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Poor offseason grades keep rolling in for Pistons

Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com gave them a D:

The Pistons did not improve their roster in any meaningful way, they sacrificed a big-time asset to get out of the final season of Gordon’s contract, they made an imbalanced roster even more imbalanced, and they didn’t cut ties with Villanueva, a no-brainer decision for a team looking to build around its younger players.

Why wasn’t this an "F"? Both Drummond (despite his obvious risks) and English filled clear needs and no new big contract mistakes were made. Counting those as victories is an incredibly low standard, but that’s how bad things have gotten in Motown.

The Pistons figure to be awful once again this year. If they aren’t awful, it will be a big disappointment, as somehow sneaking into the No. 8 seed would be the definition of false hope. This season will be a success if the Pistons start slow, gut a veteran or two from the roster at the trade deadline, tank to a top-5 pick, and then put together a solid plan to hit the ground running in free agency next summer. Recent history and the franchise’s insistence on working hard to be awful rather than giving up and being horrendous tells me those chips won’t fall perfectly into place.

And Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops gave them an F:

Not that we like to dwell on the past or anything, but they traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson to create the cap space to sign Charlie Villanueva, who stinks and is a prime amnesty candidate for next July, and Ben Gordon, who stunk and has since been turned into Corey Maggette, who stinks. Oh, and the Pistons had to throw in a future No. 1 to offload Gordon. Nobody goes to their games anymore after they sold out the Palace for almost a full decade. Given that they have six (!) small forwards, you have to believe at a certain point they are going to send Tayshaun Prince to a contender in exchange for some building blocks to put alongside a pair of very capable big men, Greg Monroe and rookie Andre Drummond. In the interim, they become the cure for insomnia. Condolences to Lawrence Frank.

153 Comments

  • Aug 28, 20123:03 pm
    by Tiko

    Reply

    I like what I’m hearing from doubters.  we are officially back in underdog mode.  I think this season will be similar to Carlisle’s first year with the team.  obviously not a 50 win season but heading in that direction

    • Aug 28, 20123:11 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      The big difference, though, is that Carlisle had a lot of veteran players that first year. Smart, veteran teams tend to overachieve. Young, raw teams tend to underachieve or be more inconsistent.

      I think the evaluations of the Pistons above are overly harsh, but I’m also trying to be cautious about expecting too much. This team could make significant progress as far as developing its young players and still only win 30-35 games. 

      • Aug 29, 201212:32 am
        by Tiko

        Reply

        As long as we make progress that’s all that matters 

      • Aug 29, 20124:33 am
        by Quin

        Reply

        I thought the big difference in Carlisle’s first season with the Pistons … was that he’s Rick Carlisle. I mean, look what he did in his first season with the Pacers. Went to an Eastern Conference Finals where either team (Pistons he built, or Pacers) would have beaten L.A.  And the next year (sans Palace brawl) was theirs for the taking. But I agree that the team has decent underdog status, where someone can step up big. Would have liked Woodson, though. I like to dwell on the past. Thought Jersey sucked with Frank. No reason to start liking him now.

    • Aug 28, 20128:02 pm
      by LetCharlieGo

      Reply

      Also, Carlisle had Carlisle, not Lawrence Frank.

      • Aug 28, 20129:29 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Yep. Excellent point.

      • Aug 29, 20124:34 am
        by Quin

        Reply

        Sorry for missing your rather concise response and issuing my unnecessary rant.

  • Aug 28, 20123:14 pm
    by DasMark

    Reply

    If you write or read this blog, you have a bias towards the Detroit Pistons. It’s not a knock, we’re all card carrying homers for them. I’m proud of that. 

    But, I can’t rationally bash what those bloggers said. The fact that it’s a win that Dumars didn’t hand out a terrible contract is a win for us, sadly. Tayshaun Prince for last year, some said Jerebko as well, which could turn out to be true.

    It’s a team being built as best it can with what resources available. But, I’m not going to be shocked if they end up in the late lottery again. They don’t tank, so it’s tough for them to snag a top 5 pick.  

    • Aug 28, 20123:23 pm
      by bvpiston

      Reply

      I agree, we’re bias towards our Pistons, but c’mon. These dudes don’t know anything about the Pistons. Why else would one of them write that we should tank to get a top 5 pick? We don’t tank, we’ve proven that for the past 3 seasons, even though we weren’t any good. Why would the same dude suggest we should have amnestied Charlie V? We know that there’s no advantage to that at this time. Obviously, he doesn’t. But that didn’t stop him from bashing us.The second guy gives his grade and analysis and starts it with the Billups trade. Nice!  Plus, I don’t count the Prince and Jerebko signings as bad ones. They don’t even come close to Charlie V and Gordon. The Prince/Jonas contracts are actually decent.

      • Aug 29, 20127:05 am
        by Mateo

        Reply

        I totally agree with you. If we are bias as Piston fans, then they are equally “bias” against the Pistons. We don’t tank, I think we have one of the better young cores in the league of Monroe/Knight/Drummond/Stuckey/others(potentially). I don’t think the 18mil$ per for Stuckey/Prince/Jerebko was too much. I do think Prince’s contract should have been for 3 yrs+team option 4th yr, but whatever. I think we will surprise people in 2013-14. 

        • Sep 1, 20127:51 pm
          by MrHappyMushroom

          Reply

          Although zero years for Tay would have been the optimal terms.

      • Aug 31, 201212:31 am
        by D_S_V

        Reply

        Doesn’t this mean he recognizes that the Pistons don’t tank?

        “Recent history and the franchise’s insistence on working hard to be awful rather than giving up and being horrendous tells me those chips won’t fall perfectly into place.” 

    • Aug 28, 20126:31 pm
      by sop

      Reply

      GO HOMERS! Detroit Basketball for life! Go Pistons baby!

  • Aug 28, 20123:42 pm
    by jake

    Reply

    i can respect other people’s informed opinions even if i don’t agree with them, but some of these grades are just ridiculous.

    “the pistons did not improve their roster in any meaningful way”
    is that a serious statement? a team with horrendous interior defense adds 2 athletic, defensive-minded 7-footers, one with star potential, and they do not improve? i’m even willing to bet that kim english has a more positive effect on the team than gordon did.

    and why is joe getting so much heat for not amnestying CV this offseason? what’s the point in paying nearly all of a player’s contract for him to not play for your team anymore? it’d make sense if it created a lot of cap room, but it wouldn’t, at least not until next offseason. joe made the right move in trying to unload him over the course of one more season.

    • Aug 28, 20123:50 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “a team with horrendous interior defense adds 2 athletic, defensive-minded 7-footers, one with star potential, and they do not improve?”

      I don’t think the national critics are questioning Drummond’s ceiling. I think they’re questioning whether Drummond or Kravstov will have a real impact this season.

      The Pistons very clearly upgraded the roster if Drummond develops. But in the interim, both guys are really untested and it’s unclear how much impact either will have as rookies.

    • Aug 28, 20124:06 pm
      by vic

      Reply

      Right, some of these guys are just entertainers that write… they’ve never coached or played significant, they only know players based on how big their name is, not how they actually play.

      I know we’re not contenders, but these guys definitely have the classic anti-Detroit bias. If only ONE of either Drummond/Kravstov is effective, we got one of the proverbial “steals” of the summer.

      If Kim English cracks the rotation by playing defense, that’s icing on the cake. If he can hit 3s, that’s a whole nother cake.

      Finding 2 brand new useful players without tanking or overpaying is not a D+. Of course, we have to prove it on the court more than anybody else.

      • Aug 28, 20124:23 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “Finding 2 brand new useful players without tanking or overpaying is not a D+.”

        But that’s the thing … as hopeful as we all are that both of those guys are useful or better, they are completely unproven. So if you’re a national writer making a prediction, I think most are going to err on the side of betting against unproven commodities. The fact is, more of the raw, athletic big man types fail than succeed. I certainly hope that’s not going to happen with the Pistons, but if I were in the business of making national predictions, I can understand why plenty of writers would lean negative in their predictions.

        • Aug 28, 20125:16 pm
          by Vic

          Reply

          I think that’s an over statement….

          Most unathletic bigs fail
          Most undersized bigs fail
          Most bigs with bad hands fail
          Most bigs that can’t block shots fail
          Most bigs that don’t have enough talent to lead their hs class or play pro in Europe fail
          Most bigs that are under motivated and overeat fail

          If Drummond or Kravstsov are any of the above, the burden of proof is on the future, not the past. Theres little evidence for any of it. Therefore in my opinion optimism Is actually logical regarding this.
           

          • Aug 28, 20125:21 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            There is nothing to suggest that either is a useful player yet. Drummond has elite athleticism, size and upside. Kravstov is really a complete unknown at this level. Both could be contributors, but Drummond could be two seasons away from being any kind of impact player and Kravstov is already 25. That’s not ancient or anything, but I also don’t think it’s realistic to expect he’s going to improve significantly. If he’s a serviceable backup big, that’s a win for the team. As of yet, though, I don’t see how you can assume he is.

          • Aug 28, 201210:01 pm
            by Vic

            The game is not that complicated. If they have size, natural talent, and have contributed similar production to basketball teams in the past, and lack any of the red flags that I listed above, there’s no reason not to expect similar things when a professional basketball team has contracted them to do it for millions. It’s not like catching lightning in a bottle. If the red flags arent there that make them more vulnerable to higher levels of competition, I think it’s ok to expect them to do what they were signed for. I’m not saying they’ll be immediate superstars, but I think they will have a plus impact on the team, doing what they already have shown they can do, which happens to be all we need. The burden of proof is on those that think they can’t do it. The ball is round, the hoop is 10 feet, the floor is wood. Time is the only factor for their improvement, but they already bring a base contribution that we need… To me that means optimism makes sense

          • Aug 28, 201210:16 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            There weren’t red flags with Drummond?

            And Kravstov wasn’t exactly considered an elite prospect. He’s big and athletic, but he’s not a proven commodity. He was a backup in his pro league.

          • Aug 29, 20128:42 am
            by vic

            No there weren’t. None that were on the list that I mentioned.
            He was on a dysfunctional team. Some college systems are known for suppressing players real skills. 
            He’s not overweight, undersized, or lack character. He just needs time to learn more of the game and compete at a higher level. Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett, Dwight, Tyson Chandler came from high school with natural talent and none of those red flags, and reached their potential. Amare is just now getting a post game. Its a talent driven league. Show me a bust, and I’ll show you one of those red flags that I listed. Andre has shown none of them yet.

            Kravtsov as a backup defender and shotblocker and dunker fits perfectly, in the position that we need. The glass there is 3/4 full, not 25% empty.

          • Aug 29, 20128:53 am
            by vic

            Jeremy Lamb also from Uconn was supposed to be soft and not a leader, but he completely dominated the summer league. He scored at will and played his role perfectly. Yet most media hasn’t changed their narrative yet…
            Same thing here… the official narrative on the Pistons is never good (even when we win), so everything we do has to be portrayed in a negative light I guess

          • Aug 29, 20129:34 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            NBA teams do their homework. If there weren’t red flags with Drummond, there’s absolutely no way he falls out of the top three, let alone all the way to nine.

          • Aug 29, 20125:53 pm
            by tarsier

            How are these for Drummond’s red flags:
            he didn’t produce at a high level statistically
            he couldn’t get his tea many Ws
            his performance was highly inconsistent with flashes of huge upside but mostly meh play

            Don’t get me wrong. I’m really glad the Pistons got him. But there is a reason he gets compared to both Kwame Brown and Andrew Bynum. He’s got a lot of upside, but it’ll probably take a few years to see if he reaches it. And the odds of that happening are impossible to predict.

          • Aug 29, 20126:28 pm
            by Vic

            Right… That proves my point. None of those red flags that I mentioned are there. Only system, coach and team related stuff

    • Aug 28, 20124:15 pm
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      You are right Jake, to take that example a step further are they pleased that NY amnestied Chauncey, traded for Baron Davis who couldnt play, signed Mike Bibby who couldnt play, lucked into the greatest sensation ever in Jeremy Lin then let him go to sign 50 yr old Jason Kidd, because Lin wasn’t worth the money?  I dont know if its the combination of names that get people excited or what?  Bottom line is that for all the complaining about the Pistons to heal any wound you have to stop the bleeding first.  That is what we have done so far–stop the bleeding.   Go ahead and take your shots now, thats what they get paid to do.  But level criticism where its needed. We are back on track.  Sure there is more to be done and who wouldnt be impatient, but there are only so many players that can take you to a championship level at this time and we dont have any of them.

  • Aug 28, 20124:03 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Again, maybe it’s because I’m a “card carrying homer”, but I think someone from this team is going to have a MIP-level breakout year. We’re do for a breakthrough (unless you count Afflalo as our blown opportunity). We have so many young guys that the odds aren’t ridiculous against this happening. Monroe aside (he’ll be an all star even without a huge jump), best guess is it will be either Knight or Jonas. 

    We’re a trade or breakout away from playoff contention. We’ll never tank for the lottery, so I’m cool with hopping on the proverbial mediocrity treadmill and making an 8th seed, then using the amnesty + cap space to continue improving. Although, if I were running things, we’d tank.  

     

  • Aug 28, 20124:21 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    There is another thing that is confounding me.  How in the world is making the playoffs as a number 8 seed disastrous to anything other than your pride as a Pistons fan?  If you are able to make the playoffs this year with 5 rookies, a second year point, a third year PF and the (by all accounts here) worst SF Tayshaun Prince in the league, how is that a bad thing.  Im serious, I dont get it.  Someone please explain it to me because I dont see it. We expect them to get better and you have to play the big boys to win or get better right?
     

    • Aug 28, 20124:51 pm
      by danny

      Reply

      worst sf in the league?  Do you even watch b ball?  Prince is not lebron or durrant but he does things 75 percent of sf’s dont do in the league.  He leaders and never see him complain.  He is a role model for all players on the squad.  Keep your mouth shut when talking about tay.

      • Aug 28, 20125:12 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “Keep your mouth shut when talking about tay.”

        How does one go about keeping their mouth shut while talking?

      • Aug 29, 201211:54 am
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        Sorry Danny, I was making a poor attempt at being sarcastic about Tayshaun’ skills.  My posts have pretty much always defended Tayshaun and his contract. My point remains about making the playoffs no matter the outcome as an 8 seed stands.

    • Aug 28, 20125:00 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Right… If they get the 8th spot with a 2nd yr pg and a bunch of rookies, the future is bright. Media can’t see that though

      • Aug 28, 20125:15 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        But Vic, you’re asking the media to see something that doesn’t exist yet. As I said above, I think those writers Dan linked were overly critical. But this team now has a three-year history of mostly bad basketball.

        Yes, if they get the 8 seed, that’s an incredibly successful season based on this roster. But if you’re betting on or predicting something, betting on the best possible outcome is usually not the best strategy. The Pistons have proven zero right now. Yes, up close, we can all see a few positive changes. But the bigger picture of their recent history is bad, and there’s still a good chance that they’re not a very good team this season. In fact, they can have a successful season if their young players develop some and still may only win 30ish games.

        • Aug 28, 20125:20 pm
          by Vic

          Reply

          I was referring to the guy that said if we make the eight seed were still failures… But maybe I glanced thru it too quickly

          • Aug 28, 20125:27 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            In general, I don’t think the eight seed is a failure. But I can buy an argument that it wouldn’t be advantageous, I think that’s what Golliver at CBS was getting at. If they get marginally better, get the eight seed and lose the first round pick, maybe they go into free agency and strike out next offseason. So not only do you not have the option of upgrading through a first round pick, all of your free agent targets say no. In that sense, falling short of the eight seed has some advantages because you will get a lottery player even if free agency or trades don’t work. I think we can all agree the Pistons still need more talent, whether that’s draft, free agency or trades. Acquiring talent is most easily done in the draft. So losing a pick next year for a team that is still a work in progress to just get swept in the first round could be damaging long-term.

          • Aug 29, 201212:16 am
            by tom

            Patrick, you seem to be actively evading Vic’s point. If we make the playoffs next year it will be because the young players on our team played well. If they’re able to play well being as young as they are the future of the team, with or without a top pick in the next draft, is very bright. CBS’s comment that “somehow sneaking into the No. 8 seed would be the definition of false hope” is asinine. If we make the playoffs we most certainly have a bright future.
            Certainly I agree that a lottery pick next year will help our long term prospects, (could you not say the same about any team in the league?) but I would rather have tangible evidence that the guys we currently have can play. Maybe they can’t, but if they get us into the playoffs they will have proven they can. It’s hard to imagine us making the playoffs without: Knight improving considerably from last yea; Drummond or Slava producing from year one – we are real thin up front if neither does; and a solid and consistent year from Stuckey. I would take those three things happening over a lottery pick in a heart beat, since I don’t see how we make the playoffs without them happening I sure hope we make the playoffs.

          • Aug 29, 20127:19 am
            by Mateo

            Yeah, I think they weren’t thinking straight when they both wrote their “blog”.
            If we make the playoffs, I don’t mind losing our pick. The playoffs will do more good for the team than a late lottery pick in a fairly weak draft. Plus, we have pieces to trade for a pick it make up for it. I like the fact of letting the youngsters taste the playoffs, add a significant FA, draft 2 players. We would again be much improved, same as this season.  

  • Aug 28, 20124:35 pm
    by Mark

    Reply

    I stopped reading after the first guy called amnestying CV this year a no-brainer.

    yeah, pay a guy $15 mil just to go away, while getting no capspace from it. What were they thinking NOT doing that? SMH @ these dumb writers

    • Aug 28, 20125:29 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It’s a no-brainer because there is no one else on the team worth sing the amnesty on. And they wouldn’t pay him any more to go away than to stick around–his contract is a sunk cost. And by sticking around, he is contributing nothing, zilch, nada. And there is at least an off chance that the flexibility off having him off the books could be used at some point. Even if it’s not cap space, it is increased flexibility.

      • Aug 29, 20123:49 am
        by Mark

        Reply

        You don’t get it. Amnestying him this year would give them no flexibility this year, so its as pointless to get rid of him as you say it is to keep him. But by keeping him there IS still a chance of trading him and not having to use the amnesty at all next year.

        • Aug 29, 20123:56 am
          by Mark

          Reply

          tbh, I doubt they even amnesty him at all, even if they don’t trade him.

          The only reason to amnesty him would be for capspace. They are already going to have $20 mil in space without the amnesty.

          The odds of Gores spending that whole $20 mil in FA is slim. So why would he pay an extra $8 mil in order to get $8 mil more space, if he isn’t going to use up all of the $20 mil in space?

          Its more valuable to keep him into the last year of his contract and use him as a large EXP contract for trades that year. Amnestying him now or later provides little to no benefit.

        • Aug 29, 20127:27 am
          by Mateo

          Reply

          If we were to Amnesty CV this past period, it would have saved us cap space, but we still have to pay him(kinda like we paid Hamilton to play in Chi). Except, if he is amnestied, if a team bids for him and say it is for 3mil per year. We would only be on the hook for the difference of the remaining contact.(4.5 mil$ over 2 yrs). Thing is I don’t really see that happening, unless he gets a bit of playing time and shows signs of helping a contender. That said, it is better for the Pistons either route, to have CV look better than the past couple seasons(in his best interest too). FYI, the only players that we could amnesty on our roster, is C Villenueva, T Prince, G Monroe. I only see Villenueva as a candidate.

  • Aug 28, 20124:54 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    Sheesh, what short-sighted analysis. 
     
    Giving up a future first rounder is tough, but it’s about more than getting rid of one year of Gordon, and the first likely won’t get moved until 2014 anyway.
     
    The Pistons went from no flexibility to worlds of flexibility for the cost of a middle of the first round pick – an asset that can just as easily be acquired again via trade.
     
    Maggette, Max, Daye – all expiring, and thus all valuable as chips or expirings.
     
    Villanueva – likely to be amnestied this summer if the aforementioned players all expire. 
     
    Put together? Massive amounts of financial flexibility.
     
    Is cap space the answer to all of the world’s pressing problems? No, it’s not. But the Pistons’ position 10 months from now >>>>>> Pistons’ position 3 months ago.
     
    That said, I’m only defending one trade. The rest of the offseason was pretty unremarkable as far as I’m concerned, unless Drummond turns out to be good.

    • Aug 29, 20121:44 am
      by Otis

      Reply

      1) The trade gives the team the flexibility of having cap space one year earlier. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great trade-off. I think if we had similar flexibility this summer, it could have gotten us a serious roster shakeup/upgrade (like Denver and Philly), but I don’t think there’s going to be a tremendous amount of movement next summer. Superstars don’t get emergency sign-and-traded every day, needing teams with flexibility to facilitate trades. And the free agent class looks enough like 2009 to terrify me. There’s just such a short list of impact players and no shortage of teams with cap space. Better teams. I don’t see this working out. I see Joe swinging and missing in free agency, then scratching his head about how his perfect plan could have gone wrong as he contemplates what to do with $20 million in cap space that nobody worthwhile will take.
       
      2) If picks in the middle of the first round (likely anywhere between 7 and 11 in our case) are so easy to come by, Joe should (must?) replace the pick. Trade one of our expiring players or Tayshaun and get that pick back. If Maggette can be flipped for expiring cash and a similar pick, the trade is a home run. But I have a feeling Joe’s just going to let all these guys expire because he won’t want to disrupt the rotation and risk temporary setbacks from the loss of marginal contributors.
       
      All the cap space in the world isn’t going to make an impact player sign here. And the new CBA, which was supposed to help out garbage teams like Detroit, caps years and dollars so we can’t even overpay for talent unless we trade for an overpaid star who’s already under contract under the old CBA. I just don’t see the advantage of having all that flexibility one year sooner. Looks like a pretty bad summer to have flexibility if ever there was one, and I don’t trust Joe to make this work. I literally think he probably realized he wasn’t going to be able to keep his job long enough to use the flexibility from his bad contracts expiring unless he dumped one while maintaining the ability to amnesty the other one. I just think he’ll swing and miss. There’s no free agents out there who are willing to come here who can really help. We need plus players at several positions/ The only people who we could probably sign are role players, and we already have too many of those.
       
      My realistic plan: If Brooklyn bombs and decides to shake things up before season two, we try to swing a trade for Joe Johnson, he of the worst contract in the league. Because paying out the nose is the only way to add greatness to this team right now, since our money is no good. Nobody wants to come play here.

      • Aug 29, 201212:09 pm
        by apa8ren9

        Reply

        Otis, I was seriously considering your points until you said trade for Joe Johnson.  The most overpaid and underproductive “superstar”  (sarcasm) in the league.   We are trying to compete for championships and not just have names.   He does nothing to move the needle in our favor.  He bogs down an offense and is counter to everything we are trying to build.  I get that you dont trust Dumars.  So I understand that, but I really believe that the first step of getting flexibility early is very key.  You cant win if you dont play.  If you dont have money to dangle at free agency, 100% you dont get guys.   Even if its a 1% chance, I take that over 0%.  Remember this is sports, its about competition.  Its not just handed to you and there are no guaransheeds
        I hear you points but if you’ve already given up then why root for them.  Despite the pessimism we dont know what will happen. We have to play.  If your GM plan is to wait on the Nets – I dont think that is a very good plan.

        • Aug 29, 20125:12 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Joe Johnson was an example. I’m not even THAT high on him and I never have been. He has the worst contract in the league. But we need to add one or two players of his caliber, and I don’t see how we’re going to get one any other way than by trading for one with a truly awful contract. This team is constantly in search of its best player (or AT WORST, debatably as good as Monroe). A core of Drummond, Monroe, Knght, Jerebko, Stuckey, etc. just isn’t contender material. On a contending team, what we call our “core” would be the supporting cast for an All-Star. Perhaps not a SUPERSTAR, but a genuine All-Star. And I don’t know how we’re going to acquire this player unless he’s attached to an outrageous contract.
          Cap space is a tool, and there are various ways of using it besides throwing it away on the likes of Ben Gordon and Charlie V. If you look at the Pistons’ flexibility after this season, they could get about $30 million below the cap if they were to amnesty Charlie V (not suggesting that, because it would be nice to turn someone from this roster into something of value at some point, even as an expiring contract, rather than use buyouts, give away assets to dump them, or give them contract extensions until they’re 35). That’s just the most realistic way I can think of using our favorable cap situation to create a contender. If there’s another way to do it, I’m all ears.
           
          Knight and Johnson starting in the backcourt, with Stuckey providing instant offense off the bench. Certainly some three-guard sets with Johnson sliding to SF. Jerebko and Singler at F. Drummond and Monroe up front. He’s a plus player, a matchup nightmare, and I think he brings credibility. At that point, you’re maybe one player away from scaring pretty much anybody. You can match up against Miami for chrissakes (even if Wade and LeBron are gonna win every matchup, Johnson and Stuckey should contain them reasonably well). Maybe one of Slava, English, Middleton pans out, or maybe it’s Austin Daye (lol!), then you’re a good MLE signing away from being legit contenders. I don’t see how else it’s going to happen.
           
          Also, the last year of Johnson’s contract is 2015-2016. He’s owed a whopping $25 million. At that point, we could have enjoyed a few years of competitive basketball and have a lot of flexibility with that massive expiring contract. We’ll have some decisions to make about our “young core” by that point. I dunno, I just don’t see a better option. Slow, steady development of some good prospects sounds like a recipe to be the Milwaukee Bucks for the next decade. We just don’t have that many appealing options.

  • Aug 28, 20124:59 pm
    by ray

    Reply

    Hold on….let’s get back to this Drummond thing …he was considered 1 or 2 pick for most of the college season… We get him at 9 because this draft became all of a sudden the year of the “motor” a guy like Gilchrist guess number 2 and expert say he may never be the man on the team, or even the 2nd option, but he will always be great to have on a team” we land drummond who physically has no comparison in the last 10 years of the nba …and some how we are in a stand still position? ….I get the feeling we could have drafted anthony davis and people would say he gonna bust

    • Aug 28, 20125:17 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “I get the feeling we could have drafted anthony davis and people would say he gonna bust”

      You are getting the wrong feeling then. Drummond has immense upside. He’s proven little, and even the Pistons have suggested that it could take Drummond two years to be a consistent rotation or better contributor.

      I agree that at 9, he was a no-brainer pick because of his upside. But he might have minimal impact on the team this season. 

  • Aug 28, 20125:07 pm
    by Haan

    Reply

    Harsh assessments, but defensible.  I see more cause for optimism than do the bloggers, but giving up a mid to possibly high first rounder for a year early release from Gordon’s contract provides suitable material for criticism.  I like our draft and our going big (adding Kravstov to Drummond).  The CV situation can’t be fully assessed yet.  It make senses to give him a chance to become tradeable for a 2nd rounder or else to amnesty him next off-season.  If he’s still bad this year and then not amnestied my progress report on the team will be more negative, retroactively.

  • Aug 28, 20126:13 pm
    by Need4Rings

    Reply

    yes I do believe these are writers that dont watch too much detroitbasketball just an overview of what the last 3 or 4 years obviously pointed out and yes the chauncey billups/iverson trade began the process of a bad dream for all pistons fans but pieces like stuckey greg monroe, jerebko and yes even austin daye have yet fully have been complimented a year  at there rightfully positions that would allow them to grow since the process. Not to mention we finally have a coach we can agree on that will have a seat for a long time as a pistons coach. the log jam is only from finding the correct replacements for the iron man tayshaun who isnt a 25ppg scorer but solidifies any teams position. Ill give them a D for the past(Thats on Dumars) but a B for the offseason keep it up!!!

  • Aug 28, 20126:27 pm
    by sop

    Reply

    screw these guys. and that goes for all the ESPN experts who ranked them finishing 4th to last in wins this year. There’s no way this team isn’t better than last years and last year’s team wasn’t a bottom feeder despite missing the playoffs. Not everyone can be LA and get superstars gift wrapped for them every season.

    • Aug 28, 20129:56 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I think you’re discounting the fact that several East teams from that bottom tier last year, not just the Pistons could be improved. Brooklyn should be pretty significantly improved. Milwaukee could be too, the Dalembert acquisition was one of my favorite unheralded moves of the offseason. Toronto and Cleveland are better. I’m not convinced that either are better than Detroit, but I’m not convinced Detroit is obviously better than they are either.

      There should be more parity in that 6-13 range in the East this year than there was last year. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Pistons were near the top of that tier or near the bottom. Really, it could only be a few games that separate the top from the bottom in that pack, with Charlotte and Orlando pretty clearly the two favorites to be 14 and 15 in the East, but even the Bobcats are not going to be the pushovers they were last year. Sessions and Haywood make them have an actual NBA caliber starting lineup, which is a huge improvement from last season’s lineup.

  • Aug 28, 20127:03 pm
    by ray

    Reply

    I get it Patrick ….. Drummond is probably further along than Dwight was …. Pistons are lowering expectation because of what happened with Darko…something makes me feel Drummond is gonna do better than most suggest

    • Aug 28, 20129:50 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Drummond is further advanced than Dwight? Dwight averaged 12-10-2 as a rookie. I like Drummond, but if he approaches those numbers as a rookie, it will be a minor miracle.

    • Aug 29, 20129:17 am
      by vic

      Reply

      I read somewhere that Dwight got 32.6 minutes a game as a rookie too. When you have talent, success depends a lot on system and fit, and minutes. Give Drummond 30 minutes a game and I think he’ll put up some numbers too.

      • Aug 29, 20129:38 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        I’m not ‘giving’ Drummond anything. With as weak as this team’s frontcourt is, if he’s ‘as advanced’ as Howard was as a rookie, he should have no problem earning 32 minutes per game.

        My point was just that it’s a stretch to think he’s as advanced as Dwight was as a rookie. 12-10-2 is a really, really good season by NBA center standards. That’s an awfully high bar to set for Drummond. 

        • Aug 30, 20127:44 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Dwight would never have put up those numbers as a rookie if he was playing next to Greg Monroe.

  • Aug 28, 20127:23 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    Will be Great when the season starts!!!  Prove everybody Right (Pistons Suck) or Everybody Wrong (Pistons 8th seed).  I think one thing alot of the experts miss is the impact L. Frank will have as a coach.  He did coach the team to a .500 finish last year, with a rookie pg, one real big man, inconsistent 2guard play all year and a bench that included damien wilkens and walker russell playing big minutes.  It was a shortened season because of the lockout, no training camp or summer league.  By the end of the season he had a consistent rotation, better defensive and offensive stats and the results showed on the scoreboard.  I do think coaching counts for something in the NBA by putting players in position to makes plays, giving them set goals and how they are to be achieved and most important consistent communication.  I think Frank excels at all those things.  But we wont know till the bullets start flying… Deeetttrrooittt Bassskkkeetttballll!   GO BLUE! ROLL BAMA!

  • Aug 28, 20128:21 pm
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Lets look at our starters…same as a year ago that finished the season at .500 after a 4-20 start.  Two of those starters are under 22 years old and have likely made big improvements. 
    We have a solid back up at 2-3, in Maggette, which we didn’t have a year ago. 
    We have a couple of defensive minded centers who can guard the rim that we didn’t have a year ago.  
    We add a pair of 24 year old rookies in Singler and English that who are both expected to provide quality backup minutes.
    We lost a no defense, spotty offensive option in Gordon
    We still have the chuck first think second player in Bynum
    CV is still here and going to launch 3 pointers anytime he sees daylight, not rebound, and not defend.
     
    I just don’t see how we are going to do worse than last year.  We don’t have to play these rookies much at all if our vets are healthy. 
    The notion we added a bunch of rookies isn’t the whole story:
    Singler has 4 years of college and 1 year of professional play under his belt
    Kravtsov is 24 and has many years of professional playing experience
    English is 24 years old, 4 years of college, smart, tough defender, and lights out shooter
    Middleton and Drummond are project players…we knew that coming in.
     
    I’m going to say 41-44 wins this season.

    • Aug 28, 20129:48 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “I just don’t see how we are going to do worse than last year.”

      I think everyone is putting too much stock in win total. It’s possible the Pistons are a better, more competent looking outfit this year but have a worse winning percentage. Orlando and Charlotte are really the only teams in the East that are in that completely awful category heading into the season. The Pistons, Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee are all improved. Brooklyn should be significantly improved. Atlanta and Philly lost pieces, but should still be competitive. Chicago isn’t a title contender without Rose, but their D is still legit and they were 18-9 without him last season. Miami is still Miami. Boston is still going to be good.

      The Pistons benefited from both a weaker conference last season in that bottom tier and from the fact that late in the season quite a few teams were pretty openly tanking.

      I think predicting win total is irrelevant here. Progress of this team should be measured solely on how well the young players — particularly Knight and Drummond — develop this season and how successfully Lawrence Frank is able to install a defensive system that matches his rhetoric about wanting to build a defense-first team. If those two things are happening and the team only wins 33 games or so, I’ll still consider it a successful season.

      • Aug 29, 20127:48 am
        by RyanK

        Reply

        I say the playoffs are a 50/50 chance.  You’re right about the wins not mattering so much, but I believe this team got better by getting rid of Gordon, developing from within, Singler and English additions, and picking up size rebounding and shotblocking in Drummond and Kravtsov.
        They keep hammering on the loss of a first round pick to purge Gordon…well it gets us a lot of cap space a year sooner and makes Daye or Tay easier to trade.  We can even trade Maggette to get a player we want later.
        The team is going the right direction, despite what the writers say.

      • Aug 29, 20128:18 am
        by Bugsygod

        Reply

        What did Cleveland an the buck Improve?? Cleveland added two rookies same as us in waiters an zeller. Lost a good vet in Jamison.  Bucks added dalembert?  Rookie Henson.  Again they seem to be in the same boat as us, except we have Monroe!

        • Aug 29, 20129:41 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          The Bucks added Dalembert, still a good NBA starting center, and Henson, to a team that just missed the playoffs and was already six games better than Detroit last season. Plus they’ll have a full season of Monta Ellis.

          Monroe is great. But Cavs fans could just as easily say, ‘We have Kyrie Irving!’ Irving, like Monroe, is right on the cusp of being an All-Star at a vital position.

          I’m not saying that those teams are light years ahead of the Pistons or anything. But no one should be shocked if they have better seasons than Detroit either. 

          • Aug 29, 201211:04 am
            by bugsygod

            LOL, here you go again mentioning a ROOKIE Henson and saying he’s an upgrade for the Bucks, but the pistons rookies are not upgrades??  
            Yes the cavs have Irving, but what else?? Varejo? Take a look at that roster, its horrible!!  They had the number 4 pick in the draft for a reason.  But hey i guess THEY have rookie upgrades, but pistons don’t
            Bucks will have a full year of Ellis, a known gunner, too small for 2 guard and plays 0 defense.  He really had GS contending each year.  Hes a younger version of Ben Gordon.  I spoke about Dalembert in a later post, so wont recap here.  But he is Not a good center.  He’s a stop gap until something better comes along.  Do you think the Cavs or Bucks will have better seasons than Detroit?? 

          • Aug 29, 201211:14 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            The Bucks don’t have a single frontcourt player as good as Monroe. But collectively, they have Ilyasova (who is really, really good), Dalembert, Henson, Udoh, Sanders, Drew Gooden, Przyzibilla if healthy. Plus, they have combo forwards in Mbah A Moute and Tobias Harris who can play the four in small lineups.

            I wouldn’t trade rosters with them. But I’m sorry, they’re likely to get far more overall production out of their frontcourt this year than Detroit is. They won’t have an individual player as good as Monroe up front, but they have far more depth, even if Henson isn’t as ready to contribute as I think he is. 

          • Aug 29, 201211:41 am
            by bugsygod

            I believe Jerbko will match Illasova very well.  Dalembert we have gone over.  Henson I think is the Bucks best front court player right now.  Udoh, Sanders, Gooden…blah, blah blah.  There the same as Max and CV, rotational nba players.  Not given them heads over our guys.  So i hope you remember these words you are saying.  ”I’m sorry, they’re likely to get far more overall production out of their frontcourt this year than Detroit is.”  Please own those words and dont try to backtrack/switch up later.  Because i wont and i believe our frontcourt will be Much More productive than theirs! 

          • Aug 29, 201211:55 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            You know Ilyasova averaged 13 and 9 and shot 46 percent from three last year, right?

            When have I ever back-tracked? I own up when I get things wrong. I hope you do the same. 

          • Aug 29, 201212:21 pm
            by bugsygod

            You know Jerbko rookie yr he avg 9pt 6 rbs and 48% shooting right?  After sitting out a yr with injury and getting less minutes avg 9pt 5rbs and 47% shooting?  Basically his 1st two yrs in the leaue avg 9pts 5.5 rbs and 47.5% shooting.  not too shabby.   I definitly will own up if im wrong and the Bucks frontcourt is more productive than the Pistons.  I will be amazed at that!

          • Aug 29, 201212:26 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Ilyasova shot 46 percent from 3-point range. Jerebko is not a good 3-point shooter.

            Secondly, those averages by Jerebko as a rookie and by Ilyasova last year were in nearly identical minutes per game. 4 points and 3 more rebounds per game in the same number of minutes is pretty significant. I love Jerebko, but it’s crazy to think he’ll be near as productive as Ilyasova next year. 

          • Aug 29, 201212:47 pm
            by bugsygod

            So your saying Jerebko ROOKIE numbers vs. Ersan 4th year numbers are comparable??  I mentioned them to show the potential of Jerbko for this year and going forward, but you compared a rookie numers to a 4th yr player?  Wouldnt you expect the 4th yr plyr to have better numbers than the rookie?
            So a guy Ilsavoa who never shot above 37% in his prior 3yrs, suddenly now is one of the top 3pt shooters in the league??  I mean that 46% avg was 2nd in the league last year, do you really think he will shoot that good this year??  Come on patrick, its called a career/fluke year on that one.  smh.  If you compare there 3pt% there first 2yrs in the league, JJ 31%, 30%, ERsan 36%, 33%. But hey that is what this season will show, to prove alot of you doubters wrong.  So at the end of season when were fighting for that 7th,8th seed, I will definitly be letting you know all the doubt you cast on the pistons!

          • Aug 29, 201212:48 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Oh shutup.

          • Aug 29, 20126:59 pm
            by bugsygod

            Great response…real intelligent. 

          • Aug 30, 20127:55 pm
            by Max

            What about the Bucks having a full season of no Bogut who when healthy is much better and more valuable than Ellis?—and I’m not hating on Ellis, Bogut when healthy is arguably a top 3 center on both sides of the floor. 
            Also, everyone who thinks Chicago will be fine without Rose because they have been in the past is discounting that they totally gutted their bench–I personally think their combined bench was a better asset than any player on their entire team the past two years other than Rose.   Now, their bench went from being one of the absolute best to one of the absolute worst.   When they let all of those guys go, they signaled that they aren’t going to try to win this year and that is going to hurt them from a culturally standpoint regarding the players who are still there because they are going to feel less support and less hopeful since they know Rose isn’t going to come back in time to play at a level that can carry them to a title this year.   If Boozer, Deng or Noah go down, they will be terrible and those are injury prone players.   In the past, good players would replace them if they went down but this year, the replacements will be basically be on the level of D-leaguers.
             

  • Aug 28, 20128:35 pm
    by Vince

    Reply

    Some of the reviews and report cards I’ve seen have made me depressed. All in all, I think the Pistons should get a B and here is why:

    - Addition of two Seven Footers in Slava and ‘Dre, the former being brought in as a defensive presence, the latter is a rookie prospect with huge athleticism and star-potential

    - Traded one of the worse contracts in the league for an expiring contract, I think Maggette will play better than Gordon did. Sure they gave up a 1st rounder but I honestly don’t mind, thats what it cost and I’m ready to live with the so-called consequences.

    - Solid draft (except for Middleton – not a fan of that pick) Kim English was a steal, Drummond is raw, put promising, Singler is back from Europe, although I’m still not a huge fan of his he should be a welcome addition.

    - Monroe and Knight still developing, great potential in those two.

    Negatives:

    - Dealt that First Rounder
    - Daye still on the roster
    - Prince getting older
    - CV not amnestied

    I may be a homer, but Detroit is coping a lot of flack, I don’t mind the underdog status, but some recognition would be nice. 

    • Aug 28, 20129:40 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m seeing some variation of the ‘Detroit added two seven-footers’ thing a lot.

      First, I understand with Drummond … kid is an elite athlete full of potential. But he’s not really good at basketball, or at least good enough to be counted on as a sure rotation player his rookie year.

      The Bucks, for example, added three seven footers — Dalembert, Przyzibilla and Henson. That’s one known good player in Dalembert, another reliable (if healthy) player in Prz and a rookie who doesn’t have Drummond’s upside but is probably closer to helping in a rotation from day one than Drummond is.

      Adding seven footers is good. The Pistons have more size and potential than they had last year and they also have more financial flexibility, but that financial flexibility came with a steep price (future first). That’s not a bad offseason (although it’s a major improvement over recent offseasons here), but it’s not a good one either. I can’t see giving them better than a C.

      • Aug 28, 20129:51 pm
        by Vince

        Reply

        Well I’m comparing against past offseasons, this is easily the best offseason they’ve had in… what 3-4 years? Damn. Been a while.

        Sidenote, been reading around about the Henson – Drummond comparisons, lot of beat writers are predicting Henson to be the better player, I completely disagree on a career basis, Rookie year basis, yeah I could see it happen. Drummond will be raw and Pistons fans will have to be patient, I’m sure its worth the weight. 

        • Aug 28, 20129:58 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Yeah, I agree on Henson. I think he’ll be closer to his ceiling and, thus, more ready to contribute as a rookie. Long-term, though, I’d definitely rather have Drummond.

      • Aug 29, 20129:19 am
        by bugsygod

        Reply

        Dalembert is now a “known good player”??  since when, he has been traded 4times in the last 5yrs, sixers, to kings, to rockets, now to bucks.  Pryzbilla did not play AT ALL last year, partially retired, partially injured.  I would take Monroe over all there bigs combined, including Henson.  So when you compare those teams to detroit dont compare to just slava and drummond, but our best big Monroe.  I would take our current roster over theirs any day of the week.  They have jennings who may be better than knight, will be good to see that matchup this year as they battled last year and ellis who may be better than stuckey,  but i would take stuckey because of his size, defense ability, ball handling/distribution skills and ability to get to the basket and draw fouls.  Ellis is the better shooter only.

        • Aug 29, 20129:47 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “Dalembert is now a “known good player”?”

          Are you saying he’s not? You wouldn’t take an affordable, durable center who plays good D and averaged 8-7-2 last year in 22 minutes per game?

          “Pryzbilla did not play AT ALL last year, partially retired, partially injured.”

          I acknowledged that, didn’t I? Didn’t I write that he’s a reliable player if healthy?

          “I would take Monroe over all there bigs combined, including Henson.”

          But that wasn’t the point I was responding to, was it? If you bothered to read the conversation you weren’t involved in before responding, you may have known that. Vince brought up the fact that the Pistons should improve because they added two 7-footers. I was comparing them to other teams that added two (or, in the Bucks’ case, three) 7-footers who might be more ready to contribute immediately than the two the Pistons added.

          “I would take our current roster over theirs any day of the week.”

          I never said that I would take the Bucks roster over the Pistons. I said that it’s likely that the Bucks win more games than the Pistons this season, based on the fact that they were already better than them last season and they added a few players who should contribute immediately without losing anyone of signficance. That doesn’t mean anything other than what I just wrote. They have a roster that is closer to making the playoffs right now, based on their finish last season and the players they added, than Detroit. Doesn’t mean they’re in a better long-term situation.

          Seriously … you’re responding to points I didn’t make. Stop it.

          • Aug 29, 201210:50 am
            by bugsygod

            Im sorry but totally disagree with your assesment of Dalembert, no i do not think he is a good player anymore.  He had the 20th rated PER just among CENTERS!  I think your looking at him from his sixer days, teams with center defense problems, Houston, Kings, just traded him for peanuts.  He has not played well defensively in several years.  Thats a fact.  Now comparing him to the unknown of Drummond/Slava, I still think they will be better players this year.  Drummond is already a good defensive player, check his college defense stats, look at his Summer league play and he has never been injury prone.  Hell he broke his nose last year and didnt miss a game!  You mention durable for a Dalembert who has not played a full season in 3yrs!  So he more than likely will not be there all year and that reasonable contract of close to 7mil a yr? You mentioned Priz as reliable, but isnt the whole point of reliabilty to be healthy, you know to be there every game??  He has played 1 full season his entire 11yr career. So you would take two over 30 injury prone, over the hill centers instead of two young durable players in Drummond/Slava this year?? There is noooo way any GM in the league would do that.  So that responds to your points directly. OH and you cant count Henson right because he’s unproven like our guys.. right??

          • Aug 29, 201211:03 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            Oh my goodness. Read what I wrote. Where did I ever say I would take those players over Drummond/Kravstov? I never said anything remotely resembling that. I think it’s likely Dalembert and Henson and Prz if he’s healthy are more ready to contribute in a rotation from day one with the Bucks than Drummond/Kravstov will be with the Pistons. That, along with the fact that the Bucks were already better than the Pistons last season, makes me think it’s a good bet Milwaukee will win more games than the Pistons this season.

            That in no way is an endorsement as their roster as superior. The Pistons clearly have better young players and more salary flexibility long-term.

            Again, read what I write and don’t put words in my mouth. Also, quoting Dalembert’s PER doesn’t tell me anything about his defense. The biggest criticism of PER as a stat is that it undervalues defensive contributions.

          • Aug 29, 201211:29 am
            by bugsygod

            Lets be clear you are saying that Dalembert, Priz and rookie Henson will be ready to contribute more from day one.  Right?  OK I DO NOT AGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT!  I think Drummond and Slava will be better than Dalembert & Priz from game one!   Henson does not play the same position, so i am not throwing him in with these guys.  Although, I do think Henson will also contribute more than sam & priz from day one as well.  REMEMBER these words/statements you are making now Patrick and i hope you stick by them and own them when the season starts. –> Dalembert & Priz will be ready to contribute more than Drummond/Slava from day one. 

      • Aug 30, 20128:00 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        @Patrick…….why do you keep harping on the notion that Drummond will probably not be as good this year as he will be down the road as if that impacts what the off-season grade should be?   If Drummond doesn’t have a good rookie season but is an all star in 3 years, then the Pistons will have deserved an A plus for this off season as the impact of an off season is not limited to the following year but to all of the long term ripples it creates.   For instance, if Henson has a better rookie season and Drummond has a much better career than the Pistons will obviously deserve the better grade for this off season when looked back at in retrospect.

        • Aug 31, 201212:18 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “If Drummond doesn’t have a good rookie season but is an all star in 3 years, then the Pistons will have deserved an A plus for this off season as the impact of an off season is not limited to the following year but to all of the long term ripples it creates.”

          OK, then by that logic, can I lower the offseason grade because the first round pick Dumars included in the Gordon trade might turn into a really awesome player for Charlotte in a year or two years or three years?

          “For instance, if Henson has a better rookie season and Drummond has a much better career than the Pistons will obviously deserve the better grade for this off season when looked back at in retrospect.”

          Offseason ‘grades’ are given out by media every year for a reason. They are grading the present. What did this team do to improve themselves in the immediate future?

          The reality is the Pistons didn’t do much based on that criteria. Drummond has upside, but even people in the Pistons organization are cautioning people that he’s going to need time, perhaps two seasons, to develop. Kravstov is a complete unknown, someone who wasn’t even on the radar enough to be drafted when he first became draft eligible. So I fail to see how he should be counted on as a contributor. It’s nice if he is, but I fail to see how him being a rotation player this season is any kind of given.

          They have three second round picks, two of whom, Singler and Middleton, will be vying for minutes at the most crowded position on the team. They acquired a veteran via trade who is aging, injury prone and plays a physical style of offensive basketball that often leads to more injuries.

          They had a mediocre offseason. That’s an improvement over the three previous offseasons, but I don’t get why it’s some sort of crime against humanity to say they didn’t do an awful that that automatically improves them heading into next season.

          The biggest key for them is how fast their young players, particularly Knight and Drummond, develop into above average starters. It could happen fast, and I’m certainly optimistic it could, but if you’re evaluating an offseason, you shouldn’t do it through the rose-colored glasses of a fan. The cold reality is they need a lot of things to go really really well if they’re going to be competitive for that eight seed this season. It’s not impossible at all, but let’s be realistic about it.

          • Aug 31, 20122:32 pm
            by Max

            To be fair, I think you can lower the grade if you think the Gordon trade will hurt the Pistons down the line.  Forecasting that situation is perhaps even murkier than the Drummond one though, because the cap money could easily be worth more than the pick they lose, and my issue is more about the D and F.   The writers who were interviewed on the CBS sports cast all gave the Pistons a B and that seems about right to me unless they wanted to give a C.  They all said that Drummond is a risk but an acceptable one that the Pistons had to make.   Grading the off season years from now will obviously be much more accurate but right now, it seems overly negative to give the Pistons such a poor grade when they made a move that most agree has a chance to have an enormously positive impact.   If you have your doubts, give them a C at worst and acknowledge that it could work out.  If you are optimistic, give them a B and acknowledge that it might not work out–which is what the writers on the CBS podcast did express.   If Drummond does become an all star level player, then the Pistons will deserve that A+ in retrospect and if he is a total bust, they will then deserve an F.  Giving them an F or even a D as of today is basically assuming Drummond will never contribute anything to the Pistons whatsoever and doing so represents the height of arrogance in my opinion.

          • Aug 31, 20122:42 pm
            by Max

            @Patrick……Also, I am adamantly against the idea that off season grades are about immediate impact.    Answer this question:  What grade do the Lakers deserve in retrospect for trading Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant?   Bryant wasn’t an all star in his rookie season or anything approaching one and Vlade was one of the best centers in the league that season for Charlotte.  That first season now seems wholly irrelevant to my question though and I think it would be ludicrous to now say the Lakers deserve anything less than an A+ for that off season.

  • Aug 28, 20128:44 pm
    by Phillip J. Frye

    Reply

    Indiana is overrated. Chicago is done with or without DRose (he’ll never be 100% again) Milwalkee is too small, and Cleveland is still too weak.

    42 wins and a unimpressive first round exit….mark it down….welcome to No Mans Land, Pistons. 
      

    • Aug 28, 20129:35 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      The Bulls were 18-9 without Rose last season.

      • Aug 29, 20129:22 am
        by bugsygod

        Reply

        The bulls lost 4 players off the bench and replaced them with offensive minded injury prone players, belinelli, hinrich, nazr.  lost korver, asik, brewer, watson.  I dont see them matching the record w/o rose this year.

        • Aug 29, 20129:49 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Hinrich is a good defensive player. They also added Marquis Teague, who could be an upgrade even as a rookie over the guys they ran out as Rose’s replacements last year. Those two combined should be huge upgrades over the John Lucas/CJ Watson combo of last season.

          I don’t see them matching their record without Rose, but they still have Deng, Noah, Gibson, Boozer and a really good defense. Unless one of those other players gets injured, they’re still a top six team in the East.

          • Aug 29, 201210:56 am
            by bugsygod

            Right definitly a top 6 team in the east, but that 18-9 you mentioned is not happening this year as you pointed out. 
            Sidenote… It’s funny when you go to prove your points on a topic you mention a rookies upside or potentially being better than a proven nba player, like teague here and henson in a prior comment.  When it comes to the Pistons rookies, ”oh there unknown, the pistons have all these rookies, we wont know about these rookies until they play, etc”.  But here in this post you just said teague the 29th selection in the draft will be better than two already known nba players.  If your going to consistently say that we dont know about the Pistons rookies, i think you should say that about ALL rookies.   

          • Aug 29, 201211:09 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            “But here in this post you just said teague the 29th selection in the draft will be better than two already known nba players.”

            Yes, Teague is an unknown. But I’m still confident he’ll be better than two NBA players who are known to be bad. I think Hinrich/Teague, even with Teague’s unknown contributions, is far superior to Lucas/Watson as a PG tandem.

            “When it comes to the Pistons rookies, ”oh there unknown, the pistons have all these rookies, we wont know about these rookies until they play, etc””

            Pretty much everyone who watched Henson and Drummond in college and evaluated them came to the conclusion that Henson would have more immediate impact in the league/be more ready to contribute from day one while Drummond has far more physical ability and upside down the road. He’s been called a project player in every evaluation of him I’ve read, Henson hasn’t been. I think it’s foolish to bank on Drummond and an untested big who was a backup in a second tier international league to be counted on to provide quality minutes from day one. Call me crazy.

          • Aug 29, 201212:35 pm
            by bugsygod

            Why do you keep calling Slava a backup?? He was the starter and MVP of the league??  Although this is a minor euro league, thats still pretty good. 
            So lucas/watson were bad, but you mentioned the bulls went 18-9 with them playing as Rose was hurt, I guess there not that bad.  Wonder why teague lasted till the 29th pick??
            Yes, i think will Henson will have a bigger impact from day one.  NOT questioning that at all. Henson has however been called a project leading all the way up to the draft, including your draft series, because of his weight.  Until Henson adds weight, muscle, not sure what position he will play, or what his impact will be.  This was the general consensus on Henson, throughout the pre-draft expert analysis.  Drummond is the BIGGER project, but both are projects.  Its seems his summer league play impressed you, but Drummonds didnt. 

      • Aug 31, 20123:01 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I think it’s a lot easier for a team with title aspirations to hold on and go 18-9 without their superstar when they know he is coming back.   Without Rose, their entire culture, outlook and way of thinking will be different.  Without a good bench, an injury prone starting core and a lame duck coach who ought to be offended with the organization, they are vulnerable to having a disastrous season.

  • Aug 28, 20129:34 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Also, slightly off topic, but any time Chris Sheridan is mentioned, I feel the need to relive this great moment in Sheed history:

    http://www.aolnews.com/2007/01/19/rasheed-wallace-hates-chris-sheridan-not-flip-saunders/

  • Aug 28, 201211:09 pm
    by Hamtowner

    Reply

    A writer completely bashes the Pistons and only a handful of people come to their defense on a website dedicated to the Pistons.  That is how bad they will be.

  • Aug 28, 201211:21 pm
    by Darrell

    Reply

    Those reviews are sensationalist tripe.  A C grade is more than fair at this point.  Consensus draft grades rate the Pistons’ draft favourably.  Taking an athletic and huge phenom at number 9 is a perfect gamble and its at the position we need the most.  We did not throw away assets to move up in position to snag the same guy we got anyway.    If all these guys struggle because they’re rookies, thats ok.  We will improve from things that are not part of our offseason movement as much as we will be set back by them.  What we should look at is – are these solid moves.  The draft was pretty solid. 

    We also get black marks for NOT amnestying CV.  On a team as bereft of talent as the Pistons, they cannot afford to jettison talent no matter how much fans hate his game.    They can easily bury him at the end of the bench and play other guys.  Who cares if they have to pay him millions?  Only Gores needs to give a rats ass and he’s already said ‘no anmesty.’  To give negative points because you didn’t remove talent from your team that you still had to keep paying for is bizarro world logic. 

    The biggest negative mark should come from tossing out a 1st round pick to rid us of Gordon’s contract.  But is it really that bad?  Its lottery protected so we’ll get our crummy non-impact prospect next year and if by the year after that we can’t land a FA better than a 9-15 pick, Gores will really have to fire Joe. 

    The positive effects of what was done this offseason would be realized several years (if at all)   down the line.  Any improvement this year is less about what we did but about how much Monroe, knight and stuckey improved…and how much more chemistry there is between all of them and the coach

  • Aug 28, 201211:42 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    These writers are piling on because the Pistons had a BORING offseason. They provided almost nothing juicy to write about and their moves lacked narrative thrust. The roster is so calcified that blockbuster trades would have been the other way to improve the team, but with all the hysteria it’s easy to get caught up and do something dumb (Houston amnestying Scola for a shot at the Dwightmare).
    I’d give the Pistons a C or maybe a C+ if they can find a positive way to break up the jam at SF. An F implies taking a big step backward – that’s inaccurate. You could argue a D but that’s pretty gloomy considering we have two new centers, an improving Monroe possibly allowed to roam the offensive court more and what might be a real gem of a player and person in Kim English.

    • Aug 29, 20124:08 am
      by Mark

      Reply

      You are right. The reason writers never like the Pistons is because they are built on team play, where individuals sacrifice stats for the better of the team. But individual stats are what sells, so the Pistons provide them with nothing. Therefore they have nothing in return for the Pistons when comes time to write about them. In other words, their analysis’ are fraudulent.

      The worst is when they cite losing Ben Gordon as a negative, as if he had such a positive impact when he was here and we’ll be worse without him. I’ve read a few of those and I just have to laugh as I’m thinking these writers probably haven’t watched Gordon since 2008, yet feel qualified to be analysts, lol. 

      My grade for the off-season from someone with actual knowledge of the Pistons is without a doubt an A. There was nothing unsuccessful about this off-season. Every move made was a positive. All +’s and no -’s, I can’t see how you give that anything less than an A. 

      • Aug 29, 20129:52 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        “The reason writers never like the Pistons is because they are built on team play”

        Are you kidding? That’s the EXACT reason the contending Pistons teams throughout the 2000s were always PRAISED by national media.

        The reason they are bashed now is because they have been a bad team for three years. That’s it. That’s the entire story. Get good again and you won’t get bashed.

        Yes, the excerpts Dan linked to above are overly critical and they missed a few details. Doesn’t change the fact that the Pistons are coming off of three bad seasons and didn’t make any big impact moves this offseason. Smart teams that play as a team are praised when they win. It’s as simple as that.

        • Aug 29, 20125:46 pm
          by Mark

          Reply

          Sure, when they win championships they get praised like all teams do. Because championship teams sell no matter how they won. But we are talking about before season predictions here, not end of season praise. Sure the Pistons got all the praise for team play after they won in ’04, but you must’ve forgotten before that season. When the Lakers 4 HOF’ers were the ones getting all the praise without having won anything. Or during the season, when the Pacers and their star Center Jermaine O’Neal got all the praise, without winning anything.

          Or in ’05 when Shaq/Wade got all the praise, while the Pistons were the defending champs.

          You must be the one kidding or simply forgot.

          • Aug 29, 20127:15 pm
            by Desolation Row

            Your argument is extremely flawed. You pick and choose random, vague anecdotes and apply it as the rule all the while ignoring Patrick’s central argument that “bad teams get bashed”. 

            The national media is low on the Pistons not because they’re “a team” but because they’ve sucked the past 3 years and their only significant move (for the immediate future) was drafting Drummond, who may not even be a consistent rotation player his rookie season. Without addressing this argument, your counterpoints are moot, even if they were presented on more specific terms — which they weren’t.

            Sorry, I don’t want to be mean, I just feel like there’s a lot of Patrick hate happening here for the sake of hate and it’s kinda stupid. Also, it’s more interesting to read comments that present valid points instead of blabbering on like a sports talk radio host. 

          • Aug 30, 20128:07 pm
            by Max

            Yup.  You are remembering what actually went down.   Also, during the entire run of the 04 group they were bashed for being boring at least as often as they were lauded for their team play.   The positive press that the Suns received during the same era would have you thinking they were 10 times better than the Pistons and we all know the Pistons were better.

          • Aug 31, 201212:10 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            It’s a tired exercise so I won’t do it again, but if you guys just sit around and play on google in the SI Vault, ESPN archives, etc. for a couple of hours, you will find a very large number of predictions that were very favorable to those Pistons teams from national media outlets. Once they proved themselves as a championship level team in 2004, there were people picking them to get to the finals or win every year after until 2008, and even that year, most everyone picked a Detroit-Boston ECF.

            Was it unanimously in favor of Detroit all those years? Of course not. But this ‘national media hates us’ inferiority complex that a lot of fans have is tired. The Pistons of the 2000s were a respected team nationally. Maybe the league itself would’ve preferred a flashier, more star-studded team, but a lot of the national media, particularly the ex-players and coaches, loved them.

            And the reason the national media is hard on them now is because they’ve become a bad team. If you haven’t noticed, the national media gives harsh assessments of all bad teams, particularly ones like Detroit that fall all the way from the top to the bottom tier relatively quickly.

          • Aug 31, 20122:31 am
            by Max

            I wouldn’t disagree about the preseason predictions regarding the Pistons from 2004 to 2008 but an inordinate amount of writers slammed their style as boring and even unwatchable while making those predictions.  The bigger issue for me is that the Pistons got a lot less coverage in general than teams like the Suns and others, year in and year out, that never won except for a couple of weeks every year when they were one of the few teams left standing.   That all said, except for the general love fest regarding the Spurs management and players, they spent a lot of years not getting enough attention and being ludicrously labeled as boring too.   I guess it’s a personal matter but I have a hard time respecting all those writers who preferred the style of the Suns over the Pistons and Spurs back then–they must only like 50 percent of the game and have too little respect for winning and what it takes to win. 
            To this day, I hear writers bring up how terrible the finals between the Pistons and Spurs was as if it was some low point in the history of the league and I don’t know what they are talking about because that was a close seven game series and better than the great majority of finals. 

  • Aug 29, 20128:23 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Those Golliver comments are outrageous.

  • Aug 29, 201211:24 am
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    Honestly, I don’t think these are that unreasonable grades, because of what its focussed on.  These writers are just describing the moves the Pistons’ made in the off-season, not their projected long-term effects.  Two question marks, an optimistic second round pick, and a nominal trade doesn’t constitute the barn-burning off-season many of us expected once Dumars’ hands were untied from the Davison debacle.

    it’s disappointing to see a barely competitive team tread solely on promise and draft picks, without trying to build a team around the pieces we have during the offseason.  

    • Aug 31, 20123:08 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      The F grade ought to be reserved for a team that decimates and guts their roster for head scratching reasons and will likely go into free fall as a result.   I would give the Magic an F for this off season but I don’t think any other team in the league really qualifies.  If the Pistons deserve an F, then what do the Magic deserve who traded an elite franchise player without even getting back an all star or shedding their worst contracts and made a much worse trade then many they had been offered by many a team for nearly two years? 

  • Aug 29, 20121:20 pm
    by G

    Reply

    The problem with grading off-season moves is it’s too hard not to compare from team to team. You have to grade on a curve. Each team should start with a baseline ‘C’ grade & then lose points for useful players lost & gain points for adding useful players, lose points for overpaying players & gain points for smart contracts.

    Well the Pistons had a good draft by most accounts, probably lose Ben Wallace, and the only other move made was the Maggette/Gordon swap, which cost a pick & saved some salary. I’d say that puts them at a C+. Chad Forde says B, and these 2 hosers say D. Whatever, let’s see how it plays out.

    • Aug 30, 20129:46 am
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I agree, and would prefer to see the teams ranked in terms of their offseason performance. They could group the teams into categories or tiers if they wanted, but this kind of analysis in a vacuum with an arbitrary grade only creates anger, speculation and defensiveness. Props to Patrick for actually considering the context of the other teams in the East and their activity when evaluating the Pistons.

      That being said I think the Pistons deserve some extra credit for a complete culture turnaround. Rock bottom was the player mutiny, and now Joe Dumars has meticulously created a peaceful village where the children (young players) can be raised and grow strong. The Pistons might not have a ton of talent, but they can maximize what they have and (fingers crossed) get that last Iguodala/Sheed-type team player to make them contenders.

  • Aug 29, 20126:53 pm
    by anotherchris

    Reply

    Such discerning bloggers! You know the guys who run this site are super intelligent master critics as they do not let you say anything positive.
     
    The Pistons did a few good things this offseason- drafted well (we think) and bought in Singler the other dude. They will also be helped by an offseason.
     
    They do still have an imbalanced roster. No backup point guard worth a damn. Lots of 3′s. Lots of rookies, not much leadership.
     
    I do feel their offseason has been incomplete. Some reasons for optimism and not unreasonable to expect improvement. Also reason to be concerned or even slightly disapointed. 
     
    Who cares what grade they get? Who are those writers? Why should we give half a damn what they think re grades? What are their credentials? How many championship teams have they built?

    • Aug 29, 20129:35 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      So only writers who have built championship teams have opinions and analysis that is worth reading?

      • Aug 30, 20128:35 am
        by G

        Reply

        Look, Chris Sheridan is a bit of a jack@ss. I remember him from when he was writing regularly for ESPN.com and he always came off that way. Golliver had some solid points, but was maybe overly harsh. The problem I have with both is that they seemed to be of the opinion that doing anything was better than doing nothing. In the summer of 2009 the Pistons decided to make a splash in free agency, despite the fact that the next summer had a ton of better talent. How’d that work out?

        On the other hand, I agree that stock piling the SF position, losing the draft pick, and not getting rid of Villanueva were all questionable moves. They certainly didn’t deserve anything better than a C.

        • Aug 30, 20129:41 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Agree on Sheridan. Rasheed throwing the orange soda at him is one of my favorite ‘Sheed moments.

          I think his evaluation of the team was kind of nonsensical. Talking about the 2009 offseason in a recap of this year’s offseason is irrelevant. And I agree with you on Golliver, I think he was a bit harsh, albeit with some valid points.

          I just don’t get why people seem so outraged about giving the Pistons poor offseason grades. They’ve had a very average offseason, which is certainly an improvement from a couple of their other recent offseasons, but it’s not any better than c-range in my mind. I think these grades are a bit harsh, I think the B they received from people like Chad Ford is a bit generous, but I don’t think either side is particularly outrageous.

          • Aug 30, 201210:51 am
            by G

            Here’s why I brought up 2009: the Pistons weren’t crushed by the national media following that summer. They actually got decent grades, despite a terrible draft (Daye, Summers and Jerebko), giving monsterous contracts to Charlie V and Gordon, hiring Kuester, and basically swapping McDyess for Wilcox.

            My point is it’s not worth getting upset about the actual grade. Those 2009 grades in hindsight are ridiculous, there’s a chance the 2012 grade will be the same. Here’s the link for a laugh:
            http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/scott_howard-cooper/08/06/offseason.grades/index.html

          • Aug 30, 201212:36 pm
            by G

            Love the ‘Sheed vs. Sheridan article. It also had an example of why Sheridan comes off as an a–hole. He does this thing where he’ll write something that pisses a player off, the player will confront him, and he’ll paraphrase whatever his response was using some holier-than-thou language like “screaming obscenities at me was not my preferred way to conduct an adult discussion”.

            The guy writes something with the intention of provoking a reaction, provides the opportunity for that reaction to occur, then takes this “I will NOT be shouted at, harumph” stance. He’s a weasel.

  • Aug 29, 20128:30 pm
    by MNM

    Reply

     The whole “bashing the Pistons” and “Pistons get no respect” is an old and tired bit… If you click on the links, the Pistons are not the only team to get a bad grade by some of these guys.. The Pistons have done little to nothing when it comes to off season moves.. I personally don’t consider the draft to be an “offseason move”, because everyone drafts… It’s not like you can decide “eh, you know what? Im not gonna participate in the draft this year..” That never happens. Unless a team decides and manages to trade away all of their draft picks, your going to participate in the draft. I consider the draft to be like the free center square on a BINGO board. It’s there and you have to use it to get started. Trades, amnestying/releasing, FA signings, etc.. Those I consider “offseason moves”. The Pistons had been hiding behind the argument that they didn’t have a “real owner” for a long time so they were in a holding pattern and therfor couldn’t make a move until a sale of the team was done.. They now have had a owner for little of a year now and they manage to trade 1 player with future 1st round draft pick for an expiring contract.. Nobody is jumping for joy over the price they had to pay to rid themselves of a big contract (a franchise like this one shouldn’t be in the business in giving up picks).. but many have been hoping for a 2nd/follow up move that would make that one easier to swallow…and that hasn’t happen yet. Plenty of teams have been making moves, and plenty of them minor ones at that (moving little known players for a 1st or 2nd rd draft pick, Toronto comes to mind), why the Pistons haven’t done this I don’t know.. The trading of Gordon/future1rd pick for Maggette and signing an unknown back up euro center is not THAT productive. In a previous post about grades, I gave them a C- to a C, for these very reasons, and until further notice, Im sticking by that.  To be fare, the offseason isn’t over yet, for me, the offseason ends when the regular season begins.. So there is still time.. but damn.. it’s taking ssooo loonng.

  • Aug 29, 20128:59 pm
    by Flip

    Reply

    Damn! They shitted on Dumars. lol

  • Aug 30, 20128:08 am
    by Ray

    Reply

    Patrick – Drummond is a VERY skilled basketball player, he is not POLISHED basketball player…. Dwight lived off of putbacks, loop pass, and easy dunks to generate his offense with the Magic, he played 33 minutes because he was the first pick in the draft…and Orlando had no depth.

    Drummond by all accounts is already physically stronger,bigger, and more athletic than Dwight was…at age 18-19…. Drummond is more skilled ball-handler, way more comfortable putting the ball on the floor, he a better passer than Dwight was at this stage, and you can argue his jumper was better than Dwights…. Im NOT saying he is going to average double figures, but you cant act like its not possible or its this incredible long shot…

    THE ONLY REASON Drummond didnt go higher in the Draft was because he went to Uconn PERIOD.

    • Aug 30, 20128:41 am
      by G

      Reply

      You’re not saying Drummond is already better than Dwight Howard was at the same age, are you? Because Howard averaged 12 and 10 in the NBA when he was 19. Drummond averaged 10 and 7.6 in college at the same age.

      • Aug 30, 20123:31 pm
        by Ray

        Reply

        Drummond played on a TERRIBLE uncoached UCONN team…. so his number 10ppg 8rebs 2.7 blks …are GOOD…. under the circumstances….

        Put him on Kentucy and he wouldnt have feel outside of the top 3 …perception is amazing…A guy like Gilchrist goes number 2…and he has THE LESS UP SIDE up everyone that went in the top 10…. but perception

        Drummond and Dwight styles are similar, people at like Dwight is Hakeem, he is athletic Big…that was all … Drummond is a MORE SKILLED athletic Big… he can do Dwight First season kind of numbers

        • Aug 30, 20124:25 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Don’t see how coaching impacted his rebounds all that much. Any coaching advantage Dwight had over Drummond is more than negated by the fact that Dwight was going against NBA players as an 18-19 year-old while Drummond was going against much weaker NCAA competition. Drummond wasn’t terrible, but he under-performed expectations. That could be due to coaching, but come on. The level of competition wasn’t even close.

          • Aug 31, 20128:49 am
            by Ray

            Coaching does impact Rebounding, Coaching impacts motivation, Coaching would have kept him in shape… at the end of the Day Drummond was a big kid that wanted to play basketball, he would have went pro-someone talked him into one year of school. If he went to a better program he would have been a much further along. Recently, there was an article that basically said this is the most coaching he has every recieved. He was part of AAU for three years, you dont always have the same coach or teammates. So to finally have a coach, and to finally have teammates, and to finally know what his role is and what expected of him. I believe he is going to be better than expected

        • Aug 30, 20124:43 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Another point – you’re using UConn as the excuse for Drummond dropping out of the top 3, and saying if he had gone to Kentucky then he goes over Kidd-Gilchrist? Let me reiterate the big question marks hovering over Drummond on draft day: his maturity was in question, his motor was in question, he’s raw offensively, and he under-performed expectations against much smaller players in the Big East.

          The reason the guy dropped was all those question marks, very few of which have much to do with coaching. And do you think Detroit’s situation is closer to UConn’s or Kentucky’s? Let me tell you, it’s much closer to UConn’s. If you think his struggles last year had to do with the uncertainty in UConn, that’s not likely to change much in Detroit. Plus he’ll be playing against NBA big men, not Big East big men.

          • Aug 31, 20128:56 am
            by Ray

            Gilchrist is the LEAST SKILLED PLAYER TAKEN IN THE TOP 10… he is The 19 year old version of George Lynch…. He is not super athletic, he is not explosive, not a good or great ball handled, he is a POOR perimeter shooter….EXPERT SAID he does NOT have to SKILL-SET to be the go to guy, and he might end up as a Nice piece to a team…That sounds more like a 9th pick… but because of his MOTOR and Maturity he goes 2…

            Put Drummond with Calipari, he would have dominated … with no doubt in my mind, he would have has Drummond believing he was Shaquille Oneal

          • Aug 31, 201211:36 am
            by G

            You mean least skilled other than being a fantastic defender, gets to the rim and jumps out of the gym? What are you talking about? Read the draft profile on him, watch the tape. The only knock on MKG was his jumper was inconsistent. Fail to see how he’s like MKG. Gilchrist’s freshman numbers are way better, and he’s a better defender & athlete than Lynch was.

            You keep saying “Drummond WOULD HAVE”, “COULD HAVE”, and “SHOULD BECOME”. Teams don’t like to spend #2 draft picks on a lot of “IF” anymore. MKG was the 2nd best player on a championship team, a lot was known about him, and almost all of it was good. Not a lot was known about Drummond. He shot free-throws at a sub-30% clip, still needs to develop a post game, and may or may not be an absolute beast defensively.

            And stop saying Drummond would’ve been like Shaq at LSU if he’d played for Calipari. It’s unknowable. Yes, he could’ve dominated on that team. He also may have been a bench player, since Anthony Davis was ahead of him at C and Terrence Jones at PF. He could’ve crumbled under the pressure of playing for a championship, he could’ve gotten homesick and lost a season to transfer to UConn… There’s no way of knowing what would’ve happened, so saying he’d have become Shaq if he’d have gone to Kentucky is asinine

    • Aug 30, 20129:37 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Im NOT saying he is going to average double figures, but you cant act like its not possible or its this incredible long shot”

      I wouldn’t call it an ‘incredible long shot.’ I would, however, say it’s far more likely he doesn’t than does. And I really disagree with your assessment of Dwight. Other than Lebron, Dwight was arguably the most NBA-ready of any of the straight out of HS guys the second he came into the league. Bryant, McGrady, Garnett, etc. … all of those guys needed a season or two. Dwight was a starting caliber center immediately as a rookie and very quickly developed into an All-Star, dominant defensive force and the best center in the league. I don’t see how anyone could watch Drummond and Dwight when Dwight was that age and come away with the conclusion that Drummond was further advanced. That’s no knock on Drummond, either. Dwight is a once in a generation talent and he was an immediate impact player.

      “he played 33 minutes because he was the first pick in the draft…and Orlando had no depth.”

      What depth do the Pistons have at the center position? I mean, that Magic team had Tony Battie and Andrew DeClerq. Neither of those guys were any great shakes, but they were both longtime veteran rotation bigs. What is Drummond’s competition at the five? Kravstov, a rookie who wasn’t even drafted? Maxiell, a 6-foot-6 F/C? If Drummond is as advanced as Howard was as a rookie, he should have zero trouble earning 30+ minutes out of the gate this season. I’m very skeptical that he’s that ready to contribute right now. 

      • Aug 30, 201210:59 am
        by G

        Reply

        Agreeagreeagree! Stop comparing Drummond to Dwight Howard & Kwame Brown! If halfway through the season he’s averaging a double-double, then we can start talking about Dwight Howard 2.0. Until then, stop! The guys actually watching him are saying “patience, grasshopper”.

        Now there is a bit of mistrust in the organization with regards to player development. Rick Carlisle probably waited too long to use Tayshaun, Larry Brown didn’t develop Darko at all (and probably crushed his confidence), etc. Given how they’ve brought along Monroe & Knight so far, I’d say they’ve learned their lesson & we should trust their evaluation of Drummond.

      • Aug 30, 201212:04 pm
        by Crispus

        Reply

        They had Batman and Superman on the same team?

      • Aug 30, 20121:26 pm
        by G

        Reply

        About rookies out of HS – don’t forget about Amare. He came out and averaged nearly 14 and 9 his rookie season, winning ROY. He had a bit less polish than LeBron but more than Dwight.

        • Aug 30, 20122:17 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Good point, forgot about Amar’e. He was way more ready than anyone thought he’d be.

      • Aug 30, 20128:20 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Forgetting about position, and I said it earlier so I’m repeating myself, I don’t think Dwight could have averaged as many rebounds as he did in his rookie year if he was playing next to Greg Monroe.  Monroe has already proven to be one of the league’s best rebounders and Dwight has never played with a player in his entire career who approaches Monroe as a rebounder.   People say Brook Lopez is a terrible rebounder now but no one was saying so until he started ceding boards to the elite rebounder Kris Humphries.  Dwight is obviously a great rebounder and maybe the best in the league but the Magic’s strategy of never putting any rebounders or defensive players on the court with him inflated his rebounding and shot blocking numbers and is the biggest reason they failed to build around him in my opinion–well other than employing Jameer Nelson the whole time, who is probably the worst starting point guard in the whole league at performing an entry pass–small wonder they got to the finals when Nelson was hurt and Alston was starting.   Let’s see if Dwight can average 14 boards next to Pau Gasol–I’m guessing not and it’s not a bad thing but a good thing for Dwight.

        • Aug 31, 20128:30 am
          by G

          Reply

          First off, good rebounders on the same team don’t take rebounds away from each other, they take them away from the other team. Rodman and Laimbeer were able to average between 9 and 12 rebounds a game while playing together. Laimbeer rebounds decreased as did his minutes, while Rodman’s increased as his minutes increased. I think you’ll find that Lopez’s rebounds went down because he stopped exerting as much effort on that end of the floor.

          Saying Dwight would’ve rebounded less if he’d played with Monroe is ridiculous. First it’s unprovable, second, there were 3 other good rebounders on that team – Cato, Battie and Hill (who played nearly a full season).

          • Aug 31, 20121:44 pm
            by Max

            Sure, but as soon as Laimbeer was gone, Rodman started averaging more like 16 rebounds a game.  And Lopez has even admitted that he basically started allowing Humphries to get rebounds he could have gotten.   Finally. Cato, Battie and Hill are not Greg Monroe.   They aren’t as good per minute and they don’t deserve nearly as many minutes.  Monroe is one of the best players in the league already and those players were marginal at that time–Hill wasn’t nearly the player he had formerly been and I’ve always thought his inclusion on one all star team was one of the worst all star selections of all time.   There are literally a hundred players who deserved that honor more and never got there like Sam Cassell. 
            Your first statement strikes be as a bit ludicrous.   Rebounds, assists and especially points have to be divided amongst teammates.   Do you really think if you put Kevin Love and Dwight Howard on the same team that they could combine for nearly 30 rebounds a game?  And if they did by some miracle, do you really think the other players on Timberwolves, if Howard just joined the Wolves, would be able to sustain their stats from last year?   Look at the Lakers this season.  Do you think Kobe, Howard, Gasol and Nash will all average as many points as they did last season or even combine for as many points?   All you have to do to confirm that I am right is look at the Lakers the past few seasons—nearly every time either Bynum or Gasol missed games, the one who was playing saw a big jump in all of his stats and certainly did on average.   Another way to prove I am right is to theoretically add Howard or Love to any of the other top rebounding teams from last year without losing any of the team’s good rebounders.   Would the team magically average 14-15 more rebounds than any other team in league by adding one player or would other players on the team rebound less?  At a certain point, there aren’t enough missed shots in a game to create that yield.
            Also, I’m not saying Howard couldn’t lead the league in rebounding if he joined the Pistons today and played with Monroe–I’m saying he couldn’t average the numbers he did as a rookie because the team is currently building around Monroe.   When Howard joined the Magic, they had not been building around anyone and were able to devote as much energy as possible into developing him.   On a team with a very young but proven player like Monroe, who the Pistons must view as a developing all star and possible franchise player, Howard would not immediately assume the level of primary importance that he did with the Magic.   My first assumption is that Howard would average at least a few less minutes a game as a rookie in that situation.   My second assumption is that Howard would defer a bit more because the team wouldn’t be telling him he is “the man” from day one and he would have to work more for his opportunities and fall into line. 

          • Aug 31, 20122:13 pm
            by Max

            Also, to call a speculative statement ridiculous because it’s unprovable is ridiculous.  Think of the brain trust of any NBA team during a given off season.   Every statement they make amongst themselves as they think of acquiring players and speculate on how the players will jell together is unprovable.   Should they then not make statements like, “if we put Dwight Howard on the same floor with Greg Monroe, Howard will make up for some of Monroe’s deficiencies by blocking lots of shots and playing above the rim”.   Would such a statement be ridiculous?   You can’t prove that Howard would play like that with Monroe until it happens but all of the evidence of how the two players played in the past points to the notion that Howard would help Monroe by blocking shots and playing above the rim as he has always done whether he was playing with Monroe or not.  If I say, “Anthony Davis is going to block a lot of shots in the NBA”, the statement is wholly unprovable but I’ve heard the statement made often enough.

          • Aug 31, 20123:35 pm
            by G

            Speculation and what you were doing are two different things. It’s not ridiculous to say “based on what Anthony Davis did in college, his shot-blocking should transfer to the NBA”. What IS ridiculous is to say is “if we went back in time, kidnapped 19 year-old Dwight Howard, brought him to the 2012-13 Pistons and stuck him on the floor next to Greg Monroe, Howard would have worse stats”. You’re taking a guy out of context, throwing him into a hypothetical and completely different context, and you suggest nothing changes other than Dwight’s numbers going down?

            If your earlier suggestion is true and Brook Lopez’s rebounds went down because of Kris Humphries (it sound like more of an excuse than a reason), then Dwight Howard would be Humphries in this ridiculous hypothetical situation, not Lopez. Monroe would be moving to PF, Howard to C. Monroe would concentrate more on offense, Howard more on defense, but Howard would also be the beneficiary of Monroe’s excellent passing from the post. Then you’d have to factor in how playing with Monroe, Prince, Stuckey and Knight would be different from playing with Franchise, Mobley, Hill and Turk.

            Personnel moves don’t happen in a vacuum and adding one guy doesn’t automatically subtract from another guy. That’s why it’s ridiculous.

          • Aug 31, 20124:15 pm
            by G

            Here’s the other reason why it’s ridiculous – you can speculate on how much better the team would be if we added player X or whoever, I’ve got no problem with that. But when you throw together an impossible situation like that, it makes no sense. Howard has never played with a guy like Greg Monroe, Monroe has never played with a guy like the rookie version of Dwight Howard.

            If you’re saying Howard’s rebounds will go down because he’ll be playing alongside Gasol, fine, we can check on that later. But speculation like “Howard wouldn’t have been as good playing next to Monroe” is like saying “Michael Jordan would’ve scored 100 pts in a game if he’d played his whole career with Magic”. Great. I can say that all I want, but there’s no point because it’ll never happen and can’t be tested.

            FYI – while Rodman was on the Pistons, his rebound averages increased because he was playing more minutes, not because Laimbeer was gone. With the Spurs he averaged 17.3 and 16.8 (which led the league) while playing next to David Robinson, who averaged 10.7 and 10.8. Rodman’s rebs per game actually dipped a little in Chicago, despite the fact that the next best rebounder on the team was Jordan.

          • Aug 31, 20124:30 pm
            by Max

            I agree with most of what you say but here my ultimate issue.  Even the current Howard would be hard pressed to lead the league in rebounding if he played next to Monroe no matter what the rest of the team looked like.   I have a fairly good grasp of the history of the league and can’t really think of an instance in the modern era of a player averaging 14 rebound or more on a team that featured another player who was thought of as a 10 rebound guy whether he averaged 8 that season or not.  Lopez never approached being a 10 rebound guy anyway.   To put it another way, if you told me that Kevin Love or Dwight Howard were going to lead the league in rebounding the following season and that one of them was going to play with Greg Monroe and the other was not and that all three players were not going to get injured, I would place all of my bets on the one who didn’t play with Greg Monroe and so would anyone else. 
            Your statement about personal moves is basically right on but the problem comes at the extremes of players leading the league in a given stat.   If Chris Paul and LeBron James were on the same team, their assists would almost definitely both go down unless Paul’s went up and James’ role changed so much that his went way down.   The issue at hand is that stats can only be accumulated on a team basis at so high a threshold and that when two players who are capable of dominating that stat are on the same team, they can’t both be so dominant and more often than not, they are both less dominant.  If Chamberlain and Russell played together at their apex, they could not have averaged 50 rebounds between them because there just weren’t that many rebounds a game, even in the 60s, for two players who were always on the floor with three other teammates to grab. 

          • Aug 31, 20124:37 pm
            by Max

            You are right but Rodman is arguably the best rebounder of all time and his numbers dipped in Chicago because he was getting old.

  • Aug 30, 20128:59 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I don’t like the Howard or K. Brown comparisons.  Let Drummond become whoever he can become but a note on Brown.   If Brown had been a 9th pick, he would be enjoying a solid career for that draft position and would probably even be a better player since he would never have had to deal with the backlash of high expectations or been asked to be anything other than what he is–a pretty decent shot blocker and rebounder.  I hope Drummond is much better than Brown but I hate when people act like Brown is the worst player in the league or something and I would be underwhelmed but satisfied if Drummond was to turn into a DeAndre Jordan because that is exactly what the Pistons need right now.

    • Aug 31, 201211:42 am
      by G

      Reply

      I mostly agree. I also hate the comparisons, but it’s hard to put a player in perspective without doing it. It’s hard to say to what degree being the #1 pick hurt Kwame Brown, but even without that he still has all those other flaws – bad conditioning, bad motivation, etc. The thing with Brown is you don’t know what version of him you’re going to get. He was ok with the Pistons, but he was in pretty good shape then. The problem (and reason why he gets a bad rap) is it’s impossible to separate the amount of money he’s made from the discussion, and he’s made WAY too much money for a player of his caliber.

      • Aug 31, 20121:59 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I don’t think that the amount of money a player makes or where he was picked bears any relevance on the question of how good he is at basketball.   The money and draft pick merely relate to how good an investment a team made in a given player.   Brown has been a bad investment for several teams but using that as a perspective on his actual quality as a player is a warped way of thinking even if it’s common and human nature to do so.   For instance, if I ask you if Joe Johnson is a better basketball player than Tony Allen you should should readily answer Johnson if you are answering my actual question and know anything about basketball.   If you tell me that you’d rather have Tony Allen because of Johnson’s contract then you didn’t answer my question. 
        I live in New York and there was a period when New Yorkers turned on Alan Houston because of his contract but they remember him fondly now–he was a good basketball player, period.   I’ve seen public polls where Brown is ranked as the worst player in the league but the thinking is warped; he is not the worst player in the league but just one of the most disappointing.

        • Aug 31, 20123:45 pm
          by G

          Reply

          I don’t disagree with any of that. The problem is perception of Brown is worse because he was the number one pick but played like a 2nd or 3rd string center, and whenever he got a nice contract you could count on him to gain 50 lbs. Darko is in a similar situation. He’s been a decent back up center, but perception of him is colored since he was taken ahead of Wade and Bosh, and later Minnesota overpaid for him. The majority of that is out of the player’s control (although Kwame could at least TRY to earn one of those paychecks), but it still colors our perception of the player, fair or unfair.

          • Aug 31, 20124:53 pm
            by Max

            See you are still underrating Brown who has probably started in like half of his games and throughout his career.   A 3rd string center is a guy who doesn’t average any more than five minutes.   Brown has probably averaged twenty or more for his career and year in and year out.  He was drafted a long time ago and Mark Jackson was starting to start him over Biedrins last year when he got hurt.   Also, I don’t think he hurt himself as badly as he did last year because he didn’t want to try to earn his contract. 

          • Sep 3, 201212:32 am
            by G

            He showed up out of shape because he wasn’t interested in earning his contract, which is how he got injured

          • Sep 4, 201211:47 pm
            by Max

            According to you anyway…………

          • Sep 5, 20128:32 am
            by G

            Dude gets a big contract, doesn’t work out all off season, shows up overweight & out of shape, and tears his pectoral muscle in the first month of the season? If that wasn’t the reason he got injured, it certainly was a major contributing factor.
            Ok, I’m done arguing about a mediocre player who’s played on 6 different teams. Interestingly, there’s another Kwame Brown in this world. A D.C. council chairman, who plead guilty to bank fraud and campaign finance violations. 11 years after taking him #1 overall, Kwame still haunts Washington.

          • Sep 6, 20125:37 pm
            by Max

            But how do you know he didn’t work out all summer?   As far as a I can tell, Brown has always been one of the most jacked players in the league with bulging muscles all over.  

          • Sep 6, 20125:42 pm
            by Max

            And btw: more players showed up out of shape last season than any season in history in all probability because of the lockout.  To that point, Brown didn’t sign with the Warriors until December of last year so even if he didn’t work out all summer, he wasn’t any different than most of the free agents who didn’t want to get hurt during the lockout.  Therefore, your entire scenario is off because you repeatedly framed things as if Brown signed a contract in bad faith and then didn’t work out all summer when in fact, he wasn’t signed to any contract over the summer and got hurt very shortly after signing one.

  • Aug 31, 20124:12 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    @Patrick…….you have this tendency, I guess when you feel accused of being pessimistic, of calling those who disagree with you homers or viewing the Pistons through rose colored glasses.   I admittedly love the Pistons and want the best for them but I have always disliked certain moves they have made and players on their team–and I have seen that is true of other posters on this site.   I’ll never endorse Dantley for Aguirre (even though they won), I never liked Sean Elliot or agreed with the Pistons even trading Rodman, I positively hated Bison Dele from day one, I never liked the Billups trade and I never liked Ben Gordon.   You accuse me of writing too many posts at times but I’ve left the evidence and if you look back, you’ll find no contradiction.   This is all to say that calling people homers is about as useful to calling people haters when we are talking about forecasts.   I agreed with you when you said earlier that the Pistons record this year shouldn’t be all someone is grading on but how you can say that and then try to defend the grades by not allowing them to refer to Drummond’s ultimate future?   To me, the Pistons would have deserved an F if they had packaged Monroe, Gordon and Villy for Joe Johnson.   People would have abandoned ship and what not.  That is what an F is for or what deserves an F?   In contrast, if you look at the reaction of the Pistons picking Drummond on the night of the draft and days after on your own site, you will find its most positive and optimistic days that I ever experienced.   When an off-season move creates that kind of buzz amongst the team’s actual fans, it seems arrogant to me for a writer to deliver a D or an F as if the GM, organization and fan base could be so wrong.  I’ve been a diehard fan for nearly 30 years now and the drafting of Drummond was easily one of the five sweetest draft nights on the night.
    I only use the hater stuff to describe a media bias that does exist for some writers but I don’t think it’s anything other than human nature.   The NBA is not that different than the WWF in some ways and Isiah, Laimbeer and the Pistons were cast, for reasons they did and didn’t deserve, as the foil to the NBA’s biggest star ever at the very moment when that star was most brilliantly on the rise.  Isiah and the Pistons frustrated this ascent and even got in the way of the NBA’s next two biggest stars ever, Bird and Johnson.   Worse, they did it with defense and managed to do it again 15 years later, again with defense, and against a Lakers team that was probably the biggest favorite ever going into a season.   The Bulls, the Lakers and The Celtics are the closest to being the NBAs national teams.   When I meet a person in New York, the most common answer if not the Knicks to someone’s favorite team is definitely the Bulls.   The Nets trail all three of these nationals by a huge percentage.  On the other hand, the NBA fans I meet are usually very surprised when I name the Pistons as my favorite team–we show up in decent force at the games though.   Anyway, people don’t like defense.  They like offense and that is why the Spurs and Pistons and Riley’s Knicks and the like get labeled as boring.  This is another media bias because so many must vastly prefer offense to defense and thus the love fest that was Nash’s Suns.  Personally, I think I picked the Pistons on some level because I love defense.  There is nothing more exciting to me than an earned stop in a big moment.   While others are going gaga for game winning shots I do the same for game winning blocks.  I just don’t understand how you and others can so wholly deny this bias which seems so obvious to me and others.   Nash’s Suns had a positive bias for human reasons and the media has liked the Spurs better, the longer they have stayed together and perhaps even more importantly, the more they have shifted from being a defensive oriented team to being an offensive one.   There are biases related to every team in the league but the Pistons have rather strong ones against them because they have been on the biggest stage against the biggest stars while playing the least popular style with players that were amongst the most controversial and easiest to dislike as in Isiah, Laimbeer, Rodman and ‘Sheed.  Also, very few franchises are associated with any particular kind of play and the Pistons are probably the only one that is primarily known for defense which is unpopular and actively disliked.   The Lakers are still associated with Showtime and Nuggets, Warriors and Suns are also known for being uptempo across eras.   I can’t think of another right now that really qualifies but I think the bias against the Pistons for defense and having villains at key moments is natural but obvious.  Why deny it?            

  • Sep 1, 201210:50 am
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Do you guys want to do a fantasy basketball league?

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