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Chad Ford grades the Pistons’ offseason: B-minus

ESPN’s Chad Ford ranked every NBA team’s offseason, and he gave the Pistons a B-minus:

The Pistons had another quiet offseason. After winning just 27 games in 2009-10 and 30 games last season, you’d think Pistons president Joe Dumars would be in the middle of a major overhaul in Detroit. Although the Pistons’ lack of moves were easy enough to explain last year when the team was for sale and management’s hands were tied, many thought the Pistons would be more aggressive this offseason with new owner Tom Gores on board. Instead, the team worked to bring back Prince, Jerebko and Stuckey on multiyear deals, keeping intact most of the core of last season’s team.

Still, three things have changed for the better in Detroit. (1) The Pistons waived Richard Hamilton, who had become unhappy in Motown, freeing him to leave for a contender. They made the move as a buyout and saved nearly $8 million in the process. Talk about addition by subtraction. (2) The team drafted Brandon Knight who, while still a little raw, has terrific upside. Put him on the floor with Stuckey, Greg Monroe and Austin Daye, and the Pistons suddenly have a nice, young core. (3) The team made yet another coaching change, bringing in former Nets coach Lawrence Frank to run the show. Frank has a great reputation around the league and is promising a more disciplined, hardworking team in the future.

While those moves won’t particularly wow anyone, the Pistons are moving in the right direction again. This team could win 35 games and start to win back fans who left the team over the past few years.

A B-minus seems rather generous. The Pistons are in a slightly better position than when the offseason started, but because they didn’t achieve any major player-related objectives – significantly lower long-term salary obligations, add a big man of the future to play with Greg Monroe, add a big man of the present to play with Greg Monroe – I’d give them a C-plus, just above average.

46 Comments

  • Dec 19, 20114:20 pm
    by pratt321

    Reply

    I think a B- is to good of a grade . Bring back Stuckey not a good move . Bring back junk A** Prince bad move .  re -signing J.J i like and i like the rookies . Prince gave up on US the fans and his team last year . Stuckey is just a non-passing ball hog . We should of let them both walk . Let the new young guys play . I think Joe D is dropping the ball .  And i am a BIG FAN of Joe . I just don’t understand his moves .  my Grade is a D+

    • Dec 19, 20116:48 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      The problem here is that i want to agree with you, and god knows i’d set joe dumars on fire if i could get away with it, but you’ve severely undercut your own point by arguing that allowing stuckey and prince to walk would have been your preference. love em or hate em, they’re two of our best players and were sorely missed in the first preseason game. most importantly, they both have value, and this team is so devoid of talent and assets that we simply can’t afford to dump any assets. had you advocated trading those guys, i’d be on your side. letting them walk would be an objective mistake, and a very bad one.

      • Dec 20, 20118:15 am
        by detroitpcb

        Reply

        must agree. i didn’t want to see Prince come back because of the young players but with Singler staying in Spain it looks like a great decision. Prince and Stuck were the two best players on the team last year.

        if we would just trade ben gordon i would be a happy man and could even bear watching Cv on the court for 11 minutes a game.

  • Dec 19, 20114:41 pm
    by upsetPistonfan

    Reply

    Sadly I’m rooting for them not to do well at all this season only because I want the #1 draft pick next year.  This season is a throw away season anyways.  It’ll be between Miami, Dallas, or L.A.

    • Dec 19, 20119:19 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Chicago? OKC? Even SAS, BOS, NYK and MEM have a chance.

    • Dec 20, 20118:17 am
      by detroitpcb

      Reply

      Chi-town is going to make some noise. So are the Clippers. And OKC might be the best of all.

    • Dec 20, 20113:50 pm
      by dd3

      Reply

      The Pistons will NOT get bailed out & win the 1st pick in the draft, even if we tank the entire season. How many times has detroit had the # pick in their history? David Stern controls this league, including who gets the 1st pick. Orlando, Cleveland & the Clippers have each had it twice the last 20 years. When each team needed it most, mainly after losing a big time player & money maker for that team. DO NOT be surprised if N.O. Wins the #1 or 2 pick or both if they tank the season. They have their own pick plus Minnesotas pick after the Paul trade. That team needs to be sold & what better way to sell it than with a franchise player beinging grabbed in the draft. Stern loves the drama & a good story. A home town kid getting picked for his local team, like D Rose, a team loses their superstar or has a terrible tragedy only to get the #1 pick in the draft the very next year, IE Cleveland this year & Washington the year before. The Pistons will never be that lucky, unless they hit rock bottom.

      • Dec 20, 20117:02 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Conspiracy theories, like that the lottery isn’t left to chance are ludicrous. If Stern was rigging it, someone else would know (since he isn’t even in the room when the lottery is drawn). If multiple people knew, the story would get out, it would just be a matter of time. And the losses associated with the public learning the lottery was rigged would be much worse than any gains obtainable by rigging the lottery.

  • Dec 19, 20114:49 pm
    by Marvin Jones

    Reply

    Fortunately someone a little more objective than all 3 of you guys got it right, your personal dislike of Stuckey clouds your judgement, you don’t let talented players his age just walk, and he is very talented. I personally don’t like the Prince signing but I do understand it now that Rip is gone. The B- to me is on target.

  • Dec 19, 20115:06 pm
    by BIG MARV

    Reply

    Yeah B- is a lil too High I didnt like the resinging of prince too much and they still didnt address the issue of getting a big man, either by via trade or free agency. But I do like the resinging of stuckey and JJ because those are good young core players that will develop well around Monroe and Knight and with Lawerence Frank on board you can see that its becoming more of a team instead of bashing on coaches or players. I will def say a C+, I was close on the B- but like I said they didnt bring in a solid big but if damien wilkins turn out to be a good bench player I def will say B- but thats for us to figure out. I think 35 wins is def on point I was looking at mabey 38 wins mabey they can get a fight for 8th place because the bottom feeders are so weak in the east and you can skate in for 8 look at the pacers from last year.

    • Dec 19, 20116:51 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      hm. okay big marv, i assume you must have ignored the shortened season when you predict 35-38 wins. prorated to account for the 16 missed games, you’re probably only off by 3-5 wins. i think we’re still looking at a 50-loss disaster in an 82 game schedule.

      • Dec 19, 20117:45 pm
        by BIG MARV

        Reply

        Oh im Sorry David Stern I forgot to look at the schedule but I did know it was a short season I think its something that Michael Jackson wrote and sung that everybody has…. oh yeah human nature hmmmmm

  • Dec 19, 20115:08 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    the grade is really generous.

    our biggest problem remains unsolved. nuff said.

    we could have drafted better than Kyle Singler & Vernon Macklin, anything over 6’11 240 would do…

  • Dec 19, 20115:10 pm
    by Youssif

    Reply

    I’d give them a C-minus

    +Re-signing Stuckey to reasonable contract
    +Re-signing JJ
    +Buying out Rip, keeping the amnesty clause until it’s clear who to amnesty
    +Firing Kuester, hiring Frank
    +Drafting Knight
    +Letting Wilcox go

    - Keeping Tayshaun (makes absolutely no sense given the roster. 25 wins + better draft pick > 33 wins + worse draft pick)
    - Signing Tayshaun to a four year contract
    - Not landing a backup big man via trade/FA
    - Watching T-Mac walk instead of Prince
    - Not landing a starting big man via trade/FA
    - Not winning the Chris Paul sweepstakes

    I’m not upset about exactly one of those shortcomings.

  • Dec 19, 20115:17 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    I think a C would of been adequate grading but I have never really been a big fan of grading offseason moves. I much prefer midseason gradings as i think it gives a better makeup of what the gm was envisioning. Having said that i am sure you guys will link back this story to show how wrong or right everyone was. Personally I would be happy if we tried to sign Kris Humphries and maybe scour the d-league for an athletic shot blocker to round out the roster. I am torn between what i know is right – competing every game and wrong – tanking this season and getting back on the horse next season. I blame Joe for making me feel this way :-(

  • Dec 19, 20116:00 pm
    by Geezer

    Reply

    Are you guys predicting 35-38 wins based off a 66 game season? That would give them a winning record and a sure fire playoff spot in the East. I think a B- is fair because Joe D. did the best he could do with what he had. Chandler was wearing a NY Knick Uni under his Dallas jersey all of last season. Gasol and NENE gets max bucks and the rest I couldn’t justify giving anything outside of the mid-level to.(with exception to maybe Deandre Jordan but we wasn’t on his radar). Prince could be a tradeable asset due to his reasonable contract in the future. Re-signing Stuck and Jerebko while not the superstar signings will give some consistency to the roster for the young players to build team chemistry i.e. Memphis Grizz. Waiving RIP and saving amnesty – smart move. Drafting B Knight instead of Morris twins and K. Leonard should be a better payoff. You go into this season with a well respected coach, and some pieces that  could be  used in a trade and an amnesty in your pocket, no significant moves made, but a step in the right direction.

    • Dec 19, 20116:56 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      “what joe had” was ENTIRELY his making!! if you’re grading him on a curve based on what he had to work with, you should be lowering the grade, since he mismanaged this team into cinder!
       
      and i don’t want to hear a goddamn syllable about his hands being tied by the sale of the team. they got untied this summer, and he still couldn’t do SHIT. he tied his own hands with bad contracts.

      • Dec 20, 20113:12 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Dumars has been terrible for the past couple years. But the fact that what he had was entirely his own fault is irrelevant when it come to grading this offseason. That is all about working from where he was at going into the summer.

        A B- is still way too high though because how was he above average at all? I do credit him with drafting Brandon Knight but as of yet there is virtually no info to determine whether that was a good selection or not. But I’ll give minor props for selecting based on best prospect over greatest need. Waiving Rip was a good move because it at least makes it possible for Ben Gordon to regain some value and it should free up some minutes for youngsters. Resigning Jerebko was a good move in theory. But he bid against himself and overpaid. The worst case scenario was another team offering more money to Jerebko. But it is very unlikely anyone would offer much more based on one season of Jerebko showing he could be a nice sub. Bottom line, even if Jonas outperforms his contract, it was a stupid signing because Joe should have been able to do it for less money. Resigning Prince was a terrible move. It makes the Pistons better this year which is something virtually no Pistons fans want (since it is a guarantee Detroit isn’t contending). Also, Pronce will most likely be overpaid in a year or two. That’s a chance worth taking if the Pistons are building up a championship run right now, but they aren’t. So Joe added another bad long-term deal to his pile. I thought that Stuckey should have been able to be had for cheaper, but it seems that probably wasn’t the case. I think I like this deal slightly better than a QO because if Stuckey does improve, he will be a better asset this way. If he doesn’t, he comes off the books with Gordon and Prince in time to try to do something with cap space. So all in all, Dumars moves come out to approximately average. But they take a big hit for being directionless. The ship on being good now has sailed. And Joe D appears to be making no efforts to work at mortgaging today for a brighter tomorrow. He should be actively doing all he can to get more young assets on the team whether that means at least tendering an offer to someone out there or taking back a bad contract with a young piece in a trade. Bottom line is that when someone in a position like Presti does nothing, he can get an above average grade. But when you are in a position like Dumars, you should be at least making lateral moves just in case they work out better. What’s to lose?

  • Dec 19, 20116:06 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    The “off-season” was quite truncated so I don’t think anyone should think any team is finished making moves.   That said, I think the Pistons are in a much better position than last year for a few reasons in no particular order.
    1. Beyond the log jam and deference to a veteran that RIP created the last year, everyone seems to be forgetting that last year, Tracy McGrady was nearly as much a part of that equation last year so they actually have two large slots opening up for younger players.
    2.  To that point; while I couldn’t find any officials figures and I’m too lazy to do the math myself, I wasn’t too lazy to ascertain that the Pistons will be in the range of being the youngest team in the league this year as compared to last year’s Timberwolves who were a little under 25 years old last year on average. Young players tend to have more trade value than older ones.
    3.  To that point; whether Monroe or Knight can become stars, they are undeniably the best trade pieces the Pistons have had in several years and while some do not like Stuckey, locking up a 25 year PG who can already be called a veteran starter to reasonable 25 million three year making him more trade worthy than he even was as this time last year.
    4.  The amnesty option gives the Pistons more leverage in general moving forward because they can cut Charlie V or Ben Gordon if they can’t recover this season and it is also true that within a year, those contracts will start to look like short term contracts ripe to become large expiring ones and those usually have trade value.
    5.  Add these reasons up and Dumars has more leverage than he has had in a very longtime to make big changes if he so desires.  For my money, Dumars will take a look at this squad to see how it starts under Lawrence Frank and if they struggle badly, I would expect a major shakeup by the trade deadline.

    • Dec 19, 20117:06 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      time heals all wounds, and the only thing that’s improved the team’s fortunes in the ways you’ve enumerated is TIME. time gave us knight and monroe (whose collective trade value is meaningless since joe will not be trading them any time in the near future), time makes a team that’s rebuilding through the draft younger, time made t-mac go away, time is the only thing you could possibly use to add a silver lining to the BG/CV contracts.
       
      also: stuckey is NOT more valuable on a reasonable three-year deal than he would be on an INSANELY inexpensive short-term deal. not close. the maximum value he could possibly have is if we’d signed him to a qualifying offer sheet and traded him immediately.
       
      as to your fifth bullet point, joe has very little leverage and very few options, or else he would have given a team that lost 50 games the last two seasons a makeover instead of a tweak. the team he’s left himself with is very possibly the worst cross-section of talent and cap flexibility in the league. obviously he DESIRED to make big changes, because who wouldn’t with this mess, but it’s plainly obvious he left himself without any particularly good options.

      • Dec 19, 201110:18 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I’ve been a die hard Pistons fan for 30 years but I live in New York……and let me tell you, you are very ungrateful of the unprecedented success the Pistons enjoyed for nearly a decade and impatient if you think a rebuilding project where you go from relevant title contender to a team that is almost entirely built around promising young assets in two years is anything like mismanagement.
        T-Mac was only here one year and played at a higher level than I or most anyone I know expected. It was just a flier and not a wound but a boon and not something that time healed, Brandon Knight was not on the team last year and didn’t need minutes.
        Stuckey would have much less value as an expiring contract because the team would only be getting a one year rental versus a very reasonable 3 year contract with almost no downside for a proven 25 year old player who has faced much more chaos and large egos than nearly any player who has ever started at the point as many games as he has.  His value is going to go way up throughout the life of the contract as the Pistons finally have a coach who is going to play to the team’s strengths and not his own limited playbook.  I watched Frank closely in New Jersey and he’s already talking about actually running pick and rolls.  Don’t thank god.  Thank Frank.
        As for my fifth bullet point you should refer to the beginning of the post.  The off season was very short and Dumars had a lot to do just to put a very young team in place that has not had the benefit of a summer league or training camp.  You seem to want some sweeping change but what exactly would that mean if you don’t want to trade Knight or Monroe?  If anything the Pistons are better off looking at this roster and biding their time till the deadline or next summer because they will have a much better idea of who they are and what they need and Gordon and Charlie V are likely to have more value.  Gordon needs to start or get steady minutes for a while to even be trade worthy and they can always amnesty whichever contract they don’t trade. There wasn’t really one free agent this summer that I really wanted them to get anyway and certainly not one they could have.

      • Dec 19, 201110:33 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Alright Laser, gotta rattle your cage a little.

        “time gave us knight and monroe (whose collective trade value is meaningless since joe will not be trading them any time in the near future)”

        Just because no one would anticipate trading them doesn’t mean he would never trade either guy. I bet the Clippers didn’t think they’d trade Eric Gordon a few months ago. Monroe and Knight are both promising, cheap and have huge upside. Even if they never end up getting traded, their value is not meaningless. Having them as assets is better than not having them.

        “stuckey is NOT more valuable on a reasonable three-year deal than he would be on an INSANELY inexpensive short-term deal.”

        It changes the types of deals you can make for him. If he came back on a QO, his salary would be so low that it would limit the types of one for one deals the Pistons could do for him. Essentially, a team would have to be giving up someone on a rookie contract or a draft pick for him. Stuckey would be underpaid on that deal and teams would know he’s about to be a UFA in line for a big raise. That would undoubtedly hurt what the Pistons could get in return for him.

        Now? If he continues his trend of slight upticks in production this season, shows he can play minutes at both guard spots and doesn’t get benched by the coaching staff, he’ll easily be worth his contract and if the Pistons wanted to move him, they could do so. The only way his contract becomes hard to move for value is if he underperforms, and based on his career trend and age, he’s unlikely to severely underperform that deal.

         

        • Dec 20, 20113:16 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          With Maxiell on the roster and the easier trading rules, I’m convinced Detroit could get be unhampered in trading Stuckey if he’s on a QO. Also, most desirable returns would be things like rookie deals. But I agree that his value might be less on a QO because any team that gets him has no idea if they will keep him.

  • Dec 19, 20116:43 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    B-minus is a WILDLY generous grade. They didn’t do a single thing that they didn’t basically HAVE to do, and the result is a team that looks horrifyingly similar to the one that can only hope to lose fewer than 50 games because 16 of them got wiped off the schedule. As a result of Joe’s mutilation of the team, there were very few options available for tweaking the roster.
     
    1) Bringing back our own free agents was a no-brainer; nobody else is willing to play here. Tayshaun and Stuckey could have been converted into other assets, but probably nothing that would present a significant upgrade over themselves. Their absences were felt in the preseason opener, and I didn’t get the feeling that a middling upgrade to the frontcourt would have offset that very much. This was a lateral move.
     
    2) Waiving Rip makes us better this season, but there’s very little point in being better this season. We’re probably better off being that much worse for having him around. Try as anyone might to spin it otherwise, the only thing this truly accomplished was to alleviate the backcourt logjam Joe created and avoid a carbon copy of the last two seasons. Lawrence Frank could have done everything right, and the team would still look like a total mess, simply because it would be impossible to work our seven perimeter players into an effective rotation. The net result is a few more wins this year and a missed opportunity to trade Rip next year for assets. It’s basically a face-saving move for Joe, since he couldn’t do anything productive to fix the backcourt. Only it doesn’t save that much face to anyone who sees through it.
     
    3) Kuester lasted one full season too long, so upgrading his position can hardly be lauded. This was another move that absolutely needed to be made, and time will tell if Frank is the right man for the job. As it stands, he was the best of a bad lot, but plenty of coaches took jobs elsewhere in the three years (and well over $10 million in coaching salary) since Joe hired Curry.
     
    4) Don’t get me started on drafting Knight. He was lucky Knight was available, and 100% of human beings in Joe’s chair make the same pick.
     
    Just because things got so awful they literally could not get worse, doesn’t mean Joe should be congratulated for making brainless necessary moves. If anything, he should be judged more harshly for creating a situation where essentially bringing back a team that lost 50 games in consecutive seasons was basically the best he could do.

    • Dec 20, 20116:55 am
      by Murph

      Reply

      “4) Don’t get me started on drafting Knight. He was lucky Knight was available, and 100% of human beings in Joe’s chair make the same pick.”

      Make that 99.99% of human beings.  I would have taken Kemba Walker over night.  And if Walker develops into a better NBA PG than Knight, the pick will end up being a negative for Dumars, not a positive.

      • Dec 20, 20119:16 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Yep. Knight-Walker were very close. The general consensus was that Knight had more potential, Walker was the better player right now. Charlotte and a few other teams would’ve taken Walker over Knight if they had the choice. Toronto also reportedly liked Walker more than Knight if they would’ve taken a PG with their pick had Valanciunas not fallen to them. Knight, like Monroe the year before, fell because he had some poor workouts that scared teams off.

    • Dec 20, 20118:14 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Yeah, it’s much like how 100% of humans take Monroe over Udoh or Blair over Summers. Some picks are more obvious than others, but very few come close to “there is no way you take anyone else” level. The only such players in recent years were Lebron at 1, Melo at 3, Paul at 4, Durant at 2, and Griffin at 1. You might be able to make a case for a couple others. But once you get past the 5th pick, if there’s a chance a guy falls to you, there’s a chance he falls past you.

  • Dec 19, 20116:54 pm
    by Marvin Jones

    Reply

    Laser, everybody is lucky that a certain player is there when they draft, but they still have to draft them. Every descent move Joe makes, according to you, was luck. I guess sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. I think the Pistons are lucky to Joe Dumars as GM and his record rates among the top 7 GMs in the league, get over you hate man. 

    • Dec 19, 20117:14 pm
      by Laser

      Reply

      You’re flat wrong on luck and the draft. When a high-ceiling player inexplicably drops a few spots and falls in your lap where you had no business getting such a good talent, that’s luck. When you have the first pick and get first-pick level talent, or any place you get talent relative to where you’re drafting, that’s just called “the draft.” 100% of human beings draft Monroe and Knight where Joe did, without a shred of thought necessary.
       
      Also, Joe’s very fortunate that it’s better to be lucky than good, because Joe hasn’t been good in about seven years. The last shrewd personnel decision he made was when he signed Dyess to the MLE. And most people don’t use the “better to be lucky than good” cliche when referring to a man who single-handedly destroyed an elite franchise and set it back to the stone age with piss poor decisions (dumping most of our best players for cap space) and bad contracts (rip, bg, cv). joe can suck an egg. get off his jock. it’s sad. think for yourself.

      • Dec 19, 201110:32 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        You’re a hater Laser.  GMs and teams pass up talent all the time and do so for a variety of reasons.  A lot of GMs would have passed on Knight in Joe’s case because I’m sure Dumars knows he has had a log jam of guards and that everyone was expecting him him to add a front court player even though he had just drafted the best big men in Monroe that the Pistons had ever drafted in my 30 years as a fan.
        Look at when Krause wanted to show everyone what a good GM he was when he broke up Jordan’s Bulls.  He drafted a lot of good players but he was too impatient for success that he continually turned them over and the team was awful for over a decade.
        Dumars screwed up the Darko draft which will never be forgotten or even looked at in it’s proper light, but he has otherwise, with the exception of Rodney White, done a stellar job, and while you may think they are in a financial mess, you are not looking around and seeing the teams that are truly mismanaged.

      • Dec 19, 201110:57 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “The last shrewd personnel decision he made was when he signed Dyess to the MLE.”

        Signing Webber as a low-rent contributor was a pretty shrewd move.

        • Dec 20, 20113:24 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Honestly I thought the Billups trade was pretty shrewd. It was a calculated risk that shook up a roster that probably wouldn’t win a championship as constructed and it gave them double odds at making it work. Now obviously it didn’t pan out, but that is because Gordon and Villanueva were complete wastes of money (and when there were so many teams willing to give away assets to clear cap space for the next summer too). Moreover, it would have been even smarter for him to try to trade his young guys (Stuckey, Afflalo, Amir, Maxiell) for better players without many years left a la Boston. So was it a fantastic move? No. But it was definitely a clever one with pretty decent odds. He looked like he had a plan then. Ever since, he has been trying to “contend” for a bottom 2 playoff seed.

  • Dec 19, 201110:44 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    And also Laser.  Dumars singlehandedly as you say built that team in the first place and they enjoyed a truly great run that was remarkable for just how long it did last.  Now, you can say he ended the party a year or two early, but I don’t personally think they would have actually won the championship in 08 or 09 so how much difference does it really make?  Now, only 2 years out of the playoffs, the Pistons already have a young nucleus with young players at very position and the PG and C covered–unless they get a C who pushes Monroe to PF, which makes him even more valuable.   From the outside I really don’t see so much to criticize, but I sympathize with your impatience and pain.
    BTW: Monroe, Stuckey, Afflalo (i know he was traded), Maxiell and Jerebko were truly great draft picks by Joe within the last seven years and Daye may yet turn out to be one.   All that without a truly high pick and without really falling to the bottom.  Some people are just ungrateful.

    • Dec 20, 20113:41 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      On this, I think Laser and I are like-minded. If I’m wrong, he’ll probably point it out. The problem was not that Dumars ended the Pistons run when he did. It’s that he did it half-ass and stupidly. He had a ton of assets with at least some value. He traded Billups in at least a realistic move to try to get back value for him. That didn’t pan out but he still got cap space. But he let Sheed and McDyess walk for nothing without trying to get anything back for them (if he was gonna let them walk, he really should have tried to trade them at the previous deadline). He bid against himself when he had all the leverage to overpay and keep around Rip. He traded away young assets for nothing more than cap space which he used to secure lesser assets (Afflalo for Wilcox). He bid against himself to sign free agents that were known for their defensive limitations (even if he couldn’t possibly predict their offensive struggles). He didn’t try to get any value by trading Prince even though he was blocking up the position for three draftees in the same year.

      Basically, he completely abandoned what he did to build the championship team which was to underpay players with promise but who had not been in a great setting to succeed. Instead he overpaid players who had played their top basketball recently as if that was what he could expect from then on (kinda like if he gave Stuckey a contract based on averaging 25 and 9 for his last few games).

      “All that without a truly high pick and without really falling to the bottom.”
      What you have to realize is that most fans wouldn’t mind if the Pistons really fell to the bottom. It would significantly up the odds of drafting a superstar and being a fan of a 20 win team is really no less fun than being a fan of a 30 win team. Either way, you kinda stop caring about wins and losses (until the end of the year when you pay attention to lottery possibilities), and instead can really only root for the progression of exciting young players.

  • Dec 19, 201110:49 pm
    by Youssif

    Reply

    Let’s trade Joe Dumars for Dwight Howard.

    Maybe sneak in BG/CV to make the contract numbers work. Dumars would be a huge upgrade over Otis Smith and Dwight Howard alongside Greg Monroe would create a killer frontcourt. Even if he leaves after a year, we shed CV or BG’s contract and still have our amnesty* for the other guy. Who says no?  

    *You know what would have been awesome? If the CBA had a provision for trading amnesty. For example, the Pistons could trade Jason Maxiell to a team like the Warriors for their amnesty provision and then effectively have 2 amnesties they could use.

  • Dec 20, 20111:15 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    what you have to remember is that chad ford has been joe’s media mouthpiece on the national level for quite a while.
    i first recall their symbiotic relationship from the darko fiasco days.  ford was one of the main american writers offering tales of that legendarily talented seven foot euro, and last i checked he has always given joe d a pass on the darko pick, arguing that any gm in that draft position would have made the same ridiculous pick.
    since then, if joe wanted to get any info out into the national press bloodstream, chad ford was his guy.  he gave ford lots of interviews, and ford reciprocated by lavishing praise on dumars.  and i’m sure joe acted as an anonymous source on all kinds of league matters.
    (which wasn’t tough to do because joe was very successful for many years.  the problem is that ford has not changed his tune about joe, as joe has made disastrous mistake after disastrous mistake.  in his view, joe d is the same brilliant gm who built a title team from scratch and on the cheap.  in chad ford’s view, the last 3 years haven’t existed, for dumars.)
    so yes, a “B-” is a ridiculously generous grade, considering the state of the pistons’ franchise and the lack of moves by dumars to address the team’s most pressing problems.
    but the reason chad ford gave him that grade is that he likes being given exclusives from  joe d and probably getting lots of other inside info about the league from joe and he knows that kissing dumars’ behind is the best way to make certain he keeps getting that kind of access.

    • Dec 20, 20119:12 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Every exec in the league has relationships like that with a reporter or two. I think the grade is too high, but Ford’s analysis on the Knight pick and the buyout is fair. When you consider that the Pistons almost gave up a first round pick last year just to get Cleveland to take Hamilton, getting rid of him could’ve been much worse than it ultimately was.

      • Dec 20, 20113:34 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        i certainly understand the dynamics involved with reporting.  i’ve done a bit of it myself and i’ve also acted as a source for reporters.  it’s a symbiotic relationship that hopefully benefits both.
        chad ford is dumars’ boy and dumars is ford’s guy.  no problem.  it probably works out for the both of them.  when detroit was an elite team, ford got all sorts of goodies tossed his way by dumars and ford would benefit from nice long interviews from one of the league’s most highly regarded execs.
        again, that is the way it works.
        it does, however, explain why ford consistently views whatever dumars and detroit does in the most optimistic light possible.  i’ve read probably everything he’s written about the pistons over the last 8 years or so, and he never takes joe to task for anything.  he always explains the most inexplicable dumars move in a way that clearly reflects joe’s thinking and always gives joe the benefit of the doubt.
        when the team was doing well, such patience was justified.  over the last few years, it shows a lack of integrity on ford’s part.  he is, after all, supposedly a reporter.
        so when he gives the pistons a ridiculous B- grade for essentially doing nothing but hiring another coach – to replace the bad ones he just fired – he loses credibility.
        and he gives a team like portland a “D” even though portland made several moves to specifically address their particular team holes.
        jamal crawford, raymond felton, kurt thomas, craig smith, using amnesty on brandon roy to free up lots of cap room… crawford, thomas and smith are all coming cheap also.
        again, portland addressed their team needs with moves that will make them a better team.  off the bench scorer in crawofrd, a more uptempo guard in felton to replace the slower andre miller.  bulk, intimidation in thomas and smith.  a big guy who can play 12-15 minutes a game in thomas, and hit a 12 foot jumper.  a low post scorer in smith who is one of the best values in all of basketball.
        while joe hires a coach, brings in a high draft choice and finally resolves a problem of his own making in hamilton.
        the idea that portland gets a D, while joe’s moves merit a B- is ridiculous.  and it only makes sense if you understand the dumars/ford connection.

  • Dec 20, 20112:07 am
    by Jay

    Reply

    any chance the pistons could get Dalembert?

  • Dec 20, 20114:15 am
    by Max

    Reply

    I’m a Pistons fan, always have been and I see no reason to go all the way to the bottom.  It doesn’t insure you of anything better than the 4th pick and I’d be happy as could be to pluck Monroe and Knight 4th pick in consecutive drafts.
    Further, I do not like what has happened to the culture of the franchise and losing more can only make it worse.  In the last three decades, the Pistons have not known three years in a row of no playoffs unless I’m mistaken and I consider that a very good thing.   Winning and and trying to win now is the best cure for that.  The players have obviously lost your respect and they need to get it back but I think the youth movement you crave is already well underway and that next year’s draft is so loaded that they will get one more chip even if they approach the playoffs.  At that point, with 5 or 6 young chips on their roster under 25 years old things will really start to turn.
    I don’t want to get into letter grades for lots of reasons but I would give Dumars decent marks for this off season if pressed because he did almost exactly what I wanted him to do by retaining Prince, Stuckey and Jerebko with very reasonable contracts,   Every player I even heard mention of them getting made me sick,
    I know some of you have gotten very sour and have lost touch with the image of Prince swatting Reggie Miller’s shot that should be playing like a continuous loop in your head so please watch this before saying the Prince contract was bad.   It’s all from last year.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjuOpfuDUKw

    • Dec 20, 20118:30 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It doesn’t assure you of anything and I never said it did. But it makes your odds of getting a superstar much better. That’s all I said and there is no reasonable argument against that. Yeah, Monroe and Knight are nice pieces. But I’d rather have Wall and Williams. Or Cousins and Irving. And this last draft in particular was often characterized as one in which picking early wasn’t nearly as big a deal. Most years it really does matter.

      Also, the Prince contract is still not a bad deal. But it most likely will be before it runs out. And as a fair deal, he still isn’t doing anything to help the Pistons contend.

      Now it seems your philosophy is different than mine. It appears that you do significantly prefer rooting for a 30 win team than a 20 win team (for an 82 game schedule). If that is the case, yeah, I can’t argue that Dumars’ choices were particularly bad this offseason. Personally, I find the fun of rooting for a team is almost all dependent on their having a chance at winning a championship–even if they are a darkhorse like Memphis. If they don’t have a chance at all, like Detroit, I can only enjoy watching the development of young players, hoping for shrewd moves to get back into contention at some point, and any award race that a player from the team is legitimately in.

      Also, the notion of a culture of winning or losing is bull$hit. Winning and losing does carry over from one season to the next largely because most of the time teams don’t change super rapidly. When they do, you get things like Boston (2nd worst in the league to champions) or Detroit (perennial contender to swept out in the first round to mid-lottery). As players get better, they win more, whether they won or lost in the past is irrelevant. Ask OKC who were 3-29 not so very long ago. They rebuilt right. They crashed to the bottom, dealt all their veterans with value for picks, got more good picks cuz they sucked at first, and surged as their young guys improved together.

  • Dec 20, 20114:59 am
    by Vance

    Reply

    I would have not resigned JJ…. That was a wasted of money if you ask me. He cant guard anyone, and he cant give you 20 and 10. I think Joe should have gone after Samuel Dalembert to put him next to G Monroe. 

    Signing Tay was good, because he still can defend and put up good numbers.

    Signing Stuckey was a good move as well, because he is a guard that can play the 1 or 2 and score, defend, rebound, and control the game. 

    The starting line up should be: Stuck, Ben, Tay, Charlie V and Monroe. Bring Will, Knight, Daye and Max off the bench and hope JJ can hold us own… 

  • Dec 20, 20118:23 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    if Joe finds a way to dump CV andf Ben Gordon all will be well in Piston land.

    those two contracts are the only real mistakes left on the roster. he got out of the bad extension he gave rip. he may have overpaid for Prince but anyone who thinks he overpaid for Stuckey is stupid. That 3 year deal is a perfect fit for both parties.  

    and Joe has been drafting great. Laser says that Knight and Monroe fell into his lap. so what? he still had to pick them. and don’t forget Daye and JJ and Singler. Joe’s recent record in the draft is an A+

    • Dec 20, 20118:37 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Wait, what have Daye, Singler, and JJ done? JJ was definitely good value for a second rounder but he has yet to show that he is better than a decent sub on a good team. That helps Joe’s draft record, but such players are readily available every free agency. So who cares if Dumars drafted JJ or someone else did. He paid full market price for the guy in free agency. Singler has looked promising in Spain. But for some reason, how well success in international ball translates to the NBA is still a total crapshoot. And Daye is a good shooter. That is all we know about him so far. Hopefully he will turn out to be a solid rotation player, but that is not guaranteed. And he is a real long shot to ever be an all-star. So yeah, all decent picks (definitely above average) but hardly A+ material.

      Monroe turned out real well. But Knight is still a complete unknown, btw.

  • Dec 20, 20118:39 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Given that the only thing Dumars has done well in years is draft, what are the odds Gores gets a new GM but makes Dumars head of the scouting department? Probably not good, but that seems like a perfect win-win for Pistons fans, both the Dumars supporters and haters.

    • Dec 20, 20119:34 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t think that step is necessary yet. When Dumars was at his most successful, there were multiple people with sway in the room. Dumars was in charge, but you had John Hammond’s voice in there and Bill Davidson always figured prominently into personnel decisions because he refused to pay tax. I think Dumars had obvious respect for those guys and they, in turn, were able to challenge Dumars, which made him better.

      But as with any successful executive, Dumars eventually got more and more unilateral power. When GMs win, they often get more authority, and that doesn’t always end up being a good thing. Hammond left, Davidson died and I think, based on the structure of Detroit’s front office, there has been less dissenting opinion/challenging going on the last four or five years. Hopefully, with Frank and the front office hires they’ve made since Gores took over, there are opportunities for other intelligent voices to give input into personnel decisions. I’m willing to see how things play out with the more subtle changes this season before fully endorsing that some drastic front office reshaping needs to happen.

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