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NBA executives reportedly sour on Pistons signing Josh Smith

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

Covered at length here. Executives have mostly panned the Josh Smith signing, and as I made clear in that piece, some of that criticism has probably gone overboard. Giving Greg Monroe the max contract he’ll want next summer (or the max extension he wants now) makes even rival execs queasy — and it should — and the Pistons still have a lot of moves to make going forward. Smith’s contract doesn’t impair their flexibility in going about those moves, and he’s a quality piece.

There is a contingent of fans who don’t believe the media is capable of intelligent analysis (though I don’t know why those fans would be reading this site), and though I suppose those fans would argue Lowe has manipulated the facts or something else moronic, this comes from a source those fans would have more trouble refuting.

NBA executives mostly dislike the Pistons’ signing of Josh Smith. That stings to see written out.

Of course, Lowe didn’t conduct a scientific poll of front offices, and even NBA executives widely view the move as foolish, they’re not necessarily right.

But I do find it telling – and worrisome – that people in the highest levels of basketball analysis are against this signing.

141 Comments

  • Jul 26, 20131:33 pm
    by Slap Dog Hoops (SDH)

    Reply

    I did not like the signing of Josh Smith, because first of all, he’s less of an impact player than more of a complementary one and the Pistons’ were primarily in need of a point guard more than anything else.  I was shocked that Dumars had not resigned Jose Calderon considering that he was one of the top fA PGs on the market.  

    • Jul 26, 20132:29 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Do you seriously think he should have competed with the contract the Mavs gave Calderon? That would be lunacy. Calderon got a much richer deal than expected. Let Dallas suffer the consequences. Dumars should have made a run at Teague, the best remaining FA PG. But Calderon was getting overpaid, no need to be the ones doing it.

      • Jul 26, 20133:11 pm
        by Who Is Us

        Reply

        I would much rather have Knight, Billups, and Bynum who will make less combined. People may be panning the Pistons’ signing of Smith, but they’ve been even more critical of Cuban overpaying Calderon in a panic move after not getting Howard. Signing a soon to be 33 year old PG for that 4 year contract would have been salary cap hell and a worse mistake than the BG & CV signings. 

        • Jul 26, 20133:50 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          agreed

        • Jul 26, 20135:33 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          You’ve found a brand new level of exaggeration with that last sentence, friend. I was right with you until you drove your own argument into the heart of the sun. BG/CV was one of the worst mistakes made by any GM in recent memory, and it crippled the franchise for four solid years (and it would have been five if Dumars hadn’t dumped a #1 pick to rid us of Gordon, which I wish he wouldn’t have). Calderon would have been a very bad signing PERIOD, but seven mil for four years is never going to cripple any franchise. It would have been an absolute atrocity, but BG/CV was, oh, I’d say infinitely worse if we’re going to have an exaggeration contest.
           
          Minor quibble, btw: Jose is going to have just turned 32 when the season tips off, not 33. But paying this guy (whose flaws became very apparent once I started watching him on a regular basis) 7 mil a year until he’s 36 is madness.

          • Jul 26, 20136:29 pm
            by rick77

            Dude who was beating the Heat and Lebron the last 4 years that you speak about? Doesn’t matter what Joe did because as long as Bron was in the East the Pistons weren’t winning shit…..At least now he has won and maybe his team is resting on their laurels and could be had. As far a our team goes, doesn’t matter what we put out there the result in the end would have been the same….Jus sayin

          • Jul 26, 20138:25 pm
            by Who Is Us

            The reason signing Calderon would be worse than CV & BG is threefold.
            1.) BG & CV were both still young players coming off their rookie deals and considered the top two FAs on the market. Risking big long term contracts on young guys is always better than doing so on limited “old” guys.
            2.) Giving Calderon a contract would likely have required giving him a contract higher than what the Mavs did, probably around $8mil per year, or exactly the salary cap crushing deal that CV got.
            3.) Finally, what really would have made signing Calderon worse than BG & CV, is the fact that the Pistons signed BG & CV!! It would mean that Joe D hadnt learned from that disaster and thrown a conntract at a player who would provide limited and diminishing returns, while handicaping the franchises finances for the next three seasons until it was an expiring deal.
             
            From that context Otis, it would have been a worse move than the signings of BG & CV.
             

          • Jul 27, 201312:27 am
            by Huddy

            in hindsight BG CV is worse, not nearly as obvious without it though.

          • Jul 29, 201311:30 am
            by tarsier

            Huddy,

            how to hit the nail on the head 

        • Jul 26, 20135:55 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          It would be a worse signing not necessarily in that it would turn out worse, but in that it would be even easier to see it being a mistake from the start.

          • Jul 27, 20132:10 pm
            by Otis

            Not it wouldn’t. Signing Ben Gordon to five years at $58 mil when you already had Rip under contract for four years at around $50 mil was the single most instantly recognizable signing mistake I can think of. Maybe he thought he would be able to move one of them, but that was foolish. Neither contract represented any value to the team, and neither would be in a position to establish value as long as they had to share minutes. That’s Gordon alone. Adding Charlie (a signing where the numbers didn’t look so crazy, but one that was absolutely trashed by almost everyone who followed his career) puts that blunder in the highest of stratospheres. And this was immediately after the Pistons had tried something eerily similar with Iverson. Even Joe Johnson, who has one of the worst contracts I’ve ever seen, was able to be moved without attaching a draft pick, so what more can I say about it?
             
            Calderon would have been a mistake at almost any price. He’s the wrong age, the wrong fit, and even though I was very excited to get him I never thought he looked good here at all. If he had even average quickness I’d have been in favor, but I thought people who were screaming for him to re-sign were foolish.

          • Jul 29, 20139:59 am
            by tarsier

            Before coming to Detroit, Gordon averaged 19, 3, and 3 on 44/42/86 and he was generally trending up (as young players usually are). It was not unreasonable to expect him to continue to produce at around that level. That would have made him overpaid, but not an albatross. And there was also merit to Joe’s assumption that he would continue to improve or at least maintain the level of his past three seasons, which were his best years to date. That didn’t happen, but it would have been a reasonable prediction.

            Having Rip on the team did make it a stupid move. But if he wasn’t there, it actually would have looked reasonably smart until Gordon stopped being able to play basketball. Regardless of who else is on the team, Calderon’s contract looks atrocious.

            Calderon is 31 and just signed a 4 year deal that pays him about 75% as much annually as that Gordon deal paid. It is a lot more inevitable that that deal goes sour.

          • Jul 29, 201312:14 pm
            by Otis

            But it WOULD have been unreasonable to expect that kind of production from Gordon. We already had Rip here! Not enough minutes or shots, no point guard to get him the ball, no quality bigs to set screens. You had NOTHING to put Gordon in a position to succeed. You can’t say “if Rip wasn’t there it would have been good” because he was there. Rip was very much there and going to be there for a very long time.
             
            I seem to agree with you more often than not, but this is definitely a not.

          • Jul 29, 201312:30 pm
            by tarsier

            Rip was there, but if they were each playing 32 mpg or so, they would only have to share the court for half of that. There’s something to be said for acquiring talent regardless of positional needs.

            If Gordon’s play hadn’t fallen off a cliff, his contract would have been movable even if it was determined that he and Rip could not play together. 

  • Jul 26, 20131:38 pm
    by Notanoob

    Reply

    I’ll be honest. Many front offices seem to be just as bad, if not worse, at analyzing moves and stuff as fans. If he was asking the guys running the Cavs, Magic, bobcats, etc. then this is as much of a good thing as it is a bar one. 

  • Jul 26, 20131:39 pm
    by ryan

    Reply

    I never supported the signing of Josh Smith and still don’t. I hope it works out somehow but it’s hard to argue general NBA consensus and my own gut feeling.
     

  • Jul 26, 20131:52 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    before he did it, i was fearful that he’d sign him and posted such here on the site.
    the only positive is that he didn’t give him a max contract and indeed signed him for a relatively reasonable sum.  i say relatively because the numbers for all of the other free agents suggests a downward trend to the contracts guys like smith got and will be getting in the future.  while the 54-56 million is not a hugely bad number, i still think joe d overpaid him and that was one of the huge reasons he signed on the dotted line.  he just wasn’t going to get that kind of money anywhere else.
    but smith just doesn’t fit the team’s roster.  and, as a result, he will produce on court problems that will plague the team for the entire year.   ideally, you want to be able to use  your best players as much as possible and you want to play them together.  detroit will have to figure out how to manage 3 guys who are essentially doing the same things.
    we saw that play out with rip and ben gordon and company and it was not a pretty sight.
    in fact, it was a disaster.
    it is hard to see how this will turn out any differently.
    one positive, however, is that smith’s defensive presence will bring something that the team sorely needs.  it will be interesting to see how that factors in and somehow balances out the playing time and spacing problems that will be huge and continuing problems all year.
    i just wish the team had a better coach to manage these problems.  imho, they could not have picked a worse coach to handle a player like smith and a situation like the one that will unfold this year.
    the team will indeed live through interesting times this season. 

  • Jul 26, 20132:00 pm
    by Kobina

    Reply

    You should change the name of this site to pistonsoured.com.  I don’t know if there is a less supportive, online fan-base in all of basketball.  Do you know how many of those GMs would cut off a testicle to have the success Joe Dumars has brought to Motown? 

    A little perspective before you go taking sides with “anonymous” GM’s against the second greatest Piston of all time.  All the Joe-D / Pistons bashers who have been slam posting here since the down-turn, you are terrible fans.  Our down years, are some teams, franchise history.   

    • Jul 26, 20132:21 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      What the Hell Dan? Are you seriously saying “Oh no, the other execs don’t like our moves. Let us hang our heads at anonymous secondhand scrutiny and lose optimism for the upcoming season”? You Dan, who covers the team THAT WON TWO CHAMPIONSHIPS AS THE BAD BOYS!!! THE VILLAINS OF THE NBA!!! WHO DIDN’T GIVE A FLYING HOOT WHAT ANYBODY THOUGHT ABOUT THEM!!!

      Zach Lowe, the Nate Silver of NBA analysis, the relayer of the criticism, can’t even deliver the message without disagreeing with it. I can’t believe this Dan. Just a few posts ago you were saying how you like the Josh Smith signing more than you dislike, and here you are waffling and going “Well if other ‘important’ people said it, without making any arguments or presenting any evidence, maybe I should change my feelings about the signing and become mildly pessimistic”. Yeesh, I can’t wait until the season starts so we can start arguing based on actual basketball gameplay.

      • Jul 26, 20133:02 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        There are reasons to like the Smith signing. There are reasons to dislike the Smith signing. Personally, I like it more than I dislike it. That doesn’t mean the reasons to dislike it are without merit.

      • Jul 26, 20133:28 pm
        by Crispus

        Reply

        Think you and the readers of this blog would be served better if you blew in the wind a little less. There would be less backlash and misunderstandings in the comments certainly, and a more focused set of discussions about the Pistons.

        It’s fine, even good, to acknowledge both sides of an issue. However when an article like this comes along – one that presents no new evidence, arguments or analysis other than the ‘fact’ that some crusty, unnamed GMs generally didn’t like the Smith signing – and you react by second guessing and equivocating all over a decision you have already said you are generally positive about, it’s confusing and annoying. 

        If their opinion is worrisome – why? Should we trust them? Are they thinking about money, or championships? What are you gleaning from Lowe’s game of telephone that we aren’t? How about a quick rundown (bullet points) of the perceived positives and negatives? Writing a little “Hey guys, we should be worried here.” does nothing but give pessimists a reason to re-vent their pessimism in the comments.

        • Jul 27, 20135:56 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          What you call blowing in the wind, I call discussing an issue with depth. I figure readers can handle that.

          “one that presents no new evidence, arguments or analysis other than the ‘fact’ that some crusty, unnamed GMs generally didn’t like the Smith signing” I read that basically as “one that presents no new evidence other than the new evidence it presents.”

          I certainly use the opinion of experts to inform my own opinion. If and how much you want to trust Lowe’s report is up to you. I believe it contains valid and useful information, and that’s why I posted it.

          • Jul 29, 201311:20 am
            by Crispus

            If by valid and useful you mean vague and unspecific. There’s no report. It’s literally a short paragraph that barely answers any of the cardinal questions:

            Who: Any number of NBA executives 
            What: The Josh Smith signing
            Where: Las Vegas
            When: Vegas Summer League Season
            Why: Not Clear (possibly Monroe’s extension)
            How : Chatting off the Record

            These aren’t impartial experts either, they are interested parties. If there was any reason given for their dislike of the signing, yes, explore it. See if it is valid. The way Lowe’s blurb is written, you can’t tell where the executives’ voices end and where his begins, and it ends up being more about Monroe’s extension more than Josh Smith. As it is, you are just amplifying your own doubts based on the hearsay of strangers, which might work in a longer article, but strikes a sour note in a such a small post.

    • Jul 26, 20132:31 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Kobina:

      “I don’t know if there is a less supportive, online fan-base in all of basketball.”

      The intention of this site is not to be ‘supportive.’ It’s to be news-driven. So if a respected national writer — and most would agree that Lowe is one of the best in the business right now — says he’s talked to numerous executives who don’t like the move, we will certainly post that. If the opposite were true, if there were national reports saying how great the move was, we’d undoubtedly link to those. I challenge you to dig around though. I think reaction to the Smith signing outside of Detroit has been lukewarm at best and there has been quite a bit of criticism about it. Linking to that coverage doesn’t have anything to do with wanting to be negative or positive — it’s just news. So we link it.

      So no, we won’t be taking up your suggestion to change the name. I would suggest you need to change your expectations. If you are looking for PR, if you are looking for glowing support of everything the team does, there’s a site that has you covered. And there’s nothing wrong with that either. There’s a place for positive PR in this world. But that never has been or never will be PistonPowered’s intention.

      • Jul 26, 20133:39 pm
        by alex

        Reply

        I love that you guys pulled together all the pistons related news-worthy items.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever thanked you.  So…Thank you.  It’s nice to have a place to find up-to-date news on something I’m interested in.

        But his point, or at least the part I agree with, is that there is an underlined tone in the majority of the posts on PistonPowered.com that reeks of cynicism and contempt.  You are definitely free to write what you want and how you want.  But you have to admit the amount of cynicism and sarcasm directed toward the pistons is present in most of this website.  And those things come from the authors, not necessarily just the news.

        I only mention it because it has turned me off to the site at times and I’d be surprised if it didn’t with other readers too, ones who may not be into commenting.  It’s great getting information about the pistons, as well as opinions from intelligent fans like you.  It’s just hard to read through the negativity and insults that come in the articles.  That’s not to say writing about negative things should be avoided.  But turning things negative or adding insulting comments to an otherwise neutral piece of news just for the heck of it gets old.
        But again, I know it’s your website.  This is just my perspective/critique.  Thanks again for the hard work you do.

        • Jul 26, 20133:58 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          “But his point, or at least the part I agree with, is that there is an underlined tone in the majority of the posts on PistonPowered.com that reeks of cynicism and contempt.”

          Cynicism, yes. Dumars has earned that. He has been saying every season for years that he has a playoff team on his hands and everyone he ever drafts is apparently bursting at the seams with character, whatever that means.

          Contempts, I don’t see it. Would it be contemptuous to say that the Bobcats have been godawful the past couple season? I don’t think so. This site hasn’t said that about the Pistons. Just that they’ve been bad, which they have been.

          There will be plenty of negativity and positivity in the comments, but that is kinda beyond the site’s control. As is the fact that most of the things that have been available to say about the Pistons lately have been negative.

          But they’ve been very positive about the bright spots: Monroe and Drummond. 

          • Jul 26, 20134:26 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            I just want to reiterate everything that tarsier said here.

            The Pistons are a run of the mill bad team over the last five years. Not spectacularly bad. Just bad. The tone of the site reflects that. Their have been worse teams, worse run organizations, worse draft picks made, worse signings, etc. None of that changes the fact that the Pistons overall have been poorly run and the results on the court reflect that. It deserves scrutiny.

            And, to another of tarsier’s points, we have been extremely positive about the bright spots. Monroe and Drummond are amazing young talents and a lot of fun to watch. In fact, I would argue we’ve gone out of our way to find more positive things to write about. We spent the entire lockout recapping EVERY SINGLE SEASON in team history. We wrote extensive and glowing posts about everything from Dennis Rodman’s jersey retirement and HOF induction to Ben Wallace’s last season as a Piston to the Palace facilities upgrades to Andre Drummond’s amazing Vine career. If you scroll one post up at the top of this site, you will find a post where I compare Monroe/Drummond to a possibly better version of Gasol/Howard. Hell, we even have an entire category of posts here devoted to how awesome Kim English was, even though on the court, he was decidedly not awesome. 

            Are we more negative than positive? I don’t really keep track. I would wager we probably are. That’s a product of the team being poorly run, boring and irrelevant for five years. It’s hard to remain steadfastly positive under those circumstances. But to say that we’re only negative or that we go out of our way to bash the team? That’s just lazy analysis. In fact, the opposite is true. We both go out of our way to find positive, fun or random posts to mix in and change things up.

          • Jul 26, 20136:35 pm
            by alex

            “But to say that we’re only negative or that we go out of our way to bash the team? That’s just lazy analysis.”  Speaking of lazy, didn’t say you were only negative.  Read the comment.
             
            Secondly, you may have trouble believing it or realizing it, but there are many posts on here that end with an insulting one-liner aimed at someone in the Pistons organization.  And many of those have nothing to do with what an article is actually reporting; it’s just a putdown or bringing up a past negative that really doesn’t have to do with the story.  If you still disagree, I guess I could take the five minutes that it would take to find several examples.
             
            But again, I didn’t put the comment out there to rag on anyone at the site.  I just thought it might be constructive criticism.  I really wouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of people that read your site a few times looking for pistons news and don’t come back because of the tone of the writing or the putdowns.  Just a perspective you may not get much.  I don’t comment often and this subject has been on my mind for quite a while.  Take it for what you want.

          • Jul 27, 20135:41 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Sure, Alex, I’ll take you up on your offer. Show me posts that end with an insulting one liner that has nothing to do with the topic of the post.

    • Jul 26, 20133:19 pm
      by Who Is Us

      Reply

      I would be curious about how many of the anonymous NBA executives who ars bashing the Pistons’ signing of Smith called up his agent on July 1 ready to make a run at him only to be rebuffed and really only dislike the move because they weren’t able to make it themselves. This is the same guy that pretty much every analyst and GM had rated as the 3rd be FA this season, yet now that the Pistons have him under contract (at $3mil. Less than ATL offered on an extension last year) everyone is going out of their way to tell anyone who will listen how much they dislike the signing.  

      • Jul 26, 20133:44 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        I don’t think they dislike the signing because of the dollars as much as because of the fit.

    • Jul 26, 20133:20 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      ‘A little perspective before you go taking sides with “anonymous” GM’s against the second greatest Piston of all time.’

      I’m confused by your use of quotation marks. Are you questioning these GMs’ anonymity? Also, when did Bob Lanier weigh in on this topic? 

      • Jul 27, 20131:42 pm
        by G

        Reply

        Ha! That was my first thought reading that comment – Lanier is EASILY the second-best Piston of all time. Where Dumars fits depends on where you rank Bing, Grant Hill, Billups, Rip, Ben Wallace, and Bison Dele (just kidding about Dele). I think as a player he’s somewhere in between 4th & 6th.

        Secondly, why should his playing career have any bearing on his career as an exec? It’s entirely irrelevant. Isiah Thomas is the greatest Piston ever, I slam his coaching & executive career to kingdom come, and it’s entirely justified. Dumars brought a championship as an exec so he gets credit for that, but he also has put them where they are right now with a series of crappy moves. He’s made some decent picks in the draft, but he’s made enough boneheaded calls in the past 10 years that he deserves a fair measure of criticism.

        • Jul 27, 20132:47 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          If you are not mad at Dumars as a GM and rather credit him than you could argue that Dumars is the 2nd best Piston of all time for his combined contribution and being an integral force in all 3 championships and all 5 finals appearances along with 11 conference finals.  

          • Jul 29, 201310:05 am
            by tarsier

            That still doesn’t answer the point that his careers as a player and an executive are separate and irrelevant to each other. But if you want to somehow count them together AND you ignore all his negatives, sure, you could make that argument. Heck, you could even argue he is the greatest Pistons ever because how does one weigh executive accomplishments against player ones?

            But if you are going to count his executive successes to his career, you also have to count his failures. And those include the ones he made during the Karen Davidson era. Having an excuse (and a terrible one at that) doesn’t make your mistakes go away.

          • Jul 29, 20139:51 pm
            by Max

            I didn’t say Dumars is the 2nd best Piston ever for these reasons.  I said it was a perspective one could hold. Nothing wrong with combining achievements if you want to and I consider Chuck Daly and other non players associated with the team to be Pistons.   Also, you can focus on the failings of Dumars as an executive but you can also focus on the notion that the team’s history of winning is incredibly tied to Dumars since he was an integral force in all of their great years and no one else can say the same.  

          • Jul 29, 201311:45 pm
            by tarsier

            I prefer not to focus on either but to consider both his successes and failings equally. That puts him way, way short of second greatest Piston ever.

          • Jul 30, 20132:31 pm
            by Max

            I feel like a lot of your comments in general underrate championships and great seasons.   Personally, I think it’s all about the rings and great seasons in terms of winning when judging anyone in the league so maybe I overrate them.  All I know is that most franchises have never won a ring and most teams don’t ever have anything like a sustained run of contending.    Such runs are special and extremely rare.   The point being that even one ring or finals appearance far outweighs many a bad season.   

  • Jul 26, 20132:07 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Did you know that 96.7% of NBA General Managers and Owners did not win the championship last year?

    They wanted him for themselves! As Dale Carnegie would say “No one kicks a dead dog”.

    • Jul 26, 20133:24 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Did you know that about 99.7% of NBA players did not win an MVP last year? So clearly they must know nothing about playing basketball. Only one team can win a championship, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the front offices are populated by idiots.

      I do think that GMs tend to be overrated, but your defense of that position was imbecilic. 

    • Jul 26, 20133:38 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      There are at least 15x as many players as GMs in the league so I don’t see how that scales. Also Joe D has championships as player and GM. So a better analogy would be Kobe, a few MVP nominees,past and present, and a bunch of guys who have never played in an all-star game (Deshawn Stevenson, Nazr Mohammed among them) collectively deciding that they disapprove of LeBron’s decision to not play any more Olympic basketball.

      I am saying that this amorphous mass of GM’s of various skill levels, have little authority to second guess their colleague. This has the ring of institutional gossip and nothing more. They can’t and won’t say more so we should take their criticism with a grain of salt.

      • Jul 26, 20134:00 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        If you’re going to invalidate a GM’s opinion because his team wasn’t the best in the league, it makes just as much sense to invalidate a player’s game because he wasn’t the best in the league. Whether the pool is 30 or 400+, the fact that there is only one best doesn’t make the rest worthless. That is your answer on how it scales.

  • Jul 26, 20132:09 pm
    by cali piston fan

    Reply

    preach Kobina, preach!

    • Jul 26, 20132:35 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery.”

      • Jul 26, 20132:55 pm
        by MIKEYDE248

        Reply

        I can’t wait for the season to start, because there is so little going on in the NBA right now, that all the commenters have to do is complain about the writing on this site.

        Get over it.  If you don’t like it, start your own site and maybe all the other people who only want to here about sunshine and roses will follow you.

        Keep up the good work guys.  It’s nice to have something to read about the Pistons in a time when most people don’t even think about basketball.

        • Jul 26, 20133:28 pm
          by Who Is Us

          Reply

          While I agree in general, I’m curious why this story is taking precedence cover trying to write a story about the fact that Monroe & Drummond combined for 23pts and 12rebs at at the Team USA Showcase last night and that Monroe’s biggest impact on the game came from his early defense then abuse of DeAndre Jordan in the 3rd quarter.

          So Dan & Patrick can we please get a story about that? Maybe some reaction from Joe D, Smith, and/or Billups Billups who were all there watching. Or from the men themselves, this is a big deal and the ESPN story about the game completely ignores their contributions  to the game, but was quick to praise Jordan by name despite being outplayed by Monroe and out scored by Drummond.

  • Jul 26, 20132:09 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    I think it mostly comes down to an issue of fit. You have virtually all of your eggs in one oversized basket, and even Keith Langlois said he thinks Smith, Drummond and Monroe are only going to play 15 minutes a game together (so, uh, starting each half and hardly playing any additional minutes together). This is no way to build a team, especially when you have zero above average perimeter players. I expect this experiment to be a mixed bag that will have plenty of downside and growing pains. And I don’t think you can dump ALL your damn resources into a “mixed bag” that presents as many (or more) disadvantages as advantages. So on that level, I understand the negativity.
     
    That said, I think a lot of these execs probably thought Detroit had their foundation of the future in Monroe and Drummond. I’ve heard plenty of blather about how great these two are going to be, but I haven’t seen a shred of chemistry between them. The team had them in a platoon for a reason. Moose has been the best Piston since he got here, and he’s clocked basically all of his minutes at center. That’s not a coincidence. That’s because it’s his best position. Likewise, PF is Smith’s best position. So you wait for the right trade to come along and you ship Monroe and maybe some other surplus bench depth and bring in a perimeter stud who can play alongside Smith and Drummond for more than 15 minutes a night.
     
    With or without Smith, I wouldn’t give Monroe anywhere near the extension he’s going to desire, command and deserve. Because his upside is at center. The proof is in the number of minutes he played at PF, even after Drummond came here, and the abysmal flow to the offense when they were in the game together. Smith won’t help the floor spacing issue, but neither would a floor-spacing SF. The only thing that’s going to space the floor is Monroe’s absent jumper.

    • Jul 26, 20133:12 pm
      by frankie d

      Reply

      2 things:
      -if monroe develops a dependable midrange jumper, the chances of a drummond/monroe pairing being successful increase dramatically.
      i agree that as monroe currently plays and situates himself on the court, there is simply no way that drummond and monroe can co-exist on the court for long periods.  they simply want to occupy the same spots on the court and they will create all sort of problems as a result.
      however, if monroe is able to hit that jumper, he can play with drummond the same way that gasol played with bynum when the lakers won 2 titles.  they proved that such a twin towers set up could be wildly successful, if managed correctly.  but it is crucial that monroe be able to hit that shot out to about16 feet, as gasol was able to do.
      -if detroit does move monroe, he should command a king’s ransom.  teams just don’t trade young seven footers with his upside without getting a very nice return.  consider the kinds of offers that were rumored when cousins’ name was bandied about in trade rumors.  teams were lining up with lots of goodies, despite cousins’ checkered record.  while cousins might, still, be considered to have the greater upside, imho, monroe has clearly been the better player since they both arrived in the nba.  if cousins might demand the kind of bounty rumored, joe d should be able to command a trade, for monroe, that should address detroit’s point guard or wing needs for the next decade.
      not that i would necessarily recommend trading him – i would not, as smith would be the guy i would ship out if it looked as though there was an untenable logjam up front – but i would trade anyone – including drummond – for the right offer. 

      • Jul 26, 20135:46 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        1) Yes, I’d go so far as to say the chances of their pairing literally hinge entirely on Monroe’s ability to consistently hit a midrange jumper. 100% the only thing that truly matters. But the guy came here with a reputation of being able to hit that jumper, and he hasn’t done it in three years. Heck, it should have been his #1 priority in terms of areas of his game to work on from the moment Drummond was drafted, but it still hasn’t happened. Therefore, I will not hold my breath.
         
        1.5) Even if he does develop that jumper, you’re still going to be dealing with his poor defense and lack of athleticism, and his upside has always been at center, so I’m just plain not eager to go pay this guy a max extension to play out of position.
         
        2) Monroe’s value is a large part of why I’m very itchy to trade him. Especially while he’s still on his rookie contract and making like 4 mil. I can’t say there’s a player in the league I’d trade Drummond for. And assuming Monroe DOES NOT develop that 16 footer, you simply can’t afford to keep him. So we’ll see how the season plays out, but I think we’re still looking at some ridiculous mismanagement if this awful franchise keeps insisting on playing guys out of position because it doesn’t know what it’s doing.

    • Jul 26, 20133:50 pm
      by Who Is Us

      Reply

      Otis, the fact that Monroe has logged a majority of his mins at center actually is a coincidence. Until they drafted Drummond who did they have at center? No one. Playing next to Ben Monroe was the PF but he was able to operate out of the block offensively because of Ben’s complete lack of an offensive game. Last year he was the only player with legitimate NBA front court size on the team who wasn’t a rookie or named Charlie V. Had Frank been willing to play Drummond instead of Maxiell Monroe would have had many more mins at PF, and Frank might still be the coach in Detroit.

      As for having three very good bugs who may only play a total of 15 or so mins a game together, not being a good way to build a team, I would have to disagree with you until it is proven not to work. I think this is exactly how you build a team. It is reminiscent of when the Pistons had Wallace, Wallace, and Okur. That line up gave them the opportunity to have two All-Star caliber bugs on the floor at the same time for pretty much the whole game, and it made a big difference and showed when Okur left for Utah. It is the same reason the brought in McDyess and then Webber after Big Ben left. 3 quality bugs roasting through the whole game. 

      Having Smith allows the Piston’s to do the same thing, with the added bonus of having 3potential All-Stars on the floor at the same time, for about 15mins a game. Personally, I’d much rather see Smith, Drummond, and Monroe playing sparingly together, but rotating through the front court and keeping guys like Charlie V. and Jerebko on the bench.

      • Jul 26, 20134:22 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Normally I’m don’t nitpick English mistakes, but you really need commas. I just spent 15 seconds trying to figure out what the heck you were talking about and who you thought Ben Monroe was.

      • Jul 26, 20136:10 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        It’s not a coincidence. Who else did they have at center? Nobody. But shoot, who else did they have at power forward? NOBODY. This team had NOTHING. When your team has one (1) good player and literally nobody else who truly demands minutes, you play your best player at his best position and put pieces around him.
         
        When they were already “preparing” (or whatever) to slide Moose to PF, and then Drummond went down, I think Monroe played maybe five total minutes at PF with Kravtsov at center. Kravtsov may not be a star, but he’s no worse an option at center than Jerebko, Maxiell, Villanueva are at PF. The important thing is putting your best players in a position to be successful, and I’ll be darned if Monroe (in three wasted losing seasons) didn’t spend almost his entire NBA life at center. It’s not an accident. It’s where his skills are most valuable and his drawbacks are least problematic.
         
        I don’t think you could find me a successful franchise who played their best player out of position. You can’t compare this to Ben, Sheed and Okur for many reasons: 1) Sheed and Okur could both spread the floor better than Smith, who spreads the floor better than Monroe and Drummond. So 2 of your 3 bigs are 3 point threats right there. I could stop there, that’s how bad your example is, but why not add another: 2) The Pistons back then had TALENT on the perimeter. Chauncey and Rip were rightly considered the league’s best backcourt. My premise is based on the fact that ALL OUR EGGS are in this Smith/Monroe/Drummond basket. We have literally ZERO perimeter players who are even above average.
         
        If we have no talent around them, these three have to be SO DAMN GOOD it’s insane. And most everyone seems to acknowledge some predictable drawbacks, like floor spacing. In basketball, everybody knows how important it is to have the best player on the floor (see: Lebron single-handedly killing us in 2007), to put guys on the floor who complement each other, to put your best unit on the floor at the end of close games. Even people who think these three have promise acknowledge that there will be significant drawbacks. It’s ridiculous to pour 99% of your assets into a group of guys who can’t play big minutes together and make each other, and their teammates, better. It flies in the face of absolutely everything anyone’s ever learned about basketball.

        • Jul 27, 201312:31 am
          by Max

          Reply

          The Knicks made the finals while playing Latrell Sprewell, who I and most New Yorkers considered their best player at the time, out of position at small forward because neither he nor Alan Houston had a strong enough dribble to play any point guard.    Apart from the finals, they played pretty successfully with Sprewell playing out of position for years.  

          And this is all nonsense because Monroe is a power forward who has been playing out of position most of his NBA career.   When he was drafted, he was projected not even as a PF/C but simply as a PF.    He has also played his best ball overall in the NBA while starting at PF with Big Ben next to him.  

           

    • Jul 26, 20135:11 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      Otis really pisses me off.   Stop saying Monroe has only played center.  He played power forward with Ben Wallace starting next to him at center and was much more comfortable and more of an actual asset on defense.   I keep saying this to you and you keep making your wholly ignorant statements.   Also, Monroe has thrown alley oops to Drummond so that is a shred of chemistry and something most big men can’t do for other big men but Monroe can.   

      • Jul 26, 20135:13 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        And btw: the first time Drummond was subbed in to play with Monroe the team immediately went on a 10-2 run as they beasted.  

      • Jul 26, 20135:47 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Max, with all due respect, you are by far the least respected commenter I’ve seen here.

        • Jul 27, 201312:03 am
          by Max

          Reply

          Based on what and you are still dodging my repeated question?   Do you have any memory of Monroe playing PF with Big Ben or don’t you? 

          • Jul 27, 20132:22 pm
            by Otis

            Based on following this site for the last few years. And I wouldn’t exactly say “Monroe played power forward and Ben played center,” because that wasn’t strictly true. I seem to remember Blaha’s starting lineups describing Ben as the PF and Moose as the center during those times. Also, Monroe’s best position is center by a country mile. Deal with it.

          • Jul 27, 20132:59 pm
            by Max

            All I see in your response regarding me and Moose is your wrongheaded opinion.  

            I won’t bother with me but as to Monroe:  when Monroe played with Big Ben, Wallace guarded the tougher big scorer and, more importantly for this question, guarded the rim.  Monroe was simply a much better defender when someone else had the main responsibility of the rim and the better big scorer.   The league is heading in the direction of just playing two bigs and there are only a handful of true centers.  For you to think Monroe fits the definition of center better than power forward is laughable.   He doesn’t play above the rim, he isn’t a hulk of strength and he’s better at getting steals than blocks.    During his college days he did play center but he played it out of the high post and he excels at passing to players who are cutting into the paint.   As has been pointed out in the Drummond/Monroe comparison to Howard or Bynum/Gasol, Monroe actually has some similarity to Gasol who can play center but has always played better at power forward and been more comfortable.   The only points I see you making that would make Monroe a better center than power forward is that his midrange jumper has been shaky and that he isn’t that fast or athletic.   Well, many a good power forward has been less athletic with a worse jumper so these are not good arguments.  I dealt with it.    

  • Jul 26, 20132:13 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Most NBA GM’s probably didn’t like the Rockets signing Howard, either. double meaning? Maybe.

    I didn’t want them to sign Smith, either. But I’ve become ok with it. An espn writer rated josh smith as the 3rd best free agent available this year. Better to sign a non-ideal fit with talent than nobody. The team is well-placed with trade assets and cap space the next two years to find the long-term point guard they still need. If they pull that off within two years, they are set up to be a quality playoff team again, and even a contender if Monroe and Drummond approach their ceilings.  Hard to complain about that, unless that’s what you mostly want to do.

  • Jul 26, 20132:22 pm
    by Scott

    Reply

    Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think it’s too early to condemn the J. Smith signing by fan/writer/GM etc. Dumars is not done with the roster, we don’t know what the depth chart will look like until a trade is forged. Also Smith is the best player on our roster, and was the 3rd best FA available, who complains about signing a top FA really? Seems whiny to me. Lastly Smith will likely be playing big minutes at PF where he seems to excel. I’m not saying that everything will work out , but it seems like there’s enough positives, that even GMs should refrain from judgement until they put their roster on the court against ours. They might be queasy about Monroe’s max extension, but the statement also recognizes that the Pistons will have the cap space to make it fit….so I’d bet their more queasy about having to start their starting front court against ours. We should dominate the paint and rebounds when smith/drummond/monroe play together. Rebounds, fast break points, turnover and 3pt. shooting  are all winning statistics, and we can excel in those areas imo. There’s just too many positives about the signing for anyone to love/hate it. It’s a wait and see type of deal. optimism>pessimism until the signing can be properly evaluated by everyone.

  • Jul 26, 20132:35 pm
    by Pistons87

    Reply

    According to reports most NBA GM’s have never built an NBA championship team.  The current list includes:

    Mitch Kupchak
    Pat Riley
    Danny Ainge
    RC Buford/Popovich
    Joe Dumars      

    • Jul 26, 20132:42 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Most GMs also don’t have five straight years of losing records and keep their jobs.

      • Jul 26, 20133:49 pm
        by alex

        Reply

        I thought we were suppose to tank on purpose this year…and if Dumars was a good GM he would be losing on purpose…?

        • Jul 26, 20134:23 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          If he had tanked well, it either would not have lasted 5 years or the Pistons would be sitting on a fabulous core now instead of one that might be on par with Washington and Cleveland.

          • Jul 27, 201312:16 am
            by Max

            I don’t agree with this because the Pistons may well have drafted inferior players if they had had higher draft picks.   

          • Jul 27, 20132:03 pm
            by G

            So your argument is Joe Dumars is a good GM and is right for not tanking because he might’ve picked worse players with higher draft picks? Yeah, that makes sense to me…

          • Jul 27, 20132:29 pm
            by Otis

            On command, Max, you’ve provided a stunning example of why you’re the worst commenter here (again, with all due respect. I’m not trying to trash you, but you’re killing us all slowly with these comments). Most of the time, I read something you said and I genuinely don’t think it’s possible that you could actually believe the hogwash you just said. The advantage of picking in the 7-9 range is because you might have drafted worse players if you drafted earlier… Right. Talking like this is what gets people institutionalized.
             
            I can never tell if you’re simply being argumentative for the sake of disagreeing with sane, rational arguments OR if all of your opinions on basketball are just inherently wrongheaded. Maybe you were born on opposite day or something. I think I’ve literally agreed with you never. Not trying to be mean here, but where do you come up with this junk?

          • Jul 27, 20133:06 pm
            by Max

            First, I simply don’t believe in tanking.  

            Second, tanking doesn’t guarantee a top three pick.  Looking back at the last four years, if the Pistons drafted in the top five every year, the probably would have done worse because they probably wouldn’t have drafted Monroe and Drummond and I don’t look at the players that were available and wish I had them instead of what the Pistons got.   I’m happy with Monroe and Drummond–those two represent top 2-3 pick talent anyway.   If tanking guaranteed the very first pick every year of the four the Pistons would have done better but that never would have happened. 

          • Jul 27, 20133:09 pm
            by Max

            You see, I wasn’t arguing for lower draft picks being better in the abstract but more in terms of who the Pistons actually drafted.   Better to have Drummond and Monroe.  Derrick Williams for instance looks like a bust. 

      • Jul 26, 20135:19 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I don’t have any stats Patrick but I’d have to disagree with you.  Most GMs are hired and have about five years to turn the team around and most fail miserably.   Five years seems to me a low number in general to keep the job.   Again, I don’t know the actual numbers but I can point to GMs like Elgin Baylor who kept his job from 1986-2008 with the team being pretty much awful the whole time.   Wes Unseld, Willis Reed, Isiah Thomas and list would go on and on of GMs who held the job longer than five years without having any success.  

        • Jul 26, 20135:20 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Also, despite the losing record, the Pistons made the playoffs five years ago and I dislike how the phrase, “five losing years” seeks to omit or bury this fact.   

          • Jul 26, 20136:29 pm
            by Otis

            Ah, Max. My least favorite. We meet again.
             
            So how would you describe the 08-09 season? I’d use words like: Miserable, hopeless, depressing, chaotic. The team never managed to gain traction of any kind and limped into the playoffs without even the faintest prayer of winning a single game. Oh, and the guy they brought in the express purpose of giving them a different dynamic in the playoffs was already dismissed from the team. It was one of the worst seasons ever… until the next four.
             
            In other words: Making the playoffs was not an accomplishment. Not in any way, shape or form. By the time the playoffs were approaching, most fans were rooting for the team to land in the lottery. That’s how bleak the outlook was. There are probably instances where making the playoffs with no hope whatsoever of winning even one game could be considered an accomplishment, but not that season.

          • Jul 26, 20139:08 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “Also, despite the losing record, the Pistons made the playoffs five years ago and I dislike how the phrase, “five losing years” seeks to omit or bury this fact.”

            So you’d define that season as a success? The one in which Dumars hired the first of three straight in over his head coaches? The one in which Dumars traded Billups, which even Dumars now admitted was a mistake? The one in which the team coasted most nights, was embarrassed in the first round and finished sub-.500? You’re defining that as a successful season because they played the role of the Milwaukee Bucks that season and held the eight seed because someone had to? That’s an incredibly low bar for success.

          • Jul 27, 201312:08 am
            by Max

            I’m not describing it as a success but to omit the fact that they did make the playoffs is stacking the deck more than it deserves against Joe Dumars.   Also, they actually played pretty well through the first few months of the season that year and fell apart in the last month.   At midseason they were looking much better than an 8 seed.    Further, the season did prove they could be better than a team that win twenty something games a year with Stuckey in the starting lineup and at the time he was their chief prospect.   I would take that kind of season over any of the four that followed.   

          • Jul 27, 20132:15 pm
            by G

            After making 6 conference finals, that season was a travesty. Detroit absolutely embarrassed themselves down the stretch, getting swept in the first round & looking for all the world like the didn’t give a shit. I was at game 3 of that series with my dad, & both of us agreed it was the worst Pistons game we’d ever been to. I still think that, despite going to several games in the crappy years that followed.

            What made that year so bad is expectations for that team were to be at least a fair-to-middlin’ playoff team and hold ground in the playoffs. The drop off from being the #2 team in basketball in 2008 (59 wins) to the crapfest of 2009 (39 wins) is a travesty, and giving them credit for making the playoffs that year doesn’t hold water. Phoenix didn’t make the playoffs that year despite winning 46 games.

      • Jul 26, 20136:23 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        Patrick: Honestly, five straight losing seasons happens. Once the ink was dry on CV/BG, this team was all but doomed to five years of complete and total misery, and no matter who took over as GM, they couldn’t do much of anything about it until those contracts expired (or, if they were exceptionally stupid like Joe, they could have used a #1 pick to shorten the misery by one year). Not defending Dumars, as he should have been fired by now, but five consecutive losing seasons isn’t unprecedented. Or even THAT unusual.
         
        What’s completely unprecedented is that at NO point during these five completely hopeless years was Joe a seller of any kind. Not at any trade deadlines, even when he had pieces like Max and Prince who could have been moved for modest returns, not over the summer, never. No attempt to pick up an extra draft pick. Nothing. Heck, somehow we managed to dump a pick without acquiring a significant building block. I don’t think that’s EVER happened in NBA history. Every rebuilding team I can think of had at least one veteran who they traded to speed up the rebuild. That’s what drives me nuts.

        • Jul 26, 20139:12 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Yeah, I agree with that point … my issue with Dumars isn’t really the mistakes. Even great GMs make dumb moves — the Spurs giving away Scola, OKC not getting great value out of the Harden trade, etc. Countless examples of that.

          The issue with Dumars, as you point out, was a clear stubbornness when it came to rebooting.

          • Jul 29, 201310:17 am
            by tarsier

            This is precisely what I mean when I refer to his having a complete lack of vision. Every season for the past several years, he has deluded himself into thinking that the Pistons would be in the mix to make the playoffs and that that was an acceptable place to be.

            I don’t know how he was unable to see how bad his team was when the rest of the world could see it plain as day (it’s not like he was bringing out a different terrible team every year, it was just the same cast on rinse and repeat). And I don’t know how he thought that “contending for the playoffs” was an acceptable point to be even if he was when the team only contained a couple guys who could be expected to make much improvement at all year-to-year.

            In another post a little back, Dan said it was unfair to blame Dumars for not using the amnesty because clearly he would have wanted to. Based on his blindness to the state of affairs of his own team shown repeatedly in the past, I have no reason to believe that he really did fight for Gores to let him amnesty CV. 

          • Jul 29, 201311:54 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            He traded a first-round pick just to dump Gordon. It clearly would have been better to amnesty Gordon. It is impossible to make a basketball-based argument otherwise. The only reason to make the trade was to save Gores money.

            As far as Villanueva, I would have preferred amnesty, but it’s at least possible to make a basketball-based argument in favor of keeping him. I don’t know the reason they didn’t amnesty Villanueva — how much the decision was Gores’ and how much it was Dumars’. But the fact that Gores was clearly the driving force behind the Gordon situation might tell us something about the Villanueva situation.

             

          • Jul 30, 20131:49 pm
            by tarsier

            I’d say it would also have been clearly better to swap Prince for Butler and pick up a free draft pick. But Dumars didn’t do that either.

            Without any evidence that Dumars made a push to amnesty BG, I don’t know how you can just assume that he did.

            And by “made a push” I don’t mean he had a slight preference to dos o but that he realized how valuable a pick was and made a real case to Gores.

          • Jul 30, 20132:01 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            Neither of us have any idea what type of push Dumars made, but here are two things we do know:

            • Dumars wanted Gordon off the team.
            • Removing Gordon could have cost the Pistons a draft pick or not cost the Pistons a draft pick.

            It’s inconceivable a general manager would prefer to lose a first-round pick than to keep it in that trade.

            The potential Butler trade has nothing to do with anything. That’s your opinion, but it’s conceivable a GM would prefer to keep Prince.

            Seriously, make up one reasonable argument why Dumars would prefer to lose the pick while losing Gordon. You can’t, because one doesn’t exist.

  • Jul 26, 20132:44 pm
    by Bill Laimbeer

    Reply

    “There is a contingent of fans who don’t believe the media is capable of intelligent analysis (though I don’t know why those fans would be reading this site)”

    Obviously to reaffirm this belief. =P

  • Jul 26, 20132:46 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    To me it seems like the article is saying that they don’t like the fact they the Pistons signed Josh Smith and will also still have the money to resign Monroe next year.  Because most GM’s would like to have the chance to sign Monroe next year.

    Everyone keeps saying that Monroe has been our best player since he walked on the floor for the Pistons and in the same sentence say we need to trade him.  I guess I just don’t understand why you would want to trade your best player?

  • Jul 26, 20132:47 pm
    by Kobina

    Reply

    Sorry Pat, Dan puts too much negative editorial content in these links to claim “just sourcing content.”  There’s a bit too much cheering against the Pistons going on here.

    My opinion. 

    • Jul 26, 20132:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Sorry Pat”

      Apology accepted.

      “Dan puts too much negative editorial content in these links to claim “just sourcing content.””

      I didn’t claim that we’re “just sourcing content.” I claimed that we’re news driven. We certainly both have opinions — ones that we’re both very open about — and offer analysis on most anything we post. But the point is, outside of Detroit, as I said above, reaction to the Smith signing has been mixed. It’s fair to point that out, and it doesn’t mean that it’s being ‘negative.’ It’s pointing out that there are multiple expert opinions out there on the signing.

      “There’s a bit too much cheering against the Pistons going on here.”

      I don’t think anyone is rooting for them to fail. In fact, I think we can all agree that we want the team to be really good and fun to watch. But there are now five years of evidence of the team making questionable moves — bad draft picks (Daye, Summers), bad signings (Gordon, Villanueva, Prince, Hamilton) and bad coaching hires (Curry, Kuester, Frank). There’s enough of a track record of bad decisions that it is completely within bounds to question whether the front office made the right moves this offseason.

      Questioning whether they still know how to build a winning team is not “rooting against.” It’s raising appropriate questions about their overall lack of competence they’ve displayed over the last five years.

  • Jul 26, 20133:00 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Most of those guys have never won a championship, and never will… 

    • Jul 27, 20132:17 pm
      by G

      Reply

      I’m pretty sure Dumars forgot how, since almost everything he’s done since winning has moved the team in the other direction.

  • Jul 26, 20133:16 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Wondered what People would have said if we signed Nobody …. or we signed another 3rd-4th tier caliber player….

    Smh … Oh well 

    • Jul 26, 20133:45 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Agreed.  I would much rather be talking about signing the 3rd best FA, when we knew they didn’t even have a chance at the top two, than talking about resigning Max to a new contract or bringing in another Ben Gordon or CV.

      • Jul 27, 20135:50 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        Um, you realize Gordon was widely viewed as one of the top free agents in 2009, right?

        • Jul 29, 20138:49 am
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          “”Um, you realize Gordon was widely viewed as one of the top free agents in 2009, right?”"

          Im mad late, Side:note I wish there was a formatt on this site that would let you know if someone replied to your comment.

          Anyway…

          that my point , Dan… The market sets the Price for these players… Ben Gordon averaged 21ppg 45% and 41% for 3′s…the season prior to that he averaged 19ppg, and the season before that 21ppg …. He was a legit scorer in this league….and he was only 25 years old… so He was worth the money…if he had stayed the course for his production

          Hell even Charlie was a decent signing, His last season with the Bucks he averaged 17ppg and 7rebs,..legit stretch 4 type, was even better as a starter and he was only 24 years old…it wasnt a horrible contract 5 years 35 mill…

          No one could/or did predict that both would hit a career wall and completely fall off…no one could predict that our Pistons team would become soo dysfuctional…and have a run of horrible coaching

          So signing Josh Smith was the right thing to do without a shadow of a doubt in my eyes….now we have to wait and see

  • Jul 26, 20133:42 pm
    by Einstein

    Reply

    Dan, Dan, Dan how I continue to disagree with you. The pan the Pistons for signing an All-Star (Smith snubbed for Joakim Noah this year….really Joakim Noah?) and they laud the Howard signing for $22 million a year. I don’t understand it. Howard is overrated, he’s getting paid like Shaq but doesn’t play like him, but that’s a great move and signing Smith is a bad move?? In what universe. GM’s are wrong frequently. FREQUENTLY. Stromile Swift. Darko. Greg Oden. Darius Miles. Nikoloz Tskitishvilli. Need I keep going?

    • Jul 26, 20134:41 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      What do you have against Noah? He’s a beast.

      • Jul 27, 201312:35 am
        by Max

        Reply

        It just seems like he believes Smith is better than Noah.  

    • Jul 27, 20135:43 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      So if the Pistons had signed Howard, you’d be here saying how wrong they were?

      • Jul 28, 201310:45 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        This wasn’t directed at me but I thank the stars that the Pistons didn’t sign Howard because I couldn’t root for him.  I also couldn’t really root for anyone but the Pistons so if they signed Howard I’d probably just have to stop watching basketball until he was no longer on the team or got hurt or something.  

        The same thinking is why I remain happy Dumars didn’t draft Anthony even though he’s so much better than Darko and Stuckey.   

  • Jul 26, 20133:46 pm
    by Einstein

    Reply

    @ Patrick Hayes – Most teams keep their coach after great seasons, but Denver and Memphis didn’t. Your point?

    • Jul 26, 20134:14 pm
      by GEORGIO

      Reply

      TOUCHE, Einstein!!!

    • Jul 26, 20134:32 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      There’s far more precedent in the modern NBA for a team to part ways with a successful coach than for a team that has had five straight losing seasons to keep a GM.

      And I’m not even saying Dumars should be fired. I’m just saying that after five losing seasons, it’s far from ridiculous to ask the question. He’s done a bad job. His long tenure, success years ago, etc. complicate things, but if the Pistons don’t have a winning record this year, he’ll have as many losing seasons (seven) as winning ones during his career.

      • Jul 26, 20139:10 pm
        by Who Is Us

        Reply

        There is only one similar precedent on record that I can think of: Jerry West. Built the Showtime Lakers, team stunk in the 90′s, rebuilt the team around Kobe and Shaq.
         
        West managed about a decade of mediocrity without losing his job and bounced back in championship fashion. I dont see that happening for Joe D. The playoffs yes, but a championship is a long way off. I’m a huge Joe D supporter, but if this team doesnt win, I think it will be, and propably should be, all she wrote for Dumars in Detroit.

        • Jul 26, 20139:25 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          After they lost to the Bulls in the Finals in 91 and Magic retired, the Lakers missed the playoffs just once in the 90s and had a sub-.500 record just twice though. After those two sub-.500 seasons, they won 48 and 53 games, then Shaq and Kobe showed up in 96-97 and they were back on track as contenders. So their downturn was barely noticeable compared to what Dumars has experienced. There was no bottoming out for the Lakers.

          Granted, they have infinitely more resources to get better quickly, but that’s the issue with Dumars — he tried to use a Lakers-like approach of retooling on the fly and spent money on the wrong players, then he compounded it by not cutting bait and completely bottoming out, so the rebuild has lasted much longer than it needed to. I’m far more confident about the team heading into this season than I have been in quite a while, but you’re right … it’s pretty clear Dumars doesn’t have much margin for error if the team underachieves.

           

          • Jul 27, 201312:45 am
            by Max

            The Lakers still had HOF James Worthy to boot and he was awesome in the years following Magic’s retirement.   I’d also like to add in West’s defense that there was no way he could have planned on Magic’s announcement and early retirement.  Take any of the five best players of their team right now and have them retire and think about how easy it would be for the team to rebound quickly.   West did a phenomenal job. 

      • Jul 27, 201312:37 am
        by Max

        Reply

        Elgin Baylor?  Wes Unseld?   No precedent?  

        • Jul 27, 201312:42 am
          by Max

          Reply

          Wish we could edit comments.  

  • Jul 26, 20133:51 pm
    by Derek AKA Redeemed

    Reply

    I don’t care about how the NBA execs feel about the Josh Smith signing.  He’s a Piston now.  He has strengths and weaknesses like every other player.  He sures up our defense increasing the margin of error for players who miss their defensive assignments.  Paired with Drummond, Josh Smith gives us a potentially special and versatile defense.

    I like what Moose said about the signing and making it work.  He said they were all fairly intelligent guys and should be able to figure it out.  Right now I positive about the signing while recognizing there are valid reasons for concern…like there are valid reasons for concern in any signing.

    • Jul 26, 20134:23 pm
      by Toozman

      Reply

      The signing of Smith is a major talent infusion.  Is he the best fit?  No, but my guess is that after a dozen games or so, it will become pretty obvious what needs to be done going forward.  My guess is that the other GM’s don’t like it from a fit prospective.  Whoop-de-dam-doo.  They’re probably not going to like it when their squirrely little guards drive the lane on our frontline, either.

      We’re automatically a better and more talented team with Smith in the rotation.  Throw in improvement from our youngs, and we should be playing meaningful basketball in April for the first time in five years… 

  • Jul 26, 20134:41 pm
    by Russ

    Reply

    Funny you should tell on yourself media never gets it right only by luck I have been watching sports basketball particularly  for 46 years played in high school and listen to the media and sports writers just for entertainment they never get it right they change there minds on how well or had bad a teams does on a daily basis. So it is the circus that is so funny to me its fun to watch and I still love the game just because of the game. Some people take sports way to serious and that takes the fun out of it. I love the Pistons win or lose because it is a great game to watch the ebb and flow of the sport is kinda like life. Yes winning is better than losing but when we are losing I know it is only a matter of time before we win again I know this team is going to do great I just have a feeling I don’t need stats or numbers to tell me that and to all the writers and analyst that come with there it wont work opinions all I do is laugh at the jokers. Like the Heat and the Spurs what a great series to me there were no winners or losers just two great teams going at it and it could have went either way.   

  • Jul 26, 20135:23 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    ESPN’s Fantasy Focus podcast went up the other day and they went over the free agents and rookies in terms of fantasy numbers.  Anyway, they predicted Josh Smith would have a career best season. 

    • Jul 26, 20139:01 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      He’ll get minutes and shots on this team for sure. It’s not inconceivable.

  • Jul 26, 20135:25 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    So if all the executives loved the signing, you would love the signing? Are you not capable of forming your own opinion?

    Who cares what other teams think? How many of those other team’s executives have championships on their resume? yeah, probably very few. I’ll trust Hall of Famer and 3x Champion Joe Dumars’ opinion instead.

    • Jul 27, 20132:21 pm
      by G

      Reply

      5 years of crappy moves don’t give you pause?

    • Jul 27, 20136:11 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      I’m open-minded enough that the opinions of experts color my own opinion.

      • Jul 28, 201311:09 pm
        by Who Is Us

        Reply

        LOL, I see what you did there!

    • Jul 29, 201310:21 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      That’s why Jordan has never made a mistake as an executive.

  • Jul 26, 20135:32 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    They felt that Smith was not a great fit.  UNDERSTANDABLY … but OK. He is probably 2 young a player but has anyone thought of bring Monroe off the bench ala Kevin Mchale. ( just a thought )    We would still need a starting 3 to come threw.  I am worried about over paying Monroe in the long run when we really need a great perimeter players and more shooters.  Did any of you notice how may teams went deep in the playoffs had lights out shooters  (often multiple shooters ) ?

    As for the fans with the JD is a winner so he make us great again someday attitude and are now all worried about a critical look at the managing of the team, Well they lost there right to question our questioning about 3 years ago … 

    • Jul 26, 20136:39 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I have no doubt whatsoever that this team would be better if they rotated Smith, Moose and Drummond pretty much exclusively at the 4-5 than trying to put them all on the floor together at the 3-4-5.
       
      I also have no doubt whatsoever that several trades exist that would send Monroe to another team in exchange for a player who complements Smith and Drummond better and would improve the team.
       
      I also just plain don’t want to give Monroe a max extension. Not that it’s a foregone conclusion that this won’t work, but better to evaluate things quickly and trade him sooner rather than later.

      • Jul 27, 201312:40 am
        by Max

        Reply

        I’m glad the people making the decisions have doubts regarding your line of thinking.   You act as if there is no benefit in destroying other teams on the boards and scaring teams away from entering the paint.  It’s not only wholly pessimistic but one sided thinking.     

        • Jul 27, 20132:25 pm
          by G

          Reply

          There are positive to trotting out all 3 guys together, but what about the fact that they would clog the paint on offense? Or if they don’t, then resign yourself to watch Smith jack up a bunch of long 2′s all year. It would be preferable to move Monroe & get a 3 that has some range. This team is just built weirdly as it is.

          • Jul 27, 20133:21 pm
            by Max

            The only 3s I would trade Monroe for are James, Durant and George and that is not happening.  

        • Jul 27, 20132:54 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Max, it’s almost like you’re not paying attention. I’m still not sure whether you believe anything you write here, but you need to work harder at figuring out what other people are saying and why, or else you’ll never be taken seriously. I’ll break this one down for you:
           
          The issue is not that there is “NO” benefit to having the biggest front line in the league. There’s almost always going to be some benefit if you’re the “___est” anything in the league, as long as it’s not a negative adjective. I never said it’s ALL downside. Never even came close to implying it. In fact, I’ve said on numerous occasions that Smith-Monroe-Drummond would be one of the best 4-5 rotations in the league.
           
          The issue is that these three come with benefits and drawbacks, especially if you’re putting them all on the floor at the same time. The drawbacks are going to be obvious every single time the Pistons try to get into a half court set. The opposing defense doesn’t have to worry about ANY of our three best players hurting them from outside five feet. So there will be at least three or four defenders packing the paint. Every time. So as long as we can get 100 stops a game and score 99% of our points in transition (so the opposing defense can’t set up) we’ll be fine and win 5, 6, 7 championships. It’s just prohibitively unlikely.
           
          It’s a matter of how many assets you have and how you choose to distribute them. If you put absolutely everything you have into three guys, they’d better be well-rounded, complement each other, make each other and their teammates better, and they have to be a BIG enough strength to make up for your team’s weaknesses. You can’t invest this heavily in a “mixed bag” that can hurt you as much as it can help. You can’t do that and expect to win. It would be infinitely smarter to have a player of Monroe’s caliber on the perimeter (probably PG or SF) instead.

          • Jul 27, 20133:19 pm
            by Max

            Monroe was a high post specialist in college and as has been pointed out by me and many others, they can start all three and rotate them to the degree that they only play 12-15 minutes with them all on the floor.  Bringing Monroe or Drummond off the bench is a scary recipe because it could lead to losing them.   I also don’t believe that more than 2 teams in the eastern conference have the personal to clog the post as well as you are implying all teams will be able to do.   You can’t clog the post effectively when you are giving up lots of size at every single position.   I don’t think you are giving enough respect to how dominant the trio potentially could be against soft front lines and most front lines are soft these days.  

          • Jul 29, 201312:33 pm
            by Otis

            God damn it Max. The point is you don’t have anything else! Nothing else! On the entire roster!
             
            It doesn’t take “personnel” to clog the post. It takes bodies. Everyone in the NBA has a center and a power forward and a small forward, and you’ll get an excellent view of all three of them (and possibly more) right up front in the paint standing in the way and drawing charges. No matter how much size you’re giving up, you can clog the post as much as you want.
             
            If these three are absolutely dominant and the best front line in the game, we’ll win a lot of games. It just seems wildly unlikely. And besides, it’s absolutely insane to pour all your assets into a trio of guys with this many legitimate question marks. If they’re simply “above average” this team absolutely has to move someone. Someone named Greg.

          • Jul 29, 201310:04 pm
            by Max

            Watch the gamma rays Otis.  It seems like you see everything in just one color with no shades of grey.  Have you given up on KCP already?  Is he not an asset?  Personally, I don’t believe in Knight but the book on him isn’t finished yet either.  What about the Pistons new Italian rookie?   What about Toni Mitchell?   Is Singler horrible and useless?   You are painting things much too black.

            Also, not every team has a center, power forward and a small forward.  I would say that most teams just play 2 bigs at this point and that very few quality bigs are true centers.  Shaq would tell you he was the last center to play in the NBA.  As for all teams being able to stand in front of the Pistons front line, have you ever heard of there being a defensive violation for staying in the paint?   And who led the league in charges last year anyway?   I know the numbers on charges are pretty low so it’s not like any team of all time even has proven they can draw frequent charges so why are you acting like that is some reasonable strategy to depend on from possession to possession.   Question: what teams other than the Spurs, Bulls and Pacers have proven they can pack the paint against anyone with consistent success?  I’m asking because I watch a lot of basketball and I’ve never seen a team without a great defensive front line employ such a strategy with anything more than limited and short lived success.   

      • Jul 29, 201310:24 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “I have no doubt whatsoever that this team would be better if they rotated Smith, Moose and Drummond pretty much exclusively at the 4-5 than trying to put them all on the floor together at the 3-4-5.”

        I would recommend that you have at least a little doubt. It’s hard to know how it will work until it is given a shot. I expect rotating them mostly at 4-5 to be the best way to go. But it would be crazy for the Pistons to not at least give Smith a shot at SF and see how it plays out. 

        • Jul 29, 201312:45 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Since I have no say in personnel decisions, it doesn’t matter what I think. But I hold the following strong beliefs: 1) Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are not a great fit next to each other; 2) I never bought the theory that adding three strong shooters around them would be enough to space the floor effectively, but I certainly think Smith at SF only adds to our spacing problems; 3) Monroe’s best position is center; 4) Smith’s best position is PF; 5) Playing guys out of position is not a good policy and minimizes your talent instead of maximizing it; 6) We have zero above average players outside of those three; 7) Even in the best of circumstances, I don’t think those three are going to be enough of a strength to carry the entire team.
           
          It looks very much like we’ll see how they all look together. I just don’t think it’s going to work.

        • Jul 29, 201310:08 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Thank you, Tarsier.   

          BTW: I know everyone says PF is Smith’s best position and maybe it is for him but he’s also the Pistons best option by far for guarding the great offensive small forwards of the league.   I would like Smith to get more time at SF than most here for that reason and think Jerebko, Mitchell and even Charlie V could play PF with Smith at SF to address the spacing issues while allowing Smith to be the defensive wing the Pistons sorely need.   

  • Jul 27, 20133:14 am
    by Wolverines23

    Reply

    Random thought…talking about mistakes/rebuilding/errors..etc

    OKC roster could have looked like:

    Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Jeff Green, Ibaka

    Bottom line – players need time to develop. I believe we have 5 great young pieces in: Brandon Knight, KCP, Middleton, Monroe, and Drummond (in fact that should have been the starting 5 if we didn’t sign Josh Smith). However, with players like Smith, Billups, Stuckey, Gigi Datome, it will only help take pressure off these young players and allow them to grow.

    I do feel we need another SG though because I don’t believe Stuckey, Billups, Singler (are SGs in this league, who will come off the bench behind KCP if he starts?).

    Right now we have 4 SF’s (if you count Josh Smith starting at the 3 for us): Smith, Datome, Middleton, Singler, Joe has to move a few players to avoid this log jam and get one SG and another backup center.

    Even the minutes at PF are going to be crazy, with – Greg Monroe, Smith, CV, and Jonas, as well as at PG with Knight, Billups, Bynum, and Stuckey. I understand that Joe Dumars is changing his philosophy and adding players on this roster who can play all 5 positions, but a SG still has to SHOOT with RANGE. The way this roster is constructed, Knight will probably be either starting at the 2 or coming off the bench. I’d like to see him start as our PG, which he also believes that he is the leader of this team. Not sure how things will work out for the Pistons, but definitely excited to see what happens, starting end of October.

  • Jul 27, 20133:18 am
    by Wolverines23

    Reply

    I forgot to mention Tony Mitchell at PF as well. Will be interesting how we use him. He will definitely fill the gap that Jason Maxiell left though, and he’s a better shooter, more athletic. So there is definitely a big big reason to be excited for this upcoming season!

  • Jul 27, 20139:48 am
    by MrCarter

    Reply

    Guys I think the best way to look at this is at least we HAVE this great talent. Now, we can start manuevering some of our other young pieces to build a better team AROUND Smith. Chauncey coming back is gonna be big too, especially if he can help mentor Knight like I think he will. I mean, when you consider that Dumars traded the potential 9th pick in next years draft just to have money now, instead of next year, you knew he HAD to strike big this summer. Smith may not have been the perfect signing, but he’ll definitely help! This franchise is finally heading in the right direction. Finally!!

  • Jul 27, 20133:47 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Another argument for starting Smith, Monroe and Drummond together that I don’t think I’ve seen here is that Smith, and not Singler, is the player I want guarding James, Anthony, George, Pierce, Gay and Deng at the beginning and throughout the game.  

    • Jul 28, 201312:03 am
      by Max

      Reply

      Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing Smith playing small forward with more lineups than just Monroe and Drummond because I want Smith defending these great small forwards.    Jerebko, Mitchell and Charlie V can both play power forward with Smith at small and address the spacing issues.  

  • Jul 27, 20135:09 pm
    by grizz

    Reply

    Since Lowe is onsistently wrong about whatever he writes .. the fact he hates the Pistons’ signing of Smith is actually a reason to be quite optimistic about it ..

  • Jul 27, 20135:11 pm
    by grizz

    Reply

    SHOULD READ .. consistently … sure wish  there were an edit function here ..

  • Jul 28, 201312:55 am
    by boogie

    Reply

    some of you guys read other papers and come in here and say the same sh… yall killin me lol. bunch of phony gm’s. Go pistons!!!

  • Jul 28, 20135:34 am
    by Nate

    Reply

    How about asking this same question after the upcoming season is done, so some analysis of actual data and stats can be figured in to make an actual and realistic evaluation? Instead of just opinionated blabbing about what this or that NBA exec feels! Besides what are Joe’s competition supposed to say?

    • Jul 29, 201310:26 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Competition rarely has a problem saying that someone made some great moves. They just don’t say they expect to lose to them.

    • Jul 29, 20133:03 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      i always hate when Reporters say ” Some NBA Exe’s, Some NBA Scouts, or the NBA Exe’s I talked to, or the NBA Scouts i know….

      30 teams… have probably about to 3-5 guys that could be considered NBA exe’s, then its anonymous… why because they dont want to burn any bridges in case a guy like Josh Smith is traded on their team.

      NBA exe’s are mostly clones and tools….

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