The (somewhat) annual Pistons roundtable has returned. Each day this week, our panel of Pistons writers will answer a question about the Pistons – all in one place. Please add your answers in the comments.
Should the Pistons retain Lawrence Frank beyond this season?
Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press
The primary reason I would retain Frank for another season is that I thought he showed the proper patience with Andre Drummond‘s development. He didn’t rush him too fast, and that’s vital with a 19-year-old big man. Also, the Pistons have to get away from the reputation that coaches can only last two years in this organization before they’re looking for work.
Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys
Frank’s retention largely depends on what Joe Dumars is allowed to do by Tom Gores this summer. If Dumars signs the wrong players like he did in 2009 and 2011, having Frank around for another year won’t matter. If the team makes smart investments in productive players, a coaching change may be wise. If it’s the same old cast plus O.J. Mayo, I don’t really care whether Frank is coaching or not.
Phil Fattore, Pistons 101
Frank’s decision-making and player management should not go without scrutiny, but bad contracts have hindered the Pistons’ ability to move the rebuild along since Frank was signed two years ago. With nearly $30 million available in free agent spending this offseason, the Pistons will gain a clearer picture of Frank’s coaching ability with a revamped roster. Give Frank one more year.
Daniel Poarch, Life on Dumars
I think the Pistons could probably do worse than keeping Lawrence Frank around next year, but they could also do much better. Frank showed an odd aversion to giving appropriate minutes to Drummond and Jonas Jerebko, and there has to be a better fit out there right now. I hear Stan Van Gundy isn’t doing much these days.
Eric Stafford, Life on Dumars
I think it’s time for Frank’s stay in Detroit to end. At first, I tried to understand his thinking in only playing Drummond about 19 minutes per game, but seeing how well they’ve played since he’s returned, my position has changed. The Pistons aren’t going anywhere with Frank as their head coach, so might as well change sooner than later.
Thom Powell, Life on Dumars
Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed.com
It’s almost unfair to put all the blame on Frank at this point, but it’s clear that he didn’t do what he was supposed to do when he was hired. The man who was supposed to bring the D back to Detroit did nothing of the sort and his rotations were questionable, but that seems to have more to do with his personnel. He’s shown no real progress, so it’s time to move on from the Frank experiment.
Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered
Depends. If they’re going to spend the money required to hire a proven, successful coach, then absolutely part ways with Frank. If the plan is to replace him with another retread or in-over-his-head cheaper alternative, then I’d prefer they just retain Frank and have some semblance of stability for once. Frank certainly hasn’t done enough to justify his job, but Joe Dumars doesn’t exactly have a track record of hitting home runs with his last four coaching hires. So I’m not confident in Frank’s ability and I’m not confident in the organization’s ability to find a competent replacement. So I guess the answer to this question is, who cares?
J.M. Poulard, PistonPowered
Negative. If the season was in fact a failure, the blame invariably falls on the shoulders of the head coach. He’s a good coach that can instill good concepts to take advantage of opponents, but he’s not the right guy for Detroit.
Jameson Draper, PistonPowered
I’ve been back and forth about this one all season, but here’s the bottom line: If it weren’t for poorly-timed injuries and late acquisitions, I’m confident the Pistons would be a playoff team. Frank has made many questionable decisions this year, but all in all, has done a nice job of coaching the team.
Brady Fredericksen, PistonPowered
That’s a tough one. He’s probably going to be canned in favor of a coach with a history playing in the NBA (Nate McMillan?), but I don’t know if that’s fair. I always thought Frank’s deficiencies were due more so to being stuck with such an odd group of super young and/or defensively challenged talent. Phil Jackson isn’t coaching this team to the playoffs, either.
Dan Feldman, PistonPowered
Only if they’re committed to him through next season, which, based on my outside knowledge, they shouldn’t be willing to do. (I am willing to concede considerations beyond our view could keep Frank on the job.) Frank might not have done enough wrong to definitely deserve to be fired now, but considering his team’s histories of slow starts, Frank would be a decent bet to cross that threshold during the 2013-14 season and earn a mid-year firing. At that point, another season will get lost in a coaching mess. The other option – inserting a high level assistant/replacement on the bench – would also undermine Detroit’s coaching next season. The Pistons should fire Frank once this season ends and try again for a new coach who actually helps the team.
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