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Pistons could try to re-sign Tracy McGrady and might be interested in Mike Dunleavy

Rumors are about to spiral even more wildly out of control than they normally do with this abbreviated offseason, but Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski has a couple notes involving the Pistons.

First, somewhat surprisingly, is that the Pistons’ talk last season that they’d like to bring Tracy McGrady back wasn’t just lip service apparently:

Tracy McGrady wants to play for the Bulls, sources said, and coach Tom Thibodeau has a relationship with him going back to their Houston Rockets days together. T-Mac is still a consideration to return to the Pistons, too.

To me, the biggest benefit of having McGrady on the team from Detroit’s perspective is his chemistry with Greg Monroe. It’s no coincidence that Monroe took off offensively when McGrady’s role increased. McGrady often set up easy shots for Monroe inside.

Wojnarowski’s second item:

If Tayshaun Prince leaves Detroit without a starting small forward, the Pistons will have to work through a thin class to find a starter. For depth at the position, the Pistons will take a close look at free agent Mike Dunleavy, who is leaving the Indiana Pacers.

Dunleavy didn’t have a terrible season last year — he shot 40 percent from 3-point range and gave the Pacers some bench scoring. But Dunleavy has some issues — he’s a finesse player who has never been a particularly strong defender and he’s had injury problems of late. In the last three seasons, he’s played in 18, 67 and 61 games. But the Pistons do need to add depth at the small forward position, and Dunleavy is one of only a few options on the market who can contribute and is in the Pistons’ price range.


  • Dec 1, 201110:37 am
    by Murph


    Signing either T-Mac or Dunleavy would be a big mistake.  We need to get younger and start the rebuilding process.  This habit Joe has of trying to apply veteran “bandaids” to fix the Pistons isn’t working.  The vets only make the Pistons slightly less terrible, while they eat up valuable playing time for the younger players. 

    Please Joe…don’t sign any more aging veterans.

  • Dec 1, 201110:41 am
    by jack


    joe needs to go!!!

  • Dec 1, 201110:57 am
    by Richard


    I agree with murph we need to get our young guys out there and see what we have.. How can we see if they can play if we keep putting older players in front of them.

    • Dec 1, 20112:43 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Signing Dunleavy or someone like him doesn’t mean he’d be signed to play in front of anyone. Dunleavy has been a bench player the last three years in Indiana. The Pistons need to fill out their roster since they will only have 11 players under contract once the two rookies sign. Most likely, Jerebko and Stuckey will be re-signed, but that still puts them two spots below the 15 allowable roster spots.

  • Dec 1, 201111:06 am
    by Scott86Free


    Maybe Tracy could tutor are young point guard Brandon Knight since he seemed to be the best at that position last year.

  • Dec 1, 201112:03 pm
    by vic


    i wouldn’t mind keeping t-mac, as a glue guy to teach the young players if we lost Tayshaun

    but i’d rather have jerebko play sf than get dunleavy

  • Dec 1, 20111:46 pm
    by rob


    What is this concept that the Pistons need depth at SF?

    How much depth is needed at the SF position?

    You need 1 or 2 guys that can play. The Pistons have 2 guys in Jerebko and Daye, who also need the PT to develop. Why do they need anyone else, and if they do, why’d they even draft these kids?

    Signing Dunleavy would be a waste of money. While I can see the benefit to Monroe for having McGrady, T-Mac clearly checked out on this team by the end of the year. He wants to be on a contender, and I don’t blame him. There’s no need to bring him back anyways because Knight is the one you want taking the role of setting up Monroe from now on. No need to prolong that just for an extra year of T-Mac.

    • Dec 1, 20111:48 pm
      by rob


      I’m not concerned about T-mac though because theres no way he agrees to sign back here, when teams like the Bulls and Heat and others would gladly take him this time around.

    • Dec 1, 20112:08 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “What is this concept that the Pistons need depth at SF?”

      Well, they need depth everywhere except for guard, currently.

      Jerebko is going to play most of his minutes at the four. As it stands, the Pistons have a frontcourt of Ben Wallace, Greg Monroe, Jason Maxiell and Charlie Villanueva. I don’t count Vernon Macklin b/c guys drafted where he was rarely play or contribute at any point in their careers. If he does, great, but I’m not counting on it. So essentially, of the four, only Monroe is a lock to play big minutes. Between PF/C, that’s 96 minutes to fill. Penciling in Monroe for about 35 a night, that’s still 61 minutes to fill. Wallace is too old to play more than 15-20 minutes a game tops. Maxiell has been horribly unproductive for two years now, so it’s a stretch to think he’d be in the rotation. Villanueva has averaged 22 and 23 minutes a game in two seasons as a Piston and done absolutely nothing to prove he’s worthy of a bigger role than that. Barring a trade for a rotation caliber big, Jerebko is going to be the top PF on the roster. And when you add to that the fact that he’s reportedly added about 50 pounds of muscle and he’s 6-9ish, he probably looks like more of a PF than a SF by now too.

      As for Daye, what has he done that suggests he can handle starter’s minutes? I’m not saying he can’t, but the Pistons would be crazy to bank on him in any kind of large role as of yet. Hopefully, he develops into a good starting small forward in this league. I think the Pistons organization wants that to happen and will give him every opportunity to win that starting SF job this year. But it would be insane for them to not find some sort of insurance at the position. A player like Dunleavy, for example, who wouldn’t cost much and who wouldn’t sign long-term fits that bill. If Daye isn’t ready or if an increased workload takes a toll on his slight frame and causes injury, the Pistons have to have a body they can put on the court. I mean, look at the roster — three SFs from last year’s team, Prince, McGrady and DaJuan Summers — won’t be back. Adding a player like Dunleavy would in no way stunt the development of Daye. If Daye is ready for a big role, Dunleavy simply becomes a sixth man/bench scorer, the same role he’s been in much of his career. If Daye proves he’s not a starter, Dunleavy starts as a stopgap while the Pistons search for the answer at the position either through trades or in next year’s draft.

  • Dec 1, 20112:26 pm
    by Kris


    I also think he signs elsewhere, or at least Detroit will not be his top priority. However, if he does come back, I’m OK with that. After all, to me he was still pleasant surprise last year, playing with high baskeball IQ. As long as he settles to provide veteran leadership and not get in a way of youngs development it’s only beneficial. Daye does not strike me as reliable and Jerebko may spend most of his time at PF.

  • Dec 1, 20112:32 pm
    by frankie d


    murph is right.
    signing another vet who is going to come in and take minutes away from younger players is a bad pattern that joe has persisted with the entire time this team has gone through this down period.
    they need to sink or swim with the young guys they have drafted.  between daye and jerebko and terrico white and even maxiell and charlie v they have more than enough guys already to eat up the minutes at the 3 spot.
    also, it would be different if they were bringing in an all star, or even a guy with a specific talent.  i guess dunleavey’s strong point is his 3 point shooting, but he is only a career 36% shooter. not bad, but not great, certainly. right around daye’s numbers and just a bit better than CV’s numbers.
    and he’s had basically the same problem, his entire career, that daye has now: he is basically a two guard that teams have tried to force into a small forward’s role that he is not physically capable of handling.  under the basket, he makes daye look like caron butler. (daye is actually a pretty decent rebounder for a skinny guy.)
    signing dunleavey would be another one of those incredibly dumb moves that dumars has repeatedly made over the last few years.  gordon, CV, mcgrady…  hopefully he won’t keep making the same stupid mistake.

    • Dec 1, 20112:40 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “they need to sink or swim with the young guys they have drafted.”

      I feel like there are different conversations going on here, though. Signing a couple veterans doesn’t mean the young guys won’t play. It just means they have to fill out the roster. The team only has 11 guys on the roster — Jerebko, Prince, McGrady, Stuckey and Wilcox are all FAs. Two of those guys on the roster, White and Macklin, based on the odds of second round picks making it, have a very low chance of being contributing players. The Pistons need at least a couple bodies and they need to have a backup plan in case a team comes in with a big offer to Stuckey or Jerebko that the Pistons can’t match.

      I don’t see players like Dunleavy or even McGrady as guys who are going to stunt the development of the young guys. Both at this point in their careers are role players themselves, rotation guys who probably should only get 20 minutes or so a game. If Daye proves to be awesome and plays 38 minutes a game this season, great. Dunleavy or McGrady or anyone else they sign could just provide minutes at multiple spots off the bench. The young guys are going to get a chance to play this year no matter what. Prince was the biggest impediment to Daye getting minutes and a defined role, and he’s unlikely to be back.

  • Dec 1, 20113:03 pm
    by frankie d


    one of the givens in the nba is that every coach in the league  would rather sink with a predictable vet than give a young guy who may be somewhat unpredictable a shot.  that has happened here in detroit, repeatedly, and it happens all over the nba. coaches usually only play young guys when they are pressured to do so: the guy is a first rounder, or the gm doesn’t give him a choice.
    coaches love the predictable vet, the guy they know has limitations, but at least they know how he is going to perform.  in detroit, michael curry/tay is probably the best example of that syndrome.  it took a near historic playoff upset for rick carlysle to let tay get the kind of chance he should have gotten much sooner.  curry was limited, but the coach knew exactly what curry would do every game.  tay was an unknown and rather than give that unknown quantity a chance, carlysle stuck with the predictable vet.
    if a coach has a choice between a predictable vet and a young guy who is still learning his craft, who may be up and down, who may be somewhat inconsistent, he is almost always going to go with that limited, predictable vet.
    and mcgrady’s presence did indeed prevent the acquisition and development of young players.  the pistons needed a point guard last year, as they have needed one since chauncey left.  mcgrady stepped into that role and the fact that he could, in a stopgap fashion,  fill the role kept the team settled enough at that spot so that they did not go out and try to acquire someone to play the point.  he also ate up minutes that younger guys could have played at the 3 spot.  again, he is a predictable vet, with skills, and nba coaches – who are always going to try to win each and every game, rather than develop talent – are always going to turn to that vet in a time of need.
    if he is sitting there on the bench.  the only way to make certain that the coach is not going to stay with that crutch is to make sure he is not here to turn to in a time of need.
    if they need to fill out the roster, they should do what other rebuilding teams end up doing: scout the d-league, europe, wherever…and find talented young guys who MIGHT be able to develop and bring them in and give them a shot.  limping along with stopgap bandaid vets is exactly why the team is where it is right now.

    • Dec 1, 20113:46 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “mcgrady’s presence did indeed prevent the acquisition and development of young players.”

      Every player, young and old, who played with McGrady last season was better with him on the court. McGrady’s presence, in particular, benefited Greg Monroe, their most important young player, greatly. He brought value to the team in that regard that, like, signing Dar Tucker out of the D-League instead, wouldn’t have brought.

      “mcgrady stepped into that role and the fact that he could, in a stopgap fashion,  fill the role kept the team settled enough at that spot so that they did not go out and try to acquire someone to play the point.”

      The organization’s opinion has been that Rodney Stuckey is a point guard and, counter to your argument, he’s a young player who was given a ton of minutes to develop in his career. Those minutes didn’t really help him develop into a point guard. Also, they drafted Brandon Knight, another point guard, this year. So I don’t see how they haven’t made efforts to address that PG spot with young players.

  • Dec 1, 20114:19 pm
    by frankie d


    “He brought value to the team…”
    unhhh…i forgot….detroit went to the playoffs and made a deep run because mcgrady brought such value to the team!  because of mcgrady’s great play, detroit pulled itself out of its recent tailspin and…
    oh yea! i forgot…
    they had a horrible record and were back in the lottery for a second straight year.  and they still have the same holes they had before.
    and oh yea…
    mcgrady was the ringleader of an embarrassing incident/revolt that did nothing to improve the prospects of the team last year.
    yea…having a vet like mcgrady on the team sure did improve the team’s prospects, much better than a young player may have.
    and anyone could see that stuckey has never been a point guard.  the fact that they kept trying to force him into that position has nothing to do with going out and finding young guys who might be able to play that position.
    houston, for instance, picked up a decent little player out of the d-league – ish smith – and were able to package him with shane battier and make a nice trade for a guy with possible upside – thabeet – and a first round draft choice.
    utah brought in wes matthews, gave him a shot and then traded the guy who had been a starter – ronnie brewer – and got a first round choice out of it.  and matthews has developed into a nice player.
    taking chances on young guys is something that this team is going to have to do in order to get back to a championship path. continuing to sign retreads and bandaids is going to result in exactly what has happened so far: the lottery and being just good enough to only get a pick in the 6,7 or 8 pick range.
    this is not conjecture on my part.  this is exactly what has happened the last few years.
    bringing in AI and then ben gordon when you had aaron afflalo sitting there on the bench.  real smart, right.
    who has more market value right now? afflalo? AI? gordon?
    AI and gordon didn’t prevent afflalo from getting a decent shot at PT?
    doing what joe has been doing is the tried and true method of maintaining nba mediocrity.  one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    • Dec 1, 20115:02 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Haha. So nice to have you back. It has been too long.

      “unhhh…i forgot….detroit went to the playoffs and made a deep run because mcgrady brought such value to the team!  because of mcgrady’s great play, detroit pulled itself out of its recent tailspin”

      Greg Monroe was a non-factor on offense until McGrady started playing and setting up good shots for Monroe. So yes, McGrady’s chemistry with Monroe, helping the team’s most important young player get comfortable on offense and develop, is value. Please explain to me how this was not important in any discussion about McGrady?

      “mcgrady was the ringleader of an embarrassing incident/revolt”

      Every media outlet in the country that covered this insinuated that Hamilton was the ringleader. But the Frankie D News Service has the real scoop!

      “anyone could see that stuckey has never been a point guard.”

      Joe Dumars begs to differ.

      “the fact that they kept trying to force him into that position has nothing to do with going out and finding young guys who might be able to play that position.”

      Drafting a young player who your scouts believe has the tools to play PG has nothing to do with finding young guys who might be able to play the position? Russell Westbrook wasn’t a PG at UCLA. He was an insane athlete with a skillset that OKC gambled could translate to PG. Their gamble paid off. The Pistons tried to the same thing with Stuckey and the results weren’t the same. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good gamble. When it became clear it wasn’t working last year, they stopped playing him at PG and drafted a PG in the first round of the VERY NEXT DRAFT. How is that not seeking a solution at the position?

      “taking chances on young guys is something that this team is going to have to do in order to get back to a championship path.”

      How are they not taking chances on young guys? Assuming Stuckey and Jerebko are re-signed and Prince and McGrady aren’t, the Pistons will have an average age of 26.1 years old. Subtract Ben Wallace, who is probably retiring after the season, and Hamilton, who the team would get rid of it they could, and that average age is 24.4. That would be even lower if you factored in Singler, who the team originally expected to have on the roster this season. The new core of this team is very young and it has been trending younger for a while.

      “bringing in AI and then ben gordon when you had aaron afflalo sitting there on the bench.  real smart, right.”

      They clearly missed on Afflalo. The Gordon signing was clearly a flop. But it’s weird that you bring up the Iverson trade when you are criticizing the team for not making efforts to get younger. That’s exactly why that trade was made, to re-tool and replace an aging core. Iverson was acquired to be cap space, which they spent on still young players in Gordon and Villanueva. Now, that money wasn’t spent wisely. But the premise was to give the roster a younger, more versatile makeover. In the process, they didn’t know what they had in Afflalo and let him go and they didn’t realize the limitations to Gordon’s game before signing him. But Gordon and Villanueva weren’t some veteran re-treads. They were players in their mid-20s who should’ve been entering their primes.

      “AI and gordon didn’t prevent afflalo from getting a decent shot at PT?”

      Gordon didn’t, considering he and Afflalo were never on the roster together.

  • Dec 1, 20115:43 pm
    by frankie d


    it is not important because mcgrady is not the only player in the professional basketball universe who has point guard skills.  what mcgrady brought to the team was someone capable of performing basic point guard functions.  lots of guys, lots of guys who are younger, can do the same things.  it was only remarkable because the pistons have not had anyone with those skills since chauncey.
    again, ish smith was a d-league refuge with exactly the kind of point guard skills a big man like monroe needs.  and there were plenty of other point guards over the last couple of years who have changed teams who could have provided the same skills.
    for instance, OKC was given eric maynor, a nice little point guard because they were smart enough to maintain cap space that allowed them to take on matt halpring’s bad contract as the price for maynor.  if joe had not wasted his cap space signing CV, he may have been able to take on that contract and get maynor.  in fact, it probably killed utah that they had to give maynor to a team in their division.
    so instead of getting a good young point guard prospect, joe signed a scrub like CV, who he is desperately trying to dump now.
    gordon was directly responsible for afflalo not getting a shot here in detroit.  once joe signed gordon, he proceeded to move afflalo.  the smarter move, which i wanted at the time, was to pass on gordon – and CV – and give afflalo a shot at time in the backcourt.  in fact, the signing of gordon was one of the strangest moves i’ve ever seen.  it made no sense whatsoever, especially considering rip’s presence, and the young players he already had, including a drafted player – daye – with multidimensional, all-court skills.
    the chauncey/AI/afflalo fiascos are what they were: horrendous personnel moves that still haunt the franchise.  and yes, bringing in an old player when you had two young guards – stuckey and AA – who needed to play was just plain stupid.  and it kept at least one of them – AA – from getting the necessary PT.  and instead of realizing the mistake and trying to move AI at the trading deadline, joe decided to stick it out, for some strange reason.  and because of AI’s presence joe never did find out whether AA could play or not.
    a classic example of exactly what i am talking about.
    stuckey has the skills of a great point guard.  great handle, speed, quickness, the ability to get to the hole, plus he can actually make a decent pass when he sees the opportunity.  the problem is that he does not think like a point guard.  he thinks like a great scorer.  he gets tunnel vision and he wants to score.  he sees the basket and nothing else.  he reminds me of latrell sprewell in that respect.  a real nose for the basket.  it is a great instinct to have, but it is not a great instinct for a good point guard to have.  that should have been obvious to anyone who watched the kid play from the moment he came into the league.  the fact that they stuck with him as a point guard prospect is just another indication that something is horribly wrong with pistons’ scouting.  and yes, that has been what i have been saying/posting since stuckey’s rookie year.
    stuckey is what i call a “seattle guard”. jason terry, jamal crawford, aaron brooks, brandon roy…there are more, and they all come out of the seattle area and they all have the same types of skills.  not quite a point guard, but with those skills.  used best as third guards.   i’ve always thought that stuckey’s best role was in filling the role that jason terry has carved out.  again it has been obvious to this fan since he came into the league.  too bad it has taken joe this long to figure out, at least, that stuckey is not a point guard.

  • Dec 3, 20111:44 pm
    by domnick


    i like Mike Dunleavy, this guy can score off the bench.. just like saying… instant Offense

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