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Pistons nearly drafted Nick Young over Rodney Stuckey

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

The Pistons were torn during the 2007 draft with their pick at No. 15 between Rodney Stuckey and Young. John Hammond, then Joe Dumars’ No. 2, told me later that it was one of the tougher calls for Joe D he remembered during his time with the Pistons.

Dumars also nearly drafted Joe Johnson over Rodney White, but at least he got this one right.

Could Dumars double up and get it wrong, though?

Young is a free agent, and it’s reasonable to wonder whether Dumars still likes whatever he did before in Young. As a talent, Young would have made a nice draft prospect. But he’s proven himself as a player whose entire game is taking, not even necessarily making, long 2-point jumpers. Unless Young gets little interest elsewhere and is willing to take a small, make-good deal, the Pistons should stay away.


  • Jun 6, 201310:57 am
    by deusXango


    Joe got it right? If Young had been drafted he wouldn’t have been tagged as the PG of the future, thus making things that followed a lot easier and more logical.

    • Jun 6, 201311:00 am
      by deusXango


      “making decisions that followed,” not “things that followed,” as I mistakenly posted.

      • Jun 6, 20131:19 pm
        by Keith


        Rodney Stuckey is a better player than Nick Young. Rodney’s expectation of being a PG certainly changed Joe’s approach, but most evidence would suggest Joe didn’t have much direction anyway. Nick Young is not as good as Arron Afflalo, whom Joe traded away for nothing (and was drafted in the same year). There’s nothing that would suggest Nick or the team would have fared any better together.

  • Jun 6, 201311:02 am
    by Keith


    Nick Young is kind of the gold standard for players overvalued for taking shots. He scores at a good clip, but scores pretty inefficiently and adds nothing else of value to the team. His game should make him a great role player as a shooter off the bench who just spots up and spaces the defense, but even that is asking a bit much out of Young, since he consistently takes bad shots.

    I can’t imagine why the Pistons would have interest in a player who is, for his career, about as good as Brandon Knight (but with worse defense and passing). We already have Brandon Knight, and he’s younger and cheaper than Young.

    But then again, Joe was really set on getting AI for years, and didn’t blink at the chance of getting an old, broken down version of the already inefficient player AI was. Young is the kind of player no good team would sign for more than the minimum, but the kind a bad GM would think they could turn around and have a great scorer (something Young has never proven to have the ability for). I think the players we target and ultimately bring in will either be the deep breath of fresh air or nail in Dumars’ coffin. Obviously we have to fill out the roster in some way, but there is going to be a huge difference between spending 7-10 million per year on the likes of Young or Mayo (incredibly overrated shooters who do little else) and spending 2-5 million on guys like Francisco Garcia or Matt Barnes (players who fill a specific role and are paid accordingly).

    • Jun 6, 201312:02 pm
      by mixmasta


      The article is mentioning the interest of Joe during the time of the draft and not this off season. This does not mean that the interest is still the same.
      The AI trade was for an expiring contract. This virtually is Chauncey for Charlie V. and Ben G.

      • Jun 6, 20131:44 pm
        by frankie d


        i’ve put this challenge out there plenty of times and no one can answer it.
        name another instance where an all star point guard with chauncey’s resume –  all star, leader of a title team, still a quality player on a conference finals team – was traded for an expiring contract?
        it doesn’t happen.  why?  because it would be dumb to make that kind of trade.  and it was especialy dumb to make the trade if you supposedly did it soley for an expiring contract.
        jason kidd, who was nowhere near the player billups was at the time of his trade a few months previously, set a standard.  check out what dallas had to give up to get kidd.  that was a smart trade, one that included a huge expiring contract, along with lots of other goodies.  an expiring contract, in a trade for an all star like chauncey is one of the peripheral items thrown in.  no one trades a guy like chauncey solely for a contract.  no one except for dumb-a@@ joe d.
        i’m certainly not going to get into a long discussion about something that has been so decisively shown to have turned out in one fashion.  
        facts are facts.
        the AI trade was one of the worst moves any GM has made over the last decade.
        denver is still winning games. detroit has sucked ever since the trade.
        and detroit is still suffering the impact to this day. 
        deal with it. 

        • Jun 6, 20133:25 pm
          by tarsier


          Billups wasn’t traded just for an expiring deal. He was an aging all-star traded for another aging all-star. And, in case it didn’t work out, he also had an expiring contract. It was a good trade that didn’t work out. Think of it like when the Heat get Ray Allen a wide open three and it doesn’t go down: it was still a smart play.

          • Jun 6, 20134:58 pm
            by frankie d

            classic:  it was a good trade that did not work out.
            that presents so many opportunities for ridicule, it is hard to know where to start.
            and, frankly, i will simply leave it alone and let others pick it apart. 

        • Jun 6, 20133:28 pm
          by mixmasta


          So you’re proposing to hold on to the 2004 team until they run out of gas? Or do you have a better suggestion?
          Nobody on that team got better as it went by. It has run its course though not to the last drop. It Joe D held on, no one on that team would have a trade value. It was a ticking bomb!
          Although Chauncey was still playing to some degree, he was the only one that Denver may have wanted. Did Joe like the trade so much to describe it as the hardest and toughest move he had to do?
          If this team sucks to this day, it’s not solely due to that trade. I bet you already know why and since you don’t like long discussion, I’ll leave it at that.

          • Jun 6, 20137:31 pm
            by frankie d

            Simple:  joe d should have made a good trade if he was ready to move on. 
            young players and/or draft picks.
            i am not a fan of cap space being used to pursue free agents.  that is a recipe for overspending on questionable talent.  using it to facilitate trades and gain assets is a much better use of cap space. 

        • Jun 6, 20133:40 pm
          by Crispus


          It wasn’t the Billups trade that destroyed us. It was the Billups trade coupled with the Hamilton extension.

          • Jun 6, 20134:03 pm
            by Otis

            …uh, coupled with having Hamilton locked up to a 4 year deal worth around $50M at the same time as Gordon on a 5 year deal worth $58M. And Charlie V for 5 years $38M. All this and giving away Afflalo and Amir Johnson for free. The fact that this man has a job, let alone any vocal supporters, is astounding.

        • Jun 6, 20135:42 pm
          by Dan Feldman


          “name another instance where an all star point guard with chauncey’s resume –  all star, leader of a title team, still a quality player on a conference finals team – was traded for an expiring contract?”

          Would the trade have been better if Iverson had three years left on his contract? 

          • Jun 6, 20136:40 pm
            by frankie d

            No.  I would have never traded for AI at that point in his career. others bring up the fact that the trade is/was justifiable because AI had an expiring contract.  They usually  add that it did not matter how well or bad he played because he simply represented whatever cap space that would eventually accrue to detroit.
            My point is simple:  players of CB’s caliber dont get traded solely for an expiring contract and cap space.  cap space may be a component  of the trade but a team gets much more than mere cap space when they trade all star point guards who still have 2-3 good years left.
            (the jason kidd trade is a handy reference/comparison.   NJ got players, draft choices and significant cap space.)
            and i have, a couple of times now, challenged anyone to point to a trade of the sort joe made – assuming for the sake of argument that the trade was made solely for cap space –  and so far no one has ever been able to point to such a trade.

          • Jun 6, 20136:45 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            The point is it wasn’t just for cap space. It was also for a Hall of Fame player coming off arguably the best season of his career. The trade had two chances of succeeding. Either Iverson would be good, or the Pistons could use the cap space to get good new players. Both chances failed, but the trade wasn’t just for cap space.

            You can talk all you want about how Iverson looked the year before, but that’s quite the nifty trick to put up the numbers he did while running on fumes.

          • Jun 6, 20136:52 pm
            by City of Klompton

            Frankie, here you are again making the argument that Joe D made the trade solely for cap space, and yet you still question where I get this notion of you from?

          • Jun 6, 20136:58 pm
            by frankie d

            Unhhhhhh…it obviously was quite the trick.  He was out of the league within a couple of years.  what did he play…50 games for detroit…a few games for memphis…20 some odd games for philly.  if that is not running on fumes i dont know what would qualify.
            again, a small but inconvenient fact for those who try to justify the trade.
            it was an absolute failure by any criteria.  trying to justify something that fails by any measure – by one’s own acknowledgment because the “logic” behind it was sound  is pretty hard. 

    • Jun 6, 201312:11 pm
      by tarsier


      Oh please. When the Pistons traded for Iverson, he was coming off arguably the best season of his career. He’d put up 26, 3, and 7 on 46/35/81 splits with 2 spg and just 3 TOpg.

      He didn’t work out well but don’t act like it was a foregone conclusion that the Pistons were getting “an  old, broken down version of the already inefficient player AI was”

      • Jun 6, 201312:35 pm
        by Huddy


        AI was not a bad decision.  He had a year to see if a very skilled player fit the team and when he didn’t we had the cap space to bring in some good talent. Obviously the  cap space was used poorly, but that’s unrelated to AI.  Billups would have had a couple more solid years and then battled injuries…wouldn’t have kept us in contention and we wouldn’t have gotten anything out of him.  I lloved the guy, but the trade wasn’t bad…everything goes back tO CV and BG.

        • Jun 6, 20131:30 pm
          by frankie d


          keith is absolutely right about young and iverson. 
          signing young to anything would be a step back.
          and the AI debacle was the one disatrous move that sent detroit into the spiral its been on for the last 4-5 years.
          some of us understood that immediately and denounced the trade.  and we were vilified for understanding exactly what was going to happen once AI came on board.
          some folks still cling to stats and try to justify what has proven to be a horrible, franchise-changing move.
          typical example of looking at numbers and stats and not trusting what the eye is telling you.
          anyone who watched AI his last year in denver knew that he was holding on by his fingernails, getting his numbers with smoke and mirrors.  he wasn’t the same player – with the athleticism and explosion of his earlier years – and the drinking and partying had obviously been catching up to him.   if you watched him play enough that last year in denver – as i did as a west coast pistons’ fan who always regretted melo not being in a pistons’ uniform – it was clear why denver was so intent on getting rid of him.  he’d lost it and it was only a matter of time before it was so obvious to everyone that he’d lose his market value completely.   unfortunately, joe d’s long-time infatuation with AI  blinded him to what was actually happening with AI on the court and the rest is history.
          it is truly amazing how fans will, even after history has proven them to be totally wrong about something, will still try to cling to something…anything, to justify a previously held belief.
          while signing young would not be as disastrous on the AI scale, it would be of the same kind: a dumb move that would take years to undo. 

          • Jun 6, 20132:00 pm
            by Huddy

            So you hate him so much that him playing 50 games then being a valuable expiring contract makes him the worst trade the teams ever seen?

          • Jun 6, 20132:52 pm
            by Huddy

            Also, how would signing Nick young in free agency be anything like trading for an expiring contract.  One is completely based on getting a player most likely for multiple years and the other is trying out a guy (with a much more established skill set) with the option to let him walk leaving valuable cap space to bring  in more talent.  Again the use of the cap space was bad, but that is a seperate issue.

          • Jun 6, 20133:26 pm
            by frankie d

            i gave you the answer above: it is a dumb move that would take years to undo.
            detroit would be trying to dump his contract midway through the first season.
            just a dumb move.
            whatever you’d give young could be better used in any number of ways…
            signing young guys from the d-league for 10 contract/tryouts…
            facilitating trades between capped-out teams…
            letting young guys compete for the PT and shots he would get…
            young would be another example of joe d losing sight of the real goal: to build a team that can compete down the road, not just a team that is a little better than last year’s squad.
            btw, i’ve been a fan of AI since his high school days.  never hated him.  i just know what kind of player he was when detroit picked him up. 

          • Jun 6, 20134:19 pm
            by City of Klompton

            Frankie, just to clarify, in a previous comment you backed up the notion that we simply traded Chauncey for an expiring contract, and then now you argue it was because of Joe D’s longstanding admiration of AI.  If it is really both of these things, then I, personally, don’t think I could consider it one of the worst moves a GM has made in the last ten seasons (especially with David Kahn in an office recently.)

            The logic: the ’04 version of the Pistons team was beginning to decline.  Yes, they were still performing at a high level, but it was only downward from this point on partially due to aging, fringe all-star players (see Ben and Rip in following seasons, never the same players) and partially due to team complacency.  Joe had the “opportunity” to trade for a guy he had long desired, a former MVP, and somebody that might give his complacent team a shot in the arm.  If it didn’t work out, he would be gone in the following off-season and we would have cap room.

            The trade may not have been the greatest move in the world, but it certainly had it’s upside.  If the trade wouldn’t have happened, we simply would have watched the team slowly toil its way to mediocrity or worse.  Since AI didn’t quite work out as Joe had hoped, he still had a boat load of cash to replenish and try and keep this team in contention while on the fly.  Unfortunately, this is where things start to go horribly, horribly wrong. 

            I like your argument about fans clinging to stats as stats can be a much overblown qualifier of how well a player actually is playing individually and more of an indicator of system success, but I think you are committing a very similar crime with clinging to the 2004 Pistons team.  It is very doubtful they ever would have reached that same level of play again, and very likely that they would have declined in following seasons.  Every championship team is going to be blown apart eventually.  AI didn’t ruin that team.  Aging, toxic personalities, and bad contracts AFTER that trade ruined that team.

          • Jun 6, 20134:34 pm
            by Huddy

            I wasn’t arguing for signing young I was saying it isn’t like trading for AI which you seem to believe
            it is.  The two things are not similar.   

          • Jun 6, 20134:36 pm
            by City of Klompton

            Huddy, I know this.  I was replying to frankie d.  Comments wouldn’t let me reply directly to his comment.

          • Jun 6, 20134:56 pm
            by frankie d

            don’t understand where you draw the conclusions stated.  
            it certainly is not in my post.
            i dont believe and have never argued that joe d made the trade for cap purposes only.  i just don’t believe that and the record doesn’t support such a view.  i think it is clear that the trade was made because he thought the team could move forward in a positive way with AI.  the fact that he’d had a long time infatuation with AI was just one factor that moved him to make the trade.
            you make the same error that defenders of the trade make.  your ideas about what would have happened to the team is simply conjecture.  nothing more.  guess work about what you believe would have occurred.  i am dealing with cold hard facts.
            the fact is that it did not work out as you indicate it should have worked out.
            the fact is that the team suffered a downturn that no other quality team has suffered, because this deterioration was strictly a result of flawed decisions, not injury or retirement or anything beyond th team’s control.
            those are facts.
            it may be nice to conjecture about what happened.  i’m dealing with what happened in fact.  it was ugly and the team is still suffering the consequences.
            by the way, i was all for trading anyone from that title team.  my hope was that it would be done in an intelligent fashion.  obviously, that did not happen. 

          • Jun 6, 20135:20 pm
            by Huddy

            The record doesn’t show it was done for cap purposes?  What record?  The fact is his coNtract was expiring.  Those 50 games weren’t the fall of the team.  Spending all that free cap on two players that underwhelmed by far was the reason for the past few years of negative results.  You keep saying just because the fact is the team was bad means trading for iverson is the whole reason for the downturn.  Iverson didn’t sign CV and BG or infect Stuckey with some mediocrity virus.  its like you are arguing that inverson is somehow responsible for how money was spent after he left the team.  Are you saying acquiring expiring contracts for futre cap flexibility isnt good strategy? Lots of good gms would disagree.  Making the space isn’t the problem…using it improperly is.

          • Jun 6, 20136:39 pm
            by City of Klompton

            Frankie D, what I am saying is that you are making he same about of conjecture about what would have happened had he never made the trade.  You have no idea what would have happened.  We ended up seeing the personalities of Rip, Tay and Sheed.  We saw the insubordination they displayed without shame time and time again.  You cannot simply say that it is fact that the team wouldn’t have deteriorated if they had stayed intact.  Your claims are just as much conjecture as those who defend the trade.  There are a lot of what if’s here.  The only fact we know is that the trade didn’t work out.

            Also, June 6th at 1:44 pm you wrote: “no one trades a guy like chauncey solely for a contract.  no one except for dumb-a@@ joe d.” 

          • Jun 6, 20136:49 pm
            by City of Klompton

            We also saw the injuries that hampered their careers in the coming years (Ben, Chauncey) and the declining play (Rip, Tay, Sheed.)

          • Jun 7, 20131:05 am
            by frankie d

            “Also, June 6th at 1:44 pm you wrote: “no one trades a guy like chauncey solely for a contract.  no one except for dumb-a@@ joe d.” ”
            just for the record…i was trying to make a joke.  if you read the rest of that post – and any of the other posts i’ve done on this issue, it is clear what i believe.  and, no, i don’t think, for a minute, that joe made the trade just for cap space.  he sincerely thought he was making a trade that would energize his team and set it up for more success over the next couple of years.  or at least for that year’s playoffs.  
            the fact that he believed that is even more damning. 

  • Jun 6, 20131:11 pm


    I remember being excited aboit the AI deal, how I feel like mentally he was broken ..just see that passion or joy of playing the game in his eyes during the seasons 

  • Jun 6, 20131:12 pm
    by Oracle


    The pistons should interview George Karl.

  • Jun 6, 20131:37 pm
    by danny


    I’ve never been a fan of Karl.  His teams win a lot of games but never amount to much in the playoffs.  I wish the pistons did take nick young over stuck.  No he is not a better player but at least dumars would never of invested in him and we wouldnt of went down this path.  Then again maybe I’m wrong.

    • Jun 6, 20131:46 pm
      by DoctorDave


      winning in the regular season and losing in the playoffs is major progress at this point

      • Jun 6, 20133:25 pm
        by tarsier



        • Jun 6, 20134:25 pm
          by City of Klompton


          Not to mention he has taken teams to the NBA Finals on multiple occasions (only to run into the Michael Jordan buzzsaw.)  His teams were never particularly great in Denver because he never had particularly great players.  He had Melo, but a young melo who was an incredibly selfish player with no idea how to play defense.  Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he had never heard the word in his life before his final season of two there. [/sarcasm]  Other than that, he took very average teams and made them good.

        • Jun 6, 20134:43 pm
          by danny


          this is true but I’m not looking for medicare I’m looking for a coach to help these boys win it all, in time. 

          • Jun 6, 20136:46 pm
            by City of Klompton

            We’ve got to take steps to get there though.  If we are a semi-successful playoff team with a returning core looking for a new coach, we can lure much better candidates than a lottery team with nothing but questions and a rag-tag clan of bench players in our starting lineup.  Guys like McMillan, Karl, etc. can get us to that point.  We did it with Carlisle, right?

    • Jun 6, 20133:52 pm
      by Crispus


      Karl’s specialty seems to be superstarless teams. Unless Drummond comes on faster than expected I think he’d be a good fit for our squad as currently constructed.

    • Jun 6, 20134:54 pm
      by danny


      Plus the fact that during crunch time he doesn’t have set plays.  He tells his players to wing it or go with what feels natural.  Example: conference finals when they were playing the lakers and had them beat and couldnt inbound the ball, TWICE.  After the first time a good coach would of established a play for them to run.  Yet again they couldn’t inbound the ball.  Yes he has taken some teams to the promised land and end up with nothing.

  • Jun 6, 20131:47 pm
    by Desolation Row


    Afflalo would have made a better pick. Oh, wait….

  • Jun 6, 20132:18 pm
    by Lee


    I hope they don’t sign Young. That would be a waste of money… 

    I know this may be a pipe dream, but I feel this starting line up could make us at the very least a 6 seed: Jose Calderon, O.J. Mayo, Andre Iguodala, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond. With a bench of Knight, Stuckey, JJ, Slava and whoever we draft at 8th. Do the Pistons have enough cap space to sign those three guys and extend Monroe’s contract? 

    • Jun 6, 20135:44 pm
      by Tim


      Not even slightly. assuming 10 mil for Mayo, 12-14 for Iggy, 8 for Calderon and a close to max for Moose

  • Jun 6, 20133:17 pm
    by Gary


    Wouldn’t mind having Karl for the person who mentioned it, mainly because he might be able to do the same thing he did with the 96 Sonics. Anyway, Young just isn’t much of a player to me. I’d rather see them save the money from this summer and spend it on resigning Monroe. Who knows maybe James would be willing to opt out and join the Pistons next summer? I’m being way to wishful with that, but ya never know. 

  • Jun 6, 20133:42 pm
    by Crispus


    Wait Nick Young – is he Marshon Brooks or Lou Williams?

  • Jun 6, 20134:22 pm
    by Otis


    I love the comment about Joe getting it “wrong” because he never would have DESTROYED the team in an effort to build around Nick Young. Spot on.
    Since sports is a continuum, (nothing really ever ENDS. You inherit a team, and you leave a team to the next guy when you’re done) it’s rather amazing how Dumars doesn’t seem to have a single accomplishment that he didn’t follow up with some kind of horrible blunder. For instance: The Stackhouse-Rip trade was great, but Joe followed it up by extending his contract for INFINITY YEARS at a wildly inappropriate price. There’s a lot of crap like that. The Rodney situation is a prime example, since he turned a good pick into perhaps his single worst mistake in the blink of an eye. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that literally everything he ever had of any value during the glory years is already gone.
    The newest example on the horizon is getting married to Monroe and Drummond, two centers he was VERY fortunate to get, but who may not complement each other at all. If he hands Moose a max extension without some legitimate proof that these two can THRIVE together, it’ll be the next example.

    • Jun 6, 20135:05 pm
      by danny


      its a joke, lighten up

      • Jun 7, 201312:56 am
        by Otis


        What?? What on earth are you talking about? I like that guy’s joke about how Joe SCREWED UP by taking the better player. The rest was a commentary on how Joe messes absolutely everything up, even when he starts with a good move.
        As for lightening up, it’s not going to happen until Dumars is gone. This man is a living, breathing nightmare for the Pistons and their fans. He has no magic, and nothing is ever going to turn around as long as he’s still employed here.

  • Jun 6, 20138:10 pm
    by Mikeyb


    Is everyone forgetting that we had effing Michael Curry for a head coach the year they traded for   A.I.? 3 Guards “small ball” anyone? There were a lot of things that went into that season being so unsuccessful, but I don’t feel like this trade was the main reason. I remember at the time thinking it was a good trade for Detroit, and I still think it was a pretty good trade. Iverson. may have been on the decline, but so was Billups, and it was clear that the same core of players was not getting it done anymore. This trade swapped a finals MVP for a future HOF former league MVP on an expiring contract. That’s a move that almost every GM in the league would make without blinking an eye.  If you look at the totality of what Joe D. has done in his tenure as GM, in my opinion his best moves have been his trades (think Wallace, Rasheed) as opposed to his free agent signings and the majority of his draft picks (although I love Drummond and am content with Monroe, also Singler is intriguing).

    • Jun 7, 20131:03 am
      by Otis


      I actually didn’t hate the trade at the time, but my open-mindedness was contingent upon what Joe did with the cap space. Locking up Rip and Gordon to those heinous long-term contracts, along with CV31 was what destroyed this team for the foreseeable future. I mean, we JUST saw how bad Rodney-Rip-AI looked together, so let’s go out and sign the next AI to a lifetime contract… sheesh.
      There’s a lot Joe could have done with his cap space. Take a stab at David Lee, try to swing some lopsided trades with teams looking to clear cap space for the Summer of LeBron… Joe just did about as much damage with this opportunity as he possibly could have. Unfortunately, this time around I do not think he’ll have such opportunities to use our cap space to improve the team. Even with 25 million dollars to spend, it’s very hard to imagine Joe putting together a playoff team with this mess.

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