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Energy the key for Tony Mitchell at Orlando Summer League

ORLANDO - There may not have been a more interesting Pistons rookie in Orlando last week than second rounder Tony Mitchell.

Maybe that’s because most of us don’t know a ton about him. He went to the University of North Texas — not your traditional college hoops powerhouse — and he’s a big, athletic guy who has proven to be able to dunk, rebound and swat his fair share of shots into the stands.

The lanky forward showed flashes this week — most notably, his put-back jam with 1.7 seconds to go on Thursday gave the Pistons a victory over Miami— but that talent is why he was considered a probable first-round pick in 2012.

He’s a big-time athlete from a small-time situation at North Texas. Now, he’s learning first-hand that, even in summer league, the NBA game is bigger, faster and stronger.

“Yeah, it’s different, it’s so different,” Mitchell said on Tuesday. “Especially the physicality, everybody’s athletic out here, everybody’s strong, fast; so it’s different. Something to get used to, I’m just trying to play hard and get used to it.”

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, either. The speed of the game is something that catches all young players, most recently Andre Drummond last summer.

There are times when Mitchell is all over the court, though in a good way. There was a stretch against the Thunder where he stole the ball at half court, drawing a clear-path foul and then just a few plays later, pinned an opposing layup clean on the backboard.

The dude’s a freak athletically, that’s why he’s such an appealing prospect. But there are also concerns about his motor and effort on the court — something that did seemed to come and go at times during the week.

From just talking to him on the sidelines during the Utah-Houston game, I think he knows what his biggest criticism was coming out — he mentioned playing hard and effort multiple times during our conversation.

“It’s just go out there and play your game. Do what you can now,” he said. “Everything else is going to come at the end of the day and you’ve just got to work hard, give a full effort, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been out here.”

He averaged a modest six points and seven rebounds along with a block and steal this week, and he probably wasn’t even the best guy named Tony Mitchell playing at the Orlando Summer League.

Defense and rebounding are going to be the reason he’ll earn playing time this season because there’s still work to be done on his offensive game. He gets cute and tries to handle the ball — but hey, so does Drummond — and he is a little too fond of the long two-point jumper and his pump and stampede toward the basket move can use some refining.

But when he’s got the effort cranked to 11, he’s the kind of pest that can affect the opposing offense in short doses. He and Drummond had similar reputations coming out in that they both had their effort questioned.

Well, so far that’s proven to be quite the opposite for Drummond, and Mitchell chuckled, agreeing when I mentioned that he and Drummond are the team’s two bouncy, energy guys.

“(Drummond’s) experienced and I’m just now coming in to it,” he said. “I’m just trying to learn from those guys — in practice, shootaround, whatever we do — so it’s been helpful and they’ve been helping me, so it’s been real well.”

60 Comments

  • Jul 15, 201310:19 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I’ve been semi-following T-Mich for about 2 years….

    He has alwway been looked over, I remember reading how he wasnt selelcted to Mcdonald High school games, even tho he led his team to state finals or regional for the first time in team history.. he had games like 20pts 25rebs 5blk, they said (of course I didnt see) but the play 4 positions on court severy times during the game….they he had the academic issue and didnt go to Mizzou…but then he had a strong freshman year at North Texas, and probably would have been a late lottery to mid-teen pick, but he went back to school to come out in his draft which he believe he could have been a lottery pick. But then came the coach change and other issues…

    He just has the diamond in the rough story line

    • Jul 15, 201310:41 am
      by Brady Fredericksen

      Reply

      That’s kind of why I wanted to talk to him, he’s sort of an enigma. He’s definitely got a good story, and the talent is undeniable. It’ll be a little while before he adjusts, though. I think he’s either got a gear that’s a little too reckless to work in the regular season or he’s got one too low. 

      He’ll need to find the inbetween, but for a team that SORELY lacked athleticism last year, he and Josh Smith are a good way to boost that. 

      • Jul 15, 201310:53 am
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        I’ve been crying about our lack of athleticism for years, especially when there was a time that Jason Maxiell probably was out best athlete…Even with Drummond his athleticism on offense is limited…

        A guy like Mitchell athleticism can range out to about 17 feet….

        unless he needs it, I dont want him to go to the d-league, I’d rather have earn minutes in practice…

        I had a 2nd rd Wishlist … Glen Rice Jr, CJ Leslie, and Tony Mitchell. I favored Tony Mitchell because he has the right now ability and potential to impact games with rebounding, putbacks, and blocks…. very excited for this guy, especially having Rasheed on the team..

        But i completely agree, he needs to find that middle-gear…not slowing down but playing at a good speed all the time

  • Jul 15, 201310:59 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    His size, strength, and athletic ability make him interesting.  I’m wondering how his talent and Smith’s overlap.  Not that Mitchell can come in and take a huge role right away, but when both guys are healthy how many minutes can Mitchell get?  It seems like he’s only going to get on the floor if for some reason both Monroe and Smith can’t be in the game.

    • Jul 15, 201311:16 am
      by Brady Fredericksen

      Reply

      You also forget that with Drummond probably playing bigger minutes this year that, inevitably, he (and the other two forwards) will run into foul trouble. There’ll be times where Mitchell plays in those situations.

      Plus, they’re probably better off unleashing him and letting him go like a bat out of hell for short doses than trying to get him a large amount of minutes off the bat. 

      • Jul 15, 201311:53 am
        by RyanK

        Reply

        In the event of foul trouble or injuries, Mitchell might see some floor time.  But he’ll have to beat out Jonas…not sure if that’s going to be difficult or not.  As a part of the regular rotation, he’s probably not going to get on the floor much though.  We’ll see what happens…hopefully he’ll prove to be so valuable we can’t keep him off the floor.  I’m not sure Smith has a tradeable contract…if Mitchell proves he can do everything Smith can do only cheaper.

    • Jul 15, 201311:16 am
      by frankie d

      Reply

      i agree entirely.  which was another reason it was dumb to sign smith.
      imho, he is extremely similar to smith.
      but the only way to find out is to get him on the floor and let him play.  i doubt he will get that chance and he’ll be another young guy who gets stuck on the bench and then tossed aside, while people slowly start to pick apart his game and say, of course, he’s too raw or too this, to play.
      now, if cheeks was smart he’d do what chuck daly did with sally and rodman when he formed their “x factor” unit.  those two, as rookies on a team that routinely went deep into the playoffs, came in and simply ran and defended and rebounded.  
      mitchell and drummond could form the same kind of unit and provide the same kind of energy.
      again, i doubt the current regime has the guts to do something of that sort, and mitchell will sit and gather dust most of the year while every one makes excuses as to why he can’t get more PT. 

      • Jul 15, 201311:18 am
        by frankie d

        Reply

        my agreement was with RyanK’s comment.

      • Jul 15, 201311:21 am
        by Brady Fredericksen

        Reply

        I don’t think he’ll be able to control himself enough to sustain consistent minutes right away, nor will a frontcourt of Drummond and him be able to produce anything offensively sans fastbreaks or putbacks.

        • Jul 15, 201312:06 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          funny, those considerations didn’t stop daly from putting rodman – who was just as raw as mitchell in many ways – out on the court.
          in fact, rodman even more raw, as he was a much worse offensive player than mitchell.  (defensively, rodman always was like a idiot savant, incredibly smart and subtle on that end of the court.)  rodman was so afraid of shooting – even layups – that he would often rebound the ball, almost all alone under the basket, and he would pass the ball out to another player.  it took him a couple of years before he would actually aggressively take advantage of the many in-close scoring chances his rebounding afforded him.
          mitchell is much more accomplished offensively, already.
          “controlling himself” is not the issue and not what the coach should want.  in fact, it would be good if mitchell and drummond played right up to the line of being out of control.  who cares if he fouls out after causing havoc for 12-15 minutes a game?  (of course, drummond should be more careful.)
          in fact, the old “x factor” of sally and rodman would be unleashed on the other team and they would simply go out and disrupt and defend and simply make life difficult on the other team.   their mission on court was to simply cause chaos and keep the other team from scoring.  neither salley or rodman were accomplished offensively and neither had range beyond a layup.
          didn’t matter.  
          imho, a second unit with drummond and mitchell and a couple of other guys committed to defending and running could be a very effective part of a good team.
          they could change the pace, help set or continue a defensive tone, and have a huge effect on the other team’s ability to do what it normally wants to do during the course of a game.
          every player has weaknesses and strengths.  
          the good/great coaches – like daly – are able to take a player, exploit their strengths and hide their weaknesses. 
          bad coaches look at a player and decide not to use a talented player because they are not smart enough or creative enough to do exactly that.
          inn his short time with the team, mitchell has shown a rare athleticism that obviously translates to the nba level.  it is up to the team and the coaches to use that talent he does obviously bring to a court.
          have to say that i am not optimistic, as the team has shown almost no ability to do exactly that over the last 7 years or so. 

      • Jul 15, 201312:52 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        He is similar to Smith, but he is a rookie that fell to the second round because of legitimate effort concerns.  Worrying about trading Smith and replacing him in the starting line up with Mitchell is probably at best a problem that is 2 years away.  It doesn’t make sense to think a rookie out of the 2nd round is already knocking on the door for a starting job for a veteran with a similar skill set that is FAR more proven.
         
        I hope he gets solid minutes and really would rather see Mitchell on the floor than Jerebko.  He is younger, more athletic, and much cheaper than JJ.  His upside is huge, but it could easily be 2-5 years until he reaches it.

      • Jul 15, 20131:41 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        Let not get carried away@ Frankie D…

        Josh Smith 2010-11 season he was basically16.5ppg 8.5 rebs 3ast 1.6 blks  1.3stls
                        2011-12 Season he was basically 19ppg 10rebs 4ast 1.7blks 1.4stls
                        2012-13 season he was basically 17.5ppg 8.5rebs 4ast 1.8blks 1.2

        He ranked statically and analytic wise one of the best defenders in the league….

        Smith probably shoulda,coulda,woulda have been a 3 time all-star already….

        • Jul 15, 20131:52 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          i have to laugh when i read stuff like this.
          it is the same old story.
          of course a  young player – first round choice, second round choice, free agent – is not going to be as good as just about any experienced nba player.  especially a player as talented as a guy like smith.
          but guess what?
          if you never commit and play guys like that you never find out how good those guys are.
          and i’d much rather pay a rookie 1 million dollars if he can give me half of what a guy like smith can give
          and if i’m right and a guy is talented i’ll have an extremely valuable asset that i can do any number of things with.
          check out houston.  that is exactly what they’ve done for the last few years and detroit helped them along by gifting them chase budinger who they turned into a useful mid first round draft choice.
          of course smith is a much better player than a guy like mitchell.
          but an inability to recognize the usefulness of good, cheap young players – especially under the current rules – is one of the ways joe d has fallen behind the times.
          he just doesn’t seem to understand the way the game has changed.
          and just for the record, if i could get 6-8 ppg, with 5-7 boards from a guy like mitchell – which seems very possible – for  less than a million per, i’d take that every day over paying smith almost 14 million dollars for what he brings to the court.
          an easy choice for this fan. 

          • Jul 15, 20132:02 pm
            by tarsier

            So who are you going to pay those $14M to? Better to have one star than 5 decent players.

            But I wholeheartedly agree that you build around the stars with solid, cheap players. 

          • Jul 15, 20132:30 pm
            by frankie d

            do what portland did.  fill holes temporarily until  you get guys who fit.
            or do what utah did.  take on salary and get draft choices because you’ve done so.
            lots of ways to use your cap space.
            that logic is exactly what people said back in 2009.  BG was supposedly the best free agent out there and fans said that he may as well spend it on BG cause he had it and BG was a good player.
            the fact that he aleady had a starter – hamilton – and a capable, cheap backup – afflalo – didn’t matter.
            i don’t mind spending the money on a star.  
            but it better be the right star.  not just any star you’re trying to fit in, even if he doesn’t.
            imho, there wasn’t a good fit out there and i would have done what portland did, small deals and  a trade that used the cap space and filled a need.
            much, much smarter than simply using the space on a player you don’t need and tying up 4 years of huge money in that player.
            seems like no one learned from the BG/CV fiasco. 

          • Jul 15, 20133:00 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            “”i have to laugh when i read stuff like this.
            it is the same old story.
            of course a  young player – first round choice, second round choice, free agent – is not going to be as good as just about any experienced nba player.  especially a player as talented as a guy like smith.”"

            1. Josh Smith at 21 years old, averaged 16ppg 8.6rebs 3ast 2.9blks 1.4stls ( as a rookie 10ppg 6rebs 2blks) ….

            “”but guess what?if you never commit and play guys like that you never find out how good those guys are.
            and i’d much rather pay a rookie 1 million dollars if he can give me half of what a guy like smith can give”"

            2. Players that gave us half of what Josh smith Produced names were Jason Maxiell and Jonas Jerekbo…and that has worked well for us….

            “”and if i’m right and a guy is talented i’ll have an extremely valuable asset that i can do any number of things with.
            check out houston.  that is exactly what they’ve done for the last few years and detroit helped them along by gifting them chase budinger who they turned into a useful mid first round draft choice.”"

            3. Houston caught lighting in a bottle, and they got lucky with Chandler Parson….

            “”of course smith is a much better player than a guy like mitchell.
            but an inability to recognize the usefulness of good, cheap young players – especially under the current rules – is one of the ways joe d has fallen behind the times.
            he just doesn’t seem to understand the way the game has changed.”"

            4. Smith is PROVEN! PERIOD, Proven talent in his prime is always worth more than Unproven Protential…unless its name is Lebron, KD or Andrew Wiggins…

            “” just for the record, if i could get 6-8 ppg, with 5-7 boards from a guy like mitchell – which seems very possible – for  less than a million per, i’d take that every day over paying smith almost 14 million dollars for what he brings to the court.
            an easy choice for this fan. ”"

            5. Its more than just the rebounds its also the ability to defend, and impact games on both sides of the floor. Example, last year offensively Josh Smith Most efficient qrt was the 4th qrt and Josh smith played at a higher level on the road,… those are the things that result in wins… not just 6-7 rebounds….

          • Jul 15, 20134:17 pm
            by frankie d

            what houston did was lightening in a bottle?
            are you kidding me?
            for the last 4 years or so, since morey became GM, they have followed a deliberate and unique process of constantly chasing deals, both big and small that they think will allow them to ever so marginally increase their talent base.
            it was that mentality that allowed them to steal a guy like budinger with the 45th pick and then trade him for a mid first rounder.  it was the same mentality that allowed them to first draft parson and then give him a legit shot at playing.
            dumars, on the other hand, has constantly downplayed the importance of that kind of process.  
            when was the last time he made a draft day deal?
            back when he blew the sleepy sharpe draft, moving down so he wouldn’t have to pay guaranteed money?
            lightening in a bottle?
            hardly.  another predictable and successful example of a unique approach to building a team.  
            a process that has now allowed houston to quickly reestablish itself as one of the top teams in the west.
            remember when t mac and yao ming were top dogs in houston?
            and both of those guys essentially went down because of injury?
            well houston weathered that storm without being horrible and now they are poised to return to the top.
            lightening in a bottle?
            hilarious! 

          • Jul 15, 20134:37 pm
            by frankie d

            1. Josh Smith at 21 years old, averaged 16ppg 8.6rebs 3ast 2.9blks 1.4stls ( as a rookie 10ppg 6rebs 2blks) ….

            waht do his numbers as a 3 year vet have to do with getting a shot as a rookie?
            also, as a rookie, smith got 27 minutes a game.
            woodson had just hired on, and the hawks were coming off a year almost as bad as detroit’s.
            all i’m saying is that a guy like mitchell – whose predraft profile is extremely similar to smith’s including the fact that both were considered potential lottery picks who slid – should get a legit shot at minutes and that he brings some very obvious plusses that might far overshadow the mistakes he will ineviitably make on the court.
             

          • Jul 15, 20139:08 pm
            by AlC

            I seem to recall that when TMac and Yao were top dogs, Detroit and Dumars had just won a title and were in a stretch of Conference Finals appearances and title contention.  Good for Houston. Joe D has a ‘Ship.  That’s all that matters.

          • Jul 16, 20139:24 am
            by tarsier

            “Joe D has a ‘Ship.  That’s all that matters.”

            No, that’s not all that matters. At least not for me as a fan. It is fun to be a fan when your team is good enough that you can hope to win a championship that year. Pistons’ fans are now entering the 6th year of no such hope. 

  • Jul 15, 201311:49 am
    by Eric

    Reply

    Frank Calm down dude he will be playing back up PF or 3rd sf everynight

    • Jul 15, 201312:07 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      ok.  i hope you are around during the season, as i will remind you about how wrong you are. 
      i will believe it when i see it. 

      • Jul 15, 201312:55 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I am not confident that Mitchell will get big minutes. But if he is good enough to be a reason not to sign Smith, then he will definitely see the floor. Odds are that if he ever gets to that level, it will take a while.

        • Jul 15, 20131:43 pm
          by frankie d

          Reply

          of course he is not now good enough to compare, or to compete, with smith.
          smith is a very good player who has been in the league for 9 years.
          while i am not a huge fan of his game, i definitely recognize his talent and ability to impact a game.
          but the only way to determine if mitchell has the talent to develop in a way so that it would make a guy like smith superfluous, is by putting him out on the court and letting him develop.
          its what many of the best teams in the league do – SA comes to mind immediately – and they benefit greatly over the long run.
          there has been a long, unfortunate history of the pistons drafting talented young guys, and then bringing in vets who keep those guys tied to a bench.
          the idea that a talented young player will definitely see the floor is belied by the team’s history over the last 6 or 7 years.  amir didn’t see the floor.  afflalo didn’t see the floor.
          the situation is different with smith in that he is a very good player and not the marginal vet who has usually been occupying that position, but the dynamic is still the same.  the coaches over the last few regimes have been so concerned with their jobs and winning every game that they have been terrified to do anything but sell out for each and every win.
          if i had been making decisions, i would have done this…
          after drafting mitchell, i would have focused my FA decisions – signings and/or trades associated with FAs – on areas not involving bigs.
          i would have kept space available for mitchell to get 15-20 minutes of PT, essentially taking jason maxiell’s spot in the rotation.
          i would have saved about 14 million per year in cap space that could have been used in any number of useful ways and i would have facilitated the development of a very valuable talent -mitchell.
          joe d still has not reconciled to a full rebuilding.  
          the smith signing, the rumors of chasing rondo, the gordon trade, where he wasted a first round choice…these are all signs of a desperate management that it trying to patch and wire a marginal team together so that it can compete for that 8th playoff spot.  
          imho, what dumars has been doing is exactly the wrong things.  failing to find a rotation spot for a talented guy like mitchell is just another example of that failing.
          at this point, his proper direction should be clear.  
          drummond and monroe are the guys the team should be building around.  all transactions should be geared towards building a team that compliments those two players.
          it is hard to imagine, no matter how talented both rondo and smith are, how they fit in with drummond and monroe.
          imho, this off season is a sad and crazy repeat of what happened in 2009 with BG and CV as joe d has brought in a player who doesn’t fit his current roster, he is chasing another player who doesn’t fit his cornerstones and he seems to simply imagine that putting talented players on the same floor – no matter how ill-fitting – will be sufficient.
          dumars needs to be fired before he does any more damage to the team.

           

          • Jul 15, 20132:03 pm
            by tarsier

            I didn’t say good enough to compare to or compete with Smith. I said good enough to be a reason not to sign Smith.

          • Jul 15, 20132:41 pm
            by frankie d

            @ tarsier
            how good would he have to be to meet that bar, in your opinion? 

          • Jul 15, 20132:58 pm
            by frankie d

            btw, for taking on about 23 million in expiring contracts, and keeping their flexibility for ’14, the jazz got 2 first round choices and 3 second round choices.
            they also cleared out a vet to give a young guard PT.
            that is what i wanted detroit to do.
            imho, that is much smarter than what joe d did. 

          • Jul 15, 20133:00 pm
            by Huddy

            Mitchell is competing with players like JJ and CV for minutes..not Smith.  What about the Spurs makes you think they would start a 2nd round pick over a 18 and 8 veteran forward?  Danny Green…sent down to D League, brought back as a 20 mpg role player, 3rd season he starts.  Kawhi…25 mpg first season (and he was a 1st round pick).
            The Pistons have given starters minutes to Knight, Monroe, Singler right from the beginning of their careers.  Drummond not starting was definitely questionable, but I don’t see who all of these Veterans are that are taking away young player’s minutes on the team.  Amir Johnson and Arron Afflalo got about 15mpg and were on the team when it was still going to the ECF…why would they play over vets that took the team to the Finals while the team is still contending?
             
            Playing Mitchell 15-20mpg and having Smith on the roster are not mutually exclusive. 

          • Jul 15, 20133:18 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            I like Tony Mitchell and was hoping for the Dude since day one, but you are going crazy….at 19 Josh was earning PT and a starting spot on a Team with Antione Walker and Al Harrington…who basically played the same type of position….

            I believe Mitchell has Faried as a rookie right now type impact, I do believe he can beat of JJ…i dont know if he will but he can do it…

          • Jul 15, 20133:40 pm
            by frankie d

            mitchell is competing with any big for minutes.
            and if you take away a big – smith – who will probably get 32-35 mins per game, that frees up more minutes for guys like mitchell.
            i am shocked that anyone would try to argue that the pistons have developed their young players the same way teams like the spurs have.
            frankly, it is such an absurd notion, i’m not even going to attempt to argue the issue.
            the facts are the facts and you actually argue against  your own position in your own post.
            whatever.
            in today’s nba giving big money to players like smith who are not your centerpieces – i would argue that monroe and drummond are the centerpieces – is just dumb.
            in fact, i’ve been very surprised at the low contracts guys like mayo and iggy actually received.  the only contracts that seemed out of line with an overall lowering of free agent prices were smiths and howards.
            howard is understandible.
            and while smith got nowhere near the max contract he wanted, it is easy to see how and why he signed up with detroit at the numbers he got.
            joe d, once again, has failed to grasp the league’s direction and way overpaid a guy who is not necessary for the team’s future success.
            again, i’d much rather give mitchell 1 million and get decent rookie numbers out of him.
            when smith is taking shots away from monroe at clutch times and blowing jumpers late in games, i will definitely remind those who are arguing that he is a good signing. 

          • Jul 15, 20134:18 pm
            by jerrific

            At this point, Joe isn’t thinking about the teams future, he’s thinking about his. Joe’s job is on the line,  and he knows it, as he made obvious with the Ben Gordon trade,  giving away a pick for a fast forward on being able to take a shot in free agency. Joe might be unimaginative,  but he’s my stupid.  This team needed an infusion of talent,  regardless of position.  Given the fact that his job is on the line and he had to make a move, Smith makes sense.  What would you have done differently in his position? 

            It’s unfortunate that Dumars’ recent moves are perhaps not the best for the teams future, but they do make them better now. That’s the mandate he’s been given from Gores from day one. I personally like Smith as a player, even though he doesn’t fit our team without further moves. But the Pistons would have been better served by taking one more plunge into the lottery and trying their hands in free agency, or absorbing contracts via trade, next year, given how stacked the draft class appears to be. However, this is Gores fault as much as it is Dumars. He has been pushing to win now from day one, instead of taking the patient collect assets rout that has worked for the Rockets, Blazers, and Thunder. 

          • Jul 15, 20139:47 pm
            by Max

            Don’t understand why Utah and Portland are being offered as examples of anything.   Neither has righted their ship and I think Utah losing Jefferson and Millsap for absolutely nothing is a failure of colossal proportions–maybe the stupidest thing any team in the whole league has done over the past three seasons.  

            Tarsier didn’t answer the question yet about how good Mitchell would have to be to not sign Smith so I will:  Mitchell would have to be a likely ROY.   

    • Jul 15, 20131:12 pm
      by GEORGIO

      Reply

      I don’t think he wil play that much early on but if he plays with effort when he does play then he might get some regular minutes in the 2nd half of the season.

  • Jul 15, 20134:09 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Get over it, frankie.

    Getting stars is a hard thing to do because there are only a few to go around. Detroit got one. The fit isn’t great and it may necessitate another trade down the road (possibly of Smith), but it was worth doing because it had the most upside of any possible move short of signing Howard or Paul.

    Getting talented energy guys who have tantalizing potential is not to be understated, nor is the importance of developing them. But they are much more abundant than guys like Smith. Mitchell may have to wait for an injury or trade to have his time to shine. But you don’t make decisions on $10M/yr+ contracts based on 2nd round rookies. That would be ludicrous. It would be like not going after CP3 because of drafting Siva.

    • Jul 15, 20135:03 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      signing BG is the perfect example of why that statement is incorrect.
      afflalo was a late, late first round choice.
      joe d should have never signed BG because he had afflalo sitting there waiting to take his turn at PT.
      an astoundingly dumb move by joe to NOT take afflalo into consideration before he paid BG all of that money.
      i disagree profoundly that you simply accumulate talent, no matter how ill-fitting, and then essentially sort it out later.  
      that was exactly what everyone said about rip and BG and we saw how that worked out. 
      i don’t give a hoot about stars.  i want players who fit the team’s need.  
      the last thing this team needed was a 14 million dollar player, on a 4 year contract, who duplicates the team’s greatest strengths. 
      again, this is deja vu all over again.
      i had these same discussions and arguments with people about CV and BG.  exactly the same logic was being used to justify a seemingly dumb move and the same result is going to happen this time.
      btw, how many “stars” get booed by their home team because their shot selection is so horrible, that home crowds cringe whenever that “star” takes that shot?
      i think smith is the only “star” treated that way.  detroit fans will soon understand why.
      and the siva/cp3 comparison is not applicable.
      detroit has a clear need for a PG.  if detroit could have signed CP3, great.  he fills a need.  CP3 would come in and start and fill a hole, rather than complicate and possibly displace one of the best two players on the team.
      the one thing detroit did not need was a PF/C with horrible range on his shot and a tendency to shoot lots of 3 pointers very poorly.
      apples and oranges. 

      • Jul 15, 20138:16 pm
        by Ozzie-Moto

        Reply

        Exactly  I was wondering the same… but i will agree to Smith will be much better THIS YEAR  but lets face it this was set up by Tom Gores give JD one more chance (instead of letting him go when he took over for a fresh start) now JD job is on the line and JG had to DO SOMETHING NOW  so it all in this year to make the playoffs whether it good long term or not …. I have never understood the take the best talent regardless of position.. That works in 2 circumstances.  If what you got on the roster is really mediocre or the talent is SAY TO 5. Otherwise you just end up with endlessly unbalanced line ups that we have had in the last 5 years.   You can’t have a huge whole in your team like NO POINT GUARDS or SHOOTER or TALL guys.. but JD has done that year after year 

        • Jul 15, 20138:45 pm
          by Ozzie-Moto

          Reply

          Corrections:  sorry typos 

          ……………now JD job is on the line and T Gores felt he had to DO SOMETHING NOW.  so it is all in this year to make the playoffs whether it is good long term or not …. I have never understood the take the best talent regardless of position theory on drafting.   That works in 2 circumstances.  If the teams roster is really mediocre all over or the talent is SAY TOP 5. If you “building” a team you need to consider what you NEED………………..

      • Jul 15, 20139:49 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        There is simply no comparison between Smith and BG and Gordon not working out is something of a fluke since his numbers with the Bulls for his entire career to that point looked a lot like Reggie Miller’s career averages.  

      • Jul 15, 201311:24 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “joe d should have never signed BG because he had afflalo sitting there waiting to take his turn at PT”

        That’s just totally wrong. Dumars should have never signed BG because BG wasn’t that good and got way overpaid. The presence of Rip was also a reason not to. Afflalo not so much. He turned out better than projected. But If BG had been what Dumars had expected, having both him and Afflalo would have been wonderful.

        • Jul 16, 201312:29 am
          by frankie d

          Reply

          all of the above reasons are reasons he should not have signed BG.
          we can disagree about afflalo.  i understood clearly that i was in a distinct minority of fans who wanted afflalo to get more pT while he was in detroit.
          as it turned out, those of us who felt that way were right about him.
          regardless, at that point, with hamilton coming off 3 all star appearances in 4 years, a solid backup – at least – in afflalo, and bynum and stuckey on board, both with the ability to slide over to the SG spot, SG was definitely not a position of need.
          signing another combo/shooting guard made absolutely no sense at all, no matter how good BG might have been at the time.
          he certainly wasn’t michael jordan good, so he was going to be a redundant piece.
          a mindbogglingly dumb move by joe that the franchise is still burdened with, 5 years after the fact.
          and the fact that he is making a similarly dumb move with josh smith, under very similar circumstances is …well, words do not sufficiently convey how idiotic it is. 

          • Jul 16, 20139:41 am
            by tarsier

            I just don’t see how the Smith signing is at all similar. There are no proven players who Smith is competing with for minutes. Basically, the Pistons now have a solid frontcourt rotation (although it would be nice to have someone who is a better fit at SF). And the backups are really meager: Jerebko, Mitchell, and Kravstov.

          • Jul 16, 201311:48 am
            by frankie d

            “I just don’t see how the Smith signing is at all similar. There are no proven players who Smith is competing with for minutes.”
            drummond and monroe should be the team’s PF/C combo.
            Smith is a PF.  While he has certainly played SF at times, the last few years, he’s primarily operated from the PF spot, while doing spot duty at the SF slot, depending on matchups.
            every once in a while, that move to SF works, as he has an incredible physical advantage over most SFs.  however, when he plays the 3, it tends to encourage the worst part of his game: his tendency to jack up long 2s and 3 point shots, which he is arguably the worst shooter in the league at making.
            therefore, the best circumstance for his detroit career, with the current roster, will be if he:
            a) displaces either monroe or drummond in the starting lineup, or, b) becomes a 6th man who spells both and allows the team to establish a 3 man big rotation.
            neither option is optimal.  displacing one of the young bigs in the starting lineup stunts their growth as the team should be trying to foster an on-court relationship between the two players, as best they can.  
            the second option is preferrable, but aside from it being theoretically possible, is really a bad option.
            smith will be the team’s highest paid player and you don’t bring those guys off the bench.
            he has never indicated that he’d be willing to do such a thing and for a guy who sought free agency because he believed he  was a max player, it is untathomable that he would willingly submit to such a role.  and if he is forced to do so, it sets up the very real probablity of locker room turmoil, as smith has a documented record of friction with past coaches.
            now, if one believes that smith can and will play SF with drummond and monroe, none of the above is relevant.  however, while i can certainly see using those 3 together for certain stretches, against certain teams, it is impossible to imagine that frontcourt working over an 82 game schedule.  their skills and talents duplicate each other, they do not compliment.
            you could have written exactly the same thing about ben gordon coming onto the pistons’ roster back in ’09, changing the names and a few words, here or there.
            this is history repeating itself. 

          • Jul 16, 20131:46 pm
            by tarsier

            Have you ever considered that maybe Smith/Drummond or Smith?Monroe should be the team’s PF/C combo?

            I agree that Smith should not see a lot of time at SF. But a team has time to give three bigs a lot of minutes. And all three of Smith/Monroe/Drummond should be fairly easy to move if that becomes desirable.

          • Jul 17, 201312:52 am
            by frankie d

            @tarsier
            i actually think that is exactly what will happen.
            i don’t know if they will start the season off that way, but i do think that they will eventually reach a point where either monroe or drummond or smith will come off the bench.
            my guess is that drummond will be the guy who comes off the bench.
            the seniority system still counts for something. 
            the problem, imho,  is that the team should be trying to determine if monroe and drummond can play together and form thge nucleus of a playoff/title team.  throwing a player like smith into the mix unnecessarily complicates that process.
            and from my perspective, the idea that monroe is now expendable because of smith is crazy.
            monroe is a much better all around player.  he is a much smarter player.  he wont shoot his team out of games.  if anyone should be looked at as an extraneous piece, it should be smith.
            however, considering the contractual issues that will be in play over the next 2-3 years, my guess is that monroe will indeed be the guy to leave, if one of those 3 does leave.   and that will be as crazy as the team dumping rip in order to keep ben gordon happy.

  • Jul 15, 20134:42 pm
    by rick77

    Reply

    In my DMX voice in regards to Frankie D , Here We Go Again, Same ole shit dog just a different day. Comparing Trailblazers and Jazz to Pistons, when they haven’t won shit ever, lol.. Ok so Portland won it in “77″ the year I was born… Damn dude get off the high horse and let the team play before throwing out baseless judgments off the fact you don’t like management. I would listen to you if you didn’t call everything stupid. Let me know when you start to run a team and we can nitpick everything you do. If Mitchell is good then we have a steal. In the NBA you need a bench that is close to as good as your starters, and if hes that good then we will be good. No need for negativity.

  • Jul 15, 20136:54 pm
    by ffz

    Reply

    you guys hear about us working on a sign and trade to get Brandon Jennings?

    • Jul 15, 20137:05 pm
      by Jon

      Reply

      please say that’s a joke

      • Jul 15, 20137:36 pm
        by ffz

        Reply

        its a rumor right now on twitter

        • Jul 15, 20138:47 pm
          by Jon

          Reply

          i hope that doesn’t happen. rondo isn’t a great fit since he can’t shoot but at least he can run a team but jennings can’t shoot and then on top of that he shoots a lot to compound the problem

          • Jul 15, 20138:56 pm
            by mike

            Jennings can’t shoot? wtf

            Do people even watch these players anymore or just look up stats and start hating on them on message boards? 

            Jennings may be streaky, but when he’s on, he can shoot as well as anyone. Don’t be decieved by his 40% FG. Billups also has a similar career FG% but you know Chauncey can shoot. And Jennings is still young and can still learn how to run a team. He’s at least better than Knight in that department, I know that. Heck, he avg 7 asts/gm last year. With Chauncey/Cheeks here to help develop him into a true PG, I think its defintely possible. I feel a lot better about his chances of developing into a real PG than Knight.

          • Jul 15, 20139:51 pm
            by Max

            Thank you, Mike.  

          • Jul 15, 201311:25 pm
            by PG

            Jennings is a dynamic scorer no doubt and he’s a good shooter but I don’t think he’ll fit with our team.  He is very ball dominant and his decision making is questionable at best. Have you seen him play in the playoffs. He thinks he’s a 1 man team. lol. I’d rather roll with Rondo or Knight.

          • Jul 15, 201311:45 pm
            by tarsier

            “Jennings may be streaky, but when he’s on, he can shoot as well as anyone.”

            Yes, when Jennings is “on”, he is shooting about as well as any given player. And when he is “off”, he is just horrendous.

            “Don’t be decieved by his 40% FG.”

            Ummm, overall numbers are far less deceptive than game-by-game numbers, or those from when he’s “on”. It’s not just the 40% FG, as terrible as that is.
            Billups: 42/39/89, 58% TS
            Jennings: 39/35/81, 50% TS

            That’s a huge difference. Partly because Billups’ shooting percentages were higher across the board, partly because his FG% is mostly only brought down by all his 3s (which he hits at a very good rate), and partly because he was so much better at getting to the line.

            Jennings is better than Knight, and he’d be a bargain for $6M/yr. But Knight is paid enough less that I wouldn’t swap the two. I’d sign Jennings because it makes sense, but he’s not a particularly good PG. 

          • Jul 16, 20132:16 am
            by mike

            @tarsier you’re overthinking it with the %. Efficiency for a player like him is more about shot selection. If a guy can’t shoot, he can’t shoot and isn’t going to be efficient no matter what shots he takes. Jennings can shoot. Just watch him play. He just needs to learn to take better shots, and playing with a great frontcourt here will do that for him. His FGAs will go down as the bigs take the bulk of the shots, and the majority of his shots will be open looks ie high percentage shots, thus his efficiency will go up.

            There won’t be any dribbling around for 20 sec with nowhere to go because he has no bigs, and then hoisting up a prayer at the last second. You have to evaluate players based on their skills, not off stats that are influenced by the players around them. He was a low FG% chuker in Milwaukee by necessity because they had no bigs who could score and relied on him. When the defense knows you are shooting every time, its very easy to make a guard into a volume shooter taking bad shots. Defenses wont be able to do that to him here as all the attention will be up front and he will be able to pick/choose his spots.

          • Jul 16, 20132:22 am
            by mike

            Also Knight is paid less and he also produces less. Rookie contracts are only valuable if you get a player who outproduces his contract like Drummond or Moose. Knight makes 4 mil/yr and he produces like a 4 mil/yr player. Jennings may command 8-10 mil, but he produces like a borderline all-star. You get what you pay for with both of them. There’s no value is Knights small contract, and Jennings for 8-10 mil/yr at his production is a fair deal. So unless you just prefer bench players over all-stars, I don’t see what reason there is to prefer Knight’s contract over Jennings’.

          • Jul 16, 201310:32 am
            by tarsier

            Jennings can shoot. I don’t disagree with that. i just disagree that his numbers are comparable to Chauncey’s.

          • Jul 16, 20131:40 pm
            by tarsier

            Jennings isn’t awful, but he doesn’t produce anywhere close to a borderline all-star.

  • Jul 15, 20138:50 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    I’m all for a Knight/Stuckey for Jennings trade. We upgrade dramatically in the young PG department, and get rid of Stuckey in the process. If we can’t get Rondo this makes a lot of sense as an alternative.

    There’s no sense in giving up Monroe for Rondo when we can just sign him as a FA in 2 yrs and keep Monroe. So if we can have Jennings/Smith/Monroe/Drummond for now, and then add Rondo to the backcourt in 2 yrs, I think I’ll take that over Rondo/Smith/Drummond with no Moose or Jennings.

     

  • Jul 16, 20133:46 am
    by Eric

    Reply

    I’d take Jennings if we dump Stuckey.

  • Aug 2, 20131:19 am
    by Mike Graff

    Reply

    Tony Mitchell is going to get a lot of playing time against the Heat, the Thunder, the Knicks, Chicago, and Indianapolis. He is going to be the SF stopper. He will go in there with Monroe and either Smith or Drummond and lock on to a great SF and shut them down, like Bruce Bowen, except bigger and more athletic. Or like a SF Tony Allen.

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