 overall draft pick, on Pritchard’s watch.  Argue it all day and night but a proven scorer at SF (a position they have yet to truly fill) is much more valuable than a big who didn’t play a healthy 1 and done season in NCAA.
        Portland is not anything more than 1st round fodder out west – at this point, I’d rather have Memphis’ roster with Rudy Gay as a near max deal than Brandon Roy at max.  Had Portland drafted Durant, they’d be near championship contenders right now.  As of now, sure they’ll make the playoffs in the West which is nothing to sneeze at, but they fall in line with the “middling” discussion because they’ll either be in the lottery OR making the playoffs only to lose in the 1st round (like each of the last 2 years, and likely this year too).

        • Mar 15, 201110:18 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “I’d rather have Memphis’ roster with Rudy Gay as a near max deal than Brandon Roy at max.”

          I can support that premise if we’re just comparing Gay and Roy. Gay looks like he’ll actually live up to his deal, and Roy probably won’t. But trade rosters?

          Portland has LaMarcus Aldridge locked up well below market value through 2015. They have Wes Matthews signed to what now looks like an extremely team-friendly long-term deal. Camby is still serviceable and signed for next season. Gerald Wallace has been fantastic and is out-producing his contract. They have Batum, Fernandez, Luke Babbit and Elliot Williams all around still on rookie deals. I don’t think that team can win a title as is, but they’re clearly only a move or two away (and Rich Cho certainly gets credit for some great moves since taking over).

          Memphis, on the other hand, is already locked into more than $36 million in salary next season with arguably their two best players, Gasol and Randolph, due for extensions. Zach has already said he wants Pau Gasol money. They overpaid Conley on an extension, although he’s been better than expected this season. Mayo regressed a ton and doesn’t want to play for them, but they have to make an extension or trade decision on him soon. Their lottery pick this year, Henry, hasn’t had a great season and has been injury prone.

          I like both teams right now, but Portland is in way better position to contend for a playoff spot after this season, even if Roy never gets back to what he was, than Memphis is.

          • Mar 15, 201111:00 pm
            by DannyB

            If we’re being realists here, and I think we are, Memphis has the most pieces to work with.
            Somehow OJ Mayo still has value in the eyes of other GMs in the league, so there’s that.
            Marc Gasol will be the #1 center FA, and should be re-signed for what he’s demanding should there not be a lockout.  Centers (centres?) like Gasol don’t come around as often as you’d like.
            Randolph, regardless of what he’s demanding, could/will net significant return in a sign and trade if he is in fact given a market value, or slightly sub-market value, contract.
            Conley has improved, and while I wouldn’t want the Pistons to sign Stuckey to a similar deal, Conley has actually lived up to it so far.  Rudy Gay isn’t worth the deal he signed, but it’s not as bad as a Joe Johnson or Brandon Roy overpay (unless Roy rebounds).
            I’d much prefer Memphis’ mild flexibility over Portland’s lack of big depth, aging point guard dilemma, etc.  Portland was visiting the idea of trading Camby at the deadline, so hanging your hat on Camby and his reasonable deal (2 years, $21m?) isn’t exactly solid.
            All of this is off topic – at the end of the day, in the West, Portland is still a middle of the pack (middling) team that won’t be able to improve.  I hope for Chris Paul’s knees that Portland can’t find a way to acquire him in a trade.  Pritchard was a good GM, but just like JoD, he had his fair share of hits and misses.  JoD hasn’t had as many shots at the lottery in back to back seasons as Pritchard, until this season unfortunately.

      • Mar 15, 201110:13 pm
        by DannyB

        Reply

        and to me the “thick” of the playoff race is 4th seed or better, even out West.
        The West is very top heavy – last year the 8th seed finished 8 games up on the 9th seed and the previous year the 8th and 9th seeds finished 17+ games up on the next grouping of teams.
        The bottom seeds of the West fall in or out each year and never improve except for the rare occasion where Phoenix rips off seasons where Steve Nash wins MVP.  Houston, Portland, Phoenix, Utah all seem to dance around the bottom 4 seeds in the conference and aside from Phoenix, none of them make a dent in the real contenders playoff run.
        Compare Portland to the Pistons, there’s no comparison.  Pritchard had a good run as Assistant GM and eventually GM, but he also luckboxed into some deals by being able to trade out of Randolph and his albatross deal and by Batum showing signs of improvement when he’s on the court.  The max deal to Brandon Roy is more untradeable than Rip’s deal, unless Roy can show that his knees are healthy.  That max deal, I believe, was on Pritchard’s watch.

        • Mar 15, 201111:35 pm
          by Mike Payne

          Reply

          Since I can’t reply to your other comment for some reason…
           
          “Marc Gasol will be the #1 center FA, and should be re-signed for what he’s demanding should there not be a lockout.  Centers (centres?) like Gasol don’t come around as often as you’d like.”
           
          Gasol was amazing last season.  This season, no.  He’s been about as good as Greg Monroe, which isn’t saying a whole lot since our boy is a rookie.  If Randolph bolts from Memphis, their frontcourt will be inferior to any team with the name “Aldridge” on it no matter who stands to LaMarcus’ right.  Beyond Gasol, come the hell on dude– how is Gay and co. even remotely as good as Wallace, Matthews and Miller?  Go watch baseball.

        • Mar 16, 20119:59 am
          by brgulker

          Reply

          I know you didn’t directly compare Pritchard to Dumars or Portland to Detroit. I did that as a response to your snarky comment about Pritchard.
           
          IMHO, the way that Portland was constructed, on paper at least, is exactly how you want to do it. Build through the draft, make some nice peripheral FA signings, bank on some young guys making improvements, and finally, stay healthy.
           
          Had they been able to stay healthy, they’d have been right up there in the top 3 out West — that’s the point I was trying to make as a counterpoint to your criticism of Pritchard. By stark contrast, Detroit sucks no matter which why you slice it.

      • Mar 16, 201112:24 am
        by khandor

        Reply

        Ben,

        Portland has performed admirably the last few seasons despite a slew of debilitating injuries. This is mostly due, however, to the outstanding leadership of Nate McMillan. My fear is, however, that even a high calibre coach like Nate will not be able to overcome the poor trade Portland just made with Charlotte, sending the only viable back-up Center on their roster to the Bobcats in exchange for Gerald Wallace, a good-but-not great SF/PF. How a team actually fits together on the floor … rather than what the Wins Produced Numbers of their individual players looks like … is what determines how far they good in the post-season, in conjunction with the work of their coaching staff.

  • Mar 15, 20118:43 pm
    by Rodman4Life

    Reply

    @ Laser
    The Pistons effort to remold themselves requires getting younger, I believe.  This will make it easier on the next coach and allow him to install “his” brand of scheme.  I agree that Tayshaun and TMac were possibly the two best players this year, but their contributions to this team (especially in light of their attitude) have expired in a positive sense.  We will literally gain from their subtraction.  I don’t feel we can truly assess just how damaging the team atmosphere and morale was on the overall performance.  Many Piston fans tend to grossly overestimate individual player ability, but this team still underperformed.  A lot of that was chemistry, and moving on from the old guard is probably a needed step.  If Ben Wallace retired and the new ownership bought out Rip, then we could really feel that we were moving in a new, possibly right, direction.  We may royally suck, but at least we could narrow the focus of our rebuilding efforts.
    One of the great Piston skills of the past is taking washed up veterans and second round picks and turning them into wanted commodities.  Well now more than ever we need to spin the brass into gold.  And I’m sure Dumars can commiserate with one other GM and swap overpaid undesirables to at least get a player more appropriate for our roster.  Sorry, Laser, but I haven’t scoured the internet for player salaries liked I used to because we’re in this depressive funk.  Yet I have to believe we could find a bigger, more defensive minded player to replace one of the UConn voids on our roster.
    Some players that come to mind (no idea of the salaries):
    Reggie Evans, Samuel Dalembert, Theo Ratliff, Tyson Chandler, Emeka Okafor, Zaza Pachulia, Kirk Hinrich, Boris Diaw, Shaun Livingston, Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin, Andris Biedrins, TJ Ford, Greg Foster, etc
    I don’t know if any of these guys have matching salaries, and I know some are not so desirable, but they would seem to fit better defensively, size-wise, or just because they are true point guards/centers.  And I would love to contend, but since we probably both agree that we are no where near that level, let’s be content with being in the playoff mix until we can swing more drastic changes.

    • Mar 15, 20119:33 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      i’ve been a vocal proponent of “addition by subtraction” with this team, but i wouldn’t subtract those two if given the chance. i’d sooner subtract gordon or rip, and stuckey if the return was good. but tayshaun and tracy are walking for nothing. i’m all about ditching them, but we should have traded both of them when we had control over them. as it is, we’re just losing two of our three MVPs for nothing. nothing.
       
      and this atmosphere is going to be a mess with or without them. do you honestly think this team’s culture is going to take a dramatic turn for the worse once it’s lost two of its de-facto floor leaders and go-to players?? do you think stuckey, rip and gordon are suddenly going to mesh for some reason? i don’t see it happening. don’t act like these two were isolated cancers on the team when you had stuckey and rip publicly feuding with the coach too.
       
      and you mentioned a rip buyout. so you lost me there. it would be unwise, expensive and maybe even impossible to buy the guy out. and the buyout still counts against our cap for the next two seasons, so it doesn’t even accomplish much. so you’re paying a guy nine million or so not to play instead of twelve million to play?? a smarter move would be to dump ben gordon or stuckey.
       
      i hold out no hope whatsoever that we’ll be able to trade one of our undesirables for another undesirable who’s less undesirable. i don’t see it happening. joe will always overvalue the underperformers that he signed.

      • Mar 15, 201110:52 pm
        by Rodman4Life

        Reply

        I’m with you on the idea we should have gotten something for both Tay and Tmac before the deadline, but that’s spilt milk now.  I keep failing to mention Stuckey because somehow I just don’t see him working out in Detroit anymore.  Maybe a sign a trade for something we want.  And this team is completely leaderless, no we won’t have one if we lose those guys this summer, but as far as I’m concerned, we don’t have one now.  Maybe one emerges later, maybe we become a coach-centered team, I don’t know.  No answer on that one right now.
        Personally, I prefer Rip to Gordon, I am just making the assumption that he is the one getting “distributed” somewhere, even if it means a buyout.  Rip actually gets you 5 assists on a night from time to time, plays better defense than Gordon, etc.  If it could all work out and fences were truly mended, then let’s keep Rip.
         
        But I simply have to disagree with you on the swapping undesirables.  Dumars might overvalue certain players, but he has always valued results first.  This situation, although totally his own doing, is driving him nuts.  He has more than enough motivation to make changes, even if it were only for the sake of his ego.  If Ben Gordon and/or Stuckey are the only usable pieces, I think he could get something more usable to us.

        • Mar 16, 20112:22 am
          by Laser

          Reply

          but it’s not “crying over spilt milk.” these non-trades may be in the past, but they are a BIG deal. trading those guys were the last chance to salvage SOMETHING from this season, and looking at it more broadly, from the championship team. once tayshaun’s gone, we have nothing left over from the good old days. it’s not some small thing. we were/are in desperate need of assets, and we just missed out on the last two we could have rolled over to get something for nothing.
           
          but we just don’t agree on joe being able to roll anything else over. i don’t think this situation is driving joe nuts. i think he’s smug and self-satisfied and still blames injuries for last year, blames ownership and rip for this year. i think he’s in denial, and i don’t think he’s the man to fix this. we need someone who can clear the decks, not someone who’s going to try to save face and stay the course because changing course would mean admitting his mistakes. look at what he did at the deadline. dude tried to give away a PRECIOUS first round pick just to be rid of rip. we all knew trading rip at all wasn’t going to be easy or very likely, but it was his plan A, plan B and plan C. the man needs to go.

  • Mar 15, 20118:45 pm
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    I don’t think that those who claim the Pistons are/have been on the mediocrity treadmill really thought this through.
     
    The Pistons have been bad the past three years, worse than mediocre the last two. More to the point, they’ve drafted well the past two years. How many players better than Greg Monroe were there in the last two drafts? We can’t all get Blake Griffin. There’s only one number one pick per year and you don’t have to have it to draft a good player, or even a superstar. And, of course, having the worse record doesn’t guarantee you that pick.
     
    Yes, the Pistons are bad, but it’s not because of where they’re picking or who they’re picking. The Pistons are bad, in my opinion, first because they’ve had a vastly imbalanced roster, and second due to poor contracts.

    • Mar 15, 20119:23 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      How the hell you think are cap situation is that bad?   Please take a look at the other teams cause I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.
      Are you kidding me? Take 2 minutes to look at the salary page on this very website. Do you see how much money we have committed to crappy players for the next 3 seasons? Our cap situation is among the worst in the league.

      • Mar 15, 20119:34 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        i didn’t want to be the one to say it, but jeremy is a dunce.

        • Mar 16, 201112:28 am
          by Jeremy

          Reply

          So I guess brgulker’s response is to someone else? I didn’t say our cap situation wasn’t bad, I sad we have poor contracts and that’s one of the problems.
           
          Not sure what your problem is with me, Laser. YOU’RE a dunce. So nyah. That sounded clever, didn’t it?

          • Mar 16, 20112:24 am
            by Laser

            it didn’t. everyone who shared their thoughts about the mediocrity treadmill put more thought into it than you did. it’s real, they’re on it, they define it. all that good stuff.

          • Mar 16, 20112:44 am
            by Jeremy

            @Laser, See below if you need some clarification on my opinion. We don’t all need three pages to make a point, tough guy.
             
            Natalie’s contribution: “They have been running on the treadmill so long they probably need a new pair of shoes.”

            Sure, lots of thought there.

            There’s nothing “treadmill” about bad contracts, they’re just bad contracts. The idea that perpetual mediocrity is a result of a sort of feedback loop (middle of the road placement yielding middle of the road picks that don’t serve to improve the team in any real way) makes some sense, but I don’t agree with it for the reasons given above and below. The GM makes bad moves or good moves or more likely some combination thereof and the team succeeds or fails as a result. It’s really as simple as that…

            You don’t have to agree with me, but don’t be such an asshole, Laser. It doesn’t make your opinion any more valid.
             
             

          • Mar 16, 201110:01 am
            by brgulker

            Jeremy,
             
            You’re right in that I was responding to Jason. I’m not sure how it ended up being a reply to your comment. I suspect I navigated the reply incorrectly. My apologies.
             
            I obviously don’t agree with you that the Pistons aren’t stuck running in place right now, because I think it’s pretty clear they are. It’s the “worse than mediocre” treadmill, but it’s still a treadmill.

  • Mar 15, 20118:57 pm
    by Packey

    Reply

    @Laser, I assure you, I get all that. To clarify my quick response, I started by saying that this team isn’t even on the damn treadmill right now because they’re not “barely good enough to make the playoffs.” The tanking sentiment may not have even been relevant, but thems my sentiments nonetheless — I don’t believe in actively rooting for a tank job to land a higher pick because I don’t think it’s necessary. If it happens, fine, but I won’t cheer for it. Gosh, I’m repeating myself, but, yeah, I think this team is talented enough to be better than their record indicates (and if they were playing better that would probably put them on that damn treadmill they’re not currently on). I ended by expressing that I think they’re still a few (smart) moves away from being a perennial playoff team capable of contending.

    • Mar 15, 20119:39 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      but you can’t “get all that.” 1) this team proves on a nightly basis that the whole is not necessarily the sum of its parts when it comes to individual talent. when all your talent plays the same positions, it’s impossible to maximize what you’ve got on the roster. individually, the pistons are talented; i like most everyone on the roster. collectively, they STINK. and they’re not going to suddenly take significant strides just because they’re better individually than they are together. 2) i still need an example or two of these “smart” moves that are going to improve the team if i’m to take you at all seriously. what deals can you swing for gordon/charlie/max/rip that’s going to fix anything? i count none.

    • Mar 16, 201112:27 am
      by khandor

      Reply

      I agree with these sentiments … as long as one of those “smart moves” involves the hiring of a first-rate coach who actually is a good fit with the players on the Pistons team. 

  • Mar 15, 20119:26 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    Whoa, that ended up in the wrong spot, sorry!
     
    @Jeremy, the treadmill analogy is more about being stuck in the same place than it is about being mediocre (and I agree, we’re worse than mediocre). The point is that the Pistons aren’t likely to get a top 3, franchise-altering pick, we don’t have the financial flexibility to add an impact player via free agency, and we don’t have many trade assets.
     
    So we’re caught running in place, spinning our wheels, <insert favorite analogy here>. But yes, where we are is worse than mediocre.

    • Mar 15, 20119:28 pm
      by brgulker

      Reply

      Sorry all, my comments are not threading properly, and I suspect that’s my fault. My bad!

      • Mar 15, 20119:43 pm
        by Laser

        Reply

        it’s ok. jeremy was lucky to get a response in the first place.

    • Mar 16, 201112:38 am
      by Jeremy

      Reply

      @brgulker, I see the mediocrity treadmill argument as being centered around draft position. Cap space obviously affects free agent possibilities and poor contracts are (theoretically) difficult to trade (but in reality not as much as one would think given the proclivity of bad contracts out there – you just don’t get a good contract in return).
       
      Being mediocre affects your draft spot, but is more correlation than causation in regards to having a poor cap situation. I would say that a poor cap situation is more a cause of mediocrity than a result of it.
       
      As I said, I don’t see sub-optimal drafting positions as a ticket to mediocrity. As some others have pointed out, you can draft well at 7 or 15 or 22 or whatever. Obviously you have a better chance of getting a good player with a high pick, but I suppose you also have a better chance of picking up a bad rookie contract. GMs pick both well and poorly high in the lottery, just as they do outside of it. So is the problem being stuck in the middle without an avenue of improvement, or is it simply a function of the choices that the GM makes? I would say, obviously, the latter. San Antonio does alright for itself, don’t they?
       
      Still not sure what Laser’s problem is. Guess I don’t much care.

      • Mar 16, 201112:42 am
        by Jeremy

        Reply

        Just a little preemptive support for the bad rookie contracts comment – would you rather have Hasheem Thabeet at the #2 payment scale or at #10+? Many people would rather not have him at all, of course.

        • Mar 16, 20112:33 am
          by Laser

          Reply

          buddy, you say you think the mediocrity treadmill isn’t all about draft position, but you’re not getting it. you seem to understand the team’s situation, but you’re not getting this mediocrity treadmill thing. the issue is that BECAUSE of their BAD CONTRACTS and BAD DECISIONS they’re in a position where they can’t improve their team.
           
          you say san antonio does ok, but they’re NOT on the treadmill. they pick in the 20s all the time, but they have a good team without glaring weaknesses, they have stars and all-stars on reasonable contracts, they are able to attract free agents, they have a hell of a coach. they’ve got it all! you don’t need great draft picks when you’re the spurs. and furthermore, i’ll bet you a hundred dollars that they don’t end up in the position the pistons are in when they start to retool. they’ll be forced to have duncan retire as s spur, so they won’t be able to get anything for him (though he’s been giving them a hometown discount for years, so that evens itself out), but they’re not going to extend their veterans into oblivion or dump them for nothing. they’re going to be shrewd. they’ll trade parker and/or ginobili when the time is right, and they’ll get good value for them.
           
          the pistons are capped out with bad contracts tied to players nobody wants. their young players are good but not great, and they can’t afford to trade them away. they’re too good to get a franchise-altering pick, but they’re not good enough to be entertaining or competitive. it’s not ALL about the drafts. that’s just a key component. that’s my problem with your comments.

          • Mar 16, 20112:56 am
            by Jeremy

            Again, I say bad contracts are bad contracts. I agree that the Pistons have more of them than the average team and pointed that out as a major part of why they’ve been lousy the past few years. Putting a fancy name on them doesn’t make any sense though. I understand why someone would apply the term to a middle-of-the-road team that finds itself stuck because of the previously mentioned feedback loop, but since you can get a good player or a bad player at essentially any point in the draft, I disagree with the concept. If you’re just going to lump together all possible bad decisions that a GM might make and slap a term on it, you’re not really saying anything.
             
            My logic doesn’t jive with you? Don’t care. You’re not as smart as you think, pal.

          • Mar 16, 201110:07 am
            by brgulker

            @ Jeremy,
             
            I don’t think I really disagree with you that much at all, except over how we’re understanding this analogy. I think the bad contracts feed into our situation of being stuck on a treadmill; you want to treat them independently.
             
            My point is really pretty simple. 1) We aren’t likely to land a franchise-altering player through the draft, because we’re likely to be picking in the middle of the lottery in a very weak draft. 2) We don’t have any financial flexibility to add players via free agency. 3) The players we are committed to aren’t very good, but they are just good enough to keep us out of very best picks in the lottery.
             
            So I think we’re pretty much stuck running in place. You can treat those three points as completely independent or completely interrelated, I guess, but I tend to think they’re all connected to each other and all feed into our current status as perpetual middle of the lottery team.

          • Mar 16, 201112:37 pm
            by Jeremy

            p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 10.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Verdana} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 10.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Verdana; min-height: 12.0px}
            @brgulker,
             
            I hear that. I suppose you’re correct that we’re looking at the analogy differently. I see the Pistons as a bad team, but except for their inability to make a trade due to the sale situation, which is a fairly unique situation at this time in the league, I don’t see them as running in place. They’re bad because of some bad decisions, but they’re not stuck. There is always the opportunity to make good decisions and turn things around. The only thing I see as preventing Joe from making positive changes to the roster are the sale of the team and, potentially, his decision making.
             
            1) Nobody is very likely to land a franchise altering pick in the draft. There are very few of them. Lately it’s been pretty clear who the best prospect is and the #1 picks have been the right ones, but there are plenty of counter-examples. Kobe went 13th, Wade and Garnett both went 5th. With the exception of the 2003 draft (a good example for the Pistons of how picking high doesn’t mean you get a good player), how often are there more than 1 or 2 “franchise-altering players” in a draft? And yes, you’re more likely to get that one or two if you pick early, but it’s far from a guarantee and there are plenty of good players that can measurably help a team at most points in most drafts. My understanding of this particular draft is that it’s pretty even in talent a good way in, which makes it all the less important to be picking in the first few spots. Furthermore, the lottery gives 14 teams a chance at each of the top three picks.
             
            2) Is financial flexibility the problem here or is it desirability of location? Probably both, and certainly having a good team makes you more desirable. But cap space isn’t a ticket to a franchise altering player either, unless you’re Miami or New York or one of the other big markets (or in Miami’s case a tax-friendly location already blessed with a superstar). Let’s say we have cap space this year, who do you want to use it on? Zach Randolph is probably about as good as you can hope for. Would he be a good signing for us? Absolutely, particularly because he fits our positional need, but franchise altering? I’d say the Memphis Grizzlies are pretty mediocre (which, granted, is better than where the Pistons are at.) Franchise altering players are not commonly available in free agency either, and these days they get to choose where they want to play. The Pistons aren’t missing out on them because of cap space.
             
            3) This one sounds like treadmill talk to me. But as previously stated, I think your specific position in the draft is, by and large, less important than your ability to draft well regardless of position. The obvious picks go fast, but that doesn’t mean teams picking 3 through 14 are stuck on a treadmill (or that the obvious number two pick is the right one, see 2003).
             
            As far as trades are concerned, there was a time the Pistons couldn’t make one because they DIDN’T have a bad contract. They’re pretty common around the league and they’re the players most likely to be moved. Sometimes those “franchise altering players” get moved, and I think we have the pieces to make the Boston-Minnesota Garnett trade, or the Lakers-Grizzlies Gasol trade. The key there is having a desperate or stupid trading partner.
             
            Joe has made some good moves and some bad moves. Most recently they’ve been pretty bad (though with the exception Summers/Blair he’s drafted pretty well despite his position) and lately there haven’t been any. If that’s why people feel the Pistons are running in place, relaxe. It’s not a treadmill. The team is bound to be sold one day. After that, Dumars will start making good decisions again and the Pistons will be moving forward, or he’ll continue making bad decisions and they’ll move backwards and get the coveted early picks that don’t guarantee anything or he’ll potentially make lateral moves (perhaps unlikely given his historic position on this type of trade) until something clicks.
            The Pistons have talent, it’s just highly unbalanced towards wing positions. Championship caliber talent? No. But not many teams do have that, and the teams that do haven’t fluctuated much in recent years. What makes them contenders is having one (Boston, Orlando, Lakers and Bulls depending on your definition) or more (Miami) of the elusive “franchise altering players” supported by other good players. But I contend that getting those great players is difficult and more dependent on luck and good decisions than a team’s cap situation and draft location. There’s nothing (IMO) preventing us from getting the good players that support them (and I don’t think we’re necessarily doing badly in this regard).

  • Mar 15, 201110:29 pm
    by Packey

    Reply

    You’re not understanding me. My belief that this team is better than a 25-win team does not mean I think 30-36 wins (where I put this team in the pre-season) instead of 20-something would be sufficient. In my opinion, by watching nearly every single game this season from start to finish, this team appears to be talented enough to be better than 25 wins (and ultimately either in that 8-spot or in a better position to seize it). OBVIOUSLY, that hasn’t happened. The support I have in favor of my theory are games in which they were better than their opponent for the majority of the game and then let it slip (be it in the third quarter or in the waning minutes, which has actually happened quite a bit). Of course, that by no means absolves Dumars for putting together a deficient roster, which I’m very aware of.
    You count none? Gee, you didn’t even give me a chance! I’m not too worried about you taking me seriously, LASER. I’m not the GM, I can’t schwing any moves, but I’d be willing to hypothesize that Rip won’t be a Piston throughout his contract and that’d be a foot in the right direction in terms of smart moves and this team on the improve toward contention.

    • Mar 16, 20112:46 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      they may have OUTPLAYED many opponents for the majority of some games and therefore the games could technically be considered “winnable,” but what made the pistons lose nearly all of those games (and i watched a TON of them) was that they were WORSE than their opponents. all the other team had to do was keep it close enough, play casually for most of the game, then flip the switch at some point. most teams in the league could beat this pistons team just by playing sound fundamental basketball. not even spectacular basketball, just good basketball. so teams went to their starters in the third quarter or fourth quarter or final six minutes, clamped down a bit and took control. it’s the story of the season, as far as i’m concerned. in crunch time, this team can not execute on either end of the floor consistently enough to close out these games. it’s not a fluke that they lost like twenty games the exact same way. they are up against superior opponents most nights.
       
      the nature of basketball is to conserve energy and play just hard enough to win. it’s too long and demanding a season to go full throttle at all times. for this reason, basketball tends away from blowouts. but if every team approached every game at full throttle from start to finish, the pistons would have gotten blown out routinely. keep this team together for ten more years and they’ll keep losing at least 50 every time. your theory is bogus.
       
      everything you’ve said, especially your analysis of these 20 or so games the pistons “should” have won just because they happened to lead most of the way but let slip away coincidentally, leads me to believe you don’t have a very good grasp of basketball. that’s all.
       
      and if the best you can offer is that rip won’t be a piston through the length of his contract and that this is enough of an improvement to give fans hope, you’ve got nothing for me. the tax for shedding rip was a future first rounder (a sure lottery pick). and all so we can enjoy watching stuckey and gordon lose basketball games together for years to come. subtract rip from this team and it still sucks. subtract even one future draft pick, and i’m not sure anyone’s going to keep watching.

      • Mar 16, 20111:00 pm
        by Packey

        Reply

        LOL. That dunce cap you gave Jeremy – ask him for it back so you can wear it.

  • [...] finding themselves in a very similar predicament, Joe Dumars has locked them in a state where this question is being pondered out loud. The link is a take on the Pistons by various media outlets and the viewpoints are diverse, [...]

  • Mar 16, 20111:54 am
    by Geoff

    Reply

    I do buy the treadmill theory in this case. Lets be real. C Billups and Ben Wallace were near superstar players at their best. Impact-wise, when it mattered. They were oddities, freaks of the NBA. And Sheed was a turbulent cast off with his own superstar level talent. Yes, I believe a good GM can get the Rip and Tay fillers again. But the other 3? The chances of assembling another Pistons team in a similar vein is next to impossible. We got rediculously lucky on the other 3. 3 times over.

    You need at least 1 superstar. I dont think Greg Monroe is it. Though he could be a multiple time all-star. He’s not the 1 superstar champion player. We need one. Thats why I do buy the treadmill theory in this case. Looking at the draft, I guess tanking this year was pointless. But we need that 1 top 3 pick superstar. And yes they usually do come in the top 3-5 picks. 

  • Mar 16, 20112:07 am
    by Geoff

    Reply

    Who here would sign Stuckey to be a starting SG for more than the current MLE?

    Whats the point? Is a player of Stuckeys ilk a valuable addition as a starter on a championship team? Not really. Not Unless he grows a consistant jumper, he’s not a player worth investing in. He has some talent, but I dont think he has much value as a SG. There’s so many above average scorers at that position. Probably more versatile, and cheaper than Stuckey.

    Dont make that mistake!

    This offseason should be a flat-out dump fest. We should be able to resign no one and then get at least one of CV, BG, Rip off the books before next all-star break. Hopefully 2. I think Rip’s tradeable next year. Then tank. Tank, tank.

    There’s no point in keeping these guys around. Get a top 5 pick and hope its a good draft. We’re sure due for one.

  • Mar 16, 20112:10 am
    by Geoff

    Reply

    So my strategy isn’t to rebuild through just draft.

    Its to rebuild around Monroe, (Maybe Daye, Jerebko), this years #7ish, Next Years top 3!

    And then, with no one resigned this summer, and say Rip and CV dumped by next year, then you go out and show some FA’s what a nice corps you have. Or you start working tradelines for one. Then you start building a team.

    You do not start building a team with just the current core, which IMO is Monroe and bunch of CAP anchors!

  • [...] News excerpt from: Pistons Roundtable: Dangers of the mediocrity treadmill … [...]

  • [...] finding themselves in a very similar predicament, Joe Dumars has locked them in a state where this question is being pondered out loud. The link is a take on the Pistons by various media outlets and the viewpoints are diverse, [...]

  • [...] 2. How much are the Pistons in danger of running in place on the mediocrity treadmill? [...]

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