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Zach Lowe: Detroit enters offseason with ‘more certainty about what it needs’

The always must-read Zach Lowe at Grantland has a column today looking at — as he puts it — the dregs of the NBA, including the Pistons. Here’s Lowe’s analysis:

Joe Dumars has carved out a bunch of cap space, raising fears of a botched free agency sequel to the Charlie Villanueva–Ben Gordon spending spree of 2009 — the potential NBA equivalent of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. That kind of failure seems less likely with new ownership and an increased emphasis on analytics, but every game provides Detroit with a better understanding of what it has on the current roster — an understanding that will allow Detroit to enter the next two summers with more certainty about what it needs.

Andre Drummond’s back issues have hurt Detroit’s ability to learn more about how Drummond’s pick-and-roll game might mesh with Greg Monroe’s facilitating from the elbows — and whether Drummond really might be the explosive back-line helper who can cover up for Monroe’s slow-footed, unintuitive defense. The Pistons have allowed exactly 100 points per 100 possessions in the 248 minutes the two have played together, a number that would rank eighth overall — far above Detroit’s standing as a team. But Detroit’s (very bad) offense has been worse when the two bigs share the floor, and 248 minutes is a tiny sample size.

Then there’s Brandon Knight, fresh off two straight very good games before Sunday’s contest working as something between a point guard and a shooting guard next to Jose Calderon. There’s no shame in topping out as a hybrid guard instead of a ball-dominating lead dog, even if Knight would be small for a 2-guard; secondary ball handlers are valuable, and two very good secondary ball handlers can almost mimic the impact of one very good point guard. But where Detroit sees Knight’s game going in 2013-14 will play a role in their decision with Calderon, a free agent this summer, and with Knight after that. Regardless, Detroit needs another wing who can shoot; Kyle Singler looks like a backup, and teams are scoring like mad against smaller lineups featuring Rodney Stuckey as a nominal small forward, per NBA.com.

So there’s a nice setup for you in the comments. Your summer to-do list for the Pistons is …


  • Mar 5, 20131:58 pm
    by Crispus


    -Let Maxiell go
    -Keep Stuckey or Will Bynum, but not both
    -Resign Calderon, but not for too much
    -Put Greg Monroe on a regimen of elbow jump shots and pick-and-roll defense
    -Look into “The JJs”, Hickson and Redick, but don’t bite if the price is too high for either
    -Get Kravtsov some Summer League action
    -Make more “Buckets” videos with Kyle Singler
    -Bring in Scott Machado for Summer League!
    -Draft good players
    -Hire Ben Wallace as Defensive Big Man Coach
    -Keep being supportive of Drummond 

    • Mar 5, 20132:06 pm
      by Jordan


      But how much is too much for Calderon? 3/18 is all an old, one way playing pg is worth to a rebuilding team.

    • Mar 5, 20133:00 pm
      by Huddy


      Maybe instead of Reddick we look at Korver.  He has to be cheaper than Reddick and is lights out from 3.  He is getting up there in age (31) but he can really spread the floor and may transition to a 6th man role relatively soon for us depending on how the wing player we should be drafting develops.  He definitely isn’t a SF of the future, but he could be an interim starter and a very solid role player while Singler develops.

    • Mar 6, 20133:33 am
      by Mrshourite


      I like J.J Hickson, Absolute MONSTER on the glass. 

  • Mar 5, 20132:29 pm
    by G


    Rent Revenge of the Fallen…

  • Mar 5, 20132:36 pm
    by Aruna


    #1  Resign Calderon at around $5-7 mil for 3 years ideally, I’d be willing to give him more years and/or money on a front-loaded contract.

    #2  Let all of our other free agents go.

    #3  Explore the pre-camp trade markets, either swinging for the fences with our cap space or try to off-load Stuckey and/or Jerebko for assets that better fit our future direction.  (That future direction being the twin towers of Monroe and Drummond, note I would trade Monroe in a swing for the fences deal)

    #4  Draft the best player available, with preference given to wing players.

    #5  Fill out the roster with young, cheap players with a high ceiling.  I don’t like any of the top tier free agents that are likely to be available to us.  If we can get Chris Paul here, absolutely pay him the max, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    #6  Keep looking for trades during the season. 

    • Mar 5, 20132:45 pm
      by Worm


      Good thing you’re so generous with your money ;)

      • Mar 5, 20133:08 pm
        by Aruna


        Is this because I used the first person, or because you think Calderon is worth less than that?

        Because $5 mil is the full mid-level extension, and I think he could probably get that from a playoff team looking for a point guard off the bench.

        • Mar 5, 20133:24 pm
          by G


          I think it’s sarcasm. You sound like whoever was running the Suns before they brought in Steve Kerr

        • Mar 5, 20137:41 pm
          by Worm


          Just the context made it sound like you were writing the checks, just bustin’ your balls brotha.

  • Mar 5, 20132:51 pm
    by G



    But what they do really should start off with the draft. They need perimeter defense, perimeter offense, and depth in the front court. 
    - Draft Oladipo, Otto Porter or Trey Burke. Unless we get the #1 pick, then McLemore.
    - Re-sign Calderon
    - Find a way to trade Stuckey somewhere as an expiring contract with upside
    - Target 1 major FA like Kevin Martin, Chris Paul or OJ Mayo & if you don’t get them, keep the cap space  
    - Target 2-3 quality role/bench players like JJ Hickson, Darren Collison, Marreese Speights, or Corey Brewer and (here’s the important part) DON’T OVER PAY THEM 

    Unfortunately you probably have to run it back with Frank. Joe D has a rep as a coach killer, and Frank hasn’t exactly coached himself out of a job yet. I think you have to let him play out his contract at the least, and then explore your options.  

    • Mar 5, 20133:07 pm
      by Huddy


      I think of the majors you mentioned I like Kevin Martin.  Chris Paul is obviously better but is just such a long shot to leave LA.  I’m just not sold on Mayo in comparison to what I think he will be asking for in his next contract.  OKC seems adamant that they will keep Martin, but who knows they do have Lamb sitting there with potential and a cheaper price tag.
      Mo Speights and Collison would be great additions to the team.  Speights plays much better D than Hickson and Collison is a great up tempo guy to balance behind Jose.

      • Mar 5, 20133:14 pm
        by G


        I agree with pretty much everything you said. I think you have to take a run at Chris Paul or Kevin Martin, but be ok with falling short. Same thing with Mayo, get him at YOUR price, not his. It’s ok to let that cap space carry over, then we can take on a little salary in a Stuckey trade, or use some of it next year to re-sign Monroe.

    • Mar 5, 20133:56 pm
      by tarsier


      Mayo will almost certainly get a deal of at least $8M/yr. He’s not worth that. Ignore him. If you can get him for two-thirds of that, great. But otherwise, wing role players are easy to come by.

      I like Kevin Martin a bit more, but would still pay him no more than $7M/yr.

      Obviously, CP3 or Dwight would be amazing. But that’s not likely to happen.

      Amnesty CV.

      Make a serious run at Iggy and Millsap, two of the best FAs available who seem at least possible to sign.

      If, after pursuing other FAs, there is still significant cap space, sign Calderon to $22M/4 yrs. Frontload it as much as possible. $3M/yr with a $10M signing bonus would be about right if Detroit can only get one big name FA.

    • Mar 5, 201311:55 pm
      by Jacob


      Wes Johnson could be cheap, and he is only like 25.

      • Mar 6, 20135:50 am
        by oats


        Do you mean Wes as a summer league tryout? He is not good at anything on a basketball court, so I wouldn’t sign him to an actual deal unless the wing positions get thinned out an awful lot.

  • Mar 5, 20132:53 pm
    by Sean Corp


    1. Re-sign Calderon for no more than three years. 
    2. Draft Otto Porter or Victor Oladipo (fingers crossed)
    3. Sign Gerald Henderson or Tony Allen
    4. Trade Rodney Stuckey for whatever you can get
    5. Retain leftover free agent money to play the Cavs of 2014
    6. Unless Andre Iguodala opts out, then you throw big money at him 

    • Mar 5, 20133:12 pm
      by Huddy


      Big fan of Iguodala and am not so certain he will stay in Denver.  They have been a good team for a while now but just can’t seem to breakout beyond that.  It may seem like Detroit is a long shot for him, but if he feels like Denver is hitting a plateau not a lot of other teams will be willing to pay him with so much focus being put on Chris Paul and Dwight Howard (even if they are favored to stay where ther are) or even Josh Smith.  He plays great D and is exactly what the Pistons need.

      • Mar 5, 20133:19 pm
        by G


        Are you enough of a fan to pay Iguodala over $16 million? His offense has been falling off consistently the last 3 years.  

        • Mar 5, 20133:39 pm
          by Huddy


          I might be.  I don’t think his offensive ability has gone down quite that much, his PPG are down about 4 from 3 years ago but his percentages are solid and he has lost a couple of minutes a game and a couple of shots per game.  Andre 3 years ago was running the 76ers even bringing the ball up quite a bit.  This year he is playing with Ty Lawson who commands a lot more time with the ball and shots.  Jrue Holiday has blown up since Andre left and that is very telling.  The other thing I am considering is our draft, If we get a wing with star potential I really like the idea of rotating someone like Oladipo or Porter with Igoudala(and dropping one of the two down to the SG at times) and when Igoudala’s contract is up we just may have a star level replacement already, maybe even be able to resign Andre as a role player in his later years at a reasonable price.
          One problem I do see is 3pt shooting.  I think it is very important to have a wing that can shoot the 3 consistently when we have such good bigs inside and Andre isn’t that wing.  This is tough because a lot of the options on the wing that can shoot generally are lacking on D and athleticism, which we also need.  There is risk no matter what when paying that kind of money for someone so all in all you are definitely not wrong for being skeptical.

          • Mar 5, 20133:52 pm
            by G

            I’m going to go a little deeper. Maybe you like Iguodala at $16 million+ next year, but what about the next 3-4 years? He’s 29, he probably wants his next contract to take care of him for most of the rest of his playing career, at least until 33. That’s a 4 year deal at… let’s call it $17 mil a year. He’s so good on defense because of superior athleticism. What does that look like in 3 years?

          • Mar 5, 20133:54 pm
            by G

            Don’t get me wrong, I like Iguo, but I don’t think it’s worth throwing the check book at him. He’ll probably take his player option anyway, stick with Denver & go on the market next summer.

          • Mar 5, 20133:59 pm
            by Huddy

            I think for 3 years he can be worth that but it isn’t a sure thing not sure he can get someone to bite with the new CBA at 4 years with his age.  One thing I like is bringing in one guy to fill some big gaps as opposed to 3 average guys with lesser contracts.  We have so many guys already that we want to get PT that if we are bringing in too many guys we are just going to remain a team full of role players without enough minutes to go around. 

          • Mar 5, 20135:15 pm
            by G

            See, I disagree. I think the Pistons actually lack depth. They’ve got starters that should be bench players, bench players that should be end-of-the-bench players, and end-of-the-bench players that should be in the D league.

            You counteract that by getting a couple legit starters, a couple legit bench guys, you let some guys go, and you’re deeper. 

          • Mar 5, 20136:55 pm
            by City of Klompton

            “See, I disagree. I think the Pistons actually lack depth. They’ve got starters that should be bench players, bench players that should be end-of-the-bench players, and end-of-the-bench players that should be in the D league.
            You counteract that by getting a couple legit starters, a couple legit bench guys, you let some guys go, and you’re deeper. ”

            I think G just nailed it.  There may be guys on this team who some of us, as fans, may have grown a liking to for whatever reason, but we have to realize this team has been in the tank for a few years now with these players.  We have mostly average to good players on a bad team… somebody has to grab a few boards, score a few points, etc.  (With players on a scale of 1-10, if we have a team mostly full of 5′s, the 6′s & 7′s, most of the guys are going to look better than they are simply because they are better than the rest of their teammates.)

            It’s time to upgrade.  We can’t bring in one guy and suddenly expect our massively underachieving crew to contend in the East (unless that guy’s name is LeBron James… and that’s never going to happen…)

      • Mar 5, 20136:43 pm
        by Mike


        I actually like your idea but my post was more tailored to what I think the pistons are actually willing to do.  I think they will probably resign either Bynum or Maxiell and I dont see them pushing down enough players out of Slava, Jerebko, Middleton, English, CV, (Bynum or Maxiell) to make room for that many new pieces.  The post is about what we would like to see and not what we assume the team will do though so i actually would like to see more new faces like you are suggesting.

  • Mar 5, 20133:16 pm
    by dvs


    1. Let Max and bynum go.
    2. Sign JJ Reddick, Corey Brewer and Mo Speights to reasonable deals
    3. Resign Jose for 2/16
    Let Monroe and knight lead the team.

    • Mar 5, 20134:03 pm
      by tarsier


      Does Marreese Speights shorten his name to “Mo”?

      Also, forget mediocre guys on small deals. That’s what exceptions are for. The Pistons need another building block of their core, not some final touches.

      That trio on “reasonable deals” will cost as much as one very good player. Would you rather have a very good player or a whole bunch of meh? 

      • Mar 5, 20134:37 pm
        by G


        Pistons need depth though. BADLY. Getting Calderon, Redick (not Reddick, common mistake), Brewer & Speights would upgrade the Pistons at SG, SF, and bench PF. You’d probably pay $8 mil/yr for Jose, same for Redick, $4-$5 for Brewer and $4 for Speights. 

        Remember how they built the contender? Mainly by swapping assets and picking the odd gem up in free agency. I don’t remember any swinging for the fences going on. Keep in mind if they don’t amnesty Charlie V or trade Stuckey, there’s $16.5 mil coming off the books next year just with those 2. 

        • Mar 5, 20134:38 pm
          by G


          Sorry, it’s Stuckey & Jerebko & it’s $12.5 mil. My bad 

        • Mar 5, 20139:34 pm
          by tarsier


          But you can always add depth later. You can’t always add high level talent.

        • Mar 5, 20139:49 pm
          by tarsier


          Remember how they built the contender? Mainly by swapping assets and picking the odd gem up in free agency. I don’t remember any swinging for the fences going on.

           And how many other teams have done that successfully. The key to that contending team was getting two all-star caliber players for essentially MLEs. Ben Wallace and Chauncey Billups turned out to be total steals. Which of Redick, Brewer, and Speights has that potential to suddenly get way better?

          Comparable signings would be Bledsoe and Mayo. But only if they could each be had on long term deals for under $6M annually. Although, I’d be fine with giving them each a 5 yr deal up to $36M if it were set up like Nick Collison’s with a big signing bonus and a low annual rate.

          • Mar 6, 20139:21 am
            by G

            I think Redick could actually get better. And Chauncey didn’t actually get “way better” on coming here, he played very well while Terrell Brandon was injured & clearly deserved a starting role some place. Redick is practically in the same boat – he looks like he could start but he’s coming off the bench.

            I don’t care how many other teams were able to duplicate Joe D’s method, I know it worked for him and his strong suit was flipping assets for under-valued assets that were able to excel here. In order for that to work, you need ASSETS.

            Anyway, I still want to know what “high level” talent you think they can add this off season. 

          • Mar 6, 201310:27 am
            by tarsier

            I think Redick could actually get better.

            Really? At his age? It’s possible, but highly improbable. And coming off the bench is irrelevant. He has had a plenty big role. He has never even really showed flashes of brilliance. JJ Redick is a 3 and D guy just like Posey and Ariza and countless others before him.

             I don’t care how many other teams were able to duplicate Joe D’s method, I know it worked for him and his strong suit was flipping assets for under-valued assets

            Why would you not care? Lots of things can work once on a fluke. You only keep on using that method if it is in fact repeatable, not because it worked once. And his strong suit was not flipping assets. It was getting a pair of stars on MLE sized contracts. And drafting late. That’s how he wound up with Wallace+Billups+Prince for under $15M/yr. No amount of flipping would accomplish that. And that allowed him to splurge on higher priced guys in Rip and Sheed. Yeah, accumulating assets is nice, but “$8 mil/yr for Jose, same for Redick, $4-$5 for Brewer and $4 for Speights” are not assets. Those are a bunch of role players whose contributions can be duplicated by another at a lower price. Seriously, you’re talking $24M for that bunch. And not one of them is the caliber of player to be a part of a team’s core.

             Anyway, I still want to know what “high level” talent you think they can add this off season.

             I’ve said it several times in this comments section, but two of the best options available are Iggy and Millsap. Of course, one can also make a probably futile run at Howard or Paul. Smith and Jefferson aren’t great fits, but at least they are good talent. They could be traded or make it possible to trade one of the Pistons’ current bigs for a better fitting player. Heck, even Bynum could be worth making a run at if some sort of injury clause were in the contract allowing the team to back out if he missed over 30 games in a season.

            All of those guys would be difference makers. Brewer, Speights, and Redick would not be plus players. They would just be there to sponge up minutes from worse options. That’s how you finish a team, it’s not how you build one. 

          • Mar 6, 201310:46 am
            by G

            Redick isn’t a 3 and D guy, mainly because his D isn’t that great, but also because his offense is more diversified than that. He’s getting more assists, his scoring and FG% numbers have improved, and his D is improving. Compare to Iguodala, who is getting worse.

            Houston is building a contender in a similar way that Joe D did. They stacked up assets, pulled some crazy trades, and signed a couple key guys in the off season. It’s not a fluke, it’s been done before and they’ll do it again. Brewer, Redick & Calderon are all legit NBA starters, but that’s not even the point. Locking up one guy in a big fat contract is REALLY risky and makes it hard to make moves down the road. Signing guys to several smaller contracts is like diversifying – you spread out your risk and you have more parts that are easier to move if necessary.

            I keep saying you won’t get Iggy at the price you want. He has a $16M player option next year, so you won’t get him for less than that. All these other guys you’re naming are terrible fits (beside Paul), and the Pistons will have to offer a giant, immobile contract to get one of them. Check my comment farther down on Win Shares – Redick & Iggy add the same number of wins! The guys I’m advocating the Pistons target aren’t exactly “sexy” names, but like I said, they move the needle.


          • Mar 6, 20133:49 pm
            by tarsier

            But Detroit didn’t stack up a ton of asset or flip them for a star. Detroit got a couple very good players signed to long term deals while their value was low (risk!). If anything, that is like what Golden State just did with Curry.

            I’m fine with not getting Iggy, but why does his having a $16M player option mean he won’t be signed for less than that annually? If he opts out, he’ll almost certainly take a pay cut in the first year of his new deal. That pretty much always happens in such circumstances. players will do it, though, for the security of a long-term deal.

            Diversifying and spreading out risk is all well and good if what you are shooting for is mediocrity. Face it, the NBA rewards swinging for the fences. If you succeed, you have a fantastic team and you are a contender. If you fail, you bottom out and start over. If you lower your risk, you lower your reward. And you’re ceiling will be the Hawks.

            Now, if you already have a contention-level core, you want to start mitigating risk on moves from there on. But Detroit’s not there yet.

            Also, you can never predict who will be able to be had on a bargain. That’s just whoever slips through the cracks of FA. And those are the only “assets” that come out of it besides the stars. Mediocre guys on extremely cheap deals are assets. Mediocre guys on mediocre deals are liabilities. Better to leave the cap space open than to give Redick over $5M/yr.

          • Mar 6, 20135:13 pm
            by G

            You can’t swing for the fences if you’ve got nothing to swing with. This team is talent depleted, not quite as bad as the 2008 Lions but close.

            And if you’re saying the 2004 team didn’t stack up assets or flip them for a star, you couldn’t be farther from the truth. Rip was gotten in trade, Corliss, ‘Sheed, Mike James, Chucky, and I think one of our draft picks. 

          • Mar 6, 20135:51 pm
            by City of Klompton

            “And his strong suit was not flipping assets. It was getting a pair of stars on MLE sized contracts. And drafting late.”

            What is wrong with that? He tends to flip bad assets or leaving assets into real assets.  Am I the only one who seems to remember Joe flipping several “failed projects” for draft picks that panned out.  Am I also the only one who seems to remember the only big piece we signed from the 2000′s teams was Chauncey? The rest came from trades (with the exception of Tay, whom we drafted.) Rip came from a trade for Stackhouse. Ben came from Orlando via the Grant Hill trade. We obviously remember where Sheed came from. How is this not flipping assets?

            He took Stack, who was getting older and older and more of a ball-hog in the process, for a young, up and coming RIp.  He traded Grant “I’m peacing out of here whether you like it or not” Hill for Chucky and Ben.  That’s a nice flip if you ask me.  An aging ball-hog and a superstar who was leaving regardless of scenario turned into a super-conditioned mid-range sniper and one of the greatest defenders of the 2000′s.  

  • Mar 5, 20133:25 pm
    by Steve


    1. Resign Jose for 3 years.
    2. Let everyone else go.
    3. Sign Redick, Matt Barnes and/or Tony Allen, and a backup big.
    4. Draft best wing or PG available.
    5. Abandon everything above if we can get Chris Paul.
    6. Above all else, DON’T sign Josh Smith. 

  • Mar 5, 20134:05 pm
    by tarsier


    Why does everyone want the Pistons to sign the sort of players they could get without any cap space? Those players are “final pieces to push a team over the top”, not building blocks. Why bother getting cap space if you’re going to waste it on a bunch of mediocrity?

    • Mar 5, 20135:00 pm
      by G


      I’m looking at who’s available. Who do you think the Pistons should go after? Josh Smith? OJ Mayo? If you think there’s no way Chris Paul, Ginobili, Andrew Bynum or Dwight Howard come here and you have reservations about Mayo and Josh Smith, who’s left? Kevin Martin, who the Thunder want to re-sign, Redick, and a bunch of decent but not great players.  

      • Mar 5, 20139:37 pm
        by tarsier


        Iggy and Millsap. Possibly Smith if at a decent price. Not Mayo. Maybe Martin or Ellis if they fall through the FA cracks and become available at a low rate. Possibly Jefferson. Maybe even Bledsoe, at least he has room for development.

        • Mar 6, 20135:53 am
          by oats


          I thought Bledsoe had another year on his contract before becoming an RFA the year after this.

          • Mar 6, 20138:47 am
            by tarsier

            Oh, you’re right.

        • Mar 6, 20139:25 am
          by G


          Millsap and Jefferson would play either PF or C, meaning you move Drummond back to the bench. Smith and Ellis I’m not crazy about, and Iggy still has a player option for $16 mil he can exercise. Martin I like and hope the Pistons take a shot, but it sounds like OKC wants him back. The Pistons will have to make an attractive offer.

          • Mar 6, 201310:38 am
            by tarsier

            Or Millsap/Jefferson comes off the bench. You need at least three bigs in the rotation. I don’t care if that player or Monroe or Drummond comes off the bench. As long as everyone gets minutes.  And there are enough for all three to average over 30 per game even without any minutes coming at SF. In Millsap’s case, you probably can plug him in at SF for about 12-18 mpg, which would free up even more time.

            Also, the biggest problem with the Monroe/Drummond pairing is the inability of either to hit a shot consistently from 12 feet out or more. So pairing either of them with one of Jefferson or Millsap ought to help in that regard.

            I don’t really like Ellis either, but I feel like most of the league has realized how bad he is on D and there’s a chance nobody gives him much money. If he can be had on the cheap, he’s an excellent scorer who has an undeserved reputation for being inefficient. He actually scores quite efficiently.

          • Mar 6, 201310:48 am
            by G

            Millsap & Jefferson will be expensive. You’d pay a guy $14-$18M to come off the bench?

          • Mar 6, 20133:52 pm
            by tarsier

            I couldn’t care less if he comes off the bench. If he’s giving big minutes, those are just as valuable if they begin at tipoff or a little later.

            Admittedly, I’d rather not Jefferson just because none of Jefferson, Monroe, or Drummond is suited to even playing spot minutes at SF. And that would limit them to averaging 32 mpg. With Millsap, they could all easily get 36 mpg.

            And if you don’t like a guy that expensive coming off the bench, bring Monroe or Drummond off the bench.

          • Mar 6, 20135:03 pm
            by G

            I think Drummond and Monroe are both starters right now, and you slow Drummond’s growth by bringing him off the bench. I think trying to fit Millsap in as a 3 is a mistake, which means you end up either paying him at the expense of your younger players or at the expense of his own effectiveness. You can’t play him, Drummond and Monroe all at the same time. Millsap takes less than 6% of his shots from behind the arc while taking over 60% from in the paint.

            Why not pay a guy like Hickson, Speights or Landry to come off the bench? Then you have a 3rd quality big, you don’t have to worry about minutes, and you just saved yourself $10 million. 

          • Mar 7, 201312:30 am
            by tarsier

            In what basis do you say Drummond’s growth would be slowed coming off the bench? Do you have any evidence that one factor in development is starting rather than minutes played? And yes, Millsap is not primarily a 3, but are you honestly saying you don’t believe he could effectively play the position for 12 minutes per game?

            Hickson, Speights, and Landry are not quality big men. Their function is to sponge minutes without hurting a team too much. Millsap would actually help the team.

            More to the point, if you just want to have a bunch of cheap guys, what do you want to do with cap space? Do you just want to use it to pointlessly have serviceable players 15 deep? It only has value if used. It doesn’t have to be used in FA, but that is where it is a lot easier to find value than in the regular season when teams are increasingly unwilling to part with picks just to shed salary.

          • Mar 7, 20138:06 am
            by G

            Millsap doesn’t shoot outside hardly at all. Having him, Drummond and Monroe in the game at the same time would completely clog the lane, & 2 guys could effectively guard all 3. Not good offense.

            Drummond’s growth would be slowed by playing reduced minutes & by not playing with the starters, obviously.

            There are 2 types of players you target in FA: guys that raise the bar & guys that plug holes. The Pistons have a lot of holes. Instead of getting a “raise the bar” guy at a position of strength (creating redundancy), get a solid wing player or spend your money plugging holes. THEN you can get a raise the bar guy next year, when you also have a lot of $ coming off the cap.

            One thing that’s important to remember is YOU DON’T HAVE TO SPEND ALL YOUR CAP SPACE. Monroe’s contract runs out next year and there is a better FA market. Plus, cap space enables you to take on salary in a mid-season trade. 

    • Mar 5, 20135:05 pm
      by G


      That “cap space” comment was telling – I’m guessing you’re in favor of overpaying some guys to come here, a lot of others don’t want to overpay because:
      1) Last time we did that, it didn’t work out so good
      2) Giant contracts make you a poor trading partner, and Joe D’s forte is trading
      3) Giant contracts also make you inflexible, meaning your roster becomes stagnant

      • Mar 5, 20139:41 pm
        by tarsier


        I don’t want to overpay. But here’s the dirty little secret. Almost all mediocre guys are overpaid. $13M for Iggy would be overpaying. But it would be overpaying a lot less than $4M for Brewer or $7M for Redick. or $3M for Speights. Because Iggy would bolster the team a lot more than those three combined.

        You pay those three guys that kind of money and you’re lucky if two of them remain significant parts of the rotation.

        • Mar 6, 20139:29 am
          by G


          You’re not getting Iggy for $13 million. He’s got a player option for $16 million. If you want Iggy, you have to beat that. Either you pay Iggy $17 million (or better) and upgrade 1 position significantly, or you pay $4M for Brewer, $7M for Redick and $4M for Speights, and you upgrade 3 positions for less than it cost to upgrade the one. 

        • Mar 6, 20139:41 am
          by G


          Iggy’s a bigger upgrade at SF than any of those players I named are at their positions (SG, SF, backup PF/C), but each one moves the needle, and taken as a whole, they improve the team more than just getting Iguodala.

          Looking at Win Shares (which factor in defense, unlike Hollinger’s Estimated Wins Added), Iguodala is at 3.7, which is far off from where he was 4 years ago. That is what they call in finance a “depreciating asset”. Redick is also at 3.7 WS, although the bulk of his are offensive WS, unlike Iggy. Brewer is at 2.8, and his WS numbers are appreciating. Speights is at 2.4 & appears to be slightly appreciating also.

          By that metric anyway, adding Iguodala would tack on 3.7 wins and helps your defensive problems. Adding Redick, Brewer and Speights would tack on 8.9 wins and helps you defensively and offensively. 

        • Mar 6, 201310:57 am
          by tarsier


          Iggy decides whether to accept his player option before getting any offers. You don’t need to beat the option, you need to beat offers.

          Also, if he declines his option, it’s not to get more money next year, it’s to lock up the security of a long-term deal. Would he be happy to get lots of money next season? Of course. But $13M/yr is not an ill-fitting contract for his contributions.

          Look at win shares all you want, but you are ignoring that adding Redick, Brewer, and Speights also means taking away the contributions of two other players.

          I’m fine with the argument of not signing Iggy because you believe he has declined. But don’t waste perfectly good max-level cap space on interchangable scrubs.

          • Mar 6, 201311:08 am
            by G

            …And Iggy takes away contributions from 1. So who do they replace? Iggy’s 3.7 would replace Singler’s 2.1 and Singler would replace Stuckey’s 1.7. That’s a net gain of 2.0 wins. 

            - Redick’s 3.7 would replace Knight’s 1.7, Knight would replace Stuckey (that’s a wash), so net gain = 2.0.
            - Brewer’s 2.8 replaces Singler, Singler replaces Stuckey, net gain = 0.7
            - Speight’s 2.4 replaces Maxiell’s 1.6, net gain = 0.8
            That’s a total improvement of 3.5 wins for Redick, Brewer & Speights, 2 wins for just Iggy.

            This doesn’t even address the appreciating/depreciating aspect of Redick, Brewer and Speights (all appreciating) vs. Iggy (depreciating). 

          • Mar 6, 20133:57 pm
            by tarsier

            Yes, Iggy takes minutes away from 1, instead of 3.

            Also, why on earth would you think that Redick, Brewer, and Speights are appreciating? They may each be doing ever so slightly better than their career averages this season (a contract year), but not much. And they’re not particularly young with a trend of improving each year.

            And yes, of course, if you are naive enough to think that Redick contributes as much as Iggy, then you will come to the conclusion that signing Redick+ for the same money as Iggy is a better deal.

            I disagree with your premise that they are equal contributors. But at least you can hopefully look at your math and see just how much of a waste it would be to give almost any money at all to Brewer and Speights. 

          • Mar 6, 20134:25 pm
            by G

            Why do I think Redick, Brewer & Speights are appreciating? Brewer is scoring, rebounding & defending better than he ever has & his WS the last 2 years is double anything he did before, Redick is having his best year ever, and Speights is having his best year since his rookie year (when we all thought he would be a monster).

            Iguodala is depreciating at a RAPID rate, and this is due to his skills being directly linked to his athleticism. In 2008, Iggy had a PER of 19 and WS of 9.6. The numbers have steadily gotten worse, and this year his PER is 14.9 and his WS are at 3.7. 

            Giving money to Iguodala would be a waste because you’d have to pay for his rep while his skills decline. That’s how contracts tend to work in sports. Paying Brewer & Speights wouldn’t be a waste because they’re upgrades over what you already have, they’re still peaking (or hilling, I’ll admit it’s not a high peak), and you don’t get tied down with an onerous contract if one or both don’t work out. You can move them. 

          • Mar 6, 20134:49 pm
            by G

            Crap! Here’s something I didn’t think about – Win Shares is based on an estimated per minute production. Guys that play fewer minutes have lower WS. Let me adjust my wins added for minutes…

            If Iggy replaces Singler & Singler replaces Stuckey’s minutes that’s a net of 1.2 WS gained.

            If Redick replaces Knight and Knight replaces Stuckey, that’s a net of 2.0 WS gained. 
            Brewer replaces Singler, Singler replaces Jerebko, that’s a net of 1.0 WS gained.
            Speights replaces Maxiell, that’s a net of 2.3 WS gained.

            Total net gained = 5.3 with Redick, Brewer & Speights, only 1.2 with Iggy. Keep in mind you’re probably paying Iggy more than those 3 combined. 

    • Mar 5, 20136:07 pm
      by oats


      I’d argue that decent players on reasonable contracts are major assets. Houston has just demonstrated the viability of using that as your strategy. Gather assets and trade them for better players. Especially now with the more punitive luxury tax, if the team has some cheap assets and some room under the cap they might be able to trade them for more expensive players or guys about to get a big pay raise to make the team legitimately good. Considering there isn’t a whole lot on the free agent market, that seems like a viable strategy to me.

      • Mar 5, 20139:44 pm
        by tarsier


        It can work once in a while if you’re lucky. But how long did it take for Houston’s strategy to pay off? They’ve been trying to trade a bunch of mediocre guys on excellent contracts for one good player forever.

        So why sign a bunch of mediocre guys to decent contracts if you have the cap space to sign good players (and there are some available even if they’re not the perfect fit)?

        • Mar 5, 201311:34 pm
          by oats


          The answer is simple, the new CBA. Not only do you pay more for being the luxury tax, but penalties really stat setting in if you stay in the tax for two years. This makes reasonable contracts a more valuable asset than it used to be. In short, I’m betting moves like the ones Houston just made are going to be more common in the future. Or like the moves Memphis just made, although I think Toronto picked the wrong guy to get by going after Gay. I think financially motivated trades will be common while teams work on the correct way to handle this new CBA. What’s more, that isn’t the only thing Detroit would have. They’d also have expiring deals in Stuckey and CV, giving them more than just mediocre guys on decent contracts. Even if that fails, they could then try again next year in a more talented free agent crop. That just makes more sense to me than locking up our cap space to get a team with a very limited ceiling.

          • Mar 6, 201312:12 am
            by tarsier

            But you’re not going to get a reasonably paid star for reasonably paid role players. You can trade reasonably paid role players for an overpaid star. If that’s what you want to do, why not just overpay the star to begin with?

            But I agree about the value of not overspending. But don’t give “reasonable deals” to guys with no upside. At least give them to guys who have a real shot at improving.

            An even better idea is to make like OKC and use that cap space by signing guys to deals with big signing bonuses and lower annual rates. That way, the Pistons can get a good player and still have some of that space the following summer. 

          • Mar 6, 201312:37 am
            by oats

            Easy, Iggy isn’t the overpaid star I’d want to hitch my wagon to. He’s shown too many signs of decline, and his game based on athleticism suggest it might be a permanent decline. I know he does enough other stuff to still be productive, but he’s just not a star if he loses a step. Who other than Iggy is even a realistic star to get? I got nothing. I actually agree on the front loaded contracts. I’ll spell out my plan later, but I agree with most of your points. I’m just arguing why it makes sense to give deals to relatively lesser players.

          • Mar 6, 201312:46 am
            by tarsier

            I wouldn’t give Iggy a max deal. If someone is willing to give him that, let him take it. But I do think he would be worth pursuing with a deal around $11-13M/yr. Especially if it’s front loaded.

          • Mar 6, 20131:03 am
            by oats

            I can sign off on that. I just think if he is signing for that little it will be with a better destination. Somewhere like Dallas or Houston, or maybe in Atlanta as they try to lure Dwight Howard home. For someone like Detroit I’m betting they are in the $15-17 million range, and I bet someone desperate makes that kind of offer.

          • Mar 6, 20131:08 am
            by tarsier

            I have no idea what his thinking is. But Detroit wouldn’t be bad team to go to. Monroe+Drummond+Iggy+lottery (and maybe Knight) pick could be a pretty strong core. And if someone does offer $15M, so be it. That’s one more opponent in the league hamstringing themselves.

          • Mar 6, 20139:44 am
            by G

            I’m going back to where I point out that Iggy isn’t opting out of his $16M option next year to take a pay cut. He’s a UFA unless he exercises his player option for an additional year at $16 million. You wanna pay him $13M, wait til next year.

        • Mar 5, 201311:54 pm
          by oats


          Sorry, wanted to re-emphasize the try again next year part of my argument. We wouldn’t be married to utilizing the Houston plan because Stuckey and CV would be coming off the books to go with having spent the prior season under the cap. Considering Iggy’s apparent decline from where he was in 09-10, his game largely based on elite athleticism, and his age I’m just not certain he’s a good choice to hitch my wagon to with what will likely be a near max deal. I get the Millsap thing, I really like him and think he’d be a great 3rd big that plays 30 minutes a game, but this sit and stall plan for lack of a better term seems like a feasible back up plan. Especially since there is potential for a Houston type of moves.

          • Mar 6, 201312:50 am
            by tarsier

            Houston’s move took years of sitting around and hoping someone would take a lopsided deal. It took years of acquiring extra lottery picks. And then, it took a lot of luck for it to actually work out. It made sense for them to do that because they had no star caliber players to work with.

            Detroit has Monroe and Drummond. Both will get big raises. Monroe will get his fairly soon. Detroit can’t afford to sit around and wait for a chance to play the game Houston did. Besides, even if they want to do that, what better way than by signing Jefferson or Millsap and then using Monroe or Drumond as the centerpiece of a deal to bring back a superstar? That will pay dividends a lot faster than dangling Corey Brewer or Marreese Speights.

          • Mar 6, 20131:12 am
            by oats

            But I already admitted I agree on the Millsap thing, so I don’t get why that is coming back up. Brewer and Speights would be extra pieces of the deal with Monroe or Drummond (much rather it be Monroe). I just don’t see much value in going for a couple of guys in that Millsap range or higher as they will likely be overpaid or have other problems. And again, you are neglecting that Houston started their plan in the old CBA while the new one makes it a more viable strategy. You also seem to have glossed over the try to go after someone next year part. I’m saying this might not be the year to throw everything at these guys, and in the interim it makes sense to acquire assets.

          • Mar 6, 20135:58 am
            by oats

            In hindsight I realize you were primarily addressing people who only want to get cheap guys while I see it as a reasonable fall back plan if the good players go elsewhere or end up overpaid. It seems like a better plan than say maxing Iggy in any situation, although you did agree on paying Iggy a reasonable deal.

          • Mar 6, 20138:51 am
            by tarsier

            Yeah, I think I mostly agree with you. But, if signing mediocre guys, instead of getting a bunch, I’d want to get only one or two at very low annual rates while blowing most of the cap space on signing bonuses (leaving some for in-season dealing). That way they become prime assets and the cap space still rolls over to next season.

            I guess I just might be a bit more optimistic than some about the possibility of getting a big name for a big, but not huge, contract. 

  • Mar 5, 20134:08 pm
    by Sort


    1. I’m not as sold on Jose as apparently many are. Yes, he’s a solid facilitator and gets the game better than any one we’ve seen in a while, but I just want two-way players. Calderon needs defensive stalwarts behind him. If he’s here, hope we land Iggy too.
    2. It hasn’t been said, but I’m hoping that the fire Dumars happens finally. Would make sense for Gores to tell him to retain flexibility in order for a new leader to come in. His only solid moves have been drafting the obvious leftovers and making deals to make up for his stupidity.
    3. Outside of the draft, I still suspect the most significant way to upgrade will happen through maintaining flexibility to pilfer talent from the top teams.

    • Mar 5, 20135:08 pm
      by G


      Would you take Steve Nash right now? Essentially they’re the same player, except Calderon is 8 years younger & turns it over half as much.

      • Mar 5, 201310:43 pm
        by tarsier


        Calderon’s peak is nowhere near Nash’s. Just saying.

        • Mar 6, 20139:53 am
          by G


          Calderon is a little better than Nash right now. Check the stats, the tape, whatever. You could argue Nash was better than Jose last year, but not this year.

          Nash’s game log this year is pretty weak. His best game was probably the 16 & 11 he put up on NY on Christmas. Calderon’s game log, on the other hand, has a few REALLY nice games in it. There’s the 23 & 10 he put up a couple weeks ago, the 18 pts, 14 ast & 10 rebs he put on Houston in Dec, and the 20 & 17 he put on Utah at the beginning of the year.

          • Mar 6, 201311:00 am
            by tarsier

            I agree that Calderon is superior right now. But Nash having a weak season is hardly an argument for re-signing Calderon.

            That said, I’d be happy to keep Calderon around, but only with the ever-present disclaimer that it be at the right price, which is less than $7M/yr.

    • Mar 5, 20137:02 pm
      by City of Klompton


      “2. It hasn’t been said, but I’m hoping that the fire Dumars happens finally. Would make sense for Gores to tell him to retain flexibility in order for a new leader to come in. His only solid moves have been drafting the obvious leftovers and making deals to make up for his stupidity.”

      Really?  Have you been paying attention at all?  I think Dumars is a great GM.  He made one massive misstep with the AI trade that parlayed into two bad FA signings (that everyone seemed to like at the time!), but I feel pretty confident that he could have fixed that a long time ago if the team wasn’t up for sale and in a state of contingency.  Outside of the Darko pick (who was pretty much the consensus #2 that year…), Joe has done a great job in his GM role, especially in the draft.

      • Mar 6, 201310:53 am
        by Sort


        I certainly voiced my displeasure – though not here- with those signings at the time. His extension of Rip Hamilton and Max coupled with the Gordon/Villanueva junk totally crippled this team’s development for years. For years! Not to mention his selection of coaches after the run was over, MC, Keuster… Frank is a godsend only a relative level.

        He gets an overall A for drafting, so I’m not just bashing the guy, but Pistons need new leadership.

        • Mar 6, 201312:16 pm
          by G


          I give him less credit than you do. I think his drafts have been a mixed bag at best. The Austin Daye pick was AWFUL, there’s the Darko pick, and he’s got a couple less dramatic screw ups also… The Billups trade, dumping Afflalo, same thing with Amir and Delfino, and obviously the huge extensions and bad contracts he handed out from 2005 to 2009. That’s a lot of bad.

          The Ben Gordon trade was him admitting a mistake by making another one, so really all he’s got in recent history is drafting Monroe and Drummond (verdict’s out on Knight) and the Calderon trade. 

          • Mar 6, 20136:07 pm
            by City of Klompton

            The draft is pretty much a crap-shoot outside of the first few picks.  I’d love to see a “batting average” for GMs when it comes to the draft.  I’d be willing to bet Joe’s would be somewhere near the top.  As for everything else you said, that is all definitely true.  He has an incredibly bad habit of overvaluing “his” guys.  I was actually stunned when he shipped out Afflalo.

            However, he did draft every one of those guys.  Whether he kept them or not, he should still get the credit for drafting these guys.  He missed a bit on the Daye pick, and there were some quality players chosen after him, but none of them really fit team needs as much.

            When looking at most of the picks and evaluating them based on where they were in the pecking order, you’ve got to give Joe props.

            Drummond, Knight (I’ll give you credit, the jury is still out here), Singler, Monroe, Jerebko, Stuckey, Afflalo, Maxiell, Johnson, Delfino, Prince, Okur… considering where these guys were picked, they have all been pretty quality.

          • Mar 7, 20138:10 am
            by G

            LAWSON! He passed on Lawson to draft Daye. Don’t ever forget that. And here we are, something like 4 years later, still without a PG of the future.

  • Mar 5, 20134:49 pm
    by omar


    I think Joe should look to get players via trade, one player no one seems to mention is Marcus Thornton or even Wilson chandler, I bet they would be easy to get via trade especially Thornton.

    • Mar 5, 20136:49 pm
      by Mike


      I’ve been saying for a while we should look at Chandler.  I think Stuckey for him is great for both teams since denver has Galinari and lack a scoring SG plus it would get them an expiring contract for Chandler’s longer deal.

    • Mar 5, 20137:11 pm
      by George


      Chandler would be a great guy to go after.  He would fit our system nicely (he is from MI too).  Denver is about to get a severe luxury cap bill, so they would trade him for cheap.  They won’t take back any real salary though.

      • Mar 6, 201312:45 pm
        by frankie d


        agree about chandler.  he is exactly the type of player the pistons should be looking at acquiring, either through free agency or trades.
        he’s stuck in a tough situation, but he is a quality nba talent.  the trade from NY effectively put a halt to the strong development he was showing with the knicks.
        denver probably does want to simply get rid of the salary obligation. and though his salary is a bit higher than i’d want the pistons to take on, given the right transaction, it might be worth it.  he could be the guy who could come in and solidify the SF spot for the next 3-5 years.  
        the nba is filled with talented players who are simply in the wrong spot.  guys who can be very productive if they are put in a better position, one where their skills are needed and one where they pair up with a coach who knows how to use their talents.
        here in portland jj hickson is a great example of that type of player.  i think chandler could also be that kind of acquisition and i hope joe d goes after him.

  • Mar 5, 20135:54 pm
    by Kris


    As far as FA, Pistons could look at DeJuan Blair, Martell Webster, Corey Brewer – relatively cheap players that would serve as better supporting cast to Drummond – Monroe. If top tier shooter, like Kevin Martin is available, I do like the idea. If Pistons do not resign Jose Calderon (which they should), Jarrett Jack could be someone to consider.

    • Mar 5, 20137:26 pm
      by George


      Jack may not be as efficient as Calderon (Jack turns the ball over more and is more aggressive in his shot selection), but he is a better defender.  He is also a bigger guard (6’3ish).

      I know another team that may be open to trading is Chicago because they also are about to get a steep luxury tax bill.  Maybe they will trade us Teague (prospect to stash) and Deng (Jimmy Butler is ready to start at sf) for cap relief.  Deng’s contract will be off the books after next year anyways.  Not sure if Bulls would want to trade with a rival.  They also probably think they can dangle Deng in a deal for Gasol, but there is no way the Lakers will take on any more salary, especially since they need to keep Howard and are in cap hell too.

    • Mar 6, 20139:55 am
      by G


      I like Darren Collison a lot better than Jack.

  • Mar 5, 20136:02 pm
    by NickB


    I think a lot hinges on what they think of Knight. Are they comfortable with him being their starting SG, given his height and his play? Do they think he can still become a starting PG? Not like some big star mind you, but a quality starter. Because I don’t like having him guarding SGs, even if he’s a good defender in general.
    I’d like to see him become a PG for us, starting or on the bench getting mentored by Calderon. But this leaves us with a hole at starting SG, although we had a need for a SG anyways. Does anyone like Gerald Henderson? He’s a two-way player who we could get.
    I like Calderon plenty, but if Knight can’t be the answer at PG, I’d like to get someone young. I’d like to get Trey Burke since I’m a homer, but he’d be a tough fit for a little while.
    Regardless of all of that though, we need a starting small forward, one who can shoot 3′s and play D, preferably. And we need backups for both bigs. I suppose we could just stick with Jerebko at the 4 since we don’t plan on contending next season, but Slava clearly has too much work to do. He won’t be able to give Andre many minutes of rest next season unless he has incredible improvement in his rebounding and defense. Big Ben might as well be the guy, and can be a sort of player-coach and mentor.
    Also, we need to dump Stuckey or Bynum. We’ve got too many guys who should be playing PG. I’d rather dump Stuckey because he doesn’t bring the same spark that Bynum does, Bynum can hit 3′s, and Stuckey costs more money. Oh, and let Max go.
    So, recap:
    Backup C, PF, and SG
    Starting: SF
    Maybe a starting SG.

    • Mar 6, 20139:56 am
      by G


      I like Hickson or Speights to come in and be a backup big.

  • Mar 5, 20137:59 pm
    by Windy


    It really comes down to the draft IMO…I think besides Mclemore our sights our set on Oladipo and Porter, i like the intaglibles VO brings but I also have seen him more than Porter…

    If we draft Oladipo my offseason would look somethinG like this: 

    1) sign Calderon 3/21 mil…let BK7 play SG with VO coming in off the pine, probably will have to look to get a backup PG who won’t be a PGOTF type…maybe a Udrih who has played for Pop and isn’t going to demand minutes

    2) Get either Iggy or Chandler from Denver, Ty Lawson’s contract kicks in next year and they will be really against the luxury cap…Iggy will be due one year 16mil which we can absorb and either resign him for cheaper (how would he ask for more money than 16 mil of he is coming off down years? He has had his biggest paydays…I would offer him like 3/33 mil to stay if he works well…Chandler would be nice but he is younger and cheaper than Iggy so why would nuggs want to move him plus Karl loves him…

    3) Bring back Maxiell…I know it is not a popular move but he is the toughest guy on our team and would like to keep him if for say 3 mil a year…anything much more than that I understand why you let him go…

    4) Draft Whitney out of Kansas to play backup Center..just like seniors from big schools…

    A lineup of:

    Iggy or Chadler/Singler/Middleton

    At the end of the year you would have Stuckey, CV, Kravstov coming off the books or you could use in a trade to acquire some outside shooting..plus we save enough money to look again at some more suited FA…

    Im sorry but adding Smith or Mayo will just take away from our building blocks…Mayo will get overpaid as will Smith…Redick is a nice trigger man but it smells of a Ben Gordon signing no thanks…we have no shot at either Paul or Dwight and I don’t want either of them…just not Pistons IMO…

    With Calderon and Monrand in your starting lineup we need some defense, guys like Oladipo, Iggy and Dre could be that…

    • Mar 5, 20139:11 pm
      by Worm


      A lineup of Calderon, Oladipo, Iggy, Monroe, Drummond would be spaciously challenged.. but a ton of fun to watch on fast breaks.

  • Mar 5, 20139:26 pm
    by Corey


    1 – Amnesty CV.  Empty space on the cap would be worth  more than his expiring contract as a trade asset. This gets them under $30M committed for next year. 
    2 – Trade or waive Stuckey. I think he only has about half of his contract guaranteed next year, which takes them down to the low $20′s for committed salary to:
    Monroe, Andre, JJ, BK, Singler, Middleton, English, Kravtsov – 8 players.  Let everyone else go.
    They would then have something on the order of $37-$40m in cap space available for signings or trades.
    3 – Draft Mclemore, Potter, Oladipo, Shabazz, or Burke, depending on draft position and how the lottery goes. 
    4 – Resign Calderon, especially if they don’t draft a PG.  3 years at $7mill/year, or up to 4 years if they give most of the money up front, and the last 3 years are small, similar to what OKC did with Nick Collison. So that could look like $12m next year, then $3m/year for the next couple.
    5 – Sign Paul Millsap if they can get him for $10m/year or less.  A frontloaded contract is again an option. He’d make a great 3 big rotation with Monroe and Andre, and can also play some SF.
    6 – Sign Redick or Mayo if they are available for $8m/year or less. Probably won’t  happen. But perhaps it could be worked out with a front-loaded contract that then drops to $8m per after a big first year.
    7 – Look for good bargain players, perhaps a Gerald Henderson or similar.
    8 – Find some trade opportunities.  But be willing to carry cap space into the season for in-season trades.
    The CBA requires the team to spend something on the order of 80% of the cap, maybe more, on player salaries. So they should plan to go into the season with a salary commitment of $50-55m. meaning they need to spend $30 or so in free agency or trades.
    Signing guys to front-loaded contracts is a very viable option, if no stellar FA wants to sign this year at a sane price. If managed properly, the team could have big cap space available for a FA again next year, even with Monroe’s new contract kicking in. 
    9 – Entertain trade offers for Monroe, but only actually trade him for an established, young star that fits better next to Andre. 
    Without any speculative trades, we could end up with:
    Monroe/Millsap/JJ – and Monroe may well play most of the backup center minutes in a 3 big man rotation with Andre and Millsap. 
    Shabazz or Porter or Oladipo / Singler / Middleton
    JJ Redick or OJ Mayo / BK / English
    Calderon / BK
    That’s a 12 man roster – and a playoff team.  Sign a CHEAP emergency backup PG, and keep whoever we draft in second round, and possibly sign a CHEAP backup emergency big man so we’re carrying 6, if our 2nd round pick isn’t a big. I’d only carry 14 into the season so there’s an empty roster spot for trades. If they draft a guard, then signing or trading for a starting quality SF is essential. Singler is the kind of guy who could lock down your backup SF spot for a decade, but he’s not a quality starter right now, and probably won’t ever be one. 
    Of course, trades would be the wildcard and I hope they can use all that cap space to facilitate a trade or two for someone higher impact – and if they could trade Stuckey, and not eat the $4m or so he’s guaranteed for nothing, that gives them even more freedom.

  • Mar 5, 201310:10 pm
    by ryan


    1) see if we can drive up the prices for both Josh Smith and Kevin Martin but DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT sign either of them under any circumstances.
    2) let Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum and wish them good luck.
    2.5) let Corey Maggette walk remind him to try to be realistic.
    3) resign Jose Calderon to a reasonable three year deal if he asks for more try to set up a sign and trade.
    4) free agents to consider Zaza Pachulia, Marreese Speights, Paul Millsap, Gerald Henderson (but only to drive the price up) Shaun Livingston, Jarret Jack and Xavier Henry. Millsap is the prize and we should try to get Utah to resign him and trade him for Rodney Stuckey plus parts so that we add talent but clear some salary too. For the rest you just see if they can be had on a reasonable deal.
    5) commit to Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond set up individual programs and also have them work together to improve as much as possible. Work with Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler to set them up as versatile bigs off the bench.
    6) draft the best available player with an emphasis on defense in both rounds.
    7) Overall don’t overpay anyone sign guys with good attitudes and potential for deals we can trade if we need to. We want better depth, less redundancy (Charlie V), better overall athleticism, defense and shooting.

    Hopefully we come into next year starting Jose Calderon, Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Off the bench we’ve got Shaun Livingston, Victor Oladipo, Khris Middleton, Vlacheslav Kravtsov and Jonas Jerebko.

    Our goal should be for Brandon Knight to take over at point guard and Oladipo to take over at shooting guard with Calderon eventually being a bench guy. We’ve also got to commit to player development for all our young guys.


  • Mar 5, 201310:28 pm
    by Mr Woods


    I really think Jeremy Lamb & PJ Jones could be had from OKC for cheap. They would solve some of our issues

  • Mar 5, 201311:20 pm
    by frankie d


    funny…i finally read that grantland post that described kyle singler as a steal – which i agree with; great pick by joe d – and saw that in the same post they had this to say about carlos delfino, a guy joe d just let go because carlos was not happy and joe had a policy of never keeping an unhappy guy around:
    Carlos Delfino (Rockets): 2 years, $6 million.  He’s always been a solid NBA swingman (2013: 39 percent 3FG), only nobody wanted him last summer before Dork Elvis begrudgingly stepped in while thinking to himself, I’m just going to keep stockpiling assets, and at some point, maybe I can parlay a few of them into a franchise scorer and a top-five lottery pick, even if this sounds totally insane and my staff thinks I might be popping hard-core meds. Every August, there’s always one or two Delfinos still kicking around, which is what makes it so funny when teams spend so much money in July to lock up the same type of player. ”

    yea, this is a guy, like so many other young former pistons, that joe d just gave away.
    sure would be nice if he’d either kept them around or at least gotten value when he got rid of them.
    i’m just hoping that he doesn’t do the same with JJ, stuckey,  and english.  imho, daye is going to be another one of those former young pistons who everyone will wonder about in future years:  how the heck did they just give that guy away for nothing?

    • Mar 6, 201312:43 am
      by tarsier


      I’ll have you know that Dumars actually traded Delfino to the Raptors for two second round picks that became Jerebko and Singler.

      I’ve said it before. I give Dumars a lot of flak. Because he has made a lot of mistakes. But some people on this site just give it to him regardless of the facts. 

      • Mar 6, 20131:26 pm
        by frankie d


        saying that he gave him a way for “nothing” may have been hyperbolic, but only slightly.
        let’s take a look at the record…
        joe drafts delfino in 2003.  he’s with the team for three years and despite the fact that he shows, imho, that he is an nba quality player, joe trades him for 2 future second round picks.
        the first pick arrives a couple years after the trade and now, 5 years after the trade, that pick is at best a big, fat question mark.
        now, i happen to think that jerebko is just the latest young player to be horribly misused and abused by this organization, but it is what it is.  jerebko is overpaid, for what he provides the team, the coach obviously is not thrilled with him as a player – as witnessed by his 30+ game exile this season – and who knows what his role on this team will be…if he has any role.
        that pick?  i’d give it an incomplete.
        the second pick?  finally arrives 5 years after the trade, 9 years after delfino is drafted, and he -singler –  looks like he might be a player.  a player who is either a 4th or 5th starter on a good team or a solid backup on a very good/contending team.  how good will he be?  what kind of player will he be? that is impossible to tell at this point, his rookie season.  but i do think that he will be similar to what delfino has become: a guy who will be a solid nba rotation player for a decade.
        that pick?  i’d give joe a solid “c” for the player and, if i was grading it on a curve, i’d probably give him a “b” cause finding that kind of player in the second round is pretty good.
        so almost 10 years after using a first round draft choice on a player who has turned into a solid rotation player on a good nba team you’ve finally realized some kind of return on your investment.   i’m sure someone who understands business can explain how it is usually not good to allow someone else to use your asset(s) for years, while you get no real benefit from your your asset/investment.  not a good way to run any business.  
        (unless you get set up like the pistons did with that once-in-a-lifetime fleecing of the grizzlies that netted them the second pick in a once-in-lifetime draft.  only caveat is that you better not blow it when you get the chance.  or else you’ll end up like the pistons of the last few years.  i attribute the chaos of the last 5 years to joe d trying to make right that original darko blunder.) 
        as i acknowledged, it’s not nothing – excuse the double negative – as singler could turn into the kind of player deflino has become and jj may still end up being an asset.  but as of march, 2013, almost 10 years after making the draft choice, it aint much. 

        • Mar 6, 20134:00 pm
          by tarsier


          My point is that Delfino, Jerebko, and Singler are all similar caliber guys. Also, Delfino, at the time of the trade, was buried too deeply on the bench to be of much worth to Detroit. So, by getting the players several years later, Dumars improved his position, and by getting teo instead of one, he improved it even further.

          Unfortunately, Jerebko has not looked particularly good this season. But I have no reason to believe he can’t get back to where he was. He just shouldn’t be making quite so much money. 

  • Mar 6, 201312:05 am
    by Jacob


    The only thing with all of these comments is that it’s hard to see a trade. Ex: the Harden trade this year. I think that drafting the best player signing a couple younger cheaper FAs and then trying to trade for a good player on a team who is going to be paying the luxury tax. That would be the best scenerio. It is really hard to predict right now. 

    • Mar 6, 201310:06 am
      by G


      I’m advocating picking up assets but leaving cap space to facilitate trading. You don’t know what trades are going to be available, but you can put yourself in a position to make that trade when it comes along. Overpaying a couple good players for several years doesn’t put you in that position.

  • Mar 6, 201312:12 am
    by haydzzz


    Joe D needs to go and sign some defenders and dudes that are thugs! We need more intensity and athleticism, we have too many nice guys.

  • Mar 6, 201312:56 am
    by jacob


    Oladipo to DET at pick no. 6

  • Mar 6, 20134:18 am
    by Kaneda


    Ideally we sign Millsap. Trade for Wilson Chandler. He is a perfect fit for this team. Draft one of the SG’s available in the lottery. Resign Calderon. I would also try and trade for Kostas Koufos. We would look something like this
    Calderon, Bynum, Knight
    Knight, (draft), English
    Chanlder, Singler, JJ, Middleton
    Monroe, Millsap, CV
    Drummond, Koufos, Monroe
    CV entering the last year of his contract would be a very good trading asset. 

    • Mar 6, 20138:54 am
      by tarsier


      The Pistons will have Stuckey as an expiring contract. CV’s cap room would be much more valuable than his expiring deal. Better to amnesty him. I honestly think it would be better from a wins perspective too. It would mean Slava could pick up whatever minutes fall through the cracks instead of CV.

      • Mar 6, 201311:55 am
        by Huddy


        Why pay him not to play when he will expire anyway?  we don’t have to play him and Slava can have whatever minutes regardless of getting rid of CV.  Charlie has shown some value in spreading the floor, but even if he regresses I don’t understand just amnestying him for the sake of not having him sit on our bench his contract is off the books before the 2014 FA period and we don’t need more space this year so whats the point?

        • Mar 6, 201312:33 pm
          by oats


          Easy, use that cap space to front load contracts on whatever players we do sign. We’ll be free to pay them a few million extra this year, then have them on better contracts after this year goes through. It seems like a pretty good way to avoid ending up with a bunch of bad contracts down the line, Let’s use Calderon as an example. 3 years and 21 million could very easily be too expensive on a traditional salary structure. If instead of paying 7 million a year we gave him 13 this year and 4 each of the next two years, then you’d have two years where he is on a very reasonable contract. Paying the extra money on him now when there isn’t another target to acquire means it isn’t as big of hindrance as that 7 million deal in year 2 might be. Amnestying CV would give us the flexibility to get creative with salary structure.

  • Mar 6, 20136:06 am
    by oats


    1) Fire Frank and get a better coach. I don’t know who I’d get, but we can do better than Frank.
    2) Amnesty CV. If nothing else, that cap space can be used to front load contracts with signing bonuses and have low yearly rates after that. I actually think CV on an expiring deal could be worth something, but I’d rather have that room to front load contracts and be in a much better position financially with the guys who will likely be on the roster long term. There is one possible exception to this, and I’ll mention it later.
    3) Draft best player available. My board currently goes McLemore, Porter, Oladipo, Muhammad, Bennet, and Burke. The order changes frequently, but McLemore and Porter are my clear cut top 2. Anthony Bennet should be in more lists of draft targets. He’s short at 6’7″, but with a 7’1″ wingspan and weighing 240 lbs he can play the 4 in the NBA. He is good on the boards, scores well in the paint, and shoots 38% from 3. He could be a good 3rd big man and a nice complement to either Monroe or Drummond. He can play small forwad for a few minutes in jumbo sets. He also gives some insurance in the off chance that Monroe and Drummond don’t play well together. 
    I think the team can get talent in the second round too, but as of now it’s really hard to guess who could be available then.
    4) Bigs. Go after Millsap or Jefferson for around 4 years and $50 million. Millsap is my preference as his shooting range is better, and he also happens to be the one I think most likely to sign at that price. I could go up to $13 million per year, but I think $14 million would knock me out. Failing to get those guys will lead to going after Marreese Speights or Brandon Wright for cheap front loaded contracts if I missed out on the two guys from Utah. Elton Brand and Tyler Hansbrough are also candidates for front loaded deals, although I’d hate giving a deal to Psycho T.
    5) Get a wing player. Wilson Chandler is my first choice. I have Chandler pegged as a good starter, which makes his contract really good. Stuckey’s expiring deal, CV’s expiring deal, Jerebko, English, Middleton, the 2nd round picks, and even Knight could be dealt for Chandler. Yeah, using CV to go after Chandler is the only exception to amnestying him. I really don’t want to trade Knight here, and I would try my other targets on the wing before I agreed to that. If Knight closes out the year by convincing me he is a starting shooting guard, I pull him from the list of assets I’d consider offering for Chandler.
    Jeremy Butler may have made Luol Deng expendable, and he is my next choice. Stuckey and Singler might be enough to get it done. It cuts costs, gives them a shooter in Singler and another scorer in Stuckey, and Stuckey expires the same time Deng would have. That same basic deal could also be offered to Indy for Danny Granger. Granger isn’t part of their best 5 man unit, and they need help scoring from the bench. Yeah, Granger could do that, but Stuckey and Singler can do it for cheaper. Once again, Granger will expire the same year as Stuckey. Both of those moves get us better now, leaves us with a bigger deal that will be expiring next year, and gives us a look at one of the players we’d likely target in that class anyways.
    I’d try tarsier’s idea of Iggy for $11-13 million per year next. I really doubt it gets done since I see Iggy getting $15 million, but it’s worth a call. Failing this is where I’d try to offer Knight for Chandler. There is a decent chance some cheap shooter will also be targeted after I figure out everything else, think Anthony Morrow or Martell Webster. Another wing I’d look at is Al Farouq-Aminu as a defender and rebounder. If Aminu ever learns to shoot he could be a steal, but if not he does enough to be worth a cheap deal. Lastly I’d look at Corey Brewer, depending on how everything else is turning out.
    6) Point guard. Calderon and Jarret Jack on a front loaded deal makes sense, and I think I prefer Calderon. I could live with this part not happening if we got Burke in the draft, but in some situations I’d also offer a deal to Bynum to be the back up. 

    • Mar 6, 20136:10 am
      by oats


      Deng was the acquisition for Detroit in the second paragraph of part 5, not Butler. I realized afterwards that the sentence structure wasn’t as clear as it seemed in my head, and it could have come off as trading for Butler who I don’t think Chicago is willing to move.

    • Mar 6, 20138:56 am
      by tarsier


      I do keep overlooking Bennet because I have yet to actually see him play. I should probably fix that.

      ESPN’s lotto machine seems obsessed with the Pistons getting Gary Harris. 

      • Mar 6, 201310:08 am
        by G


        I hate that pick too (Harris, I mean). He’s not a good fit. I’d rather get Burke or the kid from Syracuse.

        • Mar 6, 201310:23 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          Whaaaaaaa? You’d hate Harris? At worst, he’s a 3 and D shooting guard in the Afflalo mold (and he might be a better defensive guard than AA). At best, his off the dribble game continues to develop and he’s an Eric Gordon (healthy Eric Gordon, I mean) type.

          • Mar 6, 201310:32 am
            by G

            Wouldn’t you rather have Burke? He’s a legit PG, which the Pistons have tried & failed to get since the Stuckey pick, and I think he’s a better all-around player than Harris. Is Harris’s D good enough to qualify him as a 3 & D guy? I honestly don’t know, not having watched many of his games.

          • Mar 6, 201310:43 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            I would be happy with Burke for sure, but I would also be happy with Oladipo, Porter or Harris.

            Heading into this season, I thought Keith Appling was the best defensive guard in the Big Ten. After watching MSU a lot this season, I think Harris is even better defensively than Appling. He’s tough, he’s fast and his instincts are phenomenal. I’m not sure that I’d take him over those other three guys, but he’d definitely be in the conversation for me if all of them were on the board when the Pistons draft.

          • Mar 6, 201310:51 am
            by G

            Ok, you’re selling this well. I’d still rather have Burke though, and if we end up at a higher pick then Oladipo or Porter. Who knows, the season isn’t over and the projections on these guys is going to change about 20 times between now & the end of the tournament.

        • Mar 6, 201311:03 am
          by tarsier


          I’m not sure how I feel about Harris, but it seems like everywhere else, he is pegged for the end of the lottery.

  • Mar 6, 20137:45 am
    by Jay


    1. Let ALL the teams current FA’s go, But I would try to facilitate a S&T for Calderon since he is the only really desirable FA the team has.
    2. Sign either O.J. Mayo, Maro Balinelli, or Nick Young
    3. Sign either Corey Brewer or Wesley Johnson
    4. Look for a veteran back-up PG i.e. Devin Harris, Earl Watson, Aaron Brooks, Chauncy, or D.J. Augustin.
    5. Amnesty Charlie V. and explore Stuckey’s trade value (and move him if you find great value).
    6. Try to buy low on a talented front court back up or two. Only a couple of people are gonna be over paying this summer so wait out the market and see if you can sign a guy like J.J. Hickson, Andre Blatche, Marreese Speights, Andris Biedrins, Earl Clark, DeJaun Blair, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, or Emeka Okafor.
    7. Look into who’s available to replace L. Frank either this year or next.
    8. Draft the best available talent in the draft.

  • Mar 6, 201310:00 am
    by Nasty Nate


    So, my wishlist for the Pistons this summer is all about predicting what a contender is going to try based upon the Oklahoma City Thunder will do once they fail in the Finals again versus the Miami Heat…and the thought that the Pistons need to gain some toughness.
    So, assuming the Thunder lose in the Finals again, they’ll be facing some tough decisions for the offseason.  Kevin Martin’s deal will be up, and he’ll be looking for somewhere in the 8-10M range.  For some reason, I don’t think the Thunder are going to do that.  As currently constructed, and not factoring in any 2013 draft picks, the Thunder are looking at approximately $67.8M for their 2013-14 salary.  Factor in the Luxury Tax level at about $71M, that gives them approximately $3.2M of space to play with.  I don’t think they can fit Martin in there for that. 
    Perusing their roster, their biggest Non-Core player going forward jumps out as Kendrick Perkins ($9M in 2013).  So the thought process is that they’re going to want to create space under the luxury tax level, and replace Kevin Martin and Kendrick Perkins.  They could easily let Kevin Martin walk, and keep Perkins and expect Jeremy Lamb to get better, but considering he’s D-League material at this point, let’s say they’re not quite sold on him.  Could the Pistons take on some of their higher priced salaries and give them a borderline starting shooting guard who can replace some of what James Harden used to do (driving to the basket and getting to the foul line)?  Enter Rodney Stuckey.  I believe the following trade would work for both sides in the offseason as the Pistons are going to be flush with so much cap space.
    Thunder get:
    Rodney Stuckey ($8.5M)
    Kyle Singler ($1M)
    Kim English ($.8M)
    Pistons get:
    Kendrick Perkins ($9M)
    Jeremy Lamb ($2.1M)
    Thabo Sefolosha ($3.9M)
    Why would the Thunder do this deal?  They replace an unknown (Lamb) and an expensive known (Martin) with an X-Factor (Stuckey) who could really thrive with being the main option off the bench and at this point really needs a change of scenery.  Stuckey wouldn’t even be the 3rd option on that team, but has a lot of the qualities (at a poor mans level) of a Russell Westbrook / James Harden type who can drive and get his shot off.  He’s only signed through the 2013 season.  Additionally, the Thunder get a quality backup at the 2 or 3 in Singler who’s cheaper than Lamb or Sefolosha, and at this point is probably better offensively, and they get the chance to develop a hard working (like Westbrook and Durant) 2 in English who could develop into an excellent 3 and D guy (think Bruce Bowen, or a better Sefolosha).  The Thunder also send out $15M and get back $10.3M which can’t be discounted when you’re so close to the luxury tax level.  This would give them approximately $7.8M worth of space under the luxury tax line.  They could afford whatever 1st round picks they have, and go after a tough defender / rebounder in free agency, lets say Samuel Dalembert at $4M a year for 3 years?  That gives them a starting caliber big man on the cheap (much cheaper than Perkins) who replaces 80% of what Perkins does.  I think Dalembert would even fit with the Thunder better because he’s more mobile, and still runs a big of a mean streak.
    OK, let’s stop fixing the Thunder…what would this deal do for the Pistons.  It gives them a SG to develop who most thought would be the next Ray Allen coming out of college.  It gives them some defensive toughness in Sefolosha and Perkins.  Perkins could be the starting Center, or backup big man for two years (he’s signed through 2014-15) and would be off the books by the time Monroe’s extension kicks in.  Also, let’s face it, whatever tricks about acting tough Monroe and Drummond could learn from Perkins would be a plus.  Let’s look through the rest of the heap to see what the Pistons could do.  Their first round pick (currently #9) they could possibly get a SG / SF type who would need some seasoning.  They would have to sign a PG (or see about trading Jerebko for a mid-round pick to get Trey Burke).
    Let’s say they draft a SF (that seems to be likely in the 2013 draft).  With a cap hold of $1.7M, and the trade made, they would have approximately $30M in cap space to play with to fill out the rest of the team.  Their current makeup would look like this:
    PG:  None / BK
    SG: Sefolosha / Lamb
    SF: 1st Rounder / Khris Middleton
    PF: Monroe / Villanueva / Jerebko
    C: Perkins / Drummond / Kravtsov
    Their most glaring need is a PG.  They could resign Calderon at 7-8M a year for 3-4 years…or they could sign Jarrett Jack at 7-8M a year for 3-4 years.  Jack is younger.  He’s tougher.  They would have to make a choice, and have BK play behind that older PG whom he could learn from.  Considering BK’s style…I think I’d rather have him emulate Jack since I don’t think he will develop Calderon’s court vision.  Whomever they sign, they have the choice to front load the contract for this signing.  Let’s say the contract for the free agent PG is 7.5M for 4 years.  That’s $30M.  But, let’s say it’s structured as $15M, $10M, $2.5M and $2.5M.  That’s not that bad, and the salary could even be more front loaded to allow for extensions of Monroe and Drummond in the out years. 
    So, the team would look like the following:
    PG: Jose or Jack / BK
    SG: Sefolosha / Lamb
    SF: 1st Rounder / Khris Middleton
    PF: Monroe / Villanueva / Jerebko
    C: Perkins / Drummond / Kravtsov
    And the Pistons would still have approximately $15M under the luxury tax to sign a player or two from the following pool on front loaded 2-3 year deals:
    SG: OJ Mayo, JJ Redick, Gary Neal
    SF: Chase Budinger / Trevor Ariza /
    PF: Carl Landry / Byron Mullens / Andray Blatche (Fool) / Ivan Johnson
    They could upgrade the SG / SF spot easily, or upgrade the backup PF spot by signing a 4-3 type player.  If I were the GM, I’d go for Redick / OJ Mayo or Ariza (early Termination) at $10M per year to start and have that go down over 3 years.  There obviously would still be work to be done, but that team quoted above I believe would make positive strides toward the playoffs, especially if Perkins could be convinced that mentoring young big men could lead to another deal down the road.  With development of BK / Lamb / 1st Rounder / Monroe and Drummond, that would not be a team I’d want to face in the playoffs.
    Or Joe D could just go out and sign Metta World Peace and Stephen Jackson for old time’s sake.  Thanks for reading this far!

    • Mar 6, 201311:16 am
      by oats


      Lamb is the next Ray Allen despite the fact that he isn’t a good shooter? At best he’s average, but his sophomore year when he took nearly twice as many 3 points shots as he did in his freshman season he shot only 33.6% That is actually pretty bad for a guard. Ray Allen is one of the best shooters of all time. I can’t get over how much I hate this comparison, and anyone who thought that is a fool.

      • Mar 6, 20131:11 pm
        by Nasty Nate


        Whoops, you’re right…not the next Ray Allen.  The next Reggie Miller.  

        http://www.nba.com/draft/2012/prospects/jeremy-lamb/   (see the “Reminds Me Of” section)

        Look…regardless, a SG who can shoot 48% from the floor for his career in college, if he continues to improve, is something to think about adding to the team, especially if he has a 7′ wingspan.  At the very least, he’s not a tweener between positions. 

        • Mar 6, 20131:22 pm
          by G


          Wow . We’re getting a LITTLE ahead of ourselves I think. Dude has played in 18 games all season, and quoting a draft profile isn’t the way to legitimacy. I could take you back through the years for some pretty funny examples, but I’d rather not waste my time that way.

  • Mar 6, 201310:11 am
    by Diab


    Nobody mentioned the possibility of packaging this year’s lottery pick with someone like Stuckey around draft day for a proven player.

    • Mar 6, 201310:20 am
      by G


      That’s because they can’t trade the pick. Not unless they trade it to move down or something. The Bobcats are holding the Pistons 2014 first rounder (with some protection), and you can’t trade picks in consecutive drafts. Anyway, draft picks are cheap contracts. Trading lottery picks is almost always a bad policy.

      • Mar 6, 201311:09 am
        by tarsier


        Draft day trades typically involve picking a player and then trading his rights. The Pistons could do that if they wanted. But they’d need a pretty solid return.

        • Mar 6, 201311:26 am
          by G


          Man, you are arguing with me today, huh? How often does trading a lottery pick pay off? Pretty rarely in today’s market. Lotto players are cheap talent. You get to lock in a guy on that rookie scale. You probably get him for 4 years or so. If you trade for a guy, what do you get? Expensive talent, and his deal is probably up in 2-3 years. Maybe less.

          Here’s an example of it working – the Rasheed Wallace trade. We dumped the pick that became Josh Smith and a few smaller contracts & got ‘Sheed and Mike James. That trade was considered a HUGE steal. We got a title, an NBA finals and 3 ECF out of it, and then Sheed was done (he was really done in that last ECF, but whatever). Atlanta still has Smith (though maybe not for long), and it’s 9 years later. It was a good trade to do because we won a title, but it’s closer than people thought at the time.

          • Mar 6, 20134:02 pm
            by tarsier

            I don’t want to trade the pick. Not unless there is a great return. I’m just saying it’s possible in the scenario described.

          • Mar 6, 20134:03 pm
            by tarsier

            Also, if we’re gonna argue about picky details, Josh Smith wasn’t a lottery pick.

  • Mar 6, 201311:58 am
    by G


    I’m going to back up a sec and instead of arguing minutia like specific players, contracts & draft picks, let’s talk about big picture strategy & what that looks like.

    I want the Pistons to do what smart teams do. Teams like Houston, San Antonio, OKC, Boston (kinda) and… the ’00-’04 Pistons. They build through the draft, acquire assets on reasonable contracts, and identify undervalued players that could help their team and either sign or trade for them. Occasionally there’s a big FA signing, but it’s usually right at the end when they’re ready to make their big run. 

    What I DON’T want the Pistons to do is what stupid teams do. Teams like Orlando, Cleveland, and the Knicks. Orlando failed to build a championship team despite having the best center in the league, Cleveland never got a ring despite having the best player, and NY is still a ways away and will probably never get there. What do stupid teams do?
    - Trade away 1st round picks (think the Cavs wish they had kept the Rudy Fernandez pick?)
    - Sign diminishing players to huge contracts (think Rashard Lewis)
    - Make their big FA play before the team is ready to contend (think Amar’e)

    These kinds of moves can cripple a team, slow growth, and if they really screw up (like Orlando did with Lewis), the team has to take a few steps back before it can get back on track. 

    • Mar 6, 201312:50 pm
      by Huddy


      I agree with everything except for how everyone uses Houston as an example for this.  Houston is not signing undervalued talent to reasonable contracts.  Houston paid a high salary to a star player in Harden, overpaid Lin for a combination of skill and marketability, took a gamble on a pretty high salary for Asik and are lucky he has become a 10 and 10 guy, didn’t match an offer on Dragic, and have been made a lot of the moves that they have in an effort to bring in Dwight.  That to me sounds like a team that has done some over spending and is looking to swing for the fences quite a bit, not one that is bringing in undervalued talent at reasonable rates and building through the draft.  I’m not questioning their results I just don’t find this to be a great example of the point you are making.  Harden is a big signing and a star player that is giving them a chance at a playoff spot, which is obviously great, but I wouldn’t say it was done while they are ready to “make their big run”  they are still missing a piece or two and they will probably spend big again to do it.

      • Mar 6, 20131:11 pm
        by G


        All good points. It’s important to remember that Harden was a TRADE, not a FA signing. Houston dealt a diminishing player in Kevin Martin for an appreciating player in Harden, and then signed Harden to that extension. Do you think they overpaid Harden? If not, then they locked up a REALLY good player for 5 years. I agree, Lin was overpaid, but if you look at the bulk of the moves Houston has made (and they’ve made a LOT), they’re acquiring low-cost/high-value players and trade assets, which put them in position to make the deals they have.

        • Mar 6, 20131:31 pm
          by Huddy


          Definitely don’t think they overpaid for harden, he is an all star and is paid like one.  I know he was a trade but the ability to  sign that contract was a big piece of that trade and the whole thing was really about money so i was approaching it from that standpoint.  I think the big difference between the vision for the Pistons and what the Rockets are doing is that Houston is acquiring trade assets.  In your other posts about bringing in 2-4 strong role players (Speights, Collison, Brewer, those types of guys) it seems like you are describing bringing in players that the Pistons need to fill roles on our team and I see Houston as making moves purely in an effort to bring in a Dwight Howard.  It just seems like they are more swing for the fences oriented then people make it sound like and that is not the Spurs or the 04 Pistons in my opinion.
          I think their moves at the PG position have been especially odd, they have shuffled through Dragic, Lowry, and now Lin at similar costs and different levels of upside and probably landed on the worst option of the three.

        • Mar 6, 20131:51 pm
          by frankie d


          while lin’s total contract may have been a bit much – though that is debatable, especially when you consider that he is essentially making the same money that stuckey is making – the real beauty of the signing is the structure of the contract.
          his deal is backloaded.  lin is actually making less than market value his first two years – he’s making about 5 million per year – but he receives a balloon payment his 3rd year, the final contract year.  when he becomes an expiring contract to be used to facilitate trades. 
          if lin turns out to be a player, he will have been well worth the total contract, and if that is the case, houston probably is happy and keeps him around.
          or if he turns out to be a dog, houston will still be able to trade him for some kind of value – as there will always be interest in that 15 million dollar expiring contract – and houston’s investment – the first 2 years at 5 million per – will have been relatively small.
          smart gm work by houston.
          joe dumars, take notes. 

          • Mar 6, 20132:13 pm
            by Huddy

            That third year where if he doesn’t work out his 15 million dollar contract can be used to facilitate trades…more risky then your post suggests.  A lot of guys that are paid that much that are not performing have been amnestied the last couple of years (Scola, Brand, Blatche) and that isn’t an option anymore.  It is nice to say that they could just trade him but look through the pleas to amnesty Charlie V’s contract, big expiring doesn’t mean automatic trade bait.  Expiring contracts can be useful, but I wouldn’t say they can just assume that contract is easily moveable.  I also wouldn’t base the validity of Lin’s contract on Stuckey’s contract since Stuckey is a pretty unanimously considered to be a waste of space that isn’t worth what he is paid either.  Even if the contract works the way you described and his big contract is moveable, Lowry and Dragic could definitely have been much better players at the position than he is, so what helps the team more?  Is it smart GM work if they spend 3 years with a worse PG hindering their ability to compete just as they are moving into the playoff picture?  Too early to assume.  

          • Mar 6, 20133:07 pm
            by frankie d

            dragic?  definitely a much better player? how?
            look, i like dragic and hope he turns into a player, but his first year in phoenix has less than overwhelming.  in fact, it’s extremely similar to lin’s year, in terms of numbers.  they both started rather slowly but have picked up lately.
            and i like lin’s contract much better, especially the first couple of years, where dragic is actually paid much more –  2.5 million more per year – than lin.
            same deal.  i like lowrey and think he can play, though he tends to pound the rock a bit.  is he better than lin?  probably, if only because of the kind of defensive pressure he can put on an opposing PG.  not sure if he could mesh as well with harden, as he likes to have it in his hands as much as harden.  in fact, his tendency to dominate the ball has turned into an issue up in toronto, according to local media.
            good player and probably better than lin at this point, but he might not mesh as well with this current team as well.  for whatever reason, that has been an issue from memphis to houston to toronto.  his tendency to dominate the ball without a steve nash type of passing ability has seemed to be somewhat problematic.  that one is a toss up.  houston, however did get a first round choice when they traded him so it is not as though houston did a joe dumars move and just gave a good young player away for nothing.  
            essentially, they let dragic walk, turned lowrey into a first round pick and signed lin to a nice contract.  the numbers on all 3 guys are pretty similar.  and lin is the only one of the bunch starting on a winning team.
            what’s wrong with that, even if it is a somewhat lateral move?  they pick up a first round pick in the process.
            yea, that is smart gm work. imho.
            much better than dumping former first round picks and giving away first round choices in order to try to make up for previous, horrendous moves. (BG.)
            sure, there are always risks trying to move expiring contracts, but seems like teams can always do it when they want.  
            maggette, for instance?  a guy on a ridiculous contract, who can barely move, coming off years of almost back-to-back injuries, gets traded for another guy PLUS a first rounder? 
            if a guy can play, and that is what we’ll see with lin in the next few years, 8.5 million per year – averaged – is just about right for a point guard on a playoff team.  i’d gladly pay that if i’m a gm.

          • Mar 6, 20133:43 pm
            by Huddy

            I said “could have been better players” about Lowry and Dragic.  The “could” is important because your assessment of Dragic is based on him playing for the god awful suns.  You can say he and Lin look the same, but that is not really a one to one reflection of Dragic’s potential had they kept him. Lin starting on a winning team obviously has more to do with the team than him the same for for the other two losing.
            The Maggette example is certainly valid but doesn’t account for the amnesty examples and players like CV, so my point was, like you said, expiring contracts are a risk and teams can’t always move them if they could no one would have been amnestied. 
            Joe D’s dumping of first rounders isn’t a good argument until you see what happens with our cap space we gained, not to mention there is no (s) one pick for cap space and one former first round choice was traded for a much more needed player in Jose plus dumping depreciating overpaid prince (if we are talking about after BG).  For example, Houston gave up Jeremy Lamb who was a valuable first round pick in order to get established talent in Harden, that is exactly what freeing up cap space is setting us up for so its too soon to decide if thats a bad move.  If you are concerned about giving up Austin Daye idk where you get your optimism from but Memphis hasn’t found anymore use for him than we did.  The pick we gave up is valuable, but if we sign Paul Milsap because we have the space was it bad because maybe we would have had a #10 pick in two years that might pan out? no, Joe has made some mistakes for sure but his decision making ability will be a lot more clear this summer good or bad.   

          • Mar 6, 20134:47 pm
            by frankie d

            i am trying to understand your position, but it is tough.
            what does CV have to do with expiring contracts?  he is, like many guys, an amnesty candidate.  his contract – unless he goes crazy and doesn’t take his player option – won’t expire until next year.  
            teams amnesty players for many reasons and i’m not sure what it has to do with expiring contracts.
            and while i acknowledge that expiring contracts are somewhat risky, the risk is very minimal, as teams are always looking to get expiring contracts so they can pursue free agents.  an expiring contract, especially one for 15 million for a 27 year old player is about as valuable as an asset gets in the nba. 
            usually good players on bad teams put up better numbers than similar-caliber players on good teams.  it is simply easier to get your numbers when the other guys are not that great.
            and how well any player would have done with different teams is pure conjecture.  obviously, houston believed that lowrey wasn’t a good fit and that they preferred lin to dragic.  
            and as noted, they pocketed a first round choice in doing their point guard dance.
            and in today’s nba, first round choices are probably the most valuable asset that a team has.  with the new CBA, getting good, cheap players is extremely valuable and first rounders are the best way to do that.
            sorry, but a team trading a draft pick for a elite level talent – as houston did with harden – is light years away from trading a pick in order to gain cap space that might, somehow, someway turn into a good player.
            and considering joe’s recent past history, i don’t think it is unfair to be skeptical of his ability to handle that responsibility.
            and i do not like the idea of just dumping first round picks, from delfino to afflalo to daye, especially when those players have not been given an opportunity to play.   bad business.  time will tell whether daye was the bum that detroit fans made him out to be.  i remain one of the few pistons’ fans who believed that he got a raw deal here.  we shall see.
            funny, memphis fans don’t agree that daye has been useless.  from the memphis version of pistonpowered:
            “Memphis can’t attract big name FA’s to their bench and must do with cast-offs and rookie contracts but has managed to put together a decent group. Led by Jerryd Bayless, Quincy Pondexter and Darrell Arthur, the Grizzlies bench has received a major uplift in the Rudy Gay trade with long-range threat Austin Daye and big man Ed Davis. The group is still getting comfortable with each other but have helped the team win games they used to lose.”

            funny, how many times that has happened.  young guy gets buried on detroit bench.  goes elsewhere and what do you know…he gets a legit shot to show that he can play.  will daye’s strong play continue?  we shall see.  i do know that having a guy like daye is never a bad thing and i’d much rather have kept him than use him as a throw in in a trade.
            and finally, joe is not some newbie who took over another gm’s travesty of a team.  this team is a mess because of his decisions.  i don’t need to wait another summer to determine that joe has made horrendous decision after horrendous decision for the last 5 – 6 years.  the occasionally positive move – drummond, calderone – on balance, doesn’t erase all of the other mistakes.

          • Mar 6, 20135:10 pm
            by Huddy

            I’m not saying you are definitely wrong about Houston’s PG situation but imo next year we may see that they are really only a year or so ahead of us in development.  We could easily be a comparable team by next year.  We will already have a stronger front court with Monroe putting up all star level numbers and improving next to Drummon who is easily a 10 and 10 starter with all kinds of room to go up.  Jose is a better PG than Lin in passing ast/to numbers and 3pt shooting.  BK is a ? At SG but with potential.  Add that at our summer possibilities: a impact sg/sf in the draft and free agents possibilities (Milsap, Martin, Mayo, Reddick, whoever not really advocating anyone in particular or able to fully predict trade opportunities) and how far ahead is Houston?  Harden is a sure thing, Chandler Asik and Lin are solid, but if they push for Howard or someone and lose are they better?  I don’t think so.  I don’t see Houston as being in such a better position than us until we see how the next few months go At least.  

          • Mar 6, 20135:29 pm
            by Huddy

            I’m not sure what that article you linked is supposed to show.  It opened to a piece about their Miami match up that they lost not to mention Austin Daye had 5 points on below 30% shooting In the game.  If Memphis fans like what he brings to their team they aren’t looking at his numbers he has done next to nothing besides 2 games so I’m not sure what this strong production is that we are waiting to see if will continue.  I realize CV doesn’t expire this year I mention him because many people wish to amnesty him as opposed to keeping him to be used as a trade piece with his expiring contract NEXT year,  I think that applies because I wonder why this strategy would make sense if his contract is such a lucrative asset next year.  Josh Smoth is a player in his prime on an expiring contract that couldn’t be moved.  I’m just saying it happens, and if it is so valuable to have these contracts and be able to get cap space why are we unhappy with our team having that same valuable cap space now?  It sounds like your saying Houston will be in a great position if they can move Lin in his 3rd year but the Pistons aren’t for doing the same thing with Prince and Daye (especially since Daye actually isn’t producing contrary to your comment).

          • Mar 6, 20136:41 pm
            by frankie d

            “We could easily be a comparable team by next year.”
            i guess.  sure, anything is possible.  if i started buying lottery tickets i could possibly win the lottery.
            facts: detroit’s record over the last few years has been sub-500, including a 23-39 record this year.
            houston has had pretty decent records -considering they are rebuilding/retooling, also – and this year they have a 33-28 record. the facts indicate their strategy is working better than detroit’s. 
            you can paint and/or imagine all sorts of scenarios that suggest future success for detroit, but facts are facts.  it aint happening now. 
            regarding lin, houston is in a strong position if they move lin or if they keep him.  if they keep him it probably means he’s turned into the player they thought he could be.  if they trade him, they will only have invested 10 million over 2 seasons in salary, plus whatever hit they take that third year.
            and if they want, they can trade him.  
            atlanta could have traded smith, if they wanted to.  they decided not to take one of a couple of proposed trades – milwaukee was a potential partner, but they would not throw in a first round draft choice, supposedly and that killed the deal -and they will make use of the cap space.
            now, i am not sure that is the route i would take, but it is a reasonable choice. 
            not sure how you make a connection between the pistons calderone trade and possibly moving lin two years from now.
            the pistons have repeatedly said that they want to resign calderone, so the trade was not about getting cap space.  and daye is a young guy that the team had yet to really find out about – imho – and that is not where lin will be in 2 years. 
            unlike detroit, which has consistently refused to clear roster space – and PT – for young guys – unless their names were stuckey and knight – houston, within 8 days, traded a young veteran guy – lowrey – let another young vet walk – dragic – and basically gave lin the ball and said the PG spot is yours to lose.  he will have every opportunity to prove that he can play or that he cannot play.   whatever you say about daye, no one can make the argument that he was given that type of opportunity.   if a team is truly rebuilding, that is what you have to do in order to move on and give your young guys a real chance.  
            that is something detroit has routinely refused to do. 

          • Mar 7, 201310:44 am
            by Huddy

            GM’s don’t clear their rosters at a position to make room for a rookie number 15 pick in the hopes that they will be the starter of the future, no GM would have done that for Daye because his talent doesn’t warrant that for the exact same reason it didn’t warrant 14 other teams drafting him before us.  There are plenty of top 5 picks that ride the bench and slowly work their way in.  He was not misused he was simply not as good as Tayshaun and too skinny to be a real PF option.  He generally got about 15 min a game and didn’t do anything with it thats probably why Memphis is giving him about 10 min a game and he continues to not do anything with it.  Detroit is starting an relying on Monroe and has since he came to the team, they handed the starting PG role to rookie knight he didnt work out and now he is starting at SG, Stuckey has been given chances for years and not worked out (hes the perfect example of why sometimes it makes sense to give up on a player before you resign him to a bigger contract), I think Drummond should have started this year but he will next year, Singler has been given a starting opportunity.  How are the pistons not giving young guys opportunities? we just don’t have the talent.
            The reason I suggest we could catch up in growth is because this is the first time we have had the flexibility to make changes because of all of our cap space for years.  The slow growth that you point to is a pistons team adding a rookie each year and waiting for them to develop and I am simply saying that this summer we have a chance to add a rookie AND make a lot more moves that would change our rate of growth and a much bigger way than anything we have done for the last few years.  Houston is obviously starting from a different place than Detroit since they have only dipped below .500 once in like 10 years.  We were supremely set back by the CV BG signings and have been locked in to those contracts for years with our hands tied in many ways because they preformed so bad that we could not event get good trade value for them.  The fact about why Houston is becoming a playoff threat this year is that they signed Harden and they did that via trade, but a trade that they could complete because they had the space to pay him what his current team wouldn’t.  In other words they added an impact player to become who they are today, which is exactly what the pistons have the capability to do now.

    • Mar 6, 20134:13 pm
      by tarsier


      I definitely agree with the strategy of adding assets on reasonable contracts. But you threw out the numbers “$8 mil/yr for Jose, same for Redick, $4-$5 for Brewer and $4 for Speights”. That might be about what they command in the market, I’m not sure. but those aren’t contracts that make them assets. Those contracts make them liabilities. There are very few mediocre players in the league who are assets outside of guys on rookie deals and minimum contracts.

      If Joe can get any of those guys on a minimum deal, fantastic. I’d be very impressed and happy with that. But mediocre guys are typically the most overpaid in the league. In other words, if you get them for a little less than what you might expect them to sign for, it is still probably a bad contract.

      It’s a star driven league. One star typically has more impact on a team than 4-5 mediocre guys. And mediocre guys are always easy to come by later. Stars are not. Either use cap space to get an established star or a couple guys with star potential. Mediocre players make mediocre teams. 

      • Mar 7, 20138:14 am
        by G


        Mediocre players would be an improvement on what we have. Who’s our 5th best player? Monroe, Calderon, Drummond, Knight… is it Singler? Jerebko? Bynum?

  • Mar 6, 201312:31 pm



    NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY FOR HIM and he would ruin a rookie!

    re-sign Calderon for something like 3 years 21 mil… give him more of the money up front, so in his 2nd and 3rd years…if you want to move him, his contract wont be unattractive for another team…


    Sign Tyreke Evans …. he can play G/F role…

    Let Bynum Walk

    Trade Stuckey and Charlie (both will be value in 2013-2014 because of expiring contracts, Package Jonas with one of them) Send Stuckey and Jonas to Minny for Derrick Williams and 2nd rd picks…

    PF – Monroe
    SF – Tyreke
    SG- Knight
    PG – Calderon

    Tyreke becomes another creator for the offense….

    2nd Unit

    D. Williams

    Draft a PG or Lead Guard that can be a general or leader for the 2nd for the 2nd unit…

    I promise being a GM is NOT HARD!

  • Mar 7, 20135:05 am
    by Tino


          The Pistons have two players in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond who are a formidable duo that can potentially anchor the type of hard-nosed defensive-minded team that I believe would be the ideal model to become a force in the NBA. 

          This offseason I believe the best way to improve the team has to be to sign 1 or 2 players who fit harmoniously in sort of a ‘meat and two vegetable’ dynamic. Of the players entering into free agency this summer here are the ones I find could help the team in few different scenarios:

    -Darren Collison
    -Andre Iguodala
    -Josh Smith
    -Paul Millsap (sort of)

    Plan A-         Try to get CP3. Kind of like Kobe a few years ago. The Heat are the team to beat in the East by far. Maybe he notices that of the 7 teams that have beaten the Heat in the Eastern Conference 4 have size along with depth in the front court, one of those teams being the Pistons. Suppose we get Victor Oladipo or Otto Porter, and either trade (in the case of Oladipo) or keep (in the case of Porter) Knight and or Stuckey for ANY SF that can shoot. The Pistons lineup would be Paul/Oladipo/(Any SF i.e. Trevor Ariza, Danny Green, Caron Butler etc.)/Jerebko(can play away from the basket)/Drummond. Jerebko and Monroe would be a PF 1a/1b type thing with Monroe being utilized more in matchups when the Pistons want to dictate strongly to the post instead of spacing and creating. That would leave us with the ability to get the Pistons an 8th seed at the least where we could knock off the Heat leaving the playoffs up for grabs.

    Plan B-      Jose Calderon and Darren Collison are a toss up to me. Collison has been dissappointing this season and I do not expect he could get any better then Mike Conley money, about $8 million a year which is also how much Calderon could be looking for. Whoever the Pistons go with might be determined by how well Calderon can play with Drummond when he gets back from his injury. Next, sign Josh Smith. He is in his prime, he is a gifted shot blocker and versatile scorer. That is enough for me. There has to be a fairly simple way that starting Calderon/Knight/Smith/Monroe/Drummond can win basketball games and since winning solves all problems Josh Smith should not be one. But if we choose not to go down that road, there is always plan C.

    Plan C-     Same as Plan B only instead of Josh Smith, get Andre Iguodala. I happen to be on #TeamIggysDeclining but if he can play good defense he won’t have to do much if his declining skills are offset by the improving skills of Monroe and Drummond and we are winning, I won’t mind if his paycheck is All-Star level but his play is not quite there (like Kevin Garnett).

  • Mar 18, 20136:43 pm
    by Illest


    I don’t understand any of ya’ll, getting Josh Smith should be plan A, B, and C; while at the same time getting rid of Charlie V, Maxiell, Bynum, and Calderon; why anyone would want to bring back losers is beyond me.

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