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Will any of Detroit’s ‘weird forward types’ exceed expectations?

Zach Lowe, formerly of Sports Illustrated and now writing for Grantland, separates all of the NBA teams into tiers heading into the season in his latest. The Pistons — for those who say the national media ignores them — actually made Lowe’s list of teams competing for the eighth seed in the East:

Don’t laugh, or at least laugh quietly. Detroit played .500 ball after a 4-20 start last season, and improved on both sides of the floor as the year went on. Brandon Knight will be better, and the fact that he shot 38 percent from deep as a rookie is very promising. Greg Monroe is already a star on offense, and Rodney Stuckey can work just fine as second or third option on a .500-plus team. Lawrence Frank can coach, and someone among their weird forward types should exceed expectations.

It probably still won’t be enough. There is no veteran backup for Stuckey, and defense is going to be an issue until someone emerges as a viable partner for Monroe. Also: Most of those weird forward types — Corey Maggette, Tayshaun Prince, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye, and the solid Jonas Jerebko — haven’t been very good of late.

Great description of those guys — the ‘weird forwards.’ I think it has potential to stick. Lowe also listed Washington, Toronto and Milwaukee in that group of teams hoping to contend for that eight seed this season.


  • Oct 10, 20123:43 pm
    by sebastian


    Remedy: Move Tay, Maggette, and Daye to Memphis for Rudy Gay. I know, Rudy comes at a high price, but he is the sort of young, still developing SF that WE need to have starting at the “3″. Memphis would bite on this offer, as it gets them out of the Rudy Gay contract and still provides their roster with stable SF play.

    Now, I hear all of the naysayers and detractors lambasted the aforementioned proposition, but think about it Pistons fan, do any of you trust Joe to make the correct decision with the cap space afforded to US on July 1, when Maxey, Will B., and Daye come off of the books?

    No top-notch free agent is signing with OUR Pistons. Joe would be wise to attempt to obtain a player of Rudy’s level via trade. 
    Also, trading for Rudy will not hurt Gore’s wallet, when the time comes to resign (or extend) Moose. The money gain with Maxey, Will B., and Stuckey’s guaranteed 4.5 million in 2013-14 will help at resigning (or extending) Moose; not to mention that Joe can still amnesty Charlie V., next July.

    Rudy would be a great addition to OUR young Pistons squad. The guy would easily adapt to the “D”, after growing up in Baltimore and playing in Memphis his entire career, Detroit would be the proper, gritty destination for a guy, who could be the missing piece.
    Moving Tay, Maggette, and Daye will also make room for T. Will and Jonny Flynn.

    • Oct 10, 20123:55 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Memphis could do much, much better than that if they were shopping Gay, and there really hasn’t been any indication this offseason at least that they are shopping him. Teams don’t trade young fringe all-stars who might still be improving in straight salary dumps. Detroit would undoubtedly have to include someone from their young core — like Knight or Drummond — to make a trade like that enticing enough for Memphis to consider.

      • Oct 10, 20124:02 pm
        by sebastian


        Yo, Patrick, I have to commend you for your consistency. Your response to my proposition is the same as when I posted this trade scenario, during the summer.

        Just curious, what do you think OUR solution should be to the “weired forward types” conundrum that OUR Pistons, currently face.

        Oh, and keep up the good work!  

        • Oct 10, 20124:14 pm
          by Patrick Hayes


          Haha … glad we’re both consistent then — you with the Gay trade scenario and me with my rebuttal.

          I think the solution, for now, will be to just not play a couple of those guys. I don’t think Daye, Singler or Middleton will crack the rotation this year. Villanueva could, I guess, if he’s been as impressive as the camp reports say, but we’ve heard that noise about him before. My guess is Prince/Maggette take up most of the SF minutes, with maybe a sprinkling of Jerebko. Up front, Monroe is obviously going to get as many minutes as he can handle. Maxiell will probably begin the season as a starter, but I expect Kravstov to push for a rotation spot. Jerebko/Maxiell and maybe Villanueva will vie for the backup PF minutes. I hope Drummond cracks the rotation at some point, but I don’t expect him to out of camp.

          As for T Will and Flynn, although I’m somewhat intrigued by both guys, I just don’t see the Pistons making any kind of roster move to accommodate one or both, unless they have just unbelievably impressive preseason performances. I would really, really like to see them find a way to keep Williams though.

  • Oct 10, 20123:45 pm
    by sebastian


    I forgot to add that the trade works – http://basketball.realgm.com/tradechecker/saved_trade/6147306.

    • Oct 10, 20124:28 pm
      by Jordan


      Dude its a terrible trade for memphis. No one should have to explain why.

  • Oct 10, 20124:08 pm
    by vic


    “There is no veteran backup for Stuckey”,

    SOLVED – Maggette: same playing style, practicing at the 2. Hopefully Frank will play him there.

    “and defense is going to be an issue until someone emerges as a viable partner for Monroe.”
    KRAVTSOLVED. Plus a hungry Maxiell in a contract year was the reason they went .500 in the last part of last year. (He was added to the starting lineup.)

    I still think the Pistons will make the playoffs… Not sure, but still over 50% chance in my opinion. I think we’ll be competing with Washington/Atlanta/New York.

    This year there’s really no reason to wish for the draft anyway. The difference between a number 12 and a number 16 pick will be pretty minimal, and on a much lower plane than last year. Last year you were getting top 10 level talent at picks 14-20. This year after the top 5, you’re just getting a college basketball player that might get better.

    Might as well shoot for the best. 

    • Oct 10, 20124:19 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      If Atlanta and NY are competing for the 8 spot, something went drastically wrong. I know those teams are flawed, but still. The Hawks still have one of the best frontcourts in the league in Horford-Smith and their guard play is solid enough. The Knicks are the Knicks, but if they all stay healthy, they should be penciled in for 46ish win range. I really only see one spot in the East up for grabs in the playoffs. If everyone stays healthy on these teams, Miami, Boston, Chicago, Philly, Indiana, NY and Atlanta should be locks, and Brooklyn is very close to that group. I’ve written it earlier, but I think there’s a really good chance the Pistons are a much better team but still don’t sniff the playoffs. They’re closer, but a lot of other teams improved too. The Pistons didn’t really add any significant veteran pieces that will help right now (unless you count Maggette, who is an injury risk). They are just banking on their young guys getting better really fast. That could work, but it’s certainly far from a guarantee.

      • Oct 10, 20129:31 pm
        by lvmainman


        The Nets are better than the Bulls without Rose, the Knicks, or a Bynum led 76ers. The Hawks will struggle to get the 8th seed. The Nets added a healthy Lopez, Joe Johnson, a defensive hustler in Wallace, and have a 6th man in Marshon Brooks.

        Pistons are definitely on the outside looking in.

  • Oct 10, 20125:05 pm
    by copacetic


    Weird forwards? I hope it sticks. Any workaholics fans out there?

  • Oct 10, 20127:17 pm
    by Max


    I think the Pistons should play some small ball with Tay at the four so they can play a team of Monroe, Prince, Maggette, Stuckey and Knight.   This could be the best offensive five man unit at Frank’s disposal this year. 

    • Oct 10, 201211:16 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Prince doesn’t really like playing PF and he partially blamed it for all of the back injuries he had a few years back. Not sure he’d be all that into that idea, especially since he’s even older now.

  • Oct 11, 20124:28 pm
    by Max


    You’re right but the league is playing small ball more frequently now and he could play power forward against other small forwards and tweener powers.

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