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Joe Dumars has built a team that should appeal to the Id of every basketball fan

For the past five seasons, I’ve been fighting an internal battle writing about the Pistons. There’s the rational side of me that fundamentally understands that contending teams typically aren’t built in the NBA without fully bottoming out (unless you’re a team with unlimited resources to spend your way out of ever needing to rebuild). The Pistons have been bad, to be sure, but never got spectacularly bad because of the team’s insistence on keeping around just enough veterans to prevent them from picking in the top half of the lottery in any draft during that stretch and to limit their financial flexibility because, typically, veterans are much more expensive than unproven players that usually fill out the rosters of the worst teams.

The Pistons have only halfheartedly committed to a rebuild, arguably making the process of improving take longer than it needed to. That’s what has made watching a run-of-the-mill bad team over the last several seasons even more frustrating from a fan’s perspective. Any objective analysis of the Pistons over this stretch has to include the fact that they’ve complicated the rebuilding process by their own confused strategy  and insistence on paying big money to limited veterans.

But there’s also the less rational side of me that, after years of little action other than firing coaches every other year and making their draft picks, just desperately craved the team making any moves again. After years of watching a boring, complacent, lifeless team and organization, I’m choosing to ignore being rational and embracing the chaos that has been the 2013 offseason.

Can Maurice Cheeks coach? Who knows. Can Josh Smith play productive minutes as a small forward? No clue. Can Brandon Jennings become an efficient point guard? Does Chauncey Billups still have functional legs? Was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over Trey Burke a genius move or another blunder? Don’t ask me.

Plenty of good analysis on this site and others has dug into why, collectively, these moves are questionable. Smith is the king of long twos and is most effective at power forward, a position Greg Monroe happens to occupy right now. Jennings is talented but tends to shoot too much and plays out of control. Cheeks has been average to terrible in all of his previous years as a head coach. But whether you fell more into the “just bottom out already” or the “just make a move already!” camp, I think everyone agrees the Pistons simply need more talent. Regardless of fit, Dumars has delivered.

This isn’t the summer of 2009 all over again, though. Caldwell-Pope’s Summer League performance was already enough to prove that, at the very least, he’s a better draft pick than Austin Daye was that year. Smith, unlike Charlie Villanueva in 2009, actually plays defense. Jennings, unlike Ben Gordon in 2009, is still young enough to not have peaked as a player. And, unlike in 2009, Monroe and Andre Drummond are around and improving still. If Monroe and Drummond are so good that Smith and Jennings only have to be the third and fourth best players on the team, the Pistons will be in great shape.

Objectively speaking, there is sound statistical analysis that doesn’t bode well for how this roster will fit together. For the time being though, I’m content to ignore that. This team is the eye test’s dream. I can choose to envision a team that runs relentlessly with Jennings and Will Bynum pushing the pace, that has Smith and Drummond filling lanes, forming arguably the best tandem of lob-receivers in the league (hell, the Pistons might as well sign Tyrus Thomas to fill out the roster while they’re at it and just get ALL THE DUNKS) and igniting fast breaks with great blocks. Hopefully Billups is healthy enough to play meaningful minutes late in games when the Pistons want a steadier hand running the offense. Hopefully there are finally enough weapons around for Monroe to operate like the high-post hub he was meant to be. Hopefully the team exceeds expectations enough so that Dumars’ reputation bounces back and we start to remember how great the first half of his tenure as team president was rather than how awful the last half has been. Hopefully the Pistons, whether they’re good or bad, play a brand of basketball that is exciting enough to draw some fans back to games and Billups and Rasheed Wallace don’t have to sit in a depressingly empty Palace every game. Hopefully the Pistons not having a roster spot for him last year didn’t deter Ben Wallace from staying in shape and he’s ready for ONE MORE SEASON as an end of the bench reserve.

This is all a long-winded way of saying that I have no idea what to expect from this season, but I expect … something, I guess? … and that’s a definite improvement. If the team exceeds expectations and grabs the fourth or fifth spot in the East, I wouldn’t be totally shocked, although I certainly don’t think that’s likely. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the fact that some of the key pieces appear to be ill-fitting results in a disappointing season and another lottery appearance (or an extra lottery pick for Charlotte). Regardless of outcome though, the Pistons are undeniably intriguing entering the season for the first time since before the Billups trade. That in itself is a win for Dumars. It remains to be seen if it’s enough of a win for him to get a new contract, but it’s certainly a positive start.

122 Comments

  • Jul 30, 20139:38 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Question for anyone and everyone:

    Would you have rather had Jennings or Teague?

    I’d prefer Teague. I don’t love this deal, but on the other hand, it’s good just to see Dumars doing something. If Monroe’s D really has improved then between him, Smith, and Drummond, they should be able to make up for Jennings’ deficiencies there. Jennings is definitely a better ball handler and passer than Knight. He is also a comparable shooter but a worse defender. On the other hand, he is also older (so less room for improvement) and he doesn’t have the two more years of rookie scale.

    All in all, I don’t love this trade (mostly because it hurts next year’s cap space) but it doesn’t seem terrible either. 

    • Jul 30, 201310:03 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      I’d prefer Teague, but I don’t think by a lot.  Teague has been on a pretty good balanced team, which I think makes him look better than Jennings.  If Jennings realizes the strength of his big men and learns to fill his role I think he will be fine and has a little more dynamic potential to take over a game that might be necessary if the front court is in foul trouble since the team is shaky at SG.  Teague would have been safe and an upgrade so until we see Jennings in this line up I’d take Teague.

    • Jul 30, 201310:10 pm
      by Lorenzo

      Reply

      Right now I would say Teague because he plays a more controlled brand of ball but I think undoubtedly Jennings is more talented, abet, erratic, and streaky. Long term I would rather take a shot at Jennings and swing for the fences rather than Teague…who’s growth arc and potential isn’t likely to reach significantly greater heights than it is at currently. 

    • Jul 30, 201310:11 pm
      by apa8ren9

      Reply

      Why is that a point for debate? Teague wasnt available to get.  Atlanta had the leverage and wanted to keep him.  They certainly werent going to give him up for Knight, Slava and Middleton.

      • Jul 30, 201310:14 pm
        by stuckeyandwhoever

        Reply

        Teague would be the safe move.  But this team is not moving in that direction.  

      • Jul 30, 201310:16 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I don’t know if he was available or not. I’m not trashing Dumars for not getting him (although I would have liked to have seen him extend Teague an offer just in case Atlanta declined to match).

        But Atlanta didn’t seem very excited about Teague. I bet he was available. And probably for a not very different price, though it may have been slightly higher, and I certainly wouldn’t give up much more for Teague than for Jennings.

        It was mostly just me trying to satisfy a curiosity about how the top two young FA PGs were seen.

        • Jul 30, 201311:22 pm
          by gmehl

          Reply

          @tasier In regards to your first post about Knight being the better defender at PG I recall an article posted somewhere (I can’t remember where exactly) that states that defensive effectiveness from your point guard doesn’t make that much of a difference to a team whereas having better defensive big men is what matters because most shots are taken at the rim. Hopefully this is true and the fact that Jennings gets more steals a game is a positive too and you’d assume he’d be able to gamble even more with Drummond and Knight behind him on most nights.

          • Jul 30, 201311:44 pm
            by tarsier

            I agree that the D of a PG is not as important as that of a big. But obviously better D is still a plus. But hey, I’m excited about Jennings’ AST:TO ratio after watching two years of Knight.

          • Jul 30, 201311:46 pm
            by Max

            The assist to turnover ratio is such a relief and Jennings has never had break options like this before.  

          • Jul 31, 20132:19 am
            by AlC

            I would think that D at the point would be important because once the opposing PG slips past and drives, that means a post defender has to rotate, leading to a potential and 1 or a kick out to an open 3 point shooter. 

          • Jul 31, 20132:49 am
            by tarsier

            AIC,
            Of course it’s important. Just less important than paint D.

          • Jul 31, 20136:41 pm
            by AYC

            But aren’t efficiency aficionados big on open corner 3s, getting to the foul line, and shots close to the basket as a huge part of scoring efficiency?  With the decline in the number of traditional post up big men and the increasing emphasis on dynamic point guard play, with a focus on dribble penetration and the pick and roll, doesn’t that make point guard the new position at a defensive premium?

          • Jul 31, 201310:57 pm
            by tarsier

            No because that is the first line of defense. And quite frankly, when you’re a long way away from the basket, there’s a lot of room. PGs are going to get past defenders a lot whether they are good defenders or not. The biggest difference cause by that defender is when and where the opposing PG gets by and whether they are still close enough to contest shots and passes.

            The paint defender is the last line of defense. It is much more important because when that guy gets beat, it’s an easy bucket. Also, as you pointed out, they are guarding one of the high efficiency spots on the floor. The PG typically is not as he is usually at least starting a play out at the top of the arc. 

    • Jul 30, 201310:40 pm
      by mike

      Reply

      My guess is most Pistons fans would choose Teague, because its the opposite of the player we got. lol

      And if we had gotten Teague, most fans would’ve preferred Jennings. lol

      Pistons fans are never happy and always think the grass is greener on the other side.

      Me personally I don’t see anything in Teague. I think he’s an abive average PG who will never be an all-star. I think Jennings is already an all-star talent and already producing close to all-star level, and in a few years, once we start winning, he will likely be an all-star. 

      So I’m for Jennings all the way, whether you asked me this before or after the trade. 

      • Jul 30, 201311:01 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Jennings has skill and potential, but is far from all star level.  His numbers without FG% might seem close to that level, but the inefficiency makes a huge difference.  Really Teagues production isn’t by any means less.  My opinion on the two is above and I don’t hate the trade, but i think there is a real debate on who’s a better option it isn’t just whiney fans.

        • Jul 31, 20132:01 am
          by Lorenzo

          Reply

          I’m lukewarm on Jennings (abet I think it’s a solid gamble) though the kid was playing quite efficient and well in the first half of last season and arguably at an all-star level (he was certainly in the conversation)…so it’s not absurd to suggest he is close to an All-Star skill set. The wheels fell of badly for the Bucks and Jennings in the second half of the season, especially the playoff series against the Heat…which I think left a bad taste in many peoples mouths, and likely cost him a few million. He has been judged harshly for that, and rightly so, but his game, it’s strength and weaknesses have been amplified to polar extremes as a result; the truth likely lies somewhere in between. The kid is no doubt a flawed talent at this juncture of his playing career, everything else time will decide.

      • Jul 30, 201311:08 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “Pistons fans are never happy and always think the grass is greener on the other side.”

        I can see how you would come to this conclusion, but I think you are totally and completely wrong. The reason it may seem that way is that there will be some who like option A better and some who like option B better on any close call. And so either way some will be happy and some will be displeased. And you choose to focus on the fans who are displeased.

        I have been rooting for the Pistons to get Teague ever since the top tier FAs were accounted for. And vocally so on these boards. So don’t you go calling my opinion one that came along because Dumars went the other way.

    • Jul 31, 20138:14 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      NOPE To Teague…

      Probably would have rather just staying with Knight, but it is what it is…

    • Jul 31, 20133:17 pm
      by G

      Reply

      I think Teague is a more rounded player, but he would’ve cost more to get (since Atlanta matched an $8M/yr offer). Teague is better defensively and I think makes better decisions on a consistent basis. Jennings is more dynamic on offense, but is less level-headed and he is much less effective when his shot isn’t falling.

  • Jul 30, 20139:46 pm
    by DrGOLD

    Reply

    I would prefer teague just because i feel you kind of already know what youre going to get on a nightly basis. however i feel Jennings has a higher ceiling. 

    Overall im just happy we made REAL moves this year. We have more talent and as an optimistic fan there is something to be excited about. 
    Maybe if ALL goes well and our young bigs actually develop, hopefully we can actually compete In the playoffs In a few years. 

  • Jul 30, 201310:01 pm
    by Poison

    Reply

    MR. Hayes you have listed all my grievances and this article could have not described how i feel about the pistons any clearer!

  • Jul 30, 201310:02 pm
    by boogie

    Reply

    jennings, billups, smith, monroe, drummond.   bynum, kcp, stuckey, jonas, mitchell.   siva, singler, villa. soooooooo many different line-up possibilities. i love it. playoffbound!!!!!!!!#

  • Jul 30, 201310:08 pm
    by apa8ren9

    Reply

    Great post Patrick.  All of the Haters and supporters of Dumars have plenty of fodder to argue about.  I do know this, we’ve essentially had the same team the last two years and the results have been the same.  Terrible and no playoffs. 
     
    We’ve acquired better players so the impacts of CV and Stuckey can be marginalized.  They have no choice but to be better or they wont be here.  Most likely they wont be here anyway but finally there are no more chances to make it work, this is it.  I cant wait for the season to start now.  We have a legit chance to compete. Ive yet to see a basketball game won by advanced stats.  Lets see what happens.  Lets get it going!

  • Jul 30, 201310:11 pm
    by stuckeyandwhoever

    Reply

    Well Done Mr Hayes!  

    I am surprised to some extent Joe did this, but with new ownership I believe the the slogan “pullup or shutup” may have been thrown at Joe.  So I am happy with the trade.  I am also surprised no fare well to BK7 by you Hayes.  So I am happy so far for you PH.  The East is now like the wild wild west, more for the bottom half but still pretty wild in general.  Happy for this team because the patient rebuild years are done, and it is time to be interesting and talked about.  Let the line up scenarios begin…..!!!!  lol  You know who is in mine.

  • Jul 30, 201310:15 pm
    by boogie

    Reply

    somebody give me starters and a bench

    • Jul 30, 201310:26 pm
      by stuckeyandwhoever

      Reply

      Starters
      1Jennings
      2Stuckey
      3Smith
      4Monroe
      5Drummond

      Bench
      1Bynum
      2KCP/Singler
      3Mitchell/Datome
      4Jonas/Villa 
      5Drummond/Ben Wallace??? 

      • Jul 30, 201310:27 pm
        by stuckeyandwhoever

        Reply

        Bench
        1/2Billups 

        • Jul 30, 201310:52 pm
          by Jeremy

          Reply

          I’m thinking:
          Starters
          1Jennings
          2Billups
          3Smith
          4Monroe
          5Drummond
          Bench
          1Bynum/Siva
          2Stuckey/KCP/Singler
          3Singler/Jonas/Datome
          4Jonas/Villa/Mitchell
          5Drummond/Mitchell
           
          But that is all at the current moment. Billups starting doesn’t necessarily mean that he gets starter minutes and he provides the lone proven deep ball shooter that could feasibly play the 2. My money is still on Joe making at least one more move prior to the season to free up the 2 and 3 spots some more.

      • Jul 30, 201310:47 pm
        by mike

        Reply

        Sorry but don’t see Stuckey starting. It will have to be Jennings/Billups starting to give us enough shooting. Stuckey will make a good backup combo guard though, until he’s traded.

        I see us using a backcourt same way LAC did in 12 with Paul/Billups starting and kind of sharing the load at PG.

        Jennings/Stuckey/Bynum
        Billups/KCP 
        Smith/Datome
        Monroe/Smith/CV
        Drummond/Monroe 

        That’s how I see it playing out. Wow just looking at the roster I’m excited. Not only for Jennings, but that I finally don’t have to find a spot in the rotation for Knight anymore lol. I think I’m equally excited to get Jennings as I am to end the Knight experiment 

        • Jul 30, 201310:58 pm
          by stuckeyandwhoever

          Reply

          I could see that working, hurts us on D but good possibility.  There is a lot of what ifs with how good of shape CB comes into the season, how well KCP and Stuck fair in practice.  I think Stuck and Jennings will have the hefty load of minutes.  And I could see CB playing with the rook more to coach him on fly.

        • Jul 31, 20132:24 am
          by ffz

          Reply

          i dont think you watched th press conference but chauncey billups AND joe d said chauncey came to be a point guard so its a sure bet as of right now with THIS roster that either kcp or stuckey will start

      • Jul 30, 201310:58 pm
        by Lorenzo

        Reply

        I still think there are a couple of trades that are bound to happen for the sake of balance on the court, expiring contracts, and for those guys that will inevitably be out of the rotation..lets face it the roster is still too crowded. Things can change from now to anytime in Feb…..as of right I would go with this

        Starters

        PG: Jennings
        SG:  Billups (though I could see KCP easing into the starting role depending on how he picks things up)
        SF: Smith
        PF: Monroe
        C: Drummond 

        Bench

        PG: A) Stuckey B) Bynum
        SG: A) Pope B) Stuckey C) Singler
        SF: A) Singler B) Datome
        PF: A) Jerebko B) C.V. C) Mitchell
        C: A) Mitchell (Clearly the team could use another back-up 5) 

        I also could see a lot of different combinations being used in small ball rotations not to mention guys are going to move in out of the line-up as the team gels. Regardless I can see another 2-for-1 trade happening somewhere down the line to add another good piece; lot of interesting parts to work with.

  • Jul 30, 201310:23 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    It’s going to put asses in the seats. Joe D has T’d it up, let’s see what happens. 

    PS – wish I could witness practice and other team events to see what Sheed does with this group. 

  • Jul 30, 201310:33 pm
    by angry little man

    Reply

    I’m surprised Dumars traded for Jennings, he dosnet fit the typical guard Dumars has shown to favor. Meaning Jennings is a smallish guard not a bigger combo guard. At the very least Jennings has to play good perimeter defense as Drummond, Monroe and Smith can and probably will (i hope)  erase most mistakes made defensively on the perimeter. 

    oh and by the way , good luck to BK who I think still has a bright future in this league.  

  • Jul 30, 201310:42 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    Not sure if mentioned but Jennings was teammates with Gigi in Italy that 1 year he went overseas.

    • Jul 30, 201311:28 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Wow. Interesting pick up there Mike.

    • Jul 31, 20132:35 pm
      by Anthony Jordan

      Reply

      Thanks for the info man. Like gmehl said, that’s interesting. Maybe they already have some chemistry built? Interesting to see how this season unfolds!!!

  • Jul 30, 201310:50 pm
    by Wolverines23

    Reply

    Might as well trade Monroe, Stuckey, CV for Kevin Love now and call it a day.

    • Jul 30, 201311:27 pm
      by mike

      Reply

      Hell no. Monroe > Love all day. Love is most overrated player in NBA

      • Jul 31, 20131:20 am
        by DrGOLD

        Reply

        not saying the trade is gonna happen 
        However with Love’s range would solve all the spacing problems we might have now.
         

      • Jul 31, 20131:54 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        The only thing Monroe has over Love is less propensity for injury. Love is definitely the superior player of the two.

      • Jul 31, 20136:42 am
        by Lorenzo

        Reply

        I like Monroe but lets not get carried away….Love is EASILY (and it’s not really even a close debate) the better talent between the two.

    • Jul 31, 20131:56 am
      by Who Is Us

      Reply

      I am soooooo sick of all of the Trade Monroe talk!!! For all you people on that bandwagon, read this article before you ever again consider making a statement that begins with: The Pistons Should Trade Monroe For….

      http://bleacherreport.com/tb/daWn9?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=detroit-pistons 

  • Jul 30, 201310:53 pm
    by acr

    Reply

    nice post patrick – head vs heart is where I’m at with this team too, but I’m at least excited to see how it will turn out.  Also, anyone know if there has there ever been 3 left-handed players in a starting line-up before?

  • Jul 30, 201310:57 pm
    by Sergio Fried Chicken

    Reply

    Man i cant believe this im so torn i really like Middleton this might come back to bite us really if Bk7 use this as motivation which he will oh boy Jennings better dominate.

  • Jul 30, 201311:08 pm
    by Frankdog

    Reply

    The thing I wonder about is that Chauncey said he expects to be a starter. So I’m guessing we’ll see Jennings at PG and Billups at SG

  • Jul 30, 201311:20 pm
    by JordanCOLIV

    Reply

    Being someone who is born in Michigan and lived much of my life in Colorado.  I love the Pistons recent move to add Chauncey Billups.  He will be the perfect mentor for Jennings.  The Pistons have a post that will intimidate anyone in the league and have some shooting to complement it.  It looks to me like this rebuilding project finally makes sense after these moves the past few years.

  • Jul 30, 201311:26 pm
    by Justin

    Reply

    How about trading CV and Stuck to the bucks for Gary Neal.
    I would be happy just to get rid of those two contracts but getting Neal’s 3 point shooting ability will help the pistons go farther in the playoffs.
    Then trade Will Bynum to the Pelicans for Greg Stiemsma. The pistons need a backup center after the Jennings trade and Stiemsma is aggressive and plays like a pistons would love to have the guy in the lineup.  
    PG: Jennings, Billups, Siva
    SG: Neal, Caldwell-Pope
    SF: Smith, Singler, Luigi
    PF: Monroe, Mitchell, JJ 
    C: Drummond, Stiemsma 
    That’s a scary playoff lineup.            

  • Jul 30, 201311:44 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    For all of you harping on Brandon Knight being a bad defender, his teams defensive ratings since he came into the league as an instant starter and usual first option for his teams have been 2nd, 4th, 16th and 12th.

    Over that span, the Pistons defensive ratings have been 26th, 28th, 22nd and 24th so Jennings has started for teams that have had significantly better defensive numbers than the Pistons have had during every year of his career.  

    Further, Jennings has been on pretty elite defensive teams in his first two seasons and those teams had Bogut. 16th in the third year is not so great but not so bad but last year with the emergence of Larry Sanders, the Bucks defensive rating got back to decent.  Obviously, whatever defensive deficiencies Jennings has can be overcome by playing with good defensive players and the Pistons have plenty of shot blocking and players who get steals like Jennings does.  

    Leaving that, Jennings is a much better shooter than Knight for a few reasons.   One is that he can get his own shot much more often and in more situations than Knight.   To this point, he is much better at running the pick and roll and the Pistons have great players for him to run it with that he has lacked since Bogut left.  Added to this he makes much tougher shots than Knight.  The proof of all of this is that he has always been a flat out better scorer than Knight has been so far.  

    During the season prior to last when he played with Monta Ellis in the back court, Jennings finished with the 8th most points in the league and the 9th most steals.  He has also finished in the top ten in 3 pointers made the past two seasons.    

  • Jul 31, 201312:40 am
    by RP

    Reply

    I could tell this was written by Patrick because I didn’t want to kill myself after reading it. I appreciate Dan’s insight, but it’s always so overwhelmingly negative, that you forget that being a sports fan is super fun. What kind of fans would we be if we didn’t drink the kool-aid for every move. I mean I live in New York and everybody is convinced that Bargnani and Artest just completed the puzzle. My point being, let ESPN rip apart our moves, let’s just have hope because you never know. And I thank you Patrick for bringing that vibe back to this website.

    • Jul 31, 201311:40 am
      by Crispus

      Reply

      Hear Hear. Dan should have a separate blog called “PistonsActuary.com”. This should be a time for excitement and hope. There will be plenty of time for cynicism and lamentations later.

      I hope Patrick has come out of semi-retirement and will be writing more posts now. 

      • Jul 31, 20133:43 pm
        by G

        Reply

        Dan isn’t yet in Drew Sharp “wrist-slitting” territory yet, and I think a lot of you guys strain the negative aspects of his posts out while ignoring the positives. Most of his positives have been qualified positives, but didn’t he call this sign & trade the best short term move the Pistons could’ve made?

  • Jul 31, 201312:41 am
    by Otis

    Reply

    They need to pick up another center. Not just as insurance if God forbid Drummond or Monroe got injured. (Knock on wood.), but to play center on the bench squad in practice. I doubt Sheed is going to do it. If Moose and Dre are the starters, they need to be on the same practice squad, right?
     
    Personally I think this team would have more success mostly rotating Monroe-Smith-Drummond at the 4-5, with Monroe or Drummond coming off the bench and getting starter’s minutes. I just don’t think you’re maximizing your potential when you’re playing two of your three best players out of position.
     
    Good trade though. You got the best player, and someone who’s at least shown signs of being special. He could conceivably develop into a legitimate point guard if Chauncey and Cheeks rub off on him at all. Knight is basically junk because he’s completely lost running the team and doesn’t have the size to be a SG. In other words: You can’t consider him a building block. He’s a nice consolation prize for Milwaukee, I guess. But I personally think I’ll miss Khris more.

    • Jul 31, 201311:41 am
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I hear Jason Collins is available.

  • Jul 31, 20131:02 am
    by Mike

    Reply

    It’s nice to see patrick writing. Far less negative

  • Jul 31, 20131:06 am
    by c419

    Reply

    1 miami
    2 – indiana
    3 – brooklyn
    4 – chicago
    5 – detroit
    6 – new york
    7 – cleveland
    8 – boston/orlando? 

    • Jul 31, 20139:56 am
      by zdh

      Reply

      probably more like
      1- miami
      2- indiana/brooklyn
      3-indiana/brooklyn
      4- chicago
      5- knicks
      6-8- will be a fight between cleveland/hawks/bucks/pistons maybe boston.

      barring injury, the knicks arent going to fall bellow a 5 seed. melo is good enough to get them at least that far even by himself. pistons will be better, but a 5 seed is probably too optimistic. but that would be great if it happened. 

      • Jul 31, 201310:48 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Why would you expect Chicago lower than Brooklyn and Indiana? If there’s one thing Thibs is good at, it’s using up everything his players have in the tank to get as many regular season wins as possible.

        Indiana was 4.5 games ahead of Chicago last season. I think Rose will be a much, much bigger addition to Chicago than Granger to Indiana. 

        • Jul 31, 201312:57 pm
          by zdh

          Reply

          i probably should have said that chicago/indiana/brooklyn will all be fighting for spots 2-4.

  • Jul 31, 20131:13 am
    by baller

    Reply

    Jason Collins is still available for a backup center???

    • Jul 31, 20132:02 am
      by Who Is Us

      Reply

      Staying with a Bucks theme, Gustavo Ayon is available after being released by the Bucks earlier this week. He is just under 6’10″ but he has been a solid back-up center for the Hornets, Magic, and Bucks respectively.

      On a personal note, his agent is a personal friend of mine so I’d love to see Ayon in a Pistons so I could score some free tickets.

      • Jul 31, 20132:18 am
        by oats

        Reply

        Ayon was claimed off waivers by the Hawks.

        • Jul 31, 20133:00 am
          by gmehl

          Reply

          Obviously not that close of a friend ;-)

  • Jul 31, 20131:15 am
    by ffz

    Reply

    as of right now our first goal should be to win the season opener every year we had momentum and it seems like those first game of the season losses sucked all the enthusiasm out of the pistons for the coming games our records till we got our first win for the past three seasons were what 0-5, 0-3, and 0-8?

  • Jul 31, 20131:43 am
    by Travis

    Reply

    Anyone think Jonas gets traded for a center or for draft picks to clear room for a free agent center?

    • Jul 31, 20132:40 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Why would the Pistons need another C unless Monroe gets traded? Monroe and Drummond will normally get the minutes at the 5. In a pinch, Smith or Mitchell can sop them up.

    • Jul 31, 201311:24 am
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Not sure why everyone is saying we need another center.  How many teams have more than 2 centers?  How many have more than one?

      First off everyone is saying to trade Monroe because they have Drummond, now they need Monroe, Drummond and another center.

      • Jul 31, 20134:36 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        How many teams have more than 2 centers?  

        Nearly all of them.

        How many have more than one?

        All of them. 

  • Jul 31, 20132:43 am
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    Next point to address is that we do need a backup center now. I truly think Dumars is not done yet. He had to deliver this offseason and,even though the outcome is yet to be seen, he’s done it. That’s his job, and this time his decissions were much better than in 2009.Anyway, we might see a couple of trades more. One of them before the season starts as we need to fill that spot, but most likely another one as the season goes on. Both trades or maybe the only trade will involve Stuckey and Villanueva (maybe Jerebko too) . Don’t know which center could be available right now out there but for sure somebody will be there. And, don’t look now but I think we’re a more desirable team from a player’s view, at least in principle,aren’t we?

  • Jul 31, 20133:22 am
    by mike

    Reply

    I want us to use that room exception on Tyrus Thomas. He’d basically give us what we want out of Mitchell, but don’t have to wait 3 yrs to get it.

    He’d be a great veteran backup big man to addd for 2-3 mil/yr.

    He’s from Louisiana isn’t he? Joe D loves those southern boys from his homestate… ya never know  

  • Jul 31, 20136:42 am
    by Tad

    Reply

    Jast a question that nobody seem to be adressing:
    - how in the hell is Jennings getting 24 M$ when the max for the first year of the contract he can get from Detroit is 6453540 $ whit 4,5% rises? I can get max 20250000 $ out of that…

    any explanation? 

    • Jul 31, 20136:58 am
      by jayp

      Reply

      it was a sign and trade deal, technically he agreed the bucks signed Jennings for us 

      • Jul 31, 20137:06 am
        by Tad

        Reply

        Yes, but in any case you can’t trade for more than 125% of what you are sending to the other team + 100 k$. That meand somewhere around 6,5 M$ for the first year of the new contract.

        And I checked the BYC too. It shouldn’t apply to Milwaukee because they aren’t over the cap… 

        • Jul 31, 20137:40 am
          by Tad

          Reply

          Post scriptum: that would be a great deal!!! (never happening…)

        • Jul 31, 201310:41 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          You’re thinking old CBA. The new CBA actually made trading easier. Now it is 150% of outgoing salary plus 100K.

          The Pistons are sending out $5,082,832 in salary so they can take back up to $7,724,248. A 3-year deal starting there (offered by the player’s original team) could get as high as $24,588,200 total.

        • Jul 31, 201310:44 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          The rule is still 125% + 100K for big trades (outgoing salary over $19.6M) but for outgoing salaries up to $9.8M, it is the 150% + 100K I explained above. In between those numbers, it’s a simple 100% + $5M.

          http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q82 

    • Jul 31, 20137:02 am
      by Tad

      Reply

      Checked again the numbers and doesn’t work.

      Could the BYC has anything to do with the discrepancy? 

      • Jul 31, 20137:28 am
        by gmehl

        Reply

        I heard somewhere that the deal is for 25mil not 24mil so I guess until the deal is official and signed we won’t get the proper details.

      • Jul 31, 20138:45 am
        by alex

        Reply

        The new CBA changed the way trades work.  Instead of salary match of 125% +- 100,000, it is now a 150% match +- 100,000.

  • Jul 31, 20137:13 am
    by PT

    Reply

    Bring in TYRUS THOMAS! So much potential. Love TT. 

    Is it just me or has Dumars missed the opportunity to put together a TYRUS/Kelly Olynyk (Orlando Summer League Legend and All-Time Great)? Mmmmmm … unstoppable.  

  • Jul 31, 20137:31 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Check out this Jennings vid at the Jordan Brand Classic. The first play is a sweet dish to Moose. I had to chuckle when I first saw it.

    • Jul 31, 20137:34 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Don’t know what happened to the link on his post

  • Jul 31, 20137:32 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Check out this Jennings vid at the Jordan Brand Classic. The first play is a sweet dish to Moose. I had to chuckle when I first saw it
     http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IB95hir9hhU&feature=relmfu

    • Jul 31, 20138:13 am
      by mike

      Reply

      Damn! Great find. Its cool to know he was teammates with Moose before, but I was more excited after seeing his handles and passes! My gosh that boy’s got skills with the ball in his hands. Some of those passes I never seen anything like that before. I think he’s going to have a lot of fun playing here with Drummond, and any attitude issues are going to disappear once the game becomes fun again for him. Can’t wait to see this!

    • Jul 31, 20139:37 am
      by acr

      Reply

      great find.

  • Jul 31, 20138:34 am
    by Terrell

    Reply

    I don’t know why people think this trade for Brandon Jennings is a terrible one.it seems that no matter what Joe Dumars do theDetroit Pistons fans are never happy. I believe that Jennings is a far better product than Brandon Knight. I still believe that Joe Dumars will make another trade to address the backup center position. I don’t see both Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey being on this roster at the end of the season. I didn’t think that Boston would be so reluctant to give up Rondo however there is still a possibility that by the trade deadline he becomes available. I believe that Joe Dumars will trade both Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey for a competent shooting guard. Not to say that KCP will not start. I think that that would be the best decision for the Pistons roster.

  • Jul 31, 20138:43 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Next: Stuckey or Bynym and CV to Utah for SF and draft pick 

  • Jul 31, 20138:54 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Ok this trade only took a few hours to grow on me:

    We had:

    Billups- proven starter, shooting 
    Knight- youth, speed, athleticism
    Bynum: microwave scoring, lob throwing 
    stuckey: defense, free throws, ball protection 

    Now we have:
    BJennings : Youth, proven starter, speed, athleticism, microwave scoring, lob throwing
    Siva: defense, free throws, ball protection 

    So basically trading for Jennings allows us to phase out Billips with no?’s, and it also allows us to gettrade Bynum and/or Stuckey eventually without missing what they provide.

    So w really just turned 4 combo guards into two point guards. And made room for KCP to be undisputed  shooting guard.

  • Jul 31, 20138:59 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    • Jul 31, 20139:39 am
      by Vic

      Reply

      Yeah he pretty much nails it.

      Drummond and Monroe are the factors that make the Pistons a good team. They make everyone better on defense and offense. Other players can just get in where they fit in.
       

    • Jul 31, 20139:53 am
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      I hate all the Piece dont fit articles…. they just seem like clones of one another…

      Example…At SF Josh Smith is CLEARLY a better option than any other SF that was on our roster…so its not just a MAJOR talent boost, its  a MAJOR Position up grade….

      It makes me wonder do people realize that Singler was our best starting SF after Prince was traded… he only shot 42% from the field vs Smith 46.5 ….. Singler 32% for 3′s vs  Smith 30%… Singler made 70 3′s vs Smith 61′s  Singler shot 33% for jump shots vs Smith 31%…

      Soo overrall shooting we lose nothing but all around Production we gain everything….

      then people will call Knight a horrible PG, okay fine 9he’s gone im over it)…. but he does everything critics say Knight couldnt do, but it still seems like people are talking about FIT!

      We arguable got the Best players from off the team that made it to the play-offs as a 6th seed, and then we get the best player off of the team that made it to the play-offs as a 8th seed…

      All i can say is we will see … (this wasnt at you Tarseir)

      • Jul 31, 201310:24 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        The one thing that Jennings doesn’t do which was also an issue with Knight is hit a high percentage of his shots.

        But on the whole, I do actually agree with you. The coming season could be great or miserable, but I’m excited about it. So, as a fan, that’s worth a lot.

  • Jul 31, 201310:13 am
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    I would like to officially welcome back TRADER JOE, we have missed you.

    I’m not sure how all the pieces will fit together, but at least Joe is making us look at the team with interest again.  He brought in some talented players and a new coach.  Now all we have to do is hope that they all mesh together.

    I like the way this trade opened up some roster spots to sign their new draftees too.

  • Jul 31, 201310:37 am
    by Rich

    Reply

    I don’t understand the thinking that a team has to “fully bottom out” to become a title contender.

    Boston in ’08, Miami in ’06, Detroit in ’04, the Lakers throughout the ’00s,  None of these teams won with more than 1 of their own lottery picks seriously contributing.

    • Jul 31, 201310:56 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It’s not that a team has to bottom out. There are many ways to build a contender. It’s just that if you aren’t going to be making the playoffs anyway, it makes more sense to bottom out and get some top shelf talent. Otherwise, the season is kinda wasted because there is no hope for a championship (or even a decent playoff run) and it isn’t really giving you a shot at a new superstar either.

      • Jul 31, 20133:56 pm
        by G

        Reply

        I think at this point the team can be considered to have bottomed out. They did a half-assed version of it, but the next step after bottoming out is to develop your players, acquire assets and get some playoff experience. I’m ready to be done bottoming out (which is what they did the last 4 years).

        • Jul 31, 20134:35 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          They did not properly bottom out, but it’s true, they’re past that point now.

    • Jul 31, 20133:51 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      The 2004 Pistons were the exception, but you make those other teams seem like the lottery picks were a minor part of their titles. Do you think the Celtics win without Paul Pierce, the Heat without Dwyane Wade, the Lakers without Kobe Bryant?

      And before anyone claims Kobe was drafted by Charlotte, you’re missing the point. The point of bottoming out is to get good lottery picks so you have the best chance of getting a good player when he’s most available: high in the draft before he becomes a star. There are rarely other means to get those lottery picks than having a bad season, but the Lakers had one. In one sense they’re the exception, but looking at the bigger picture, they had the same goal as the teams that bottom out. They just had a rare and different way to accomplish it.

    • Jul 31, 20135:11 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Don’t forget that Boston bottomed out to get the 5th pick in the draft and traded it for Ray Allen. Landing Allen then made them good enough that Garnett would accept a trade there, so that lottery pick got them both Allen and Garnett. Similarly, the Heat don’t get James and Bosh to come if Wade wasn’t there. They also tanked pretty hard to get Wade in the first place. Boston and Miami were very dependent on bottoming out, they are just an example of how to do it without relying on the guys taken when bottoming out but rather on moves done down the road. That doesn’t really change the importance of bottoming out for them though. The Lakers didn’t really bottom out that much, but they are the Lakers and normal rules don’t seem to apply to them.

      • Aug 1, 20134:59 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        And that wasn’t just any landing-a-5th-pick season. The Celtic were the second worst team (ahead of Memphis) in the league but got leapfrogged by three others in the lottery.

  • Jul 31, 201310:54 am
    by Tad

    Reply

    @ Alex

    Thank you for the clarification.

    If I calculate Jennings’ contract based on the 150%+100000$ rule the max he can earn is:

    24231159 $ in 3 years. (7724248 year 1, 8071839 year 2 and 8435072 year 3)

    That means ca 3,5 M$ less next year during free agency…   

    • Jul 31, 201311:06 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Those numbers are close. I messed up initially because 7.5% raises are not applicable to S&Ts. But it is worth noting that raises are not compounded.

      So yes, the first year maximum would be $7,724,248 and the second year would be $8,071,839. But the third year would be $8,419,430 (in case you care about the $15,642 difference on the books).

  • Jul 31, 201311:02 am
    by Cliff

    Reply

    This is kind of off topic and incredibly ambitious… but does this open the option of Rip coming back too? 

    • Jul 31, 201311:11 am
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      I don’t think anyone has picked him up yet.  I think he burned the bridge down around here though.

    • Jul 31, 201311:34 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      I am happy with where the team is atm but i just have just got a weird feeling that Joe hasn’t stopped dealing yet. I just hope he doesn’t do something silly like trade for Eric Gordon who is damaged goods. You’d expect the signing of Siva in the next couple of days and then I’d be happy if he signed either Big Ben or another SG that can actually shoot. IMO I don’t think we need a back up center as badly as we need a 3 and D SG. Floor spacers will go a long way to making this thing work.

  • Jul 31, 201311:28 am
    by The Rake

    Reply

    Pistons now have the roster spots for Siva and another big man to fill in where Kravstov was to be. Do we now jump into the fray late on Greg Oden? Kravstov was I believe due 1.5 this year. If that financial availability is still there, I think its worth an attempt/looksie at the least. Thoughts?

    • Jul 31, 201312:14 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      If he can be had for cheap, great. But I’d expect him to choose somewhere that has less of a logjam at the big man spots.

  • Jul 31, 201311:29 am
    by Riz

    Reply

    Last point guard we had that averaged 17 points 7 assists CB also last time this team was good. Jennings is in perfect position to get better and become borderline Allstar. If the kid pope can hit his jumpers and work his way into starting lineup that’s a nice starting 5! I think JS at the SF can work at least he will shutdown other teams SF and if he bricks long 2 the big boys down low will clean it up. Back to Detroit basketball front court guys that are athletic rebound and play strong D, and a backcourt that can score. JOE D is the man 8 mil 4 3 years = steal!!! 

  • Jul 31, 201312:20 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    We don’t need to trade for a backup center. If we need a third center at all, it’s just a practice body, and a guy to play for emergency foul or injury situations. Such a player should be signable to a minimum contract off the scrap heap. 

    Drummond and Monroe should get every minute at center, barring an injury.  That also frees up time to play Smith at the 4, reducing our spacing issues at the same time. 

    • Jul 31, 201312:49 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I’d be fine with giving someone a one year min deal just as injury insurance. But unless one of Monroe/Drummond is out, that guy shouldn’t even be among the 12 suiting up for a game. Smith or Mitchell can pick up spot minutes at the 5 if necessary due to an in-game injury or foul trouble.

      • Jul 31, 20131:02 pm
        by Corey

        Reply

        I entirely agree. a 3rd center should never make the active roster except for injury situations.

      • Jul 31, 20135:15 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        CV can adequately play 3rd center minutes too. It would be nice to get someone, but it is hardly a priority.
         

        • Jul 31, 201311:00 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I’d vote Ben Wallace for nostalgia reasons and because the third center really shouldn’t be playing anyway.

    • Jul 31, 20131:04 pm
      by Jopl

      Reply

      Drummond and Monroe will get every minute at center but what happens if one of them has an injury, even a minor one?  We don’t have anyone else who can really play center.  So signing someone like a Jason Collins to be the backup center insurance and solid veteran locker room guy would be great.

  • Jul 31, 201312:21 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    If we get the Brandon Jennings from March 2, March 4, and March 6… we’ll be ok. He went on an assist/turnover binge… He’ll definitely have shooters and bigs to feed with the Pistons

  • Jul 31, 201312:47 pm
    by Lake Side Live

    Reply

    Cole Aldrich should get the final spot: His picture alone on NBA.COM is worth it.

  • Jul 31, 20131:23 pm
    by Tempts4ever

    Reply

    Expert and Wise Advice From The Greatest (little?) Guard in NBA History, Isiah Thomas:

    To: Brandon Jennings and Peyton Siva

    The Perfect Point Guard

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeiJkE5H1UM    

  • Jul 31, 20132:02 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    A strong positive about Jennings is that almost 3 of his assist led directly to at the rim baskets.If Jennings approaches this the right way, this is a potential steal… But he cant have that gunners mindset…. if that case we would have been better off with Knight

    • Aug 1, 20137:57 pm
      by jeff

      Reply

      With the excessive amount of decent point guards on the team. You make it clear to jennings that chucking up bad shots is not exceptable, and if he does it, he will get benched for another. We know bynam is almost the exact opposite, and gets to the rim more often then jennings does, so you put him in to prove a point as a coach.
       

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