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Bill Simmons: Greg Monroe more valuable than Andre Drummond

Bill Simmons, in his annual trade-value column, ranked Greg Monroe ahead of Andre Drummond:

28. Greg Monroe
If you redid the 2010 draft, the top 10 probably goes like this: Paul George (picked 10th originally), John Wall (first), Monroe (seventh), Favors (third), Cousins (fifth), Sanders (15th), Hayward (ninth), Vasquez (28th), Bradley (19th) and Bledsoe (18th). Here’s the point: You never, EVER really know with the NBA draft. Anyway, I like Monroe, even if I’ve never had one Monroe-related conversation, e-mail exchange or even a text message with anyone I know. He’s forgettably excellent! He’s Greg Monroe.

Important note: If you gave 100 Detroit fans a choice between building around Monroe or Andre Drummond, all 100 would choose Drummond. And I totally get it: Fans always gravitate toward unlimited potential over known commodities. Let’s look at per-36-minute numbers of two frighteningly raw/athletic/explosive young big guys …

Shawn Kemp, Year 1 (age 20): 16.9 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 48% FG, 74% FT
Drummond, Year 1 (age 19): 13.8 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 61% FG, 37% FT

That’s a good sign for Drummond, because …

Kemp, Year 2: 30.1 MPG, 17.9 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 51% FG, 66% FT

The biggest difference between them other than Kemp having eight times as many kids? Kemp always made free throws (career: 74 percent), while Drummond has been an ongoing calamity on that front. If you’re a big guy who can’t make free throws, you better be named Shaq or Wilt. That’s my biggest concern with the Drummond era; we’ve seen dreadful free throw shooting derail too many talented guys. Monroe is just a safer bet. Stay tuned.

46. Andre Drummond
To recap: The 2012 lottery teams showed the appropriate amount of Drummond-related caution; he fell the appropriate number of spots (to no. 9); landed on the perfect team (Detroit); and quickly elevated himself beyond "massive project" status to "legitimate shot-blocking/rebounding/high-flying game-changer of the bench" status. His per-36 minute numbers: 13.8 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 60.8% FG … and 37.1% FT, but still! I can’t forget seeing him smiling sadly on draft night with one of those beaten-down looks on his face, like he was thinking, It’s OK, I’m gonna try hard in the NBA, I’m not gonna let you down, I’m a good guy, I swear! Hard not to root for him after that. And by the way? That Drummond-Monroe foundation is pretty nice, right? I fully support any NBA team that builds around players named after iconic sitcom characters from my childhood.

Simmons is correct: Every Pistons fan would place Drummond ahead of Monroe. In February, I ranked the Pistons by trade value – Drummond No. 1, Monroe No. 2 – and explained the logic then:

Why Andre Drummond ranks No. 1

Andre Drummond has the greatest potential among all Pistons – maybe even the greatest potential among all NBA players – and he’s already Detroit’s second-best player.

The biggest reason Drummond claims the top spot ahead of Greg Monroe, though, is his contract. Unlike Monroe, who’s eligible for an extension this summer, Drummond will be on rookie-scale contract for the next three years. Drummond making $3,272,091 in 2015-16? Yes, please.

Drummond’s back injury gave me some pause about giving him the top spot, but a single injury isn’t enough to downgrade Drummond. It’s definitely a red flag, though. Hopefully, injuries won’t derail what seems like a very promising career.

Why Greg Monroe ranks No. 2

Greg Monroe is the Pistons’ best player. He’s gotten better each season, and he’s seemed to be on the verge of an All-Star berth since last year. He’s only 22 and has plenty of room to get better, especially defensively.

Monroe is the type of hard-working, self-motivated and no-nonsense players most teams would love to begin a rebuild with.

So why does he rank only No. 2?

Monroe will be eligible to sign a contract extension this summer, and judging by his closest peer – Roy Hibbert – Monroe is more likely than not to get a max contract. How valuable will Monroe remain at that price? If I were the Pistons, I’d be willing to pay him max money, but I’d do it knowing there’s a real risk Monroe becomes overpaid.

68 Comments

  • Apr 24, 20134:20 pm
    by G

    Reply

    Here’s where Simmons is wrong – the whole point of the trade value column is which team says no. Andre Drummond is basically untouchable right now, Monroe a little less so.

    If Minnesota wanted to trade Love for, say, Monroe and Stuckey, the Pistons almost certainly say yes. If they ask for Drummond and Stuckey, they probably think about it, then counter-offer Monroe.

    • Apr 24, 20134:37 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Agreed. You have to factor in his age and the fact that he just started a rookie deal. That matters. Detroit has Drummond for 3 years and $8.3 million. Monroe will get paid after next year.

    • Apr 24, 20134:57 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      And if Love could be had for Boozer’s bad contract, Butler, Mirotic, and a pick liable to be in the 10-15 range, he should definitely be available for Monroe and Stuckey.

      Granted, I think Simmons is wrong that the Wolves would take that, but who knows. 

      • Apr 24, 20135:12 pm
        by G

        Reply

        The Wolves take that and say thank you because if they don’t, they lose Love for nothing.

        • Apr 24, 20135:56 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Even if they have to trade Love to avoid losing him for nothing, the Wolves still have a fair amount of leverage because so many teams would love to have him. This is comparable to the Dwight Howard situation last offseason.

          • Apr 25, 20138:25 am
            by G

            Who did Orlando get for Howard again? Afflalo, Vucevic and Harkless? Now those guys played pretty good, but how is that any different from the trade Simmons proposed>

          • Apr 25, 20139:23 am
            by tarsier

            Because Orlando got three first rounders and no bad contracts. That’s an enormous difference. And that was Orlando getting back less than what many people thought they would.

          • Apr 25, 20139:37 am
            by G

            Instead Minnesota gets probably a higher pick than any of the picks Orlando got (Charlotte’s pick with protection until 2016), they take on 1 bad contract (which they have to do to make the deal work), and they get 3 better players than Orlando got.

          • Apr 25, 201310:15 am
            by tarsier

            It’s possible that the Charlotte pick will be better just because Charlotte is special like that. But typically, such picks with protection lasting a while end up out of the lottery. Two of the picks will probably not be lottery picks. But the Philly pick is fairly likely to be in the lottery and, given the protections on the Charlotte pick, those two are almost a wash.

            Boozer is pretty good, but being on a bad deal wipes all that value out, better to have even a total unknown on a rookie deal (like Harkless was). I like Butler, but certainly no more than Afflalo. And Vucevic, even at the time of trade, was a much better prospect than Mirotic.

            Basically the only reason to take that Chicago deal for Love would be in the hope that the Charlotte pick bounces back a few years and still falls top 5. If Charlotte has a good season any time in the next three years, the trade would be awful. 

          • Apr 25, 201310:18 am
            by tarsier

            Also, pretty minor detail, but the Magic also got a pair of second rounders.

          • Apr 26, 20139:50 am
            by G

            I know it’s late in the day to bring this up, but Dwight Howard was considered the best C in the league when Orlando was looking to deal him. Love comes with injury concerns and is probably only a top 5 PF. Minnesota probably isn’t going to get what Orlando got.

        • Apr 25, 20139:24 am
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          completely agree the wolves would jump on that deal.

          Monroe for reason already mentioned and stuckey comes of the books after next season.

          knowing Stuckey he’d have his best season as a pro

          • Apr 25, 201310:17 am
            by tarsier

            I’d like to think so. But if so, why has this not yet happened? It would have been the perfect midseason deal. At that point, the Wolves still had some postseason hope, but Love wasn’t going to be out anyway. Monroe may have salvaged something for them. And the Pistons were already out of hope for the season, so they may as well have gone into full tank mode, trading their biggest producer for an even better player who wasn’t going to play until next season.

          • Apr 25, 20131:48 pm
            by G

            Might as well ask why the Pistons didn’t shut down Drummond and Knight down the stretch, or why they didn’t cut Monroe’s minutes down. Joe D doesn’t like tanking. I’m not sure the Wolves jump all over Stuckey & Monroe for Love, especially the way Stuckey had been playing at that point. Plus, Stuckey isn’t a good match with Rubio.

            I suggested the Monroe+Stuckey for Love trade not because I thought Minnesota would actually DO it, but to serve as a hypothetical scenario to compare Monroe & Drummond’s trade value.

  • Apr 24, 20134:42 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Since Simmons mad ea point of saying that contracts matter, this is just… buffoonery.

  • Apr 24, 20135:18 pm
    by Blocks by Dre (Burke for the win!!)

    Reply

    based off of potential alone: 

    Drummond>Monroe

    potential alone should make him more valuable for us because potential is all we really have to live for as Pistons fans these days.  

    as far as other teams ar concerned, I would still rather have Drummond because he can defend and run the floor already at just the age of 19…Drummond statistically (PER) will have a better season than Monroe in 2-3 years and by then hopefully we’re competitors 

  • Apr 24, 20135:37 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    I have no idea what he was smoking, I saw Drummond at #46 and thought “WTF is Monroe not on the list???”
     

  • Apr 24, 20135:49 pm
    by Brigs

    Reply

    i like Simmons articles but he’s kind of a detriot hater so I wouldn’t put to much value in what he says here. at this point I wouldn’t traded Drummond for anyone not named Lebron or Durant but I would trade Monroe for a number of players. I think Monroe is a solid player but I think Drummond is a potential superstar and we should mold our team around him

    • Apr 24, 20136:04 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I would trade Drummond in a heartbeat for Harden, Curry, Davis, Paul, Howard, or Rose. I’d think long and hard about Horford, Gasol, Westbrook, Lopez, Anthony, Noah, or George.

      • Apr 24, 20139:08 pm
        by Corey

        Reply

        Gasol is too old – oh if you mean Marc Gasol, I see your point.  I don’t think i’d trade him for Lopez or Noah, though. The potential and the contract are both so good.

      • Apr 25, 20138:34 am
        by G

        Reply

        Davis? Not sure about that. I might do the deal, certainly not in a heartbeat though. Rose, I would be hesitant to trade a prospect like Drummond for him until I’ve figured out if he wants to play basketball again. Agree with Corey about Lopez & Noah.

        All that aside, yes, Drummond is promising but he certainly has his flaws. Trading him for an established star would minimize the risk in HOPING he develops into a star, that’s why you do the deal. But certainly the team would rather trade Monroe, if it came down to it.

         

        • Apr 25, 20139:25 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          without a doubt, my point was, much as 46 is way too low, 3 is waaay too high.

          • Apr 25, 20139:38 am
            by G

            Def. agree.

      • Apr 25, 20139:30 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        would not trade Drummond for anything less than a guaranteed franchise changer…

        over half the players listed are not franchise changers,

        they are good players, that can do something or somethings great

        • Apr 25, 20139:44 am
          by G

          Reply

          Drummond isn’t a “guaranteed franchise changer”, he’s a POTENTIAL franchise changer. Harden, Curry, Paul, Rose and Howard all changed franchises and would probably do it again (though Rose & Howard are debatable). Davis is another POTENTIAL franchise changer, but more ready than Drummond is. Westbrook is also a franchise changer, just happens to be on the same team as another one. Anthony is a franchise changer, and Gasol, Lopez and Noah, well, depends on the franchise. Paul George and Al Horford are NOT franchise changers, and I probably wouldn’t do the deal for one of them. Monroe yes, Drummond no.

          • Apr 25, 201310:16 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            Exactly,

            Most of those guys are not guaranteed franchise changers, a lot of it like you said depends on the franchise and what else they have to offer.

            Let’s be real… Lebron, Durant, Paul,Anthony… are the maybe the only players right now that if they landed on your team you start having title hopes …(Maybe Rose and Wade in MVP form)

            Then there are guys like Harden. Westbrook,Curry, … that can get you to the play-off…

            The rest are good players …. 

          • Apr 25, 201310:21 am
            by tarsier

            “Then there are guys like Harden. Westbrook,Curry, … that can get you to the play-off…
            The rest are good players …. ”

            I love Drummond and all, but how does he not also, at best, fit into this category? Could he be better? sure. But anyone can suddenly get better. they usually don’t. It’s pretty unreasonable to expect Drummond to be much more than a prime Ben Wallace, which is great to have, but doesn’t fall in that LeBron, Durant, Paul category.

          • Apr 25, 201310:38 am
            by G

            That was pretty much my point, that Drummond is a POTENTIAL franchise changer, but he hasn’t done it yet.

          • Apr 25, 201311:03 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            “”I love Drummond and all, but how does he not also, at best, fit into this category? Could he be better? sure. But anyone can suddenly get better. they usually don’t. It’s pretty unreasonable to expect Drummond to be much more than a prime Ben Wallace, which is great to have, but doesn’t fall in that LeBron, Durant, Paul category.”"

            Im not disagreeing.

            Im just saying I would not be ready to trade Drummond and his potenital, for those players Not now. We just dont know what Drummond ceiling is. Look at Kevin Garnett, Amare, Kemp, and Howard for examples. They all start producing big numbers in their 2nd year, and if they dont lead their teams to the play-off they are a huge reason why they are in the play-offs…

            If next year Drummond goes up to 36-38 minutes per game and he is 12-13ppg 8rebs-10rebs 2 blocks..and we dont make the play-offs….

            And a team offers a player like Curry…then id strongly consider it….

            but its he does 15-16ppg 10-12 rebs 3blks…and we make the play-offs..and he’d just be 20….its a difference story…

          • Apr 25, 201311:30 am
            by G

            Those 2 sets of numbers are close enough to identical that I don’t think it would make a difference which of those Drummond has, he’d still have the same projections for year 3.

            In Garnett & Kemp’s case, the numbers jump had more to do with increased minutes than anything else. Garnett’s minutes increased by 10 n his second year, Kemp’s increased by over 16. I don’t think there’s any way the Pistons play Drummond 38 min a game next year, but he probably plays 30. If his production next year matches his per 36min production this year, you’re looking at 14 ppg, 13 rpg, and 2.8 bpg. 

          • Apr 25, 20132:40 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            SMALL SAMPLE STATS!!!! (MY FAVORITE)

            Drummond played only 10 games of 28 or more minutes….he averaged 30mins 14ppg 10rebs 1.8blks 1.3 stils …. In those 10 games 4 were double double games, in another 3 games he was only 1 pt or reb away from a double -doube…

            Assuming the worse – he will still produce 13& 10 games because of raw ability

            Assuming he will get slightly better – his stats might increase slight, but his effectiveness will change games

            Assuming he exceeds all expectation and really put it together – Then his effectiveness, takes on a form of dominance

             

          • Apr 25, 20132:45 pm
            by G

            Is it just me or do the other Pistons have a little extra bounce in their step when Drummond is on the court? I felt like they went on that winning streak in large part due to Drummond just being there & the players BELIEVING they could do it.

          • Apr 25, 20133:18 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            He bring life to the team, sometimes there are those guys that are just good for chemistry.

            ONLY 2 things I hate about Drummond is FTs and the way he rolls around the ground when he gets hurt…. Make FT’s and Toughen up…and the world is yours 

  • Apr 24, 20135:51 pm
    by jprime18

    Reply

    Even though I usually agree with Bill Simmons, despite him being a Boston boy, he’s wrong here. Hey, just my opinion though

  • Apr 24, 20135:56 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    We should all bombard him with e-mails. I just did, putting it this way: GS and Washington could go right on ahead balking at a trade offer of Drummond for Lee or Beal in Simmons’ crazy fantasy world. I’d rather have Drummond than either (or both).
    I like the column and enjoy his writing, but… Drummond at 46? Below Tyson Chandler, David Lee, Larry Sanders, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, etc? Got that one wrong… 

  • Apr 24, 20135:56 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    He has Drummond way low. I believe there are quite a few teams who’d trade any player on their roster for Drymmond

  • Apr 24, 20136:06 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Maybe Drummond hasn’t yet amassed trade value because nobody has seen him play much.

    • Apr 24, 20136:35 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      But Detroit has, and the nature of the exercise involves who Detroit would trade him for. While some of those other teams might say no to the trade too, Detroit does it first. Washington would consider a Drummond for Beal trade, Detroit laughs before hanging up. Somehow he has Beal 17 spots ahead of Drummond, and that doesn’t make sense. Detroit wouldn’t even hesitate to turn down an offer for anyone outside of the top 27 guys. Aldridge at 26 is where they start to think about it, but I think Portland ultimately takes it while Detroit declines. Well, I guess there’s Noah at 31 who should also cause the team to stop and think about it, but he’s too low as well. I’d put Noah ahead of Lopez and Horford at 24 and 23. That’s a bit off point though. Putting Drummond at 46 is way off, and he probably belongs about 20 spots higher.

      • Apr 24, 20137:09 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Well the nature of this exercise involves who Detroit would trade him for and who other teams would trade for him. If neither team would even consider the deal, who is to say which player rates higher? That still wouldn’t push Drummond all the way down to 46, but it could help to explain part of it.

        • Apr 24, 20137:47 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          The answer is that degrees matter. Take the Beal example I used, Washington would decide Beal is the perfect fit next to Wall and has a decent chance of being a top 5 shooting guard some day. I bet after some discussion they end up turning it down. Detroit gives it exactly no consideration. Drummond therefore has to rank higher using the rules Simmons has provided. Detroit would shut down the trade ideas faster than the other team, so that ranks him higher than them.

          • Apr 25, 20139:30 am
            by tarsier

            Of course degrees matter. And who is to say that based on how little an organization like Washington has seen of Drummond, they wouldn’t think, “On a crappy team like the Pistons, this guy could only get 20 mpg”. And they might well laugh at an offer for Beal too. So at least for some of these guys, I can see the GMs giving no consideration to the offer either. My point was, how do you rank that?

            So I can see Drummond’s trade value being significantly lower than it should be. Still not 46 low, but I’m doubting that most front offices would see Drummond as anywhere near as desirable as Pistons fans do.

          • Apr 25, 20139:50 am
            by G

            That I disagree with. Drummond’s chaining to the bench was pretty well publicized. He got a lot of hype in the national media, and I think everyone understands the reasons for his 20 mpg had nothing to do with a lack of ability. 

          • Apr 25, 201310:23 am
            by tarsier

            That may be. I was mostly trying to find a possible explanation for Drummond to be so low. And that was as good as any I could come up with.

  • Apr 24, 20136:24 pm
    by Chabvis

    Reply

    I was going to come in here to say that Drummond is criminally low, but apparently that is taken care of already by everybody else. I am glad I am not the only person that feels this way.

  • Apr 24, 20137:36 pm
    by Ryank

    Reply

    I would say they are about the same in value.  Monroe has more certainty because he’s established himself already.  Drummond has more potential to become a top 10 player in the league.  Not considering contracts, from an emotional fan’s prospective, Drummond is far superior…from a logical good decision maker’s prospective, Monroe is the bird in the hand. 
     
    I’d have to take Monroe if I had to decide which player I think will have the better career.  Drummond has the 20-15-3-3-1 potential…Monroe will never average 15 boards and 3 blocks per game.  But a lot of things have to go right for Drummond to reach his ceiling.

  • Apr 25, 201312:05 am
    by Jay

    Reply

    I think that in the end it is all a moot point and a speculative exercise to stir the pot by Simmons. I really don’t think there are more than 4-5 players in the NBA that the Pistons would consider moving EITHER Monroe or Drummond for. Their skills are perfectly complimentary and well suited to play next to each other, the team would be hard pressed to find a better skill pairing if they were to trade either player. If Monroe improves his 14-18ft jump shot the two will be the top front court in the NBA in two years.
     
    The thing I think is most important is to look at who they compare with skill/talent wise. Monroe and Drummond are most easily compared to Duncan and Shaq in their early careers. Both would be considered “poor man’s” versions of those two players (Duncan was more athletic than Monroe, but Monroe is a FAR superior Passer/Shaq was very far ahead of Drummond Offensively, but Drummond is 2 1/2 years younger than Shaq as a Rookie). But honestly, who would you trade even a Poor Man’s Shaq & Duncan for in today’s NBA? Really the only guys you should be considering trading these two for are proven All Stars, under the age of 26, preferably on sub max contracts.
     
    If its me evaluating a trade I would only even consider moving Drummond for Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, and LeBron James (yes I know he is over 26, but he’s LeBron!). If Monroe is the guy moving I would only add Jrue Holliday, Pual George, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and only MAYBE Al Horford and Jeff Green. I would still be really hesitant to make any of those moves because I really wouldn’t be all that happy with trading big for little and other than Paul George, the other bigs are essentially lateral moves who are 4 years older than Monroe. Not to mention that guards are much easier to plug and play in the NBA than young bigs. You can find above average to elite guards in almost every draft, not so much with front court guys.
     
    In the end unless I’m getting guys that are finishing in the top 5-6 in the MVP voting, I’m holding on to Monroe and Drummond because of what they will be in 2 years when the Pistons are ready to win in the Playoffs, as opposed to what I can get for them now when the team isn’t going anywhere.

    • Apr 25, 20131:11 am
      by oats

      Reply

      This is crazy. I just want that on the record. I’m also really, really glad you aren’t in control of personnel decisions. You feel like you need to justify trading for LeBron? What? I’d trade both Drummond and Monroe for LeBron, but Miami wouldn’t even consider that. How in the hell would you consider moving Monroe for Jeff Green but not Chris Paul? Jeff Green isn’t that good. I mean, Klay Thompson makes the list? What? I feel like I should be using about 40 question marks for most of these sentences. Just holy crap. I don’t care how young Drummond and Monroe are, they almost certainly will never be the best player in their respective positions. You absolutely should move either of them for Chris Paul. I’d move either of them for James Harden who is oddly missing despite being one of the 5 best scorers in basketball and only 23. You wouldn’t trade one of them for Melo just because he’s 28? Melo for only one of them would turn the team in to a contender right now, and they’d be contenders for the next 5 years. How do you pass on that for Monroe or Drummond? I really don’t understand this line of thinking at all.
       
      Monroe is not Tim Duncan, or even poor man’s Tim Duncan. Duncan has more range than Monroe as a shooter, but that’s not what really separates them. Duncan was and still is one of the 10 best defenders in the league. In his prime Duncan was a top 5 defender. Monroe is an awful defensive player. These two aren’t comparable. Drummond to Shaq? Come on. Shaq was probably the best player in the league for about half his career. Drummond is not a top 10 center yet. Shaq averaged 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks a game as a rookie and was an MVP candidate that year. Drummond will not do that in the next two years. I should also note that a player’s age is usually listed by their age at the start of the season, so Shaq was 20 and Drummond was 19. You are way over valuing Drummond too. These aren’t poor man’s versions of those guys, they aren’t even close to those two. 

      • Apr 25, 20132:01 am
        by Jay

        Reply

        I understand player acquisition strategies far better than you think. The primary principal of good team building is not to trade young for old, or rising talent for declining talent. Mortgaging your future for players who are a heartbeat away from 30 and already maxed out on their contracts is a poor strategy.  Players in their 30′s making $30mill. is not good value (think Kobe and the Lakers). The only player that makes the Pistons a sure-fire contender for a title immediately is LeBron. Melo puts them in the playoffs consistently, but not past the Heat. Harden is a very good scorer, I have never been very high on him as anything but a scorer because I don’t see him really improving those around him, Chris Paul is a tough exclusion, but Paul is a small PG who, once he starts to lose a step, is not nearly the player he is now, usually that happens right about 30, so I really wouldn’t be too keen to give up a young asset, to pay max money to a small PG who will most likely be in decline by before the end of his contract.
        Klay Thompson is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, has a great contract, and is also only 23. He’s 6’7″, is a former PG, can play all three backcourt positions, is a lights out 3pt shooter and plays good defense.
        Jeff Green is, right now, arguably Boston’s best player. He has 3pt range, is a good passer, has a SF handle, is a good post scorer and defender, and has a very reasonable contract.
         
        As for the Monroe/Drummond comparison to the Duncan/Shaq, they are a lot closer than you think. From a college recruiting standpoint those are exactly who we compared them to. Monroe to Duncan and Divac and Drummond to Shaq and Howard. Monroe is a walking double-double, his range is about the same as Duncan’s was his first few seasons. Duncan’s athleticism allowed him to be more of a defensive force and to finish above the rim, but otherwise they are very similar. With proper coaching and use Drummond absolutely has the potential to put up Shaq-like numbers. Shaq benefited from good coaching at LSU and two years in college. Drummond really didn’t improve at all under Jim Calhoun. He was the same player he was at the end of his freshman year as he was at the end of his senior year of high school.
         
        Just because you disagree doesn’t make you right. Personally I prefer my job in college athletics and really wouldn’t want to run the Pistons. But as a lifelong fan, I really wouldn’t want you running the show and mortgaging the future for a couple of meaningless playoff losses to LeBron and the Heat.

        • Apr 25, 20134:15 am
          by oats

          Reply

          No, you don’t understand player acquisition better than I think because your talent evaluation seems way off. You don’t bet everything on guys who might never make an All Star game for guys that are already superstars and under the age of 30. I’m not advocating for Kobe, that is a straw man. Melo, yeah I’ll take Melo. Let’s say it is Melo for Drummond. I’d rather it be Monroe, and you said you wouldn’t do that trade either, but I’ll handicap myself and take the worse fit. Melo eats up a good chunk of the cap space the team would have this off season. The solution is to amnesty CV and either dump Stuckey on someone for nothing or just cut him. The team will then have Melo, Monroe, and a bit of cap space to attract free agents. A decent point guard, say Jarret Jack or Jose, a couple of shooters, and a defensive minded big man to come off the bench and that’s a contender. That team would destroy people in the post, and both Melo and Monroe are excellent passers. That’s the second best team in the East. They aren’t a great match up against the Heat, but no one is. All they need is a bit of luck, probably involving an injury to Wade or Bosh and they could win a championship. That’s a worthwhile move in my book.
           
          You seem seriously off on your projection of an NBA player’s peak, and that is part of the problem. They don’t start to peak until about 26, and they usually are in their peak until about 32 or 33. This fear of guys turning 30 is just not accurate, at least not for elite players. Yeah, they often lose a bit of a step at 30, but they’ve also usually added so much stuff to their games that they don’t actually decline for a few years after that. Look, if Paul isn’t one of the 3 best point guards in the league for each of the next 5 years I’d be shocked. I guess he might get hurt again, but anyone can get hurt. That’s a 5 year window to find another solid player and make a run. I don’t get why you wouldn’t take that. Same thing as with Anthony. Superstars always give you a shot to contend, you absolutely have to take that.
           
          Klay Thompson is not under rated. Klay Thompson is properly rated. I don’t care if he once played point guard, he can’t do it in the NBA. He’s an average passer for a wing player at best. He also can’t guard point guards, struggles against small forwards, and doesn’t rebound well enough to play the 3. He really only has one position that he can play. He is also only an average defender at the 2, maybe a bit below average. He’s a 3 point shooter and nothing more. He’s roughly equivalent to JJ Redick. A bit taller, a little better 3 point shooter, and a bit better defensively. He is also less efficient (JJ is a career 58% true shooting percentage versus Thompson’s 54%), and he is a worse passer. He’s young and cheap, but that doesn’t elevate him to the kind of status you have him on. Again, you would trade for him before Chris Paul, and that is not a good idea.
           
          James Harden doesn’t make players better but Klay Thompson can play the point? What are you talking about? Harden averages 6 assists a game, and he was basically the back up point guard in OKC. Harden is far and away better than Thompson, they aren’t close. He has a true shooting percentage of 60%, and no one is better at getting to the line than Harden. To not recognize that Harden is a superstar is absurd. He averages 25.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists a game. Thompson averages 16.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists a game. I don’t care that Harden is maxed and Thompson isn’t, he is just so much better than Thompson that it doesn’t matter.
           
          Jeff Green’s contract is not “very reasonable”. He averages 12.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists a game. He does only play 28 minutes a game, but that’s still not very good. Part of his low minutes total is that he has some serious injury issues that make him a bad risk to take on. Plus he’s maddeningly inconsistent. Yeah, he has some nice games here and there, but he has a lot of stinkers. He is a bit of a tweener, not really a 3 or a 4. He is shooting the 3 well this year, but on his career he is just a league average shooter. He’s an average rebounder for a small forward, but as a big 3 or small 4 he is pretty bad. In fact, his per 36 numbers are pretty darn similar to Charlie Villanueva. Seriously, CV and him are comparable players offensively. Green’s field goal percentage is better but Charlie is better on the boards. Green is a good defensive player so he is still a solid player while CV isn’t, but he is worse than Monroe as a player. He’s not particularly productive and has 3 years for $27.8 million left on his contract. If he stays healthy he can live up to that contract, but he won’t exceed it and he is a serious health risk. No, that isn’t a good contract. I also don’t get how his being one whole year younger makes up for the huge talent drop off from Chris Paul. If it feels like I’m harping on the Chris Paul thing, it’s because I am. Not including him is really hard for me to understand.
           
          Monroe and Duncan comparisons just don’t hold water. They are similar in height, athleticism, and passing. You are right that Duncan is still the better athlete, but he’s not an above the rim guy either. Duncan is a fantastic defensive player and Monroe doesn’t have the skill needed to be one. Monroe is truly horrendous on D, and with luck he might get up to about average. That guarantees he can’t live up to a Duncan comparison. Duncan also came in to the league with a 16 foot jumper, so I don’t know what you are talking about with Monroe’s range being similar. Timmy shoots about 8% higher on mid range shots than Monroe, and he shoots the same now as he did as a rookie. Fun fact, in his rookie year Duncan took nearly twice as many shots from 10′ out than Monroe has done in his first 3 years combined (612 to 349). Nope, very different. Duncan always had a mid range game as well as playing excellent defense. As a 22 year old third year player Monroe is putting up 16 points and 9.6 rebounds. As a 21 year old rookie Duncan put up 21.1 points and 11.9 rebounds. These guys are not close and they are not that similar. Duncan is just way better than Monroe.
           
          Drummond is big and athletic. He’s not Shaq big nor Shaq athletic. Shaq was 3 inches taller, 55 pounds heavier, much stronger, and ran the court and jumped as well as Drummond. Shaq terrorized the league. Drummond has the physical attributes to be a Dwight Howard with even worse free throw shooting, but Howard isn’t Shaq. He’s also a long ways from getting to Howard’s level. Also, don’t pretend like LSU is some hotbed of talent, or that they were exceptional at developing players. Shaq was just better than Drummond, end of discussion. First Drummond has to prove he can extend his success out across 30+ minutes a game for a full season to start catching Howard. Then he has to make the kind of leap Howard made in year 4, something that is hardly a guarantee since so many players don’t ever make one. Then he has to elevate his game yet another step to catch Shaq. This just isn’t likely. Shaq averaged 23.7 points a game for his career, and that includes those last few years pulling that number down considerably. At the age of 21 Shaq averaged a 29, 13, and 3. He was a monster. Drummond is not going to put up Shaq like numbers, that is just way too far from the guy he currently is for that projection to make sense.
           
          I’m not talking about mortgaging the future. I’m saying I’d take someone who is much better than Monroe is likely to become, and very likely better than Drummond will become and under the age of 30. Those guys can make the team dramatically better right now and have a chance at making a run at the Heat. They will also have a window of about 5 years to try to get that championship if the guy is 28 or younger. If you think the goal is to guarantee a championship, well, that’s impossible. The goal is to get in the range of being a contender and hoping to win it all. My method has a much higher probability of doing so then yours because mine guarantees getting a super star while you are just hoping for one. It’s also not like the Heat are going to be a juggernaut forever. They are heavily reliant on aging players like Allen, Battier and Birdman right now. Bosh and Wade have already been hampered by injuries. LeBron can opt out of his contract after next season. You don’t just duck that team if you have a chance to compete with them. I’d rather move Monroe or Drummond to be in a position to hope something bounces your way. You have no to guarantee the team’s odds will ever be better than that, so why not take that shot?

        • Apr 25, 20139:03 am
          by G

          Reply

          Wow, that was some funny stuff. You have a job in college athletics? What, equipment manager? I hope, for your school’s sake, it isn’t something like recruiter or scout or anything. 

          A couple things about your ridiculous comparisons – Duncan was THE BEST player in college. He played 4 years, yes, but his soph year he averaged 16.8 ppg, 12.5 rebs and 4.2 blocks. Three years into his NBA career, Monroe is still averaging about 16 & 10. Duncan averaged 21 & 12, AND had a higher FG% while shooting A LOT more mid-range jumpers, and then there’s the defense… not even close.

          The Shaq comparison is just stupid. Shaq was a dominant physical presence. He averaged 14 & 12 as a 17 year-old freshman, then 28 & 15 as an 18 year-old soph. Drummond is promising, but he lacks Shaq’s foot work and physical presence. He needs a lot of work to get to Dwight Howard’s level, he’ll likely never get to Shaq’s.  

          • Apr 25, 20139:57 am
            by G

            Also, Monroe isn’t a “far superior passer” to Duncan… They’re actually pretty much equal. Duncan’s career average is 3.1 assists per game, Monroe’s is 2.4. Duncan’s high is 3.9, Monroe’s is 3.5. They also have similar turnovers, but Duncan gets WAY more touches. 

      • Apr 25, 201310:00 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        Drummond isnt that far away from Howard, and Shaq is a once in a life time player. Drummond might be the closest tho.

        Biggest difference between Shaq and Drummond – Shaq always played like a dominated center, from High school, to college to the Pros.

        Drummond played like a Amare Stoudamire and Shawn Kemp, alot of stuff that makes you say WOW a Big man that can dribble, WOW a Big man that fast, WOW a Big that can jump like that… Watch his HS school footage. In College the only thing Uconn did with him is use his size and athletic ability, rebounding, blk shots his defense and alley-oops and put backs his offense….Then in the Pros …in less minutes but pretty much doing the same thing.

        Drummond has never been developed to be a dominate big man, he has just been used for his athletic gifts. That why who we decide on as a coach has to also be able to nurture and develop talent.

        Monroe has alot of Duncan in him as far as offense – Biggest difference, Timmy had superior quickness and reaction time compared to Monroe or any PF. Timmy had 4 years to develop his game in college, Timmy came to a team in a great situation.

        Monroe will never be Duncan which is ok, but he still can be a 18ppg-20ppg 9-10 reb player, which is fine…

        • Apr 25, 201310:13 am
          by G

          Reply

          You’re forgetting that mid-range game, which Duncan has (and always had) and Monroe definitely does NOT have. Stoudamire had a much better developed offensive game than Drummond has, Kemp’s was pretty similar. Howard is easily the best comp for Drummond, their per 36 min numbers are practically identical for their rookie years.

          The reason I hate the Shaq comp is because Shaq was so dominant due to his physical attributes. Drummond will never be a physical match for what Shaq was.

          • Apr 25, 201311:33 am
            by I HATE FRANK

            “”You’re forgetting that mid-range game, which Duncan has (and always had) and Monroe definitely does NOT have.”"

            1. I agree he does not have duncans mid-range game, but in college Greg was developing a mid-ranged game he has the touch. In the pros he put it on shelf, and just recently he started shooting them again, Next year i believe he will be alot more comfortable taking them and be more effective at making him. His techique is just too good for it not to be.

            “”Stoudamire had a much better developed offensive game than Drummond has, Kemp’s was pretty similar. Howard is easily the best comp for Drummond, their per 36 min numbers are practically identical for their rookie years. “”

            2. Lets remember who Amare and Kemp played played, Excellent PG in Payton, Nash, Marbury All-Star PGs, The played with really good talent… The style of play was perfect for an athletic big that could run the floor and finish around the basket. However, I dont always like the Kemp or Amare comparion because Dre is all-ready more physically built than both, and Dwight is put together better than Dre. But Physically Drummond is bigger than Dwight and test better than Dwight did at the combines with his vertical”

            “”"The reason I hate the Shaq comp is because Shaq was so dominant due to his physical attributes. Drummond will never be a physical match for what Shaq was.”"

            3. He wont be Shaq, and because of the rule changes there cant be another Shaq. But he can become the closest thing. Shaq was taught from day one how to be dominate in the post, and it never changed through recration basketball, highschool, AAU, college … Drummond has never been taught to be a dominate big.

            Its frustrating, because physically the only players that can match up with Drummond if he develops a serviceable power move are Lopez, Gasol, Dwight, Hibbert, and maybe Jordan if he feels like defending that day. But the Only players athletic enough to contest drummond assuming he ever develops a service jump hook is Mcgee, Dwight and Jordan (if he feels like defending that day)

            Bottomline, I just want to see what he looks like next year…My whole views about Drummond and his potential can chage but like I said in another post young 18&19 year old big development comes in their 2nd year and 3rd year 

          • Apr 25, 201312:04 pm
            by G

            Amare avg’d 20 ppg before Nash joined up and despite the assists, Marbury was always a guy that looked for his own shot first. Also, Amare’s game doesn’t need an excellent PG to be successful. Payton was only a MODERATELY good PG his first 4 years in the league.

            With Drummond I’d be fine if he basically put up his per 36min numbers as season averages, only improve the FT% and defense. 

          • Apr 25, 201312:34 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            Marbury average 20ppg 8 ast the first year with amare,the 2nd year when Amare averaged 20ppg… He averaged 20ppg 9ast … 

            Look for his shot first or not he was dropping 8 and 9 dimes almost every game, he was use to playing with athletic bigs because he did the same in Minnasota when he played with Garnett. So the idea that because he took shots or that he scored doesn’t mean he didn’t look to fet up his teammates.

             marbury and nash made offense easy for Amare in his first few years, he even said it himself

          • Apr 25, 201312:48 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            also as Peyton got better so did Kemp… as the team got better do did Kemp..

          • Apr 25, 20131:39 pm
            by G

            Marbury has big numbers, but Amare got less than half of his buckets off of assists when Marbury was the PG. When Nash came in, it was over 60%. Under 50% assisted is a low percentage for a big man. 

            Not sure what your point is with Payton & Kemp. They got drafted a year apart, naturally they’d improve along a similar timeline, as would the team.

    • Apr 25, 20139:37 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Not only do you compare Monroe to Duncan, but on your short list of guys you’d trade him for is Jeff Green. Too funny

      Also, when you’re getting huge upgrades in talent, you don’t worry about trading young for old. 

  • Apr 25, 201312:43 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    I may have been guilty of this also, but I think a lot of us Piston fans and local media over value our players and hype them up to be better than what they actually are. I may get killed for this but no way should BK7 be viewed as untouchable or be a realistic option for us as a starting PG with any realistic goals of reaching the playoffs next year. I like him as a player, and I love his toughness and competitiveness but I just don’t see us having success with him running PG full time at this point in his career. NO WAY should Moose be compared to a living legend like Tim Duncan, and saying Drummond should have similar value to Shaq is laughable. If you look at our roster realistically we really aren’t overwhelmingly talented. We’re really young and oozing with potential but that’s pretty much it. We have one good player on the verge of becoming pretty good, and one pretty raw player with the potential to become good to great if potential is fully maximized. Other than that we have a bunch of role players to be brutally honest. Would any of our starting 5 besides Moose or Awesome Dre be considered an upgrade to any of the competing playoff teams? Our front court is our biggest asset, but we all saw when Dre went down how that impacted us as a team. I wouldn’t be opposed to bolstering our frontline this offseason.

    Drummond = Extremely raw, extremely athletic big man who can get up and down the floor and finish at the rim. Impacts the game already on the defensive end, (glass eater) potential to be very good to great

    Monroe = Good player, monster on the boards, skilled offensively but offensive game still needs a little more polish, needs to refine and perfect 1 to 2 additional go-to moves, potential All-Star if worked on game and at least pretended to play defense from time to time.

    Singler = Starter by default, may be a glue guy in the future. Smart, heady player who seems to do the things that don’t usually stand out in the box score. Maybe would be more efficient off the bench.

    Stuckey = ???  had/has potential but his head and heart doesn’t seem to be in it. Able to get to the basket at will and thrives on contact, adopted a 3 pt shot this season that always seemed to elude him. Maybe a change of scenery will benefit everyone involved.

    Knight = Tough, dedicated, smart. You love to root for the kid, and besides Maxiell BK7 may be the closest thing to an enforcer on our squad. You want to see him excel, but right now he’s below average at the SG and PG positions. Can get to the rack at will, lightning quick when switching to 2nd gear in transition, decision making still not there yet, has range but has yet to show consistency. Potential to be good, but probably should be coming off the bench until he improves the weaknesses in his game.

    Jerebko = Highly active, and productive young big when fully engaged. At best when making hustle plays and making sacrificial plays for the team. Seems like confidence took a hit when he was benched for CV the majority of the season. Can still contribute and may be more heavily relied on next season depending on the makeup of our frontcourt.

    I won’t evaluate the bench any further, just mentioned the players that are viewed and/or were previously viewed as our core going forward. I would say it’s a pretty solid foundation to build off of based on Monroe, and Drummond, but is this a playoff team? I doubt it, not without making a few key acquisitions this offseason.

  • Apr 25, 20131:06 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    So now updates on Nate McMillian? Reports say that him and his agent deny being contacted by the Pistons. On another note, Lindsey Hunter is seeking permision to interview for our head coaching job.

    • Apr 25, 20132:29 pm
      by G

      Reply

      I doubt the Pistons have contacted anyone yet. Most of what I’ve read is either speculation or based off of what the Pistons’ front office is thinking, not actual moves they’ve made.

  • Apr 25, 20131:38 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    Uh oh, looks like our buddy Dan Gilbert is at it again, still suggesting Tom Gores should move the Pistons downtown. 

  • Apr 25, 20132:20 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    For the record I would have done that Monroe+Stuckey trade for Love yesterday! 
    Just think before we drafted Drummond, a lot of us were hoping for a miraculous recovery and signing of another big man named Greg. 

  • Apr 25, 20132:26 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    Don’t know about you guys, but I’m just about as anxious to get our new coach right as I am for this upcoming draft. I think we should take best player available regardless of need, unless its another combo guard. Address needs through free agency or trade. Oh yeah, the NFL draft is tonight right. Lol 

  • Apr 25, 20133:10 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    Yep, that’s included in the “impact” he brings to the game. Seems like they were having fun, also for that stretch before the All Star break where are bench unit was severely outplaying our starters. 

  • Apr 25, 201311:18 pm
    by Who Is Us?

    Reply

    I’m not much of a commenter, but after reading through the comments I come away with the impression that either:
    1.) Pistons Players/Coaches/employees actually do read and comment on these stories
    2.) Former Player have too much time in retirement and now troll NBA message threads
    3.) You guys have forgotten that you aren’t a part of the Pistons organization. And over identify as fans of the team.
     
    Sorry kids, but unless you played for the team or work for the organization: There is no we, us, or ours. Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    • Apr 26, 20139:05 am
      by G

      Reply

      I think using 1st person plural is a little more legit if referring to the team of a college you attended. It doesn’t really work with pro teams. But people identify themselves as part of a fan base, a collective group of people (“Red Sox Nation” comes to mind), and then the “we, us, ours” start slipping out.

      Also, there’s a strong emotional connection between fan and team. Team’s success becomes fan’s success, team’s failure is the fan’s failure… And that also contributes to the “we, us, ours”. I think there should be a balance. On one hand, it’s a little delusional to sound like you’re a part of the team whenever you refer to them, but on the other hand, hardcore fans are what powers a team. Hardcore fans are the ones that tend to use “we, us, ours” because they/we have the strongest connection to the team. So I don’t mind it that much if a “we” slips out of my mouth occasionally, and I try not to be too critical of others when it happens to them. It can get out of hand though, so if every reference to the team includes a “we, us, ours”, then maybe that person should ease up a little.

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