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The sensibility of trade deadline inaction

The Pistons didn’t make a trade at the trade deadline. I don’t consider that fact a positive or negative statement.

I spent parts of the afternoon and evening trying to express in the comments that the sky isn’t falling because the Pistons couldn’t find a team willing to give up anything of significance for two of the league’s most artful plankers.

Basically, like any fan, I love the trade deadline. It’s exciting, particularly for a franchise that needs an infusion of talent like the Pistons do. But I also understand the trade deadline for what it is: an opportunity to convince desperate teams to do stupid things. The New Jersey Nets were so desperate to add a player with name recognition to maybe coax Deron Williams into sticking around that they traded a top-3 protected pick this year for Gerald Wallace and the remaining two years on his contract. That trade could realistically, depending on how New Jersey finishes, turn into something like trading Harrison Barnes for Gerald Wallace. Would anyone in their right mind do that? Well, trading deadlines to crazy things to people.

The Spurs were so willing to get out of the final year of Richard Jefferson’s contract (a ridiculous contract that the normally very shrewd Spurs organization signed him to, incidentally), that they gave up a first round pick this year to do it. Now, the Spurs will be a playoff team, so they won’t be giving up a lottery talent just to shed salary, but still … the Spurs are old. They could use young players. That’s certainly not as crazy as what New Jersey did, but it’s still a tough price to pay to simply shed a year off a contract to an under-performing player.

What does this have to do with the Pistons? Well, the Pistons could’ve been one of those ‘panic deadline move’ candidates. Joe Dumars, who used to be known for frequent trades, hasn’t made one in a really long time, much longer than any other team in the league has gone without making a deal, in fact. He’s in charge of a team that has an apathetic fanbase that is tired of losing, that is tired of a roster that, remarkably, hasn’t turned over all that much over the last three losing seasons with the exception of adding new draft picks each year. Dumars isn’t exactly the most popular guy in town anymore either, routinely getting flamed on local sports radio even if he remains pretty unscathed in the Detroit print media. Making a move just to make a move is often a tactic GMs employ to take a bit of heat off themselves. Basically, the Pistons have a good mix of issues that made them a team that could potentially do something rash at the trade deadline.

The consensus I’m getting from the readers who are commenting here and elsewhere is that the worst outcome from trading deadline day was not doing anything. I just don’t agree with that. To me, the worst outcome would’ve been doing something stupid. The best outcome, obviously, would’ve been making a great trade. It’s pretty rare to make a fantastic trade at the deadline, though, and the Pistons certainly were a longshot to do it if they rightly weren’t willing to include someone from the Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Knight, 2012 first rounder group.

I think most everyone would agree that it would be nice if the Pistons could’ve freed themselves from a long-term contract, particularly Ben Gordon‘s or Charlie Villanueva‘s, for a shorter term one. But it’s just nearly impossible to move expensive contracts to under-performing players without also including an asset to entice the other team or taking an equally bad deal back. Many Pistons fans would happily love to imagine a roster without Gordon and/or Villanueva on it. But if the price to do that was that the roster would also lose Monroe, Knight, Stuckey, the 2012 pick or Jonas Jerebko to do it? I think that changes the discussion a little bit.

The downside to taking a bad deal back in return is that you lose the ability to amnesty that player. So, say you take a certain controversial but occasionally talented and signed long-term big man from Washington hoping that the new environment will turn him around. Say he gets here, and it doesn’t turn him around or he gets worse. Now, you’re stuck with him and because you traded for him, you can’t amnesty him to get rid of him and it’s even harder to trade him because now he’s on team No. 2 that couldn’t make it work with him.

Dumars reportedly had interest from other teams in certain players. But, unlike last year when the Prince to Dallas for Butler/first round pick proposal leaked, we don’t have specifics. It is beyond crazy to me to judge not making a deal as a failure when we don’t even have a ballpark idea of what teams were offering for Detroit’s players. If it turns out Dumars turned down something useful for one of the non-young asset players on the team, then sure, criticize away. But honestly, the right decision (and not an easy one, considering the vocal fanbase that wants to see SOMETHING happen) might have been turning down whatever offers he did receive.

None of this is meant to make excuses for Dumars, either. Joe Dumars can’t trade the players he’s signed to bad contracts because he’s the one who signed them to bad contracts. He doesn’t have more young assets right now because he gave two away (Arron Afflalo and Amir Johnson) prematurely and botched his first two picks in the 2009 draft. The sale of the team certainly hindered his ability to make moves, but the team was undoubtedly in a bad position because he paid too much money for too limited players who played too similar positions and hired a coach who handled a mismatched roster and divided locker room about as poorly as anyone could handle it. Those things are all part of Dumars’ history as much as the fantastic teams he built and the title he won. You take the good with the bad and own them both.

But none of that is new information, either. It was all information that was available when Tom Gores bought the team. Gores is a businessman who I’m sure understands the financial aspect of this team — that it has invested in expensive players who have lost value. He sought advice from basketball people outside the organization who, no doubt, offered their opinions as to what it would take to fix. I think everyone pretty much agreed last summer that the Pistons were simply not going to be fixed in one season, certainly not when a lockout wiped out the offseason and a coaching search was also a lengthy part of the process. With all of that information, Gores still decided to retain Dumars to do the job.

I am not forgetting Dumars’ recent history that helped cause the current state of this team. But I’m also not forgetting this summer, when it was clear to me that the Pistons were not going to be headed in a better direction talent-wise and money-wise until at least the 2012 offseason. That would’ve been the case whether Dumars was the GM or someone else was starting last summer. I think the reaction to not making a trade today is largely stemming from anger about the poor moves he’s made that have hurt the team rather than a rational understanding that there probably wasn’t much of value that could be done at this moment.

I don’t have a passionate case for or against keeping Dumars, but I do think today’s criticism has been unfair. Last season, when he reportedly had a credible offer that made sense — dealing Prince for an extra first round pick — the criticism was fair. The Pistons were rebuilding and rebuilding teams spin veteran players into extra picks all the time. This year though? It’s at least as likely that the Pistons only received poor offers that wouldn’t help their future as it is Dumars passed on something credible that would’ve helped the team. Until it is reported concretely that he passed on a good offer, I just can’t get offended by his inaction today.


  • Mar 15, 201211:46 pm
    by Reaction


    Hey kinda unrelated but because UCONN lost today Drummonds stock has dropped and will probably continue to drop:

    He went from 2 to 4 already

    • Mar 15, 201211:50 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Eh, I don’t think he’ll drop out of the top three range unless he has really poor workouts. Disappointing season for him, but he still has way too much potential/size to fall very far.

      • Mar 16, 201212:09 am
        by RationalSportsFan


        Agreed.  Given how well the Stone are playing, Drummond is prolly out of range (unless we get lucky in the lottery…oh please St. Stern, shine you light on us!).

      • Mar 16, 201212:12 am
        by Reaction


        I mean yeah… maybe by some luck of the draw he will fall to us. Highly doubted because by some  yearly luck of the draw we draft around 7 lol. But draft express shows movement now of his value dropping

        • Mar 16, 20125:24 pm
          by tarsier


          Because past outcomes of the lottery are indicative of future outcomes?

    • Mar 16, 20123:05 am
      by frankie d


      uconn and drummond ran into royc

      • Mar 16, 20123:05 am
        by frankie d


        uconn and drummond ran into royce white and iowa state.
        white plays like a combination of george mcginnis and magic johnson.
        he is their center and their point guard.
        he brings the ball up court, runs the offense and posts down low.
        he had 15 points, 13 boards and 2 assists tonight, and he averages 5 assists per game normally.
        he has a mental illness, and has sought treatment for it.
        obviously there are red flags for the guy, but he is truly a special kind of talent.
        i’m sure the job he did on drummond tonight is going to open some eyes.

  • Mar 16, 201212:12 am
    by RationalSportsFan


    Whether standing pat was correct or not is based entirely off the offers the Stones got…if someone offered cap relief and a 1st rounder for Tay (highly unlikely) and JoeD said no, well that would be terrible.
    If someone said…”Hey, we’ll take on BG and give you back an equally terrible contract,” then JoeD being inactive would be awesome.
    So, until reports leak concerning offers that were made/rejected, it’s silly to get mad at the Stones for their inactivity.

  • Mar 16, 201212:51 am
    by Mel


    I’m not worried about the team inactivity, they’re winning ball games now, the look like a team. I’m curious to see if and how Frank can possibly get Charlie V to play inspired ball. He really hasn’t had a chance in his system yet ( because of the injury). It took Stuck a minute to get rolling now you don’t here so much negative talk about the guy. Charllie V is never going to be more than a 15 and 5 or 7 rebounding guy. That’s what he was doing with the Bucks with Skiles his last year. Skiles had him playing his best basketball then. So let’s see, that’s all we can do for now anyway. Oh yeah we still got the amnesty so we’ll get rid of one of those guys. Joe D knows what he’s got to do and what he has, It’s best to see which guys fit Frank system then thow out  the trash in the off season.

  • Mar 16, 20121:11 am
    by Trent


    Realistically with the pieces we have to offer we couldnt have got much any way. The best we could have hoped for was to unload “those two” and their contracts or maybe move Daye for a pick. we had nothing to gain so nothing was lost.

  • Mar 16, 20121:32 am
    by damian



  • Mar 16, 20121:45 am
    by Eric


    I wanted Maxiel, Daye, or Bynum to be gone for picks. Come on Dumars

    • Mar 16, 20129:15 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      They are all signed through next year. They can still be traded. And, if Daye and Bynum play better between now and the next deadline, they might fetch better picks in return.

  • Mar 16, 20122:11 am
    by damian


    co-sign above statement.

  • Mar 16, 20122:16 am
    by Council of Nine


    Greg Oden seems like a player Joe would go after. This team has had sucess with often injured players and they have produced at a high level when they got healthy for the Pistons.

    • Mar 16, 20128:41 am
      by Steve K


      Fellas, you all realize that Oden has five seasons under his belt and 82 TOTAL games.
      That means he’s been injured 80% of his career. 

      He may never play again.

      If he’s smart, he’ll take a year or longer off and rebuild his muscle mass, because he’s going under the knife again. Still, the Pistons need to look elsewhere. Signing Oden makes about as much sense as signing Brandon Roy.

      Now, in two years, if the Pistons bring Oden in as a non-roster invitee, then sure.

  • Mar 16, 20125:42 am
    by Mark


    Joe does deserve some credit for having the willpower/discipline to stand pat. Like the article said, an easy time-buying tactic for most GM’s is to make a move just to get ppl off their back for a while, as nothing more than a stalling tactic, even if they know it’ll hurt the team in the long run after their gone.

    He’s doing whats right for the franchise for the long haul, and thats what you want out of your GM.

    • Mar 16, 20121:10 pm
      by frankie d


      Joe does deserve some credit for having the willpower/discipline to stand pat. …
      He’s doing whats right for the franchise for the long haul, and thats what you want out of your GM.
      laughable.  only in detroit would BB fans applaud the fact that their GM has the longest period of inactivity in 10 years, the 3rd longest in the modern era (post magic/larry).
      yes, only in detroit would someone try to argue that somehow, someway it took courage to stand pat after your team has gone through an unprecedented collapse from one of the league’s elite teams to being in the lottery for 3 years.
      insantity is often described as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
      not making drastic changes and expecting the team to right itself, year after year after year qualifies as insantity to me.
      and for fans who pay to see the team or pay to watch the game on tv or patronize radio sponsors…for those fans to passively accept the packaged press releases and repeat the team’s party line – that doing nothing actually strengthens the team is a reflection of the stupidity of that fan base.
      but then, this is a community that sells out games for a pro football team that has never even sniffed a super bowl, and hasnt won a title in over a half century.
      only in detroit…

      • Mar 16, 20121:16 pm
        by Patrick Hayes



        Ugh. Give it a rest. I don’t know if you try to be insufferable, but that’s how your posts have been reading the last two days. At least you didn’t write a million words in this comment though.

        • Mar 16, 20122:41 pm
          by frankie d


          hmmm…not sure when i’ve ever proclaimed that i was an expert on anything.  for whatever reason – insecurity? – you want to slap that label on me, regardless of the fact that i’ve never sought it.
          i do have a lot of different experience in a wide range of activities, but that is what happens when you are fortunate enough to live a long life and travel and live in many different places and work in a number of fields and have curiosity about the world around you.
          and, like anyone else, i do have opinions that are based on that long life and varied experiences.
          i am more than willing to test the bases of my opinions against anyone else, and that is what i typically do here.  i’m not right always, certainly, but because i’ve been watching nba and college basketball since the mid-sixties, my knowledge base is pretty strong.  i doubt there are very many fans who frequent this site who had the pleasure of watching dave debusschere and jimmy walker and joe strawder and the van arsdale twins and eddie miles and john tresvant and dave bing.
          or many fans who had the pleasure of watching bobby knight’s undefeated indiana team.
          or watched magic johhnson when he was a young kid at michigan state.
          or seen larry bird when he was a rookie, in the boston garden.
          i did.  
          and as a kid, i spent many an afternoon catching the bus down to cobo hall for weekend matinees.  watching nba stars like wilt and jerry west and bill russell and clyde frazier and elgin baylor.
          sorry if i have a lot of knowledge about BB and a lot of knowledge about a lot of other stuff i’ve spent too many years studying and working at.   i’m not going to pretend that i don’t have that knowledge, just to make anyone else feel a bit more secure.
          regarding the last couple of days…
          it is truly insane to hear people who should know better repeat the same tired cliches over and over and over again.
          when the team first started to collapse, post-chauncey, fans were told to be patient, just wait till the fruits from the free agent signings blossom.  and when that didn’t happen, fans were told to be patient, that the team had been through a period of turmoil as a result of injuries and once that was over, things would straighten out.  besides, the team had a new coach and a new direction and fans just had to give that new direction a chance.  and when that season was over, fans were told that it was just taking a while for the new players and the old players to gel and that once that happened, things would be ok and fans just had to be patient.  and when that didn’t work out, fans were told that a really bad person, a guy who used to be a hero had poisoned the atmosphere and now that the bad person was gone and a new coach was in place and a new owner was in charge, an owner who would let the GM actually do his job, the GM would be a whirlwind of activity, after chomping at the restraints from the bad old penny-pinching owner.  just be patient.
          and now…after a new owner, a new coach, some of the same old players still in place and another playoff-less season?
          fans are told again that all they have to do is be patient and that standing pat is actually a brave thing to do and the smartest thing to do and if fans are just patient, things will work out.
          have you ever heard of lucy and charlie brown and the football?
          how many times are fans supposed to sit back. listen to the exact same old excuses – with some variables, of course –  and just say…
          “well…duh…otay!!!  if you say so!!! i’ll be a good little fan and just accept whatever mr. dumars tells me!!!!”
          anyone is welcome to believe what they want to believe.  their prerogative.  
          i have my own opinion about the state of affairs on the good ship piston.  and i’m certainly not going to simply accept and repeat the same things that have been communicated to me, as a fan, as though i have no ability to critically analyze the situation in a way that might depart from that narrative.  the narrative the team desperately wants the fans to accept and proceed on.
          everyone, everyplace is welcome to disagree.

          • Mar 16, 20123:12 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Words words words words words. That’s a serious problem man. It’s impossible to decipher what you say because you are writing way too much in your comments. Once in a while is fine. But look back at the ratio of the size of your average comment and compare that to the others. That’s monopolizing the conversation, shouting your voice above the others, etc. It’s also against forum etiquette virtually anywhere on the web people are allowed to comment. You can stop. You could reel it and be more concise You choose not to.

          • Mar 16, 20123:30 pm
            by frankie d

            unhhh…isn’t that what a fans forum that deals in comments is about?
            are we supposed to post audio or video?
            you are more than welcome to cut off my access if that is your prerogative.
            another sign of real insecurity, imho.
            you can’t defend what you write so you stifle the discussion.
            easy enough, but utterly cowardly.

          • Mar 16, 20123:36 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Haha, there you go again arguing straw men. No one threatened to cut off your ability to comment, yet you are reacting as if someone did? I’m pointing out that, essentially, by community standards at just about any site anywhere, you are being a rude blowhard by posting comments that are way too long. Your long comments monopolize space, make your stand out more than those left by others because they are bigger, push others down the page, etc. Those things are rude. Those things are things you could control to be less rude to others who want to talk, share their opinions, etc. Point blank, the amount of words you’ve written responding to posts the last couple days is ridiculous. Beyond ridiculous. It’s not a bannable offense or anything like that and I never suggested it was, but it’s rude as hell, whether you like to be told that or not.

          • Mar 16, 20125:31 pm
            by tarsier

            That may be the most ridiculous response I’ve seen. It was obvious that Patrick was not talking about writing as opposed to audio or video (both of which would probably use words if you were trying to communicate with them by the way), but that he was saying your posts are way too freaking long. I don’t know if most readers do this. But usually when I see comments that don’t fit in half my computer screen, I just skip them. That includes probably about 50% of your comments–some of which don’t fit into my whole screen!

          • Mar 17, 20123:45 am
            by frankie d

            total bs!
            there are plenty of guys here that i care not to read.
            i dont read their posts.
            whenever i see their name,  i scroll past.
            the idea that someone “uses” space and is rude as a result is ludicrous.
            absolutely ludicrous.
            not much more to say than that.
            i don’t do ad hominem attacks.
            i dont go after people personally.
            often i respond to others who have posted something about my posts.
            if it costs the blog, that is one thing.
            the idea that someone is inconvenienced because they have to scroll past, using their index finger for a second or two…hilarious!

      • Mar 16, 20122:47 pm
        by apa8ren9


        Im not really sure what you are getting at any more frankie.  I like countering your points but it is getting insufferable.
        1. This decline is hardly unprecedented.  Keep the hyperbole to a minimum please.
        2. Scoreboard – 3 championships.  Not very many teams in the modern era (since 79) have had this type of success.
        3. Yes, only in Detroit. We are proud of our teams and when the people in charge have performed we praise.  When they dont we criticize.  But right now we have been spoiled so there is some uneasiness by the vocal minority.
        4. You continually fail for whatever reason to acknowledge the known documented ownership problems and then turn around and criticize inactivity as the same behavior when its CLEARLY not true.  I dont get it.
        5.  The last statement that you made really got to me.  Since you clearly want to separate yourself from the rest of us, but are you even a Pistons fan or do you just like to hear yourself write/talk?

        • Mar 16, 20123:32 pm
          by frankie d


          do your research…
          no nba team has ever fallen so fast the way the pistons have…from a title team to the lottery, as a result of the team’s management’s decisions.
          again, do your research.
          it has not happened before dumars pulled the trick off.
          and, unfortunately, detroit fans have a documented history of being sheep who will accept just about anything from their teams and still support them.  they are infamous for doing so.

          • Mar 16, 20123:43 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Boston Celtics made the playoffs once in eight years after their Bird-McHale-Parish core fell apart. Reggie Lewis and Len Bias dying were certainly major factors in Boston not being able to rebuild, but management also didn’t roll over assets to stay competitive.

            03-04 Lakers went from Finals to the lottery in one year because of its managment’s decision to trade O’Neal. Management also would’ve traded Kobe Bryant had the Bulls been willing to budge on including Luol Deng and Bryant wouldn’t have had a no-trade clause.

            97-98 Bulls went from champions to 6 straight years out of the playoffs because of management’s decision to break up a championship team.

            Management inaction/failing to roll over assets made the Bad Boys Pistons go from playoffs to not in playoffs 3 straight years, and when they got back to the playoffs, they didn’t get out of the first round until 01-02.

            This version of the Pistons will miss the playoffs for a third straight year. They are bad. They aren’t going through anything remarkable or unprecedented though. You do your research. Just because you make declarative statements doesn’t mean they are accurate ones.

          • Mar 16, 20124:10 pm
            by apa8ren9

            So you are not a Pistons fan?

          • Mar 16, 20124:10 pm
            by apa8ren9

            Sorry that was for frankie.

          • Mar 16, 20125:34 pm
            by tarsier

            And Patrick missed the recent decline of the Heat. They won it all. The next year they were swept in the first round. The next year they had the worst record in the league. That was some insanely fast decline. And you can certainly attribute that to management decisions not to get Wade enough help (and to trade away Shaq).

          • Mar 16, 20125:36 pm
            by Max

            Ditto to Patrick regarding past breakups.   I’ve been wanting to lecture you about the Bulls breakup but I keep dropping it to bring up other issues you raise that bother me more.
            The Bulls management basically laid off Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Jackson for no other reason than their own arrogance and desire to prove they were more important than the talent on the court after three championships in a row and 6 in 8 years.   Now that is unprecedented and the Pistons situation doesn’t remotely compare.

          • Mar 17, 201212:29 pm
            by frankie d

            thanks for the response.
            as you so often unwittingly do, you make my point for me with your own words.
            let’s examine the examples you bring forth.
            the old celtics died a death the old fashioned way, of natural causes.
            they got old.
            parish, bird, mchale, and dennis johnson all retired as celtics.  that was the core of their team.  certainly one can argue whether the team should have aggressively tried to trade those old guys for new blood, but what happened, happened. a team of champions got old and the team collapsed.
            and as you mentioned, it certainly did not help that the two best young players they drafted within a few years of each other died.
            no, management did not commit suicide in boston.  
            the lakers?  again, thanks for bringing up the kobe stuff because that was a very unique factor in the collapse of a title team.  as detroit fans knew, kobe and shaq hated each other and basically gave management an ultimatum: one of us has to go.  management decided to keep kobe and trade shaq.  there was also the tension between phil jackson and kobe, which probably factored into another problem for the title team: phil jackson’s retirement.  
            let’s summerize: hall of fame coach leaves, hall of fame center is traded because he does not get along with hall of fame shooting guard.  a mess? absolutely.  something management created by it’s own affirmative moves?  hardly.
            one can quibble with the way management may have handled the situation, but it certainly was not a crisis created by them, by their own decisions and moves.
            the team may have died, but the franchise did not commit suicide.
            the old bulls?
            did management break up the team?
            unhh…i guess…after their star player and the best player, ever, retired.
            after their hall of fame, phil jackson retired because his contract had expired.
            yes, they decided that they probably needed to go in another direction, but that can be excused considering the key players on their title teams had gone.
            could management have done more to keep the band together for one more run? maybe, but it’s mere conjecture on anyone’s part.  a perfect storm happened: jackson’s contract was over, jordan retired – again – and the strike happened.  bulls management then took the opportunity to blow what remained of the team up and start over.
            again, not suicide by the franchise.  maybe not handling external and internal problems – the impact of the strike, contracts – as well as could be done, but no affirmative actions.

            on the other hand, as i stated, what the pistons did was unprecedented.  solely because of management decisions and affirmative actions taken by the general manager- firing flip,trading the team’s leader, a player who did not want to be traded for a player who was so bad he was out of the league in two years –  the team collapsed.  it went from a conference finalist to a a first round playoff casualty, losing 20 more games than it had previously, becoming a sub-.500 team for the first time in 8 years.
            it has never happened before.
            unprecedented for an elite team.
            franchise suicide.
            no title team, one that maintained its level of excellence as detroit had, has ever been destroyed because of that kind of incompetence by management, as happened in detroit.   no other management in the history of the nba has done what joe dumars did to an elite team.
            detroit fans should be aggrieved.  they’ve suffered something no fans have ever suffered in the nba.
            do your research.

          • Mar 17, 20121:01 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Frankie, your argument is very, very, very poor. Would you be happier if Dumars had stuck with Billups, Hamilton, Prince, McDyess and Sheed? Would the team be better off now? The Pistons were getting old, and the end of their run appeared near, if it hadn’t ended already.

            What difference does it make whether the run ended because of moves Dumars made or moves he didn’t make? If he had stuck with the core he had and let age run its course, the Pistons would have gotten really bad. He took a chance at shaking things up, and that didn’t work either, but at least it had a chance of working. 

            The Pistons had a foundation that was about to crumble. You’re right, most teams in that situation let it crumble on its own. Dumars tore it down first. What difference does it make here? The foundation was coming apart either way.

          • Mar 17, 20122:11 pm
            by frankie d

            “What difference does it make whether the run ended because of moves Dumars made or moves he didn’t make? If he had stuck with the core he had and let age run its course, the Pistons would have gotten really bad. He took a chance at shaking things up, and that didn’t work either, but at least it had a chance of working. ”
            again, you make my point for me.
            i did not argue that it was the right thing or wrong thing.
            obviously, history has proven that it was the wrong thing to do.
            it did not work.
            all of the good intentions don’t matter on bit.
            he screwed up.
            whether they could have made another run or whether they would have collapsed on their own…who knows.
            my own personal view is that he could have hired the right coach, tweaked the team by adding a good big man and had a team that could have contended for years.
            just my opinion.  
            and nothing but conjecture, as your view is – that it didn’t matter.   what you say is nothing but absolute naked conjecture.  we will never know what may have happened.  we can all guess, but that is all it is…guessing.
            and as a result, it may have turned out differently, contrary to your unequivocal assertion that it didn’t matter.
            and trying to characterize my argument as “poor” does not change that one bit. 
            you have, however, conceded exactly what i have argued: that dumars’ moves caused the collapse.  
            and that has never happened before.
            and your attempt to change what i am discussing is simply that: an attempt to present an argument that i’d not made.
            i’m more than happy to go move by move, signing by signing, trade by trade and discuss the merits and negatives.  that is not what i was doing.
            i made a simple point: no team in nba history, has destroyed an elite team that had recently won a title, solely by virtue of its own affirmative moves, moves not dictated by contracts, personnel problems, coaching retirements, any external or internal pressures of that sort.
            no, joe decided, as you acknowledged, to blow it up and he did so on his own, because he thought he had a good plan, and we, as fans, are living with the carnage.
            thanks for making my point for me.

          • Mar 17, 20125:44 pm
            by Max

            I don’t if you are being intellectually honest or not but the Bulls pushed Jordan and Jackson into retirement and had treated Jordan, Pippen and Jackson badly and shown them disrespect for years.  There were rumors even last season that players didn’t want to sign with them because of how horribly management acted towards them at the end of their run.  Bottom line: Jordan didn’t want to retire but was disgusted with management and knew they overtly eager for him to leave.

          • Mar 17, 20126:57 pm
            by frankie d

            @ max
            you and others keep making my point for me.
            those guys had contracts that were for a specific term and were meant to be honored.
            that is what happened.
            sure, the last few years of the bulls were an ongoing drama.
            jerry krause clearly was interested in moving on from the jackson/jordan years.
            which is why he and jackson couldn’t agree on another contract or an extension of the one that expired.  and why jordan signed a couple of one year contracts at the end of his career.
            contract problems?  inability to resolve internal problems?
            that is one of those complicating factors i’ve been talking about!!
            who was at fault?  who knows.
            we all know what a  self-righteous prick jackson can be.  
            jordan?  his arrogance and the difficulty of dealing with him was well-known.  plus, he was making over 30 million + on each of his last contracts.  it is obvious that he was no picnic and it is truly laughable that anyone would put all of the blame for the difficulties between the parties on one side: management.
            i’m sure krause and reinsdorf were not blameless.  just as i’m sure that jordan and pippen and jackson had a good share of the blame for the relationship falling apart.
            contractual relationships are like marriages.  who knows how the relationship works and the only ones who know are the two parties.  and because of their inability to resolve their differences, things fell apart.
            everyone honored their contracts and when it was time for continuing a relationship under new contractual terms, no one wanted to continue.  it happens. happens in every business.
            that is a far cry from what happened in detroit.
            there was no difficulty of that sort. all the relevant parties were under contract and committed to a continued relationship.  joe made a choice to make a change, despite those commitments.
            again, we can talk about whether joe was right or wrong to do what he did.  just as many will argue whether krause and reinsdorf were correct to do what they did.
            but the two circumstances are very different.
            flip was fired with a year remaining on his contract.  
            phil jackson  fulfilled his contract and walked away.
            chauncey had just signed a new contract with detroit.
            jordan specifically signed two one year contracts in anticipation of not being able to resolve his contractual problems with the bulls.  
            the last two years of the bulls’ reign was planned and they made the most of it.  bravo to them.
            i was living in wisconsin at the time, and kept up with the drama because chicago was so close and while no one could quite believe it was going to actually end the way it was ending, it was no surprise to anyone.   while some held out hope that everyone would put their differences behind and continue on, that was only a hope.  the contracts said something different.
            totally different from what happened in detroit. firing coaches and trading players is far different from players and coaches seeking contractual relationships elsewhere after they’ve fulfilled their obligations under previous contracts.
            i will acknowledge this: joe d and jerry krause both arrogantly neglected to understand the importance and value of certain players and coaches and they inflated their own worth as executives.   there is no question about that.  but what happened to the bulls is much more similar to what happened to the ’04 lakers, though it is not identical, obviously. coach/player/management conflict that could not be resolved.
            bottom line is this: if you do take the kind of radical step joe d took, you’d better get it right.  if you don’t get it right and it fails, the total responsibility for that failure rests with you.
            joe took that radical step, failed, and he is suffering the consequences now.  and pistons fans are dealing with the consequences of his unprecedented actions.

  • [...] out that the Pistons haven’t made a trade in a very long time. Patrick Hayes argues that not making a move just for the sake of making a move was probably the right thing to do.Share this:Facebook Bookmark the permalink.← Last Night’s NumbersLeave a Reply Cancel [...]

  • Mar 16, 20127:59 am
    by Corey


    Anything the pistons did to take on long term salary would have crippled the te going forward. They are unfortunately pretty much stuck this summer as well. Another lottery pick but unless someone offers them a deal that frees up money, they’ll mostly stand pat. If they do, and then amnesty Gordon in 2013, they would have serious cap space, even accounting for first round picks in 12 and 13.

    So they’d have:
    2012 1st rd pick
    2013 1st rd pick
    Kyle Singler (probably)
    Villanueva (unfortunately)
    And, assuming $8m for Singler and 2 1st rd picks, about $43m in cap commitments. Cap this year is $58m. In summer of 2013, suppose it’s $62m.
    They could be real players in free agency. Draft a big man in 2012, a wing in 2013, and sign a major free agent.

    This could fall apart with bad picks or signings. But with good picks, growth from Moose and Knight, and a top 2013 free agent, we could be genuine contenders in the 2013-2014 season. Any moves that reduce the opportunity to be contenders starting in 2013 should get Joe D fired. Moves that improve this chance should be applauded. But that’s the window. One more year of struggling. And if Joe botches turning the team into a contender by the 2013 season, then fire him. The roadmap is obvious, even without any trades which may come along that improve the situation.

    • Mar 16, 20129:22 am
      by apa8ren9


      Thank you Corey, its a point that I’ve tried to make with all of the sky is falling impatient fans that want a quick fix.   This isnt a quick fix.  There are new rules to abide by with the CBA.  A new owner.  You get your game plan together and go from there unless someone drops a no brainer in your lap.  Its amazing the shortsightedness of the fan base because we have been spoiled by our success.  But I want the Pistons to contend for the better part of a decade again and it wasnt going to happen at this trade deadline.  Having said that there is a lot of work to do, But we have a history of doing it with a guy that has done it.  There are only a handful of teams that can say that and we are one of them.  I like being in that group.  Fans want guarantees and there are none in sports, you have to COMPETE even if you are the favorite, play the games and see what happens. Our situation is not nearly as bad as everyone is making it out to be and anyone with any type of rational historical perspective of the league can see that, even if you are a young fan.  The league ever since it started has operated the same way.  Nothing has changed and I expect the Pistons to be good in the next 2 years because they know how to do it.

      • Mar 16, 20125:37 pm
        by tarsier


        Not all trades are “quick fixes.” Some are of the variety of taking another team’s bad contract to get a young asset. That is certainly the type I was hoping for.

    • Mar 16, 20125:40 pm
      by tarsier


      You’re forgetting 2nd rounders/cap holds. Those will take away another couple million. So then, by major players, you mean the Pistons can hope there is one guy worth targeting that summer for about $12-13M/year who decides to come to Detroit. It’s possible, but it’s also a really frial basket to be putting your eggs in.

  • Mar 16, 20128:26 am
    by Obie


    Joe actually had a good 2009 draft when you consider what was available. Jerebko is a solid player.

    He doesn’t have any amunition for a trade.

    • Mar 16, 20129:20 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Jerebko was a good pick. His first two picks in that draft were disasters.

      These players were picked after Daye in the first round: James Johnson, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Eric Maynor, Darren Collison, Omri Casspi, Roddy Beaubois, Taj Gibson. All are much better players than Daye. There was significant value on the board when Daye was picked.

      As for the second round, my beef is taking Summers over Blair. Horrid pick, even if Blair had knee issues. If he’s there in the second round, you take him. The Pistons weren’t the only team to mess that one up, but they still messed it up nonetheless.

      You’re right, that draft was somewhat salvaged by finding Jerebko late, but the first two picks were disasters.

    • Mar 16, 20125:53 pm
      by tarsier


      Yeah, to rate how good his draft was, imagine that he had taken Jerebko 15th and Daye 39th. JJ would represent maybe average value at that pick. Not shabby but certainly not great. And then he got a complete non-contributor in Summers and what looks like another in Daye. All told, a below average haul for having 15th, 35th, and 39th picks.

  • Mar 16, 20128:28 am
    by Jeremy


    For me personally, I don’t think it is the lack of player movement that is frustrating but more so the lack of conversation from the organization concerning player movement. Over the past 3 – 4- 5- seasons Joe D. has been singing the same song in regards to making trades and that has been: “Teams have interest.” We as fans are blugeoned to death with rumors that this team is shopping so and so and this team offered this for so and so, but never do these concern the Pistons.

    It just amazes me that, as was mentioned above with Gerald Wallace and Richard Jefferson, several teams were willing to take on bad contracts during this trade deadline. Its obvious to everyone that the salaries of two players on this team are hindering any major player movement and it seems as though there are no efforts to essentially give them away for even 2nd round picks. How about the rumor that New Orleans was only asking for a 2nd rounder for Kaman? You’re telling me they wouldn’t have considered (at least for a few minutes) some combination of Gordon or Charlie, Maxiell’s exprinig deal, and both 2nds this year for a guy the basically want to give away anyways? Why wouldn’t that be appealing to Joe? A big man with a massive expring deal…You can’t tell me Stern would have turned that down for “basketball reasons” because we all know that a) Eric Gordon will not be resigning with New Orleans this offseason and b) no superstars were involved in the trade. Hell, New Orleans was even receiving offers for Okafor’s lackluster performance and massive deal.

    While standing pat is fine, I just want to know what efforts are being made to turn this team around. I want to know who was offered from both sides. Hell, at this point, I wouldn’t mind it if Daye was traded for the ghost that is Jerry Stackhouse and his expiring deal…

    • Mar 16, 20129:22 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Yeah, I understand that. It would be nice to know a few details about what was offered by the Pistons or to the Pistons or what was turned down. But, like I said, not knowing that, I think it’s safer to assume that nothing good was offered until we know otherwise.

      And as for Okafor, I believe the only interest in him was from Cleveland, who was willing to trade Jamison’s expiring contract for him IF the Hornets would also include a first round pick.

  • Mar 16, 20128:47 am
    by Steve K


    Regarding the amnesty…

    I’m not convinced the Pistons will use it. While amnestying someone like Gordon frees up TONS of cap space, Gores must still actually pay the man. That’s gonna be a tough sell for Dumars.

    Gores: “So you’re saying I still got to pay Ben Gordon?”
    Dumars: “Yes.”
    Gores: “But he’ll play for another team?”
    Dumars: “Very likely, yes.”
    Gores: “So I’ll be paying Ben Gordon to score points against the Pistons? No thanks.”
    Dumars: “But you get to free up cap space to sign another player.”
    Gores: “Oh, so it’s even MORE money out of my pocket? I’ll pass.”

    I’m not saying it WON’T happen, but it’s not a guarantee. That’s a tough sell, folks.

    • Mar 16, 20129:24 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      Oh, I agree that it’s not necessarily likely that they’ll use the amnesty on anyone. You’re right, it largely depends on whether Gores is willing to pay someone to not be here. I’m just saying that trading Gordon and/or Villanueva for equally bad contracts would just remove it as an option, since you can’t amnesty players that you trade for.

      • Mar 16, 201211:30 am
        by Steve K


        That’s a good point. 

        My guess is that Dumars will push to amnesty CV. It’s the safer of the two UConn guys. Amnestying Gordon frees up more cap space, but Gordon is also more likely to come back and bite the Pistons in the arse. I think we all know what CV is. Since Gores just paid CV $7.5M to do absolutely nothing, paying CV to do absolutely nothing elsewhere might not seem a bad investment.

  • Mar 16, 20129:22 am
    by Corey


    I am sure the revenue difference between being mediocre and being a serious playoff contender is worth $10m+ a year. 2013 unrestricted free agents include:

    Josh Smith
    Al Jefferson
    Paul Millsap

    Add one of those 3 to a good 2012 draft pick and you really have a frontcourt. Looking at this, I for the first time think Jared Sullinger could be a good piston pick- if they can sign Josh Smith for 4 years in 2013 (at age 28) a Moose/Smith/Sullinger frontcourt would be killer. Or if they get a big center like Drummond they could sign Millsap. Or if they draft a smaller athletic guy like Robinson, then sign Jefferson. They could be a killer team in 2013 without getting one of the top free agents (Paul, Howard, etc) that would not likely sign here.

    If Gores won’t go for that, then it’s on him, not Dumars, and we should all stop watching because we’ll know the team isn’t even trying to win.

    • Mar 16, 201212:24 pm
      by Mateo


      The only problem I see with a Monroe/Smith/Sullinger trio, is that 2 of them are no taller than 6’9″, and Sullinger doesn’t really play above the rim. The youngest out of your list is Milsap, for some reason, I don’t like him as a fit next to Monroe. I think we should look hard at trading our 2nd rd pick and a future pick for another this draft(a fair chance we are out of the lottery next season). Then hope to get say Q Miller and Fab Melo/Pg in this draft.

      • Mar 16, 20125:57 pm
        by tarsier


        What’s not to love about the idea of Millsap next to Monroe? And who cares if Sullinger and Smoove are 6’9″? Besides Howard and maybe Bynum, who’s gonna punish them for a lack of size?

  • Mar 16, 20129:27 am
    by Corey


    As far as us fans knowing what trades were discussed: it’s frustrating, but it’s better if the players NOT know they were being shopped. Witness all the drama around the lakers this year with the Paul/Odom/Gasol trade that didn’t happened. We shouldn’t know what was discussed because it’s better if the players don’t know. It sucks, but it’s the reality.

  • Mar 16, 20129:48 am
    by domnick


    i dont believe in no deals… i just believe that two sides are not on the same page….
    why Spurs dump underperformer Richard Jefferson for Stephen Jackson? how old is Jefferson?
    we got austin daye that can do what richard jefferson can do.. but still we can’t find a trade??
    come on… i wish… on JUNE or JULY… we get good deals.. coz if not.. then im not gonna hope again… DUMARS?? he sucks! oh hell! we are really taking BABY STEPS to make our team better…!

  • Mar 16, 201210:24 am
    by brgulker


    My two cents.

    It’s exciting, particularly for a franchise that needs an infusion of talent like the Pistons do. But I also understand the trade deadline for what it is: an opportunity to convince desperate teams to do stupid things.
    Here’s my one beef with this.
    I didn’t for one second consider that this trade deadline would produce an infusion of talent for the Pistons. I viewed it solely as a way to rid ourselves of salary obligations to players we don’t need around for the long haul.
    The two players who seemed the most trade-able to me were Daye and Tay, given that we know teams were inquiring about them.
    w/r/t Daye, I find it hard to imagine a trade scenario that doesn’t make sense for Detroit. Any type of cash considerations or any draft pick whatsoever for Austin Daye puts the Pistons in a better place.
    w/r/t Tay, any trade that would have cleared any of our salary obligations would put the Pistons in a better situation. The Lakers wanted to upgrad at SF desperately. I’d have been working the phones non stop to move Tay for the trade exception and any future pick I could get, even if it’s down the road a couple years.
    The consensus I’m getting from the readers who are commenting here and elsewhere is that the worst outcome from trading deadline day was not doing anything. I just don’t agree with that. To me, the worst outcome would’ve been doing something stupid
    I agree with you on this. The question is, though, does Dumars define stupid anything like you or I would?
    In other words, would it be stupid to flip Daye for anything with a pulse? I think not. Would it be stupid to flip Tay for any kind of long-term salary relief? I think not. Would Joe agree?
    But it’s just nearly impossible to move expensive contracts to under-performing players without also including an asset to entice the other team or taking an equally bad deal back.
    Luke Walton for Tayshaun Prince. Who says no? I bet us, and I think that’s a mistake. In this case, you have underperforming players on bad contracts going both ways. Detroit gains relief but doesn’t give up an asset.
    But, unlike last year when the Prince to Dallas for Butler/first round pick proposal leaked, we don’t have specifics. It is beyond crazy to me to judge not making a deal as a failure when we don’t even have a ballpark idea of what teams were offering for Detroit’s players.
    But, we can extrapolate. We can examine what players LA was willing to move, for example, for positional needs. We know for a fact they were interested in Bynum, and it’s a very reasonable assumption they’d be interested in Prince.

    • Mar 16, 201211:05 am
      by domnick


      thank you… i believe in what you say here…
      i think Dumars was expecting a trade like this…
      KOBE BRYANT or LBJ for AUSTIN DAYE and BG… oh hell… this is just an illustration of what the trade JOE D is expecting to happen.. which is not gonna happen! unless that GM is DRUNK!

    • Mar 16, 201211:06 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      “I viewed it solely as a way to rid ourselves of salary obligations to players we don’t need around for the long haul.”

      Oh, sure it was. But it wasn’t the only opportunity to do this. They could make a cost-cutting move or two in the offseason as well, when teams will hopefully have a better idea of what their needs are and what salaries they are willing to take on to fill them. The lockout/new CBA certainly made teams seem more unsure than normal of what they wanted to do at this year’s deadline.

      “w/r/t Daye, I find it hard to imagine a trade scenario that doesn’t make sense for Detroit. Any type of cash considerations or any draft pick whatsoever for Austin Daye puts the Pistons in a better place.”

      I don’t think Austin Daye has much of a chance to be a good player. But, he’s still young, still shot 40 percent from 3 last year and looks like he at the very least should be able to be a good 3-point shooter. If you keep him, his salary is minimal and, if he breaks out of his slump between now and next deadline, he potentially brings back a bit more in return if you deal him. If he continues to be horrible, all you really missed out on was dealing him when his value couldn’t possibly get much lower. Yeah, it’s a gamble to think he’ll get minimally better, but it’s not a totally inexcusable one.

      “Luke Walton for Tayshaun Prince. Who says no?”

      Maybe Detroit does, but I’d bet L.A. does too. They have one declining vet in Artest signed long-term at SF. Why would they invest in Prince’s long-term contract to, when he’s also old and was having a poor season until his shooting numbers perked up slightly over the last couple weeks? The F the Lakers were most linked to is Beasley, who is on a short-term contract. Yes, there’s evidence LA wanted a SF, but no, I don’t think there’s evidence they were interested in a SF who is signed to the type of long contract Prince is.

      “We know for a fact they were interested in Bynum”

      I think we know Detroit was interested in sending them Bynum. I don’t know how interested LA was in trading for him. I would guess he was significantly down on their list, considering what they were really in the market for is a PG who would start, which is why they got Sessions. Is Bynum a starter? Is he, based on his numbers this season and lack of defense, an upgrade over Fisher or Blake? I’m not convinced there was mutual interest. I’m convinced the Pistons asked and the Lakers said “meh.”

  • Mar 16, 201211:10 am
    by Corey


    Didthe pistons really make bad choices in the draft when the took, for example, Austin Daye ahead of players who have been better? Maybe. But I think their real problem has been player development, not player selection. Look at this team since Larry Brown left in 2005. Saunders could not coach young players. Look at Washington for proof. Curry and Kuester just couldn’t coach. From 2005-2011, how many players improved substantially while on the Pistons roster. I can only think of one: Monroe last year. And I credit him, not the team or coaches last year. And we can all name some guys who’ve had teir worst seasons ever lately in Detroit. So if we’d drafted Ty Lawson, are you sure he’d be any good? If Daye was playing the last 3 years for a coach who knows how to develop young players, such ad Popovich, would he be a lot better than he is now? We can’t know, but very likely.

    And this is why I love Coach Frank. Monroe? Still improving at an incredible rate. Maxiel? Has turned into a quality player. Stuckey? I think he’s made the leap. Could be an allstar next year if the pistons are in the playoff hunt. The team overall has improved greatly.

  • Mar 16, 201212:15 pm
    by inigo montoya


    “But, unlike last year when the Prince to Dallas for Butler/first round pick proposal leaked, we don’t have specifics.”  

    Last year when this trade was discussed, it was reported that

    a) Dumars thought he could do better with a sign and trade with Prince and

    b) Detroit did not particularly want to take on another guaranteed rookie contract especially for a late 1st round draft choice (maybe to make the books look a little better for the then potential sale).    

    Well a year later we can see how that worked out.  There was no sign and trade done with Prince and the reason given was that Dumars said that you just can’t let your assets walk.

    Now I think Dumars is a reasonably intelligent guy and I think Dumars did have a backup plan when he rejected the Dallas deal.  Probably something along the lines of signing Prince and trading him to the Clippers (plus Maxiell)  for Kaman.  However the Chris Paul trade messed that up and then to add insult to injury, Dumars ended up in a bidding competition with the Clippers for the free agent Prince.  So Dumars ended up bidding for the free agent Prince, just as he would have if he pulled the trigger on the trade with Dallas without the benefit of having Dallas’s 1st round pick.  

    That 1st round pick must likely would have been Jordan Hamilton, who is not doing too bad with the Nuggets or JaJuan Johnson, or Jimmy Butler, or even Marshon Brooks (pull the same trade with Boston as NJ did)  Or even more aggresively, package the Dallas pick with a future 2nd rounder (maybe throw in some cash, but that was never going to happen with the team sale pending) and jump 4 spots and take Faried.

    Now one can speculate on Prince’s value had Prince been traded and been part of Dallas’s championship, but that could have gone either way, Dallas could have won the championship with Prince glued to the bench and Prince’s value could have actually gone down.  (Either way I think there was zero chance Dallas would have offered Prince a contract after last season, given what they did with Barea and Chandler)

    The long story short in my mind is that Dumars could have done a lot better handling Prince’s expiring contract last year.  If Dumars did do that trade, in my mind the most likely scenario today would be Dumars still could have Prince with the same contract plus another asset, be it Hamiton, Johnson or Brooks.

  • Mar 16, 20121:13 pm
    by KMike


    Whether Dumars stays or goes matters not to me, but I know he’s smart enough at this stage not to be dumping players that the franchise can build with.  His great mistake was in misusing the Iverson salary cap money by signing Charlie V and Ben Gordon to long term deals.  It appears Franks is getting them to play better defense and transition off that, but they clearly are carrying some roster duds that nobody else wants, else a deal would have been made.

  • Mar 16, 20128:00 pm
    by dandresden


    i think at this point dumars “strategy” is to just not admit he fucked up with BG and CV, play them and hope one catches fire enough to be traded for salary relief. The way things stand now i dont think there is any deal he could have made that benefitted the team other than making all of us happy that those two are gone. My theory is that he is just going to keep stocking mid-lotto picks, let all of the garbage he signed expire or trade when they are close to expiring and then try to fill in the holes he hasnt filled with his middle of the lotto picks with FA’s once he recovers cap space. I really dont see any other way he can go. This win streak probably ruined any chance of a top pick and there isnt any cap room to sign anyone to help til like the end of next year maybe. simply put he has thrown off the karen davidson handcuffs and handcuffed himself. Maybe some GM will get desperate and decide that the thing they need to keep their superstar is some washed up nobody like “olympian and NBA champion Tayshaun Prince. I think Dumars is pretty stupid these days but there are lots of other idiot GM’s out there too.  Nothing to do but be patient, maybe develop another hobby instead of watching the trash that dumars assembled for the near future.

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