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Did the Pistons let DaJuan Summers go too soon?

During his unremarkable two year run as a member of the Pistons, DaJuan Summers had a reputation as a professional, hard-working player in a locker room that, to put it diplomatically, didn’t always exhibit those same traits. Unfortunately for Summers, that good reputation never earned him a shot at consistent minutes. Now, as a member of the New Orleans Hornets, his work ethic has materialized into minutes. From John Reid of the Times Picayune:

Desiring to shake up his lineup until injured starter Trevor Ariza returns, New Orleans Hornets Coach Monty Williams gave forward DaJuan Summers his first start Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves in place of Al-Farouq Aminu. Summers, 6 feet 8, 240 pounds, has been efficient since returning after missing the first eight games with a hyperextended right knee.

Summers played well in that start, scoring 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting. It was his second straight game in double figures for the Hornets. Summers isn’t exactly turning into a Arron Afflalo-like ghost out there haunting the Pistons for giving up on him too soon. Summers followed up those two strong performances with an 0-for-5 shooting night in his second start and, like he showed with the Pistons, he doesn’t do much else other than shoot. He’s averaging just 2 rebounds and 1 assist per game in those four games. And it is only four games anyway, so who knows if Summers even shows he’s able to stay in that NOLA rotation all season.

But he does bring up a common criticism of the team: too often over the past decade, young players have played little with the Pistons, shown little in those inconsistent minutes, left the team and turned into competent or better players elsewhere. Afflalo has turned into one of the best defensive guards in the league and has a rapidly evolving offensive game for Denver. Amir Johnson has been a defending, rebounding, shot blocking ball of energy for Toronto. Carlos Delfino is a useful and versatile rotation player in Milwaukee. Darko Milicic …. well, he still sucks, but he sucks less than we thought he did at one time.

I don’t know that Summers will develop into anything close to what those other players mentioned above have. But that’s the point. When last season ended, Feldman wrote this:

Does Detroit have a reliable idea what it has in Summers? He enters free agency this summer without many NBA minutes under his belt and the Pistons unlikely to retain him.

With a renewed emphasis on high-character players, shouldn’t Summer get an extended look?

I don’t believe Summers is a complete unknown to the Pistons. They saw him in practice, and there must have been a reason he didn’t play ahead of Prince, Austin Daye and the other Pistons who saw time at small forward (Tracy McGrady and Richard Hamilton). It’s not like Detroit just randomly kept Summers on the bench.

But without seeing him play more meaningful minutes, the Pistons can’t completely evaluate Summers.

The Pistons went nowhere the last two seasons, and they did so while playing veteran players with no future here like Hamilton and McGrady (and this year, Damien Wilkins) extended minutes at the expense of unknowns like Daye and Summers. We’re seeing the painful results of Daye’s lack of development right now — the Pistons still have no clue what they have in him. If Summers continues to at least contribute, even on a bad NBA bench, it will show the Pistons had no idea what they had in him either. It’s not like he’s going to develop into some All-Star caliber player, but it will just be one more low cost, young player that could be stocked on the Pistons roster as they rebuild who will experience his best days as a pro elsewhere.


  • Jan 16, 201212:07 pm
    by Keith P.


    Summers doesn’t need an extended look, no matter how high character of a guy he is. It’s not like he was with us for 2 weeks during a training camp. He was on our team for two years. We already know everything about him. Unimpressive, and in some cases down-right atrocious, in everything except chucking. He will occasionally have good chucking nights. And he will bad chucking nights*.

    * Saturday against the Grizzlies: 23 minutes, 1 point, 0-5 from the field, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers.

  • Jan 16, 201212:22 pm
    by neutes


    All he’s good for is an occassional shot, or more likely, a miss.

  • Jan 16, 20121:48 pm
    by Todd


    I think realistically we also need to take a fundamental look at how scouting, drafting, and player development have killed the Pistons (the one area we have done remotely well is in trades). It seems that there is a disconnect between the scouting/drafting side of the organization and the actual coaching/playing of the organization. Since Chuck Daly left Detroit, the longest tenured coach for the Pistons has lasted three seasons. Each of these coaches is simply playing the guys that they believe are going to get them the most W’s, seeing as (at least in Detroit) the shelf life of a coach is less than the venison we keep in our freezers.
    We seem to recognize a fit and development problem that goes back to when Joe D was just a player. Look back at the draft picks the Pistons have made since Grant Hill in 1994. Our first rounders (and some 2nd Round picks) include:
    1995 – Randolph Childress (1 year with the Pistons), Theo Ratliff (parts of 3 seasons)
    1996 – Jerome Williams (5 seasons)
    1997 – Scot Pollard (1 season)
    1998 – Bonzi Wells (never played – traded for Portland’s 1st round pick in 1999)
    1999 – * (Can’t find what we did with the two first round picks that we somehow traded away in what is described as one of the deepest NBA drafts)
    2000 – Mateen Cleaves (1 season – traded for Jon Barry and a first rounder from the Kings)
    2000 – Brian Cardinal (*2nd rounder – played 2 seasons)
    2001 – Rodney White (16 games)
    2001 – Mehmet Okur (*2nd rounder – 2 seasons)
    2002 – Tayshaun Prince (the lone bright spot – 10 seasons)
    2003 – Darko Milicic (113 games over 3 seasons, including playoffs – averaged almost 6 minutes per game)
    2003 – Carlos Deflino (3 seasons)
    2004 – Traded both first rounders (received Rasheed as part of the deal for one of these picks)
    2005 – Jason Maxiell (7 seasons, averages 17.5 minutes and 62 total starts)
    2005 – Amir Johnson (*2nd rounder – 4 seasons, 146 games including playoffs, under 15 minutes a game)
    2006 – no 1st
    2007 – Rodney Stuckey (5 seasons, potentially a second “semi” bright spot)
    2007 – Arron Afflalo (2 seasons – traded with Walter Sharpe for Denver’s 2nd Round pick – AND has been a consistent starting 2 for the Nuggets)
    2008 – DJ White (Immediately traded to SEA/OKC)
    2009 – Austin Daye (3 seasons, 21 starts, 16.4 minutes/game)
    2009 –  Jonas Jerebko (2nd Rounder)
    2009 – DaJuan Summers (2nd Rounder)
    2010 – Greg Monroe (future star???)
    2011 – Brandon Knight (PG of the future??)

    All of this to point out that we have made a TON of mistakes. I would venture a guess that if you totaled the amount of minutes played by players from the teams that drafted them, including draft picks from 1995 through 2009, the Pistons would be in the bottom 5 in the league. They don’t draft well (with a few exceptions), they don’t develop well, and they trade these young parts with no concept of the future.

    • Jan 16, 20121:55 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      “They don’t draft well”

      The Pistons actually draft very well, comparatively speaking. They’ve been one of the best drafting teams over the last decade:


      Their misses have been of the high profile variety, particularly Milicic. But they find value late in drafts in recent history as well as any team in the league.

      The problem is not scouting or finding the talent. Overall, Detroit has been pretty successful in that regard. The problem has been developing the talent once its here. Something breaks down in that step.

      • Jan 16, 20122:54 pm
        by Todd



        I very strongly disagree with your framing of my point. My statement including that the team doesn’t draft well isn’t simply that the players they get suck (though you can make that argument that some of them have – but of course that happens with all teams). No, my argument hinges on the fact that they don’t draft well for their future. How else can you see that we have drafted and handed off players at key positions of need after 1-3 seasons, only to turn around and draft another young player to fill that role that we likely won’t give the time to anyhow?

        My main argument is that there is a severe disconnect between scouting and coaching. Due to major turnover in coaches, we have gone through multiple systems and thus are left with players that make no sense as a current roster. In essence, we have turned into a less athletic version of the 1990′s era Los Angeles Clippers. We have systematically been stuck between rebuilding and maintaining since we traded Chauncey. The front office must commit to a strategy and bring the scouting department in line with that if they hope to come out of this Detroit Lions-esque funk!

        • Jan 16, 20123:02 pm
          by D_S_V


          The value they have found with some of the draft picks has been admirable, but it was funny to find this paragraph in that article at the end:

          “Teams run into trouble by buying average players in a free agency market that usually comes with a “winner’s curse” premium. If you spend money just to spend it, you find yourself in the in-between world that the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors currently occupy. As we’ve seen time and time again, if you want to be competitive, follow the lead of most champions: build through the draft and be smarter with your cash. ”

          • Jan 16, 20123:05 pm
            by D_S_V

            And though the author points out that the teams at the top of that list have been contenders, at least for the Pistons case, the core of our most recent contending teams were built largely through trades, Chauncey as a free agent pickup, and with Prince being the lone drafted piece of the puzzle.

          • Jan 16, 20123:12 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            That paragraph pretty much explains the problem in Detroit. The problems here have little to do with the draft. The problems have everything to do with failing to identify the right talent on the free agent market. Missing on big money free agent signings is much more crippling to a franchise than missing occasionally on a draft pick.

        • Jan 16, 20123:10 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          “The front office must commit to a strategy and bring the scouting department in line with that if they hope to come out of this Detroit Lions-esque funk!”

          They are in nothing like a Lions-esque funk. The Lions have, what, two or three players from the Matt Millen era of drafting still on their roster? The Pistons are starting three players they drafted right now and a fourth, Stuckey, is their key bench guy. In other words, a quarter of their roster vs. like 5 percent of the Lions roster.

          It’s true, they’ve done a poor job of developing talents like Johnson, Delfino and Afflalo. They’ve missed on some picks, as every team, even good drafting ones, do. Coaching stability has been a big part of that missing developmental step — Dumars now has a reputation as not being patient with coaches, consequently guys like Saunders, Curry and Kuester bury young guys in the interest of trying to squeeze a few more wins out of veterans. That’s a huge problem.

          But as far as the actual draft? They scout well, they identify talent, particularly late, and they’ve done a good job finding guys who can play in the NBA, especially considering many of those finds were late in drafts where there isn’t a high rate of success at finding NBA caliber players.

          • Jan 16, 20123:34 pm
            by Todd


            Again, you over simplify the focus of my statement to being just about the draft. IT’S NOT! The draft merely shows me that we have a situation where it almost appears as if the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. Since drafting Tayshaun we have selected 10 other players who have been claimed as some wing player in the SG/SF/PF frame (Delfino, Maxiell, Johnson, Afflalo, Meija, Washington, Jerebko, Summers, Daye, Singler – I will admit some of these were simply best value available late in the 2nd). This wouldn’t be a problem as a team needs depth, but we have also brought in as free agents or via trade Ben Gordon, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Charlie Villaneuva, and Damien Wilkins.

            My purpose of this all is that we have a systemic organizational issue. Our drafts don’t often meet our needs, our free agents are often busts, our coaches turn over too quickly, and we have been above the salary cap. That situation of stuck between neutral and reverse sounds exactly like the old Lions situation.

          • Jan 16, 20123:53 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            The draft strategy of the Pistons under Dumars has always been to take who they believe is the best player, regardless of position. That’s why they took three SFs in 2009, that’s why they took Knight while still planning to sign Stuckey, it’s why they took Singler in the second round even though they planned to re-sign Prince, it’s why they took Milicic when they had Wallace/Okur.

            Now, there’s plenty of room for debate as to whether those were actually the best players available, but if you believe they are and if you’ve done your homework, you take them. Outside the lottery especially, it’s a mistake to draft for need because too many players simply don’t make it. Taking who you believe to be the most talented is the best way to find players who will at some point be competent NBA players.

            I have zero problems with their philosophy in how they evaluate and draft players.

            There is plenty of evidence over the last few years that Dumars had a philosophy in assembling this team — he said a few years ago that he believed the league was moving in a more offense-friendly, positionless direction, so he brought in offense-friendly players like Gordon, Villanueva, Daye, etc. who don’t really have a traditional position. It turns out, Dumars was off in his assessment. But it’s not like he was bringing in players in some happenstance way, he had a philosophy and was following it. It was just the wrong philosophy.

          • Jan 16, 20124:14 pm
            by frankie d

            i do believe that an overall strategy has been missing.
            (well, i do see one, but it makes little sense.  joe seems to be building a “small ball” team.) 
            what joe has done recently reminds me of what bob whitsitt did here in portland about 14 years ago, when he accumulated lots of talent, but it was so mismatched that the team never won anything.  he stocked up on PFs and SGs the same way joe has stocked up on SFs and SGs.   it was pretty obvious that whitsitt had no strategy beyond getting as many talented players as he could, and for whatever reason, he fixated on PFs and SGs, and guys who had no chemistry with each other.
            i totally understand the idea that you draft the best available players, especially in the second round of the draft, but when you look at what detroit did for years, drafting guys like walter sharpe and terrico white, when there was already a surplus of players at those positions, while they ignored prospects at positions of need…it simply didn’t make any sense.  
            why draft a sharpe when you already have a young starter at the position and a fair amount of depth, when a 7 foot prospect like deandre jordan is sitting there for the taking?  and you need a center.
            or taking a terrico white, when that draft was full of big man projects, and you already have too many combo guards. 
            sure, every team passes on guys who turn out to be good players, but how many teams continue to stockpile talent at spots where they already have too many players, while completely ignoring positions of need?
            and the discussion hasn’t even included signing guys like mcgrady and wilkins who simply come in and make a crowded position even more crowded. 
            what joe has done has been pretty crazy, it has made little sense and seems to me to reflect the absence of an overall strategy.  unfortunately, it’s looked as though he’s just been winging it.

          • Jan 16, 20124:29 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Well, a bad strategy is still a strategy.

            After the Billups trade, Dumars made a lot of public comments (for him anyway) expressing his belief that the league was moving to a more offense-first, wide open style. The players he’s acquired fit that belief. The problem is he severely miscalculated. Boston, the Lakers and the Mavs all won titles with tried and true defensive principles and the Lakers and Boston, in particular, went huge and traditional position-wise. Chicago emerged as another throwback style defensive team and the Heat are a great defensive team as well. The league never became more wide open, teams still won with D and he abandoned the team building principles he’d won a title with because he felt like he saw a change coming and was ahead of the curve.

            He had a strategy, it was just really wrong.

          • Jan 16, 20124:55 pm
            by frankie d

            @ patrick
            well, i think you are correct and i should amend my comment to indicate the lack of a competent strategy.
            i always remember an interview he had with keith l. over at pistons.com where he  talked about orlando’s team and building the same type of team.  imho, he saw CV as his rashaard lewis and ben gordon as another 3 point bomber to surround a big man who he hadn’t drafted yet.  
            what seemed obvious to me was that the orlando model was one not easily replicated, as you first needed a guy like howard in the middle and how many of those guys are out there?
            so,  yes, he did have a specific strategy for building his team that he stuck with, no matter how wrongheaded.  
            imho, one can never stick too rigidly with a philosophy or strategy, or else it becomes deadly and suffocating, and that is what has happened with joe.  
            i’ve always wanted to know why and how he could pass on a guy like deandre jordan to draft sharpe.  jordan had been projected by some as a lottery pick.  he had obvious talent, even though his production had not been great.
            the team needs a center because of losing ben and sheed’s age.  how do you pass on that guy if he is only going to cost you a second round pick?  especially in order to pick a guy with a …checkered ( to put it charitably) background and a bullet in his gut.
            i guess my view is that you follow your strategy, but you leave enough flexibility to accomodate the drafting of a guy like jordan, while passing on a sharpe.  no matter what his draft grade says.

      • Jan 16, 20123:00 pm
        by Todd


        Almost without exception the players that provided Detroit with the #13 ranking (as of 2009), which is really where I am basing my conclusions, are players we traded away after a short period of time (except for Prince and Stuckey).

      • Jan 17, 20123:44 pm
        by Papa


        Detroit just ruins the young players but not letting them play. A first round draft kid isnt going to show what they got when they set on the bench like they usually do with Detroit. Knight and Monroe are  exceptions. They are getting to play and are doing great. They there is Stuckey. Plays more then he should. One play. Take the ball up the middle and take on the whole defense, get decked and miss the shot. 4 offensive guys in the open. An oversized Iverson.  

  • Jan 16, 20122:00 pm
    by Laser


    I have no faith whatsoever in the front office to evaluate talent or fairly distribute minutes and roles. A quick glance at our recent track record in those areas speaks volumes.

    The case might be different if we had a balanced roster or a consistent recent history of a clear rotational pecking order. And the organization spent way too much energy trying to juggle this mess of ill-fitting pieces (particularly with regard to big names and big contracts) to maintain any credibility in this regard for me to give them any credit without some consistency going forward.

    • Jan 16, 20122:08 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Two different things you’re talking about. Front office doesn’t distribute minutes/roles, coaches do.

      It’s not an arguable point at this point. The data shows that Detroit’s scouting department, over a long period of time, has a successful record of finding NBA rotation level players or better in the draft. There’s certainly a breakdown somewhere in the development process, since that talent has developed elsewhere in several cases, but actually going out and finding good players in the draft is not a problem for the Pistons. They do it pretty well.

      • Jan 16, 20123:55 pm
        by Laser


        We’ve established that they find gems and either nelect them or give them away. What I’m talking about is Summers; once he was drafted, I have ZERO faith that he was given an honest chance to carve out his own niche. That’s my point, boiled down.

        • Jan 16, 20123:59 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Yeah, I agree with that, especially given the accounts from reporters last year that he worked hard and had a good attitude. That honestly should’ve been enough to earn minutes the last two years. But as the Bynum example proves, it wasn’t.

          • Jan 16, 20125:23 pm
            by frankie d

            i know you guys here got tired of me arguing that summers should have been given more PT the last couple of years, so i have avoided getting into a pointed discussion about him again.  but i will simply say, that i agree.
            he is having a good game against the blazers.  3-7, a couple of foul shots, rebounds and an assist.  good defense.  about 28 minutes of PT.  he looks exactly like i expected he might…a young player with some skills.  most importantly a nice looking shot from long range or the midrange.  the coach trusts him also, as he is out on the floor in crunch time, while the hornets try to close a gap.  that is important, as monty williams, the coach, was on nate mcmillan’s portland staff before becoming NO’s head coach and he is a defense-first coach.  if a guy doesn’t play defense, he doesn’t play. 
            well, it looks like one nba head coach thinks that summers is an nba player.
            the last two years, that was exactly my point: that given a chance, someone, somewehere  would probably put him on the court. and  try to make an nba player out of him. 
            it would have been nice if detroit had been able to develop him a bit and actually get something for the guy, instead of simply releasing him and getting nothing.   once again.

  • Jan 16, 20122:05 pm
    by frankie d


    anyone who claims to know what kind of player summers will be is full of it.
    we can all have our opinions, but to state, without evidence, that a young player will be a certain type of player is just foolish.
    players are assets.  just like asets in any business.  any business that invests in an asset – a first or second round draft choice, eg – and then lets that asset waste is running a poor business.
    it amuses me when fans look at the development of young players as some sort of “favor” to an individual player.  sure, it does benefit that player, but most importantly, a team that develops assets that it has invested in, is conducting smart business. developing its young players ultimately benefits that team/business.
    summers a chucker?  maybe.  but then he might be a good chucker.  
    even a streaky chucker like CV has demonstrated value that has moved two teams to trade for him and give him a sizable contract – milwaukee and detroit.
    martel webster is a chucker.  not much else.  and the blazers traded webster for a #16 pick in the first round a couple of years ago.   if summers is a chucker, he might just be a decent enough chucker to warrant attention from other teams that could be converted into other assets.
    SA traded a young, surplus combo guard – george hill – for the #15 pick – kawhi leonard, a darn good player – last year.
    both of those young players played enough to establish market value and their team benefited from developing their assets.  those organizations clearly understand the value of making certain that they do not waste assets and that they do value the assets they accumulate.
    from the moment hill got to SA and showed promise in spurts, there were questions about where he would fit in, how would he play considering parker’s presence and relative youth. parker was only 25 when hill joined the team.
    well, we see what SA did.  they turned a surplus piece into a draft choice who looks like he is going to be a solid player for the next decade because they took the time to develop that young player.
    i do not have a problem with moving players in transactions.  my problem with the team’s approach to players like summers and daye is that their manner of dealing with them often leaves them with little value and that the team typically receives little or nothing in return for an asset that ultimately is shown to have a decent amount of value.
    again…what did detroit receive forf afflalo? johnson? delfino?

    • Jan 16, 20122:11 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Well, I will say that even though the sample size is small, there is more evidence that Summers isn’t very good than evidence that he’s a rotation caliber player. But yeah, I generally agree that he should’ve played more, particularly last season, in Detroit.

  • Jan 16, 20122:26 pm
    by Normal2


    Daye’s problem is not with his basketball skills but with his mind skills.  He thinks waaayyy to much when he’s out there.  He thinks before he reacts.  He slouches his shoulder’s when he makes a mistake…Knight when me makes a mistake, he runs back on D every single time…Daye, slouches his shoulders, claps his hands and frowns…this is not high school anymore..the other team feed off of that kind of attitude..Most coaches coach to win games.  Development of young players starts in practice and training courses.  Prince barely played his rookie year, until the shutdown of T Mac..he started every year after that.  Daye started playing good and hitting the open shots…even hit a couple of game winners.  He Started at Power forward the next season because of how well he did in preseason..he he regressed.  So they took him out of the starting line up.,..this guy had plenty of chances to plead his case in my eyes.  He hasn’t taken advantage of them.  Monroe…first 2 game of last season, he was sitting the bench..didn’t eve get in the game..all the critics thought they were right about him..Monroe is becoming a man right before our eyes…he got is first start in the middle of last season and he broke that opportunity right through the door.

    how do you go through preseason averaging a team high 18 points a game, and then suddenly fall off the face of the earth two seasons in a row???  Development time is over for this guy, He should be adding a post up to his game by now working with Hakeem because the jumper is already there. He should be adding to his game right now..not still developing. That’s just how i feel though.  I believe he can contribute, but until he lets whatever is holding him back go..he is going to be like this for a while.  It’s only basketball

  • Jan 16, 20123:46 pm
    by apa8ren9


    I love this topic, because this gets at how you want to run your team.  Are we really debating the merits of Dajuan Summers?  I dont think anyone here believes he was going to be a star.  Are we going after championships or do we just want to be mediocre? The Pistons gave him a shot and he didnt show any promise, so they let him go.  He wouldnt be a difference maker on our roster.  We have our project on the roster now in Austin Daye and as much as I liked him last year its not looking too good.  So you know what, we should let him go because he had a shot.  If it happens for him it will be on another team.  But I know you cant say this guy will be hitting game winning shots against us in the finals.  SO WE WAIT and get someone who can hit game winners. The development shows up if the guy is a player.  You see flashes and that justifies your roster spot. And by the way, I hated Summers.

  • Jan 16, 20123:58 pm
    by Max


    It’s funny, here I thought Daye I was seeing the painful result of Daye being developed with consistent minutes so far this year.
    How have the champion Dallas Mavs drafted and developed young talent over the last 15 years?  Who was their “bright spot” other than Dirk since by your standards of deciding a “bright spot” someone like Josh Howard would probably not qualify?   Last year’s title team only included Nowitski and Barea as real contributors who the Mavs had developed and drafted and since Barea is now on Minn, your very high standard would no longer admit of his being a “bright spot”, so all Dallas has done in the last 15 years is win a championship and win 50 games every year in spite of drafting and developing only one “bright spot” that they still have.  I think tt was unconsciously last year how they went out and won the title and destroyed the development of Rodrigue Boubois and Ian Manhini.
    Finally your designation of Monroe as “future star” with lots of question marks shows how you prefer to make your arguments as strong as possible in spite of the truth since Monroe is easily the best Pistons draft pick in the last 25 years other than Grant Hill and I wouldn’t say so if it wasn’t so obvious.

    • Jan 16, 20126:50 pm
      by frankie d


      there is a fatal flaw in your comparison.
      the mavs have continued to post excellent win/loss records and teams over that period of time.
      the last sub-500 team they fielded was in the last century,…what…12 years ago.
      if detroit had continued to win, the issue of developing young players would be a non-issue.
      do i have to recite the number of wins the last 3 years?
      39…27…30…and this year will be even worse, if matters continue in the way they have so far.
      if a team maintains a high level of play and contends, you might hear grumbles about developing young guys, but it won’t be too loud.  
      but when you suck, and you suck while signing retread vets who keep young players who might be able to develop into something good, on the bench, then that is a recipe for mediocrity.  
      what is happening in detroit now, is the logical result of joe d’s policies.  
      a bumpy road to mid-lottery limbo. 
      the idea that summers had a legitimate shot at playing here is at odds with reality.
      the idea that daye is getting a legitimate shot is at odds with reality.
      if i had a choice, as a fan or as an nba exec,m if i had a choice between keeping summers on the roster and briniging in a retread vet like wilkins, there is no choice.  i keep the young guy and hope he develops. not only is there the possibility for a better player long term, but he happens to be cheaper.

      • Jan 16, 20127:07 pm
        by apa8ren9


        I have to disagree with you, the reason you bring in the veteran is because you still have young guys on your roster and they are technically at work so you need professionalism.  We may disagree on the young guy you keep but once you make the decision, do you double down with someone else who cant play?  You grease the palm of one of the agents and sign a vet to be professional, listen to the coach and provide a good example.  In return you hope to get the first phone call on a trade from said agent for a player that really matters.  At the same time we are trying to reestablish a winning culture here, after the last 2 years we have lost sight of that.  That is fundamental 101.  We are getting back to a team attitude and player accountability.  Its what we need right now before the big move can be made.

        • Jan 16, 20127:48 pm
          by frankie d


          what a crock!
          big move?
          and what is that?
          signing  rasheed?
          or maybe mel “dinner bell” turpin.
          i saw david robinson on tv the other night, he looked like he could play.
          considering the string of retreads joe has signed, they would fit right in.
          wasn’t tay supposed to be the example of the professional vet? ben?
          if you have those two, guys with rings, how much more do you need/  and what can guys who haven’t won a darn thing –  mcgrady…wilkins – teach a young player about winning in the league.
          weren’t all of those guys who participated in the shootaround boycott supposed to be vets.
          the idea that you sign vets at the expense of keeping talented young players for that reason is so nonsensical and without foundation, it is amaziin that anyone would attempt to put it forward.
          young players develop professionalism by virtue of yes, having a couple of good examples.  ben certainly qualifies on that level.  tay has served as a decent example.  but the idea that you load down your roster and burden your team with retreads as a way of establishing “professionalism” instead of getting quality players is …well, i’ve already said it.
          i guess oklahoma city must not have gotten the memo.

      • Jan 16, 20127:46 pm
        by Max


        Dumars didn’t have Nowtiski but Sheed and the window closed.

        • Jan 16, 20128:16 pm
          by frankie d


          dumars had and traded an all star point guard, a much more valuable piece than a scoring forward. that was the move that started the decline.
          dallas has done a masterful job of moving players and contracts and staying competitive.
          joe d has blundered from one mistake to the other. the only question is how bad the mistake was, and which mistake was worse.
          other successful franchises stay competitive. or if they fall off, there is an obvious reason, beyond the control of the franchise.
          shaq wanting to leave LA put the lakers down for a while.
          miami’s fluke season was exposed as that.
          but the pistons are the only franchise since the magic/bird era, and maybe ever, where a team became a horrible team because of bad moves by management.

  • Jan 16, 20126:17 pm
    by apa8ren9


    Good point Max, I agree with you but many would just say that it was a no brainer or he was lucky.  They would make any point just to not give Dumars credit.  You can say he hasnt done well lately and the results show but our track record against all but the elite teams IN THE HISTORY of the league (SA, LA, BOSTON) is right there and Dumars deserves a lot of the credit.  Fans are suffering from the grass is greener syndrome.  ITS NOT.  We have a lot of variables that still have to be answered.  Is Gores really going to pony up when the time comes.  I think he will because he retained Joe.  Joe wants to win, how do I know that ? Because he’s been there and done that and wants to do it again.

    • Jan 16, 20127:46 pm
      by Max


      Marv Albert “Yes!”

  • Jan 16, 20127:01 pm
    by frankie d


    its funny…defenders of dumars’ manner of handling young players want to pretend that the last 4 seasons haven’t existed, just didn’t happen.  like the horrendous seasons have just been a bad nightmare that will all just disappear as soon as the fans wake up.  i’ve talked to a few females who like to pretend that they never slept with certain guys simply because it was a mistake, and they actually try to argue, that ….well, it doesn’t really count.
    that is how some dumars defenders act.  these past few seasons don’t count.  
    2004!   2004!!!
    deal with it.  
    the team is bad.  one of the league’s worst.
    the team has been one of the league’s worst teams for the last 4 seasons.  
    that is reality.
    and there are specific reasons that the team has degenerated as it has, from being an elite franchise to being one of the league’s joke teams.
    and the way that joe d has handled personnel, and especially the way he has mishandled young players, is a big part of the team’s fall from grace.   if he’d skillfully integrated young players into the team, along with the team’s core talent, detroit wouldn’t be in its current predicament.  
    instead of signing old vets who would be gone in a year, he could have taken a chance on a guy like barea, who was signed as a free agent.  instead of burying young players and then dumping them, he’d have  solid rotation players.
    for example, see san antonio.  the way they have handled their transition is the way to do it.
    what joe d has done is a lesson in how not to do it.
    or are we all just imagining that the team is currently 3-9?

    • Jan 16, 20127:53 pm
      by Max


      They have missed the playoffs twice after one of the great runs of all time and certainly one of the greatest outside of LA , BO, CHI and SA,
      You are being impatient and don’t get how transition works.  They have missed the playoffs twice now and have Monroe and Knight to show for it which I humbly consider a huge haul and doubly so since they were merely 8th picks.
      I remember when Ainge took over the Celtics and they had been bad forever and he stumbled a lot more than Dumars did at first but one day he had a young team with assets and draft picks and was able to turn it all around in one summer.  Well, the Pistons now have young assets the likes of which they haven’t had since Grant Hill and if they are going to be bad this year, they are going to do so while transitioning around the best young big man they have had in decades during the best year to be bad in a decade.  This could all turn a lot sooner than people think.

      • Jan 16, 20128:26 pm
        by apa8ren9


        Yo, you used the same Celtics analoly that I used, LOL

  • Jan 16, 20127:24 pm
    by apa8ren9


    Well we are not the worst.  Go be a Bullets fan.  Go be a Clippers fan.  They are hot right now.  Go jump ship.  We all have suffered.  We disagree on how to rebuild it.  The last 4 seasons did happen.   Do you remember that whole ownership thing?  That lasted 2 of the 4 years.  Also 2004 remember it.  Sear it into your brain.  It did happen.  Its called a track record.  I believe in Dumars and I know how the Pistons have operated.  And you know what he has been a part of a Championship 3 times.   How many do these other teams have.  SA tanked the season and got the number 1 pick.  They didnt miss.  Good for them.  I dont care about other teams other than them being fodder for us to win.  If Joe gets fired tomorrow then maybe you have a point but until that happens you have to deal with it.

    • Jan 16, 20127:33 pm
      by frankie d


      that whole ownership thing that was supposed to have hampered dumars…
      he is conducting business in exactly the same way, now that it is settled.  it is exactly what it was then: an excuse.
      excuses, excuses, excuses.
      can you read?
      i said, one of the worst.  one of…not the worst.
      reminiscing about good teams from the past doesn’t make it.  i’m interested in results now.
      and god bless SA for tanking after david robinson got hurt.  it was the smart thing to do.  
      that was a real game plan and a strategy that made sense and actually worked.
      doing what dumars has done the last few years is a proven way to end up exactly where the team has ended up: in mid-lottery hell.
      not bad enough to get the top choice, but not good enough to even make the playoffs.  bad franchises – like sac-town and GS and the clippers – spend years in this limbo.  the fact that joe d has taken a former title team to this level is unprecedented and an indication of how horrible a job he has done.

  • Jan 16, 20128:00 pm
    by Max


    Robinson getting hurt wasn’t a strategy and as to your earlier point about the SA handling their transition, I will make the same point about them as I did about the Mavs in comparison to the Pistons.  Joe did not have Duncan or Dirk, he didn’t even have Parker since he is younger than anyone from that 2004 core.   Their windows lasted longer and their pain, as well as the Celtics, is in all likelihood soon to come at a point when the Pistons window might well be opening.

    • Jan 16, 20128:47 pm
      by frankie d


      not bringing robinson back and letting him play, which he could have done, was a strategy.
      playing tired, over the hill vets who were literally on their last legs was a strategy, guys who didn’t give a hoot, at the end of a horrible year.  anyone knows that if you want an energized team at the end of a bad year, you play the young guys who are trying to impress and who may be playing for their future.  if you want to send out a tired team just playing out a string, you put a bunch of old vets on the floor.  SA put a bunch of old vets on the floor at the end of that year as they lost 6 games in a row.
      losing a bunch of games to get in better position at the end of the year was a strategy.
      hey, it worked.  it was a brilliant move.  but very few folks even pretend that they didn’t try to tank it to get duncan.
      again, you act like someone put a gun to joe’s head and made him trade chauncey.  or made him let ben walk.  or made him waste 100 million dollars on gordon and CV.
      a quality PG is the most important player on a team in today’s nba. basically giving away your all star quality PG, one of the league’s best, is an amazingly bad move and simply saying “dirk” or “duncan” cannot erase that move.
      detroit is in the position it is in, not because of old age or injury or any of those things that typically knock off excellent teams.  
      no, they are where they are because their GM has made a series of astoundingly bad trades and signings.
      now, you can try to construct some scenario where it made sense to make each move and that is your perogative.
      you are welcome to your view.
      but the FACT is that joe d made those moves of his own volition and we are seeing the result, right in front of us.  those moves have made this a bad team.  we will see what happens over the next few years.
      and other franchises took a different route and they have continued to have success.
      did SA trade duncan/  or ginobli?   or parker?
      did dallas trade dirk?
      no.  they kept their core players and filled in around them.
      that strategy makes sense and it is successful.
      joe d’s rube goldberg-like scheme to reconstruct his team on the fly was an incredibly ill-conceived notion to begin with – hope with a risky trade!; maybe recoup possible losses with free agency! – and history has proved that those of us who had that view were correct.

      • Jan 17, 20123:39 am
        by Max


        Chauncey was never, ever on the level of Dirk or Duncan and shouldn’t even be brought up in comparison to them.  Look. the Pistons won a title in 2004 and for you to  think that core could have kept competing is just crazy.
        And the PG is not nearly so important as you make out since most of the teams that have won titles in the last two decades have not had a significant PG.  Since Isiah won his two rings, here are the starting point guards, John Paxson, B.J. Armstrong, Kenny Smith, Ron Harper, Avery Johnson, Derek Fisher, Tony Parker (lall star but not superstar), Chauncey Billups (all star but not superstar), Jason Williams, Rajon Rondo (all star but not superstar) and Jason Kidd (way past his prime).   Billups is the only player on the list who could that was even arguably the best player on his team but those Pistons were the most evenly divided team ever in terms of doling out win shares.
        When I said the Pistons had Sheed, it wasn’t to cast him as the best player but rather the most irreplacable one because while the above paragraph proves you can win rings without a great point guard, the same analysis would prove that you can’t win without a great big.  Their window closed when they no longer  had a great big and there was nothing Chauncey could have done to change it.  How many games is Nash winning now without Amare?

  • Jan 16, 20128:11 pm
    by Max


    BTW: Some people who I guess are Pistons fans but I could suppose to be Bulls fans have been stretching things into some kind of “what about the last four years”.
    Um, do you mean getting to the conference finals was somehow bad?
    And even, do you mean the year there was a lot of chaos at guard after a controversial trade of the team’s leader and yet a second year player was the team’s best by season’s end, manning the point and getting the team to the playoffs?
    Even the year after, do you mean the year where the team had the most injuries in franchise history?
    So they were bad last year and now have two lottery picks to show for it.  This holding of Dumars’ feet to the fire is crazy considering his hands are all over everything that has ever gone right with this franchise.

  • Jan 16, 20128:22 pm
    by apa8ren9


    Its not funny, I hate that they are losing.  How many games were the Celtics winning before Garnett was handed to them. If you remember Pierce’s prime years were being wasted. Overnight Doc Rivers became a good coach.  Danny Ainge became a good GM.  One move made it happen.  The pistons are not a joke.  The ownership did hamper him.  The business that you ridicule has resulted in 3 championships.  Are any of the rookies that were drafted in the last 4 years the cornerstones of franchises?  Blake Griffin.  How many trips to the lottery did the Clippers make to get that one right.  Its called sport.  I dont know what will satisfy you.  I just think you are wrong.  You know the history of the league, there have only been like 7-8 franchises to win the championship in the last 30-35 years.  When you contend you contend for a time and then you retool.   That’s it.

    • Jan 16, 20128:31 pm
      by apa8ren9


      Maybe I gave a bad example.  I forgot about Derick Rose.   Ive had a good time disagreeing with you Frankie D.  I will stop now and get back at this tomorrow after the game.  Maybe I will feel better then.

    • Jan 17, 20129:21 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      “Danny Ainge became a good GM.”

      I think most people recognize that Danny Ainge got incredibly lucky that Minnesota moved Garnett for less than they could’ve got elsewhere.

  • Jan 17, 20121:45 am
    by MrHappyMushroom


    “Summers isn’t exactly turning into a Arron Afflalo-like ghost out there haunting the Pistons for giving up on him too soon”
    This is what’s so frustrating about Afflalo–he didn’t “turn into” a really good player after the Pistons gave up hope on him.  He was really good as a Piston–far better than the expectations that led him to be drafted in the first round.  He had two productive seasons, and I’m not aware of anyone (and this does not involve hindsight) that didn’t expect further improvement from him.
    And the Pistons gave him a way.  For absolutely no reason.  It’s one thing to give up on someone who doesn’t quite meet expectations–Johnson, Delfino, Summers, maybe now Austin Daye.  You can get burned, but at least you have an idea of that player’s limitations within your system.  But to give away a cheap, young player who is showing nothing but positive signs within your system?  I will never know what the hell Dumars was thinking.
    Ask 30 GMs who they’d rather have, Gordon or Afflalo, and all thirty would likely prefer Spellcheck.  Two and a half years ago, a number would have said that already.  But Joe chose $12 million worth of Gordon over $2 million worth of AA and got a worse player.  And there was ample evidence AT THE TIME to indicate that this was a stupid mistake.

    • Jan 17, 20129:23 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Oh, I agree that Afflalo was worthy of more minutes and there were all kinds of signs both statistically and with his work ethic that he’d get better and better. There is no justification for giving up on him so soon.

  • Jan 17, 20127:45 am
    by Murph


    I have to say, I’m not losing a lot a sleep worrying about how well DeJuan Summers is playing in NO.  I mean, who on the Pistons roster should Summers have been getting minutes ahead of…beside Austin Daye?   Even Damien Wilkins offers more than Summers.

    I can see beating up Joe for not developing and releasing Afflalo and Amir Johnson.  But DeJuan Summers?…come on.

    • Jan 17, 20129:18 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      It’s not about Summers, necessarily. It’s just that the team has had a problem with this whether they are winning or losing. The excuse for players like Johnson, Delfino and Afflalo not getting minutes was that the team was full of veterans, contending, etc. so they couldn’t afford to play young players who could make mistakes.

      It’s not that Summers is any great shakes. I’m pretty convinced he won’t be. But does anyone really know? The Pistons were bad the last two years. There was no reason for Summers to not get a chance at extended minutes in that scenario.

      • Jan 17, 20121:59 pm
        by frankie d


        exactly my point and what i’ve been pounding on for the last couple of years.
        there are many reasons to develop your young talent beyond having that player become part of your own rotation. for instance, fans moan about the fact that the team doesn’t have many tradeable assets now.
        well, one of the most desirable assets in the nba is a young player with potential with a cheap contract.
        well-managed teams develop good young players, package them with draft picks and maybe a vet or two and put together good trades. there is always a market for cheap young talent. if you do not develop your young talent, your ability to make trades is severely hampered as most vets are going to have contract issues that make trading them much more complicated.

  • [...] Did the Pistons let DaJuan Summers go too soon? « PistonPoweredBy Patrick HayesDuring his unremarkable two year run as a member of the Pistons, DaJuan Summers had a reputation as a professional, hard-working player in a locker room that, to put it diplomatically, didn't always exhibit those same traits. Unfortunately for Summers, that good reputation never earned him a shot at consistent minutes. Now, as a member …. 2010 – Greg Monroe (future star???) 2011 – Brandon Knight (PG of the future??) All of this to point out that we have made a TON of mistakes. …PistonPowered [...]

  • Jan 19, 201211:32 am
    by Mat


    What would you do if you were in charge of the Pistons roster?

    - Hold the lottery pick (if Pistons get it) & draft a big talented Centre 2012 Draft
    - Trade the lottery pick in exchange for a young good potential Centre + a 2nd round
    - Lottery pick + Villa or Gordon for a highly talented centre.

    The reason I ask is draft picks can be hit or miss at the best of times. By trading for a young, established, high calibre Center, you already know what they are like, how they compete in the NBA. By packaging a high pick alongside a Villa or Gordon will either potentially free up cap or matching the salary but fitting an excellent talent with the same contract.

    What would you do?

  • Jan 31, 201212:38 pm
    by seo


    Your web page does not display correctly on my blackberry – you may want to try and repair that

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