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So how much cap room do the Pistons actually have? A hopefully helpful FAQ

The salaries page is updated, but I’m sure that alone won’t answer every question. Here’s my best stab at answering the common questions I’ve received.

How much cap room do the Pistons have at this very moment?

Probably none.

What?!

A team’s free agents continue to count against the cap until they’re renounced or signed (with their previous team or elsewhere). This prevents a team from using its cap room to sign other free agents and then going over the cap using bird exceptions to re-sign its own free agents.

For the Pistons to gain cap room, they can simply renounce their free agents (Corey Maggette, Jose Calderon, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum). It’s possible they’ve already done that – it’s not usually reported – but there’s no need to do it until they’re ready to sign a free agent, so I’d guess they haven’t made the renouncements official yet. They can’t be undone in these circumstances, so there’ no need to jump the gun.

So the Pistons’ lack of cap room is just a technicality?

Yes.

If the Pistons renounce all their own free agents, they’ll have $20,753,362 in cap room.

I don’t want to think about it in technicalities. Make this simple. 

The Pistons have $20,753,362 to sign all free agents – their own and other teams’ – or absorb contracts in trades. Once they do that, they’ll have another $2,652,000 (the room mid-level exception) to spend on even more free agents.

They will not have any other larger mid-level exceptions or the bi-annual exception.

For simplicity’s sake, the rest of this FAQ will assume the Pistons have renounced all their free agents.

But what about Calderon? I want to keep him, not renounce him.

Renouncing Calderon would not prohibit the Pistons from re-signing him. The only disadvantages to renouncing him is the Pistons would be permitted to offer just a four-year contract (as opposed to five) and 4.5 percent raises (as opposed to 7.5).

The Pistons could agree to terms with Calderon before July 11, the first day free agents can technically sign. At that point, if the agreed-upon contract is for five years and/or includes the higher available raises, the Pistons would just sign Calderon before anyone else.

But if another free agent is ready to sign a contract with a first-year salary of at least $5,699,261 and Calderon is still undecided, the Pistons would almost surely renounce him and go from there.

Is there a way to gain even more cap room?

The Pistons could amnesty Charlie Villanueva between July 10 and July 16. That would clear an extra $8,089,820 in cap room.

Any other ways to gain cap room?

Kim English’s contract is fully unguaranteed if waived on or before July 12. If the Pistons waive him, they’d gain $298,692 in additional cap room.

What about a minimum amount the Pistons must spend?

They must spend 90 percent of the salary cap amount, or in other words, bring their 2013-14 salary commitments to $52,650,000.

The team minimum applies only to 2013-14, so if the Pistons find themselves in danger of falling short, they can sign players to one-year contracts and maintain flexibility next summer.

So amnestying Villanueva could actually be harmful?

No. If the Pistons amnesty Villanueva, the $8,580,000 they’d be paying would still count toward meeting the team-salary floor. It just wouldn’t count against the cap.

Have the Pistons signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and how does he count?

I doubt it, because it would likely be disadvantageous. First-round picks typically receive 120 percent of the rookie-scale amount, but until they’re signed, they count at just 100 percent. So, if the Pistons wait to sign Caldwell-Pope until they use their cap room – standard operating procedure – they’ll save a little extra room.

What about Tony Mitchel and Peyton Siva?

Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until they’re signed, so the Pistons will surely wait to sign those two at least until they’ve used their cap room.

How would trading Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey for Rudy Gay affect the Pistons’ cap room?

The Pistons would lose just $1,299,112 in cap room, leaving $19,454,250 remaining.

That doesn’t sound so bad. What’s the downside to the trade?

Gay is under contract for $19,317,326 next season, when Villanueva and Stuckey count for a combined $0.

To put that in context, if the Pistons don’t make this trade, they could give Josh Smith (or any other free agent) a four-year, $52 million contract this summer, agree to sign Greg Monroe to a max contract next summer and still have more than $18 million in cap space to sign other free agents next summer. That scenario includes the cap remaining the same (it will probably go up), keeping Khris Middleton (who has an unguaranteed contract for 2014-15) and not signing any other player this summer to a deal longer than one year.

With those same terms, if the Pistons trade for Gay, signing any free agent this summer to a contract that would pay just $7,102,211 in 2014-15 rather than signing Smith would mean the Pistons have no usable cap space next summer.

If you have any other cap-related questions, leave them in the comments, and I’ll try to answer.

117 Comments

  • Jul 3, 20139:36 am
    by Jeremy

    Reply

    You didn’t mention that Detroit has Monroe’s Bird Rights and can go over the cap to sign him. Joe D could legitimately trade for Gay, blow the remaining $19m on free agents this year and still be able to sign Monroe next off season because of this exception. Downside of that is it could, more like probably, put them into the luxury tax and I’m not sure Gores wants to go that route. It also doesn’t allow for the financial flexibility that Joe D wants to maintain and subsequently the ability to bring new folks in is hampered.
     
     

    • Jul 3, 20134:22 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      You are right. In salary-cap rules, yes. In the real world, there’s a limit to the Pistons’ spending.

  • Jul 3, 20139:59 am
    by ryan

    Reply

    I don’t understand your maths here. We’re sending out two guys whose contracts are almost equal to Rudy Gay’s but end one year sooner. How is this so drastically affecting our cap space?

    • Jul 3, 201310:21 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Gay is owed 17.9mil in 2013-14 and the 19.3mil for 2014-15. Dan didn’t mention it in the article. 

    • Jul 3, 20134:23 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      It only drastically affect the cap space next year, not this year, which is because, like you said, Gay’s contract is one year longer.

  • Jul 3, 201310:00 am
    by Ryan

    Reply

    Let’s say, hypothetically, Boston would accept the same Stuckey/Villanueva package for Rondo, so we’re trading $18m for $11m. Would we end up with an additional $7m trade exception (so if Joe blows all our cap, we still have $7m to absorb salary during the season)?
     
    Disclaimer: Not saying this would happen by any stretch of the imagination – but it seems that if we’re going to deal them both together, and we can get even more breathing room out of it, that’s the way to go. Also, this likely involves Gores paying a good amount in luxury tax, but who knows, maybe he’d do it if enough salaries were coming off the books at the end of the year.

    • Jul 3, 20134:25 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      The trade exception counts against the cap. In a simple sense, that trade exception would be renounced and just turn into cap room.

  • Jul 3, 201310:19 am
    by Ian

    Reply

    What if they make this Gay trade ( I only like it if a pick is involved), leaving 19.5 remaining under the cap. They could then send Monroe and Jerebko (and possibly that pick from Toronto) to Boston for Rondo (Monroe and Drummond play the same position, and I think Drummond will ultimately be the better player) which will take up another 3.5 million of cap space, leaving them with 16 mil. Then they could sign Smith to play PF (his actual position) for 13 million per, leaving them with 3 million more in cap space and this lineup:

    PG Rondo
    SG Pope
    SF Gay
    PF Smith
    C  Drummond
    6th Knight
    7th Free Agent Veteran X
    8th Singler
    9th Mitchell
    10th Middleton/Enlish
    11th Kravstov
    12th English/Middleton/Siva

    That is at least 5th best Roster in the East right now, with room to improve. Thoughts?

    • Jul 3, 201310:32 am
      by Al-Ahmadi

      Reply

      The only problem w/ that lineup is besides KCP (who at this point is an unknown quantity) none of those guys can hit 3′s. every team would just pack the paint on us like SA just did to Memphis in the playoffs. 

    • Jul 3, 201310:33 am
      by Who Is Us

      Reply

      That is too funny! In a trade for Gay if anyone had to include a pick it would be Detroit sending a likely 2nd rounder. You aren’t getting a pick, especially not a 1st round pick, from Toronto for Stuckey and Charlie V.

      • Jul 3, 201312:05 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        I was thinking the same thing.  The trade already seems somewhat crazy for Toronto given that they just traded away Jose’s expiring contract specifically for Gay who they wanted on the team…how do they now want expiring contacts in return?  It seemed like Toronto thought they were on the verge of having a complete line up to compete going forward and now they are blowing it up?

        • Jul 3, 201312:23 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          It’s basically the BG and Maggette deal in reverse. Gay is at most a $10 million dollar player who will make $19 million in the second year. BG was at least a $4 million dollar player making $13 million. Plus Stuckey and CV are vaguely useful players while Maggette isn’t. Detroit should get a first round pick out of taking on that bad contract.

          • Jul 3, 201312:32 pm
            by Huddy

            That would all make sense if they hadn’t brought Gay’s contract upon themselves just a couple of months ago when they could have just kept Calderon and had a big contract expiring even earlier than CV and Stuckey.  It seemed like they were actually interested in Gay.  I guess the new management is prepared to go in the complete other direction and start a new rebuild.

          • Jul 3, 201312:59 pm
            by oats

            What the old management in Toronto did should have no bearing on what the new management does, and Colangelo’s mistake really should have no bearing in what Dumars should accept. Dumars is the one who set the precedent of that kind of deal requiring a first round pick. I get maybe deciding he undervalued the pick and asking for a couple second rounders, but Detroit definitely should be compensated for taking on that deal.

          • Jul 3, 20131:15 pm
            by Huddy

            Obviously the Pistons don’t care if it is a bad deal for Toronto.  I am simply saying it seems like Toronto is making a mistake to cut and run.  This could set them back years and year especially adding a pick to the deal.  I am surprised the offer is considered, that is all.
             
            Also, the new management doesn’t need to follow through with old plans, but they certainly need to consider what is already in place when making their plan.  A new direction doesn’t HAVE to be blowing everything up and starting from scratch.

          • Jul 3, 20133:33 pm
            by oats

            No, a new direction doesn’t have to be blowing everything up. Getting rid of the stuff that makes no sense is a good start though. Paying Gay that salary makes no sense, especially for a team that is already overpaying DeRozan and drafted Ross recently. While overpaid, DeRozan is cheaper and younger, so it makes more sense to suck it up with him than with Gay.
             
            Honestly, I thought trading for Gay set them back a couple years. Much like the BG trade, this trade would be trying to accelerate the timetable by a year. If I was Toronto I wouldn’t give up a first round pick to do this because I’d rather just wait out the extra year and keep the pick. That’s how I felt about Detroit doing the BG trade too. Still, no way do I think it makes sense for Detroit to do this trade without getting some form of compensation for that awful contract. 
             

      • Jul 3, 201312:51 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “Everyone is so excited about throwing piles of money (Max dollars?? Really??) at Monroe”

        Just like Charlotte wasn’t getting a pick for Maggette. They were getting it for taking Gordon’s contract. The pick, likewise, would be for taking Gay’s contract. 

        • Jul 3, 201312:52 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          the quoted bit was supposed to be:

          “You aren’t getting a pick, especially not a 1st round pick, from Toronto for Stuckey and Charlie V.” 

    • Jul 3, 201312:45 pm
      by Tom

      Reply

      I very much agree. I think that is a terrific lineup that while certainly not a favorite would have to be considered a legitimate contender. 

      I don’t see Toronto including a pick in that deal, but I don’t see us needing to ship one to Boston either, so it washes out.

      Pope and Knight are the shooters – not great, but it could do. Maybe Middleton and/or English as well.

      If the team doesn’t click we have cap space in two years and Rondo would remain a big trading asset, so we would be in a good starting spot to try something else if need be.  

  • Jul 3, 201310:19 am
    by KaBa

    Reply

    Would waiting for next year make sense? What is FA class of 2014 at SG/SF? Someone mentioned it, going now after Rudy Gay would cost the Pistons only one year. Signing Smith would be easier with Gay on the team. 
    I’m still not a fan of having them both on the same team, I would rather prefer for them to try to get good hard playing guys for around  7 mio per year. I think in that range you can find players that can help are not shining star power. Those kind of players have won the Pistons the title (well besides maybe Rasheed?). 

    • Jul 3, 201310:29 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      There is 2 scenarios. 1) be stuck with CV & Stuckey for 1 more season and then the season after have 17mil in cap space. 2) trade CV & Stuckey for Gay and be rid of the 2 of them forever but then have to pay Gay 19mil in 2014-15. 

      • Jul 3, 201310:43 am
        by KaBa

        Reply

        One more thing, what would you think of of Rudy Gay as atrade bait in 2014-2015 season. I’mean want there be teams willing to take his ca clearing contract and hand over maybe a fitting player to the pistons. Just a train of thoughts.

        • Jul 3, 201311:00 am
          by gmehl

          Reply

          i guess it would depend on his form next season. It would be too hard to predict. Rudy Gay isn’t a shit player but his contract is crap. any decision that is made on Gay will likely impact if we keep Monroe or not. i would rather give a decent contract to Chris Copeland from the Knicks and resign Calderon. I am not sure of the free agent list in 2014 but I’m pretty sure there are bigger and better names but they probably won’t choose Detroit unless they have to.

    • Jul 3, 201312:43 pm
      by Matt

      Reply

      http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2013/7/1/4481538/disassembling-the-myth-of-the-2014-nba-free-agent-class

      Next year isn’t going to be that great. It’s overhyped they do it every year than that offseason comes and people realize it was just hype.

      • Jul 3, 20131:14 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        You do realize that whole thing is being written from the perspective of a team potentially losing Dwight Howard, right? Looking at it through that lens changes things dramatically than from the perspective of a Pistons.
         
        Bosh, Wade, James, and Anthony likely opt out and form a top tier along with arguably Pau and Dirk. Zach Randolph is hard to read, but if he plays well I think he hits free agency too. He’d join Deng and Granger on a second tier. Eric Bledsoe and Derrick Favors will be RFA’s and might be potentially available. The rest of the RFA’s will almost certainly be retained by their team, and those two likely will. Still, I’m interested in the Deng and Granger part of this. Those guys are clearly a step up from Gay. They also have enough guys ahead of them on the list of free agents for them to realistically consider Detroit if Detroit goes hard after them.

        • Jul 3, 20134:24 pm
          by Matt

          Reply

          Bosh, Wade, James, and Anthony never gunna happen. Pau, Dirk, and Randolph we have 2 centers under 25. Yes these guys bring leadership but we’d have to overpay for 2-4 years for declining players. Dirk is a Mavrick I doubt he’s leaving. Eric Bledsoe just went to the Suns I’d guess he’ll get a new deal soon. As for Derrick Favors, he’s not someone I’d throw 4 years 52 million at to steal him.
          Ok I love Deng and Granger but theres no guarantee on Granger. He’ll depend on this season. If all goes right with him and he plays well alongside Paul George they might pay into the luxury tax to win a championship.
          I just don’t think it a good idea to try and outbid LA, Dallace, and Boston when we already have possibilities right now. Why suffer another grueling year of losing if we can turn it around here. Would you really be willing to wait another year knowing we don’t have another draft pick for Deng and Granger? Plus no one goes to the palace another year and Gores will be bankrupt.

          • Jul 3, 20134:49 pm
            by oats

            You seem to be missing my point. I’m not advocating any of the guys you are talking about having no interest in. They are in the market that year (although I agree Bledsoe likely stays put), and that means most of the competition will be centered on them. For the Pistons that means less attention would be paid to Granger and Deng. So yes, I would wait another year because Rudy Gay is not that good. They are both better and cheaper. That means it makes sense to wait. Admittedly Granger might fall off that list if he doesn’t come back healthy, but I’d still rather gamble on him than settle for Gay.
             
            Also, let’s not pretend like the option is trade for Gay or wait a year. Iggy could end up back in Denver, and they might decide that means one of Gallinari or Chandler is expendable. How about a trade for Rondo that requires one of those expiring deal? Heck, Granger and Deng may even be available via trade right now. Their teams have guys they can plug in with little drop off, both teams are near the tax line, and both teams have to worry about those guys leaving for nothing.  There are plenty of other options I’ve not thought of that would also trump bringing on Rudy Gay’s insanely terrible contract.

  • Jul 3, 201310:31 am
    by Jed Velarde

    Reply

    I am a big Pistons fan here in Manila. I think I saw somewhere that the Pacers, in the wake of the David West deal, are now entertaining offers for Danny Granger.

    I prefer Granger over Gay. So if this is true what will it take to get him and how will that deal affect the financial side of things in the long run? 

    • Jul 3, 201310:35 am
      by jacob

      Reply

      Grange is an expiring contract so it would be a good contract. I don’t know about his knees and I am not sure what the pacers want for him, maybe cheap contracts or draft picks?

    • Jul 3, 201310:49 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      I read that the Pacers are looking to cut salary Mao they can eventually re-up Paul Gorge and Lance Stephenson so you think draft picks will be what there after. Either that or a rookie on a cheap deal and I don’t mean Siva. 

      • Jul 3, 201312:28 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        They might be interested in Knight, who is on his rookie deal still. I really don’t see how a deal for Granger gets done without including Knight, and I don’t know how badly they would want to one for him.

    • Jul 3, 20131:07 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      I too prefer Granger to Gay. But he seems less likely to be available just because the Pacers are sort of a win-now team.

      But who knows. Might as well at least offer them Stuckey straight up. Don’t insult the m by including CV. If the Pistons want to get rid of him (which they should), they ought to just pony up and amnesty him already.

  • Jul 3, 201310:46 am
    by Fennis

    Reply

    Feldman, this is getting old. You rip every *potential* Pistons move and propose the Pistons “take a mulligan” this off-season. I haven’t seen a precise definition of trolling, but you’re certainly approaching that status with your coverage and analysis.

    Rudy Gay has a low PER, poor advanced metrics. Fine. Putting aside offensive efficiency, has anyone noticed that the best wings in the game — Lebron, Durant, Carmelo — stroll into the Palace without a care in the world, put up 25 points in the first quarter and then sit the rest of the game to take in the blowout? Gay could at least put up a bit of resistance defensively, probably more defensive resistance than about 60-70% of SF in the league. PER and the advanced offensive metrics don’t account for this story AT ALL.

    Now for the efficiency idiocy. Advanced stats are a very important way of assessing a player’s effectiveness — no argument. But anyone who knows a damn about statistics knows that context/variables determine outcomes. What the hell am I talking about? YOU CANNOT ASSESS METRICS IN A VACUUM! Players change, players’ work environments change, players’ rates of efficiency change. To think that because player x has low efficiency in year y means he will always be that way is intellectual sloth hidden behind mathematics. Don’t simply read numbers, use your noodle. Noodle + numbers = prudent analysis. 

    Gay has played inefficiently his last two years — no argument here. BUT, he is one of the most talented wings in the game and could improve his efficiency considerably with tweaks to his game. To simply dismiss that possibility based on a few trips to the calculator is just plain stupid in my opinion.

    And let’s talk about the contract. In a year that contract will be an expiring. Yes, in one year this supposed horrendous contract wil have a lot of value in the league because it offers cap space. So what do the Pistons risk? One year with one of the most talented but inefficient wings in the league, followed by a year in which they hold a valuable contract, able to push any team holding that contract 20 million under the cap for the following season.

    Stop being so reactionary and use some damn sense.  

    • Jul 3, 201310:51 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      just wait until Trey Burke drops 12 assists on us next season. Dan is like a volcano that is ready to blow :-)

      • Jul 3, 201311:30 am
        by KaBa

        Reply

        You mean just like with Brandon Kinght when he outplays every single game Kyrie Irving. I’m still hoping he can show that kind of attitude and play every night.

        • Jul 3, 201311:38 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I’m not saying it’s out of the question with Knight. He’s young and works hard, he could conceivably figure things out. I’m just saying the strategy of taking guys with flaws in their games and hoping you can fix those flaws has not been one that has worked out for the Pistons, especially when they’ve taken those gambles on expensive, experienced players like Gordon and Villanueva and possibly Gay in this instance.

        • Jul 3, 201311:38 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Oops, sorry this response was to your comment below. My fault.

    • Jul 3, 201311:29 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Noodle + numbers = prudent analysis.”

      Let me know when you’re using your own equation. The numbers tell me that Gay has essentially been right around league average for a small forward his entire career. I’ve also watched quite a bit of Memphis games out of my irrational love for Z-Bo, and my eyes tell me essentially the same thing. Gay, other than his great athleticism, is a pretty run of the mill, inefficient NBA wing.

      It’s funny to me that you say things like, “could improve his efficiency considerably with tweaks to his game.” That’s EXACTLY the rationale that led to the Pistons drafting Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight to be point guards and signing Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva as free agents. Let me know when the ‘tweaks’ to those guys’ games work out. If anyone here has flawed analytical abilities, it’s you, and your comment clearly exposes all of them.

      • Jul 3, 201311:35 am
        by KaBa

        Reply

        While I don’t belive that those tweaks will have any kind of impact on Stuckey or Gay, I still have hope that Knght can make the next step. But that’s just maybe my personal postive thinking. The enviroment change didn’t help too much with Gay so his chances of changing in Detroit are even slimmer than the ones of Stuckey being a better player somwhere else.

      • Jul 3, 201312:15 pm
        by Crispus

        Reply

        Well at least Gay has a natural position, unlike those other guys.

    • Jul 3, 201311:33 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Also, this comment — “I haven’t seen a precise definition of trolling, but you’re certainly approaching that status with your coverage and analysis.” — WTF man? You’re on the internet already. You don’t know how to use google?

      • Jul 3, 20131:10 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Google “trolling”, Patrick. Tell me which definition you would categorize as “precise”.

    • Jul 3, 201311:34 am
      by Edgar

      Reply

      Gay has been consistently inefficient for his whole career under different coaches with varying teammates and on two different teams (smaller sample size with TOR). He’s been in the league a while. He’s in his prime. He might improve his efficiency, but probably not, right? 

      • Jul 3, 201312:22 pm
        by Tom

        Reply

        You can’t look at efficiency in a vacuum. If you’re the 5th scoring option the opposing defense puts little to no focus on you and are only asked to score if the flow of the offense creates a shot for you or you have a favorable match up then it’s easy to be efficient. But if you’re the number one scoring option on your team, opposing defenses build their game plans around limiting you and it’s on you to get a shot off even when there is nothing there then efficiency goes out the window. 

        I haven’t watched enough of him to have a real opinion as to how this applies to Gay – but I’m guessing few if any of the commenters here have either. 

        • Jul 3, 20131:14 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          That’s a fine argument if a team were planning on bringing in Gay to be their number 4 scorer. But nobody is doing that. He will continue to play in the same context. So he will almost certainly continue to be inefficient.

          • Jul 3, 20131:23 pm
            by Tom

            If our starting lineup next year is Rondo, Pope, Gay, Smith and Drummond then Gay would have a significantly different role than what he had with Toronto. Not to say that would make him efficient, but it would help and at the least opposing D’s wouldnt be able to focus on him.

            My real point though is that being inefficient from a numbers perspective isn’t necessarily bad – you need a guy to give the ball to when there are 4 seconds left on the shot clock and that guy is never going to have efficient numbers. Right now we don’t have a guy for that situation and we need one. 

          • Jul 3, 20131:33 pm
            by oats

            But you don’t pay $18 million a year for that kind of guy. It’s not like Gay suddenly becomes efficient with 4 seconds left. He still sucks as a shooter. He’s just a bit more willing to take the shot. Find any chucker and they can do that for a fraction of the price. Yeah, there is a tiny bit of value in that willingness to take a bad shot from time to time, but not nearly enough to justify Gay’s contract.

          • Jul 3, 20131:33 pm
            by tarsier

            But it wouldn’t be very different than his Memphis role. Which is where most of the data on him comes from.

    • Jul 3, 20134:37 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      “ou rip every *potential* Pistons move and propose the Pistons “take a mulligan” this off-season.”

      When did I rip signing Josh Smith or Iguodala?

      “has anyone noticed that the best wings in the game — Lebron, Durant, Carmelo — stroll into the Palace without a care in the world, put up 25 points in the first quarter and then sit the rest of the game to take in the blowout? Gay could at least put up a bit of resistance defensively, probably more defensive resistance than about 60-70% of SF in the league. PER and the advanced offensive metrics don’t account for this story AT ALL.”

      You want Gay for his defense? hahahaha 

      LeBron in games against Gay: 27.1 points per game
      Durant in games against Gay: 28.5 points per game
      Carmelo in games against Gay: 26.1 points per game

      “Now for the efficiency idiocy. Advanced stats are a very important way of assessing a player’s effectiveness — no argument. But anyone who knows a damn about statistics knows that context/variables determine outcomes. What the hell am I talking about? YOU CANNOT ASSESS METRICS IN A VACUUM! Players change, players’ work environments change, players’ rates of efficiency change. To think that because player x has low efficiency in year y means he will always be that way is intellectual sloth hidden behind mathematics. Don’t simply read numbers, use your noodle. Noodle + numbers = prudent analysis. 

      Gay has played inefficiently his last two years — no argument here. BUT, he is one of the most talented wings in the game and could improve his efficiency considerably with tweaks to his game. To simply dismiss that possibility based on a few trips to the calculator is just plain stupid in my opinion.” 

       Why will the Pistons’ present Gay with a dramatically different situation that he had in Memphis or Toronto? Maybe he’ll get way more efficient, but I wouldn’t make this trade without a reason in mind for Gay to get better here. You can’t just guess that he will just because. 

      “Yes, in one year this supposed horrendous contract wil have a lot of value in the league because it offers cap space.”

      It offers cap space to another team only if the Pistons take back longer contracts. 

      • Jul 3, 20135:06 pm
        by RyanK

        Reply

        I’ll have to part ways with you here Dan.  Where did you get the stats against Lebron, Melo, and Durant?  Are they only reflecting scoring when Gay was the defender and it was a one on one isolation play?  Did Gay hold those guys to those numbers in that capacity…if so, that reflects a brilliant defensive performance on Gay’s part.  

        If you’ve played basketball, you know there’s no way to defend screen a role plays or any screen play without the help of a teammate.  Fight your way through screens…BS, I’ve been there and I see at the NBA level.  There is no way to get through a screen set by an NBA PF or Center (without a big-time foul) before Durrant, Lebron, or Melo can get their shot up.  Therefore, you can’t use your numbers with any merit.

         

        • Jul 3, 20135:09 pm
          by Dan Feldman

          Reply

          That’s not the argument I’m countering. My point is merely that there’s no evidence Gay would prevent elite SFs from dominating the Pistons.

        • Jul 3, 20138:29 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Gay is reputedly a bad defender. I though this was common knowledge. Not Charlie V bad, but certainly not good. Anyone arguing that he can help the defense by hedging on Greg Monroe’s guy is making shit up or just not paying attention.

  • Jul 3, 201311:06 am
    by RyanK

    Reply

    Bottom line, Gay is not a home run because he’s so expensive.  Can he be considered a double?  It would be better if we could get these players to play for free, but that’s not the way it works.  

    • Jul 3, 20131:36 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I’d say at best he’s a bunt. Maybe you advance a runner from first to second, and maybe the guy bunting gets on base, but it isn’t a given and there are decent odds of it just being another out.

  • Jul 3, 201311:43 am
    by Edgar

    Reply

    Can we be more precise in our definition of how Gay is “talented?” With Iggy, it’s pretty clear that he’s an elite defensive stopper/passer/ballhandler/athlete. He can’t shoot but we know for sure what actual basketball skills he has. What talents does Gay have besides athleticism? Specifically? Can he facilitate the offense for a few possessions? Is he a good cutter? Does he come off screens well? Is he good with his back to the basket? In the mid-post? Is he useful in the pick and roll? I’d love someone that knows more than me to break this down because otherwise we’re just throwing the word talented around when maybe we shouldn’t.

  • Jul 3, 201311:45 am
    by Fennis

    Reply

    Hayes, 

    Thanks for the ad hominem attacks. I’ll be sure not to take them personally. 

    You addressed one or two of my comments and did so it typical reactionary fashion.

    Gay is 26-years-old and at the very least offers better defense at the wing on a two-year contract. Please explain a better alternative than a two-year experiment with a talented wing (unquestionably better than anyone else on the roster). Is Singler a better option? Middleton? I didn’t think so. You would rather rip moves than consider the counterfactual (i.e., why are you left with in the absence of that move?).

    So tweaks freak you the f out, eh? Well, I got news for you. You’re a fan of the Detroit Pistons, not the Lakers, not the Heat. Consequently, given that your team (and my team) isn’t in a vacation destination you have to take risks on talent. The funny part is, this isn’t even a risk! We’re not contending for a title next year. Moose develops, Penguin develops, and maybe T Mitchell turns into a bonafide starter. In a year we have an expiring contract in Gay. In 2 we have 20 million in cap space. You guys are paralyzed by the fear of GM making a mistake. You simply can’t be that feckless and risk averse if you want to get to the next level.

     

    • Jul 3, 201312:26 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      I’m basically 100% behind this.
       
      This team needs a shake up BADLY. They are going absolutely nowhere, and they desperately need a serious infusion of talent and (perhaps most importantly, some credibility. At the very least, Rudy Gay has shown the ability to take over games. Stuckey has taken over maybe one game in his career; even when he shoots the lights out, you never get the impression Knight is actually in control of the game; Monroe has shown he can dominate only the weakest front lines, and he’s only done so next to a PF who can shoot at least a little to open things up.
       
      So the trade-off is that you’re losing your two biggest, worst contracts (really your only two bad contracts) attached to guys who are basically useless and everyone wants out of town. For basically the same price, you get a guy who’s instantly your best player and #1 option with great athleticism and size for the position who plays both ways. And the downside is that you have to pay him that ludicrous salary next year, and I think that’s as fair as it gets. If it’s not working out, you have a COLOSSAL expiring contract to play with. And if it’s a good fit, the CBA won’t even let you pay him as much as that bloated old contract.
       
      I can’t stand this bogus attitude that nobody’s good enough. If we won’t settle on a flawed but very talented player (and, frankly, you’re overpaying absolutely anybody since this is Detroit), we’re never going to get out of this cycle. The entire roster is made up of bench types (plus Monroe and Drummond who have only ever established themselves as centers). Gay would be a better option than Smith or Iguodala (either of which I’m in favor of signing, even if we landed Gay) because he’s younger, he’s basically “free” this season, and you’re only overpaying him for one year instead of risking overpaying Iguodala and/or Smith while they’re starting to decline. I don’t think the executive of the year is going to accept Joe’s offer, but this would be a tremendous get.
       
      Everyone is so excited about throwing piles of money (Max dollars?? Really??) at Monroe, whose flaws would make Rudy Gay blush, before he and Drummond have established any capacity whatsoever to play together successfully, let alone display the dominance it should require to invest so much of your future into one pair of guys when either one would bring back a king’s ransom in return. And everybody wants Calderon back, who seemed like a great acquisition but never looked comfortable here, probably won’t ever take this team anywhere, and won’t come cheap. With this attitude, nothing’s ever going to change around here.

      • Jul 3, 201312:44 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        “Everyone is so excited about throwing piles of money (Max dollars?? Really??) at Monroe”

        Who is excited about throwing a max contract at Monroe? Heck, this is the primary reason there are so many Monroe trade suggestions popping up.

      • Jul 3, 201312:45 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        It helps if someone actually posits the stance you argue against.

      • Jul 3, 20131:10 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        How would Gay “instantly be the best player?  Because he would score  17-20 ppg on bad shooting numbers?
         
        Gay isn’t some defensive stopper so he is only somewhat better on the defensive end than Monroe and Monroe is an elite rebounder and passer (for a big man).  If you think Jason Maxiell and “shoot a little bit” and is the only reason Monroe gets buckets then you don’t watch the games.  Maxiell is a bad shooter that is constantly left wide open.  Monroe’s buckets are not the result of playing next to a guy spacing the floor at all.
         
        Drummond’s upside is way higher than Gay, but probably won’t be realized for a couple years.

      • Jul 3, 20131:17 pm
        by Keith

        Reply

        Gay would in no way, shape, or form be our best player. He might take the most shots, because that’s what he does, but he won’t even be close to our best player. Moose has been better offensively in every single year of his tenure than Gay has been in ANY year of his. Defensively people keep saying that he’s an upgrade, but based on what? He had a good defensive game against Durant while prepping for the Olympics (which nobody saw) and has been disinterested or out of position in the NBA. Memphis has consistently been better defensively with Gay off the court. 

        And that’s not even getting into Drummond, who is devastatingly effective on offense, and who has crazy defensive potential. There is an argument to be had that he was a our best player last year, and with a year under his belt he should easily be better than Gay. 

      • Jul 3, 20133:47 pm
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        @Otis:

        Monroe at max is not ideal. He’s still a bargain compared to Gay at max. A big man who is efficient offensively, still 23 and a double-double guy every night, even with his shortcomings, is worth significantly more than Gay. I have no idea how anyone could argue otherwise.

        Gay would be the third best player on the Pistons. He might lead them in scoring, he might take the best shots, but I guarantee Monroe and Drummond will both be better, more important players next season. Is Gay an upgrade? Sure. An upgrade that makes the Pistons marginally better in their quest to compete for the eighth seed? Sure. But does he represent a ‘culture change’ or whatever it is you say the team needs? Absolutely not. He’s the exact same expensive gamble on a player with a history of showing he’s flawed on the court that has become customary for Dumars. Rudy Gay already is the Pistons culture.

        • Jul 3, 20134:14 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Also, Monroe’s max is less than Gay’s max.

    • Jul 3, 20131:23 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Fennis:

      “Thanks for the ad hominem attacks. I’ll be sure not to take them personally.”

      No, please take them personally. I wish you would.

      “Please explain a better alternative than a two-year experiment with a talented wing”

      Seeing who else is available? Maintaining flexibility until the trade deadline and not jumping at the first run of the mill athlete paid (at least) twice what he’s worth? Gay is an upgrade in the short-term. If the goal is to get marginally better in the short-term, OK, go for it. If the goal is to build a winning team long-term, I’m unimpressed with a move like this.

      ” Consequently, given that your team (and my team) isn’t in a vacation destination you have to take risks on talent.”

      Why not take risks on talent that has been productive or under-valued elsewhere, instead of overpaid elsewhere? I once knew a GM who favored this approach. I wish he would come back. He was good.

      “You guys are paralyzed by the fear of GM making a mistake.”

      You have it wrong. We’re conditioned by a GM now with a long track record of taking the wrong risks. I don’t trust this front office’s ability to differentiate between a good risk and a bad risk anymore.

      • Jul 3, 20131:49 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Nailed it.  Gay is an impatient fans wish.  With him in the line-up the team is probably a 7-8 seed in the top heavy East.

      • Jul 3, 20132:43 pm
        by Bun B

        Reply

        This is right on.

      • Jul 3, 20134:41 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        Patrick nailed it, but to go one step further, that pick owed to the Bobcats looms large. How much better does Gay make the Pistons next year? If they are marginally better, they could very well miss the playoffs and lose the pick. That would be pretty terrible. I’d prefer to start Middleton, develop him, knowingly be bad and then use the flexibility next summer.

      • Jul 3, 20135:17 pm
        by RyanK

        Reply

        Why ya getting so bitchy for?  I think Fennis is making some good points.

        Gay is not impressive because of his contract…but he is impressive because of it at the same time.  One season with him to get us to the 90% minimum and then a nice cap clearing trade chip we can move in it’s last year.  

        No, Gay is not the savor.  Gay can be a stepping stone to that guy though.  Undervalued players…guys who outperform their contracts…every single GM in the league wants these guys and they’re hard to come by.  Trading for one, good luck…you’ll need to find a fool for a trading partner.

        • Jul 3, 20138:43 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Again, signing a guy just so we can get to the salary floor is stupid. I’d rather SLIGHTLY overpay 4 average players on 1 yr contracts & go for it again next year than take on Gay’s contract & production.

          • Jul 3, 20139:25 pm
            by RyanK

            How are you going to get average players to sign 1 year deals…define what you mean by average players.  You are not going to get 4 players who can play at this level and are average to sign 1 year deals.  Our draft pick is likely going to Charlotte, so there’s no advantage to this.

          • Jul 5, 201310:27 am
            by Shawn

            I honestly think this is what is going to happen.  I don’t believe the offers that the Pistons have made to the existing free agents or to Toronto have been outside the bounds of their comfort zone (which is what would be required for each of the other parties to pull the trigger).

            I am almost certain that we are going to end up with our own free agents (excluding Calderon) on one year deals so that we can resign Greg Monroe with out going into luxury tax territory.  

            Calderon will probably be on a longer deal if he remains with the Pistons.  I am not completely sure how the numbers would work out. 

  • Jul 3, 201311:53 am
    by Fennis

    Reply

    Is playing with Drummond considered a tweak, a change of scenery. I mean, if we think this guy has a chance to be the next Dwight Howard or something approaching it, that alone creates a very different team chemistry than anything Gay has seen at Memphis or Toronto. Add Moose and two 40% 3pt shooters in the backcourt (this is wishful thinking obviously) and maybe you get a more efficient Rudy Gay. Is that implausible, or are we to assume we’ll get the exact same player as was on the Memphis Grizzlies? Again, little risk, better defense on the ring, potential upside, and the alternative is riding Kyle Singler to glory. 

    • Jul 3, 20131:17 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “and the alternative is riding Kyle Singler to glory.”

      The only alternatives are trading for a wildly overpaid, inefficient player or playing Kyle Singler big minutes? What about examining other trade options? What about maintaining flexibility in case someone better than Gay becomes available at a later date? Those aren’t worth considering?

      • Jul 3, 20131:29 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        SINGLER OR GAY!! That’s it!

        It’s like your life options in a world with only one gender. 

        • Jul 3, 20131:31 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I forgot that the strike-out doesn’t work. Singler was supposed to have his “R” crossed out.

    • Jul 3, 20131:51 pm
      by Huddy

      Reply

      Moves can’t even be official until the 10th, how is the team already at the end of the line for options.

  • Jul 3, 201312:07 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    Gay kills any hope for improvement for 2 years unless he suddenly plays much better than he ever has. He’s a fairly average, inefficient small forward who got a contract paying him $18m per year based on potential- potential he hasn’t realized. Why would we want that?

    i would infinitely prefer to try to get Granger. He can shoot the 3, and is just a better player- as long as his knee is progressing well. And he’s on a one year contract, so we’d have options next year if he doesn’t work out. 

    • Jul 3, 201312:32 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      Danny Granger doesn’t even HAVE knees anymore. He’s one of the biggest injury risks in the league, and he’s almost guaranteed to be what Andrew Bynum was to the Sixers last season. I’d take him on a ZERO risk contract and see what Kander can do with him. I wouldn’t even trade Stuckey for Granger straight up, and I don’t like Stuckey.

      • Jul 3, 201312:42 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        He doesn’t have knees?

        Does that mean I will get to watch him goosestep up and down the court this coming season? 

  • Jul 3, 201312:40 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    I do have a question. What are the limitations on how a contract can be structured? I always thought you were limited to fairly small raises (in this CBA 4.5% or 7.5%) and that decreasing salaries were pretty limited too.

    But it seems that there have been contracts structured in other ways. I remember Houston allegedly trying to scare off New York and Chicago by front loading deals for Lin and Asik.

    So are these limitations only for when you are giving max deals or what? How much can you back load or front load contracts? Can you set them up to spike or dip in the middle if that best suits your multi-year plan? 

    • Jul 3, 20134:46 pm
      by Dan Feldman

      Reply

      Raises for signing another team’s free agent are generally limited to 4.5 percent. However, when signing a restricted free agent with two or fewer years in the league, teams can offer a larger raise from year two to three if they have the cap space to do so.

      The chart here is a good example of how that works:

      http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q44 

  • Jul 3, 201312:44 pm
    by Nick

    Reply

    I read on one comment that someone said they should trade Moose an CV for Gay which is the stupidest trade idea since the Chauncey AI disaster a few years back. My opinion ( just spit balling and if you disagree then go right ahead) is to resign Jose, run from the Gay trade, start Monroe and AD, and make a play for granger who is one of the most underrated ballers in my eyes. Yes he has knee issues, major ones but his contract is expiring next season so theres the cap space free for a MUCH better free agency. The other way it work is the team just doesn’t jell right an now its a high first round pick (maybe top 5) to use on a stronger draft which might be the way Joe D wants to go by forgetting that Trey Burke was on the board. IDK what he is thinking but its our jobs as pistons fans to just shake our heads and keep watching and waiting for another Championship run. like I said before this is my opinion on things if you have a better one or think its stupid just have logical reasons, not just pull stuff out of a hat.

  • Jul 3, 201312:46 pm
    by Windy

    Reply

    Try to trade for Wilson Chandler! Guy is on the cheap…hope Denver goes all in for Iggy, making Chandler a potential trade piece…

  • Jul 3, 20131:07 pm
    by mshansky

    Reply

    After the dust settles and no decent FA will come to the sink-hole known as the Pistons, and after our “trade Bait” proves laughable to other teams, what could be a   possible  move that will shake things up?
    the pistons are and will remain irrelevant, imo, for at least a few years, until they manage to obtain a couple really high draft picks and luck out.
    Iguodala aint coming here, Smith aint coming here, Toronto is not stupid enough to take on our garbage in return for a decent player. Hell, they wont even be able to keep calderon. Yes , players want to make money, but they also want to be on a DECENT team.
    I am curious how they can possibly increase their horrid attendance thru these pathetic “moves”?
    Who out there will pay to see stuckey, knight, monroe, drummond, and singler? 
    We will probably end up signing some fading star player, who wants one more contract before retiring.
    I think this is a major dilemma…. 

    • Jul 3, 20131:21 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Remember in 2008 when the biggest FAs were Brand, Davis, and Maggette. They went to Philly, the Clippers, and the warriors respectively.

      Yeah, players go where the money is offered, rarely do they worry about “decent teams”. That’s for superstars who are trying to create a legacy and will get max dollars anywhere.

  • Jul 3, 20131:15 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Gay Really isnt that expensive…

    Not with two years remaining…

    its a HUGE Number…but its just a 2 year deal….

    IMO… its better than Iggy or Josh smith maxing or getting 14 milll over 4 years….

    • Jul 3, 20131:23 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Oh man, I’d love to get Smith for $14M/4 yrs. He’d legitimately contend for the most underpaid player in the league.

    • Jul 3, 20131:27 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      He’s getting paid in 2 years what he should get in 4. That is definitely overpaid.

  • Jul 3, 20131:17 pm
    by jacob

    Reply

    Toronto called Joe’s offer a Lowball hahahahaha fuck you Toronto keep gay.

    • Jul 3, 20131:27 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Offering to give a smaller set of negative assets for a bigger negative asset. I guess one could call that a low ball.

  • Jul 3, 20131:43 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    @Hayes

    From what I can tell a Gay for CV and Stuckey trade keeps us 20 million under the cap in 2013. We lose the 16m cap relief we would get in 2014 and simply push it back a year to 2015 when Gay’s contract expires. Meanwhile, we’d remain 20 million under the cap right now, is 2013! That’s not enough flexibility for you? Gay + 20 million under the cap?

    • Jul 3, 20133:57 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      You also lose two expiring contracts that could be used as trade chips this season if a better player becomes available later and replace them with a player in Gay whose contract is so undesirable he, if Toronto trades him, will have been traded twice in a year solely because his production can’t possibly live up to his contract unless he morphs into Kevin Durant overnight or something.

      It’s not that I hate Gay as a player. He’s intriguing, albeit I’m not as intrigued by him as many of the commenters here seem to be. But what if Kevin Love becomes available near the deadline? Or what if Derrick Rose gets tired of whatever is going on with the Bulls front office and whoever kept leaking the whispers about him not coming back from his injury soon enough? Or what if Boston changes its stance on trading Rondo?

      The point is just that right now, the Pistons are armed with a mix of expiring deals and a few cheap young assets that could potentially position them to trade for a star player who becomes unhappy (and at least one becomes unhappy every season). You want to cash that in right now for Rudy freakin Gay? What’s the harm in waiting, honestly?

      • Jul 4, 20131:00 am
        by Who Is Us

        Reply

        It really all depends on the strength of Tom Gore’s win now edict doesn’t it? 

        If Dumars stands pat and only makes minimal moves now, the Pistons are likely to be just as bad as they were last season and adding a player at the trade deadline would be way to late and Joe D loses his job as the Pistons miss the playoffs and possibly their pick as well.

        Dumars may need to approach the season from the standpoint of “I need a roster that will compete for a playoff spot from day 1.” The Gay trade would put them in better position to do that and there is no guarantee that better options will become available later (Love & Rose are pipedreams btw).

  • Jul 3, 20131:46 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    So presently we have: 

    20 m in cap space in 2013

    16 m in additional cap space in 2014. 

    If we traded CV/Stuckey for Gay we’d have:

    20 m in cap space in 2013

    16 m in additional cap space in 2015.

    Again, where is the risk? 

    • Jul 3, 20134:18 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It is not fair to say the Pistons currently have $20M of cap space. With the slightest bit of intelligence, they amnesty CV and have an additional $8.5M.

  • Jul 3, 20131:49 pm
    by Al

    Reply

    To the editors-
    I’ve only followed this blog for a couple months and was pleasantly surprised at first. I thought you’re content was pretty interesting but the more I read your posts, and especially how you interact with readership, the more I think you’re just a couple of sensitive, inflammatory and stubborn fans who happen to have pretty good HTML skills. Guys, stop insulting everyone. Stop acting like you’re fn RC Buford. You just get on these kicks and defend it to the death. Level-headed people see both sides of an argument. Your personnel strategy is pretty much the same as the Timberwolves and before you know it you’ve got a roster full of 23 year olds who are always a “about a year away.”

    Let’s roll the dice. Make a play for Eric Gordon and hope he stays healthy. Make a play for Gay and hope you finds his shot again. Go for Tyreke Evans and see if getting away from Sacto will rejuvenate him. Anything, really, is better than the status quo.
    Lastly, Burke couldn’t get to the paint in the Big 10, what’s he going to do against the Bulls.

    • Jul 3, 20132:05 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      I have to disagree with you here. Not necessarily on comments about the blog, I’m sure several people feel that way. But I disagree with one statement very acutely.

      “Anything, really, is better than the status quo.”

      This seems naive. The last time THIS front office shook up the team and changed the status quo, we traded our best player for cap space and spent it all on terrible nobodies. Change for changing’s sake is foolhardy and leads to poor decision making. Signing players that don’t fit the team (Evans, Gay, arguably Smith) because they have some individual talent is what fantasy owners do, not teambuilders. I could give you several lineups absolutely filled with talent that would be sure to fail (Rondo-Wade-Smith-Griffin-Howard would ultimately be ruined because no one can shoot or hit free throws at a high rate). Just getting talent is often the FIRST step to building a team. The second step is filling in the gaps around your talent, and making sure you don’t compromise your future with bad contracts. Gay is a classic wrong move – it doesn’t improve upon the weaknesses of the team (shooting, defense) and puts us in significantly worse financial standing.

      • Jul 3, 20132:32 pm
        by Al

        Reply

        Listen, i get it. I don’t think Gay is particularly good either. My point is that he’s better than the alternative. Worst case, he sucks again and we trade his expiring contract after this season. Best case you have a dynamic athlete on the wing who gets you 17, 18 pts a game. You cannot possibly tell me he’s worse than Singler/Middleton. What’s the point of the cap room if you’re not going to do anything with it. When do we proactively try to improve our team? We delay and delay and conservatively add pieces and before you know it it’s 2017.
         
        My larger point is that the Pistons need to take risks. They are not going to attract any big-time free agents with the roster they have and they’re not one of the douchey markets where players go to sell T-Mobile plans and make cameos in an entourage movie.
         
        These moves are not comparable to the Gordon and Chalrie moves. They were one-dimensional duds 5 years ago and they’re one-dimensional duds now. All the players I mentioned are pretty multi-dimensional, albeit not great in any one area; except Gordon who was a fantastic up and coming 2-way player until injuries.
         
        It’s not against the rules to gradually improve your team until they are serious contenders, see Pistons early 2000s, Pacers of recent years, Grizz of recent years.
         

        • Jul 3, 20133:04 pm
          by Keith

          Reply

          I actually completely agree with you that the Pistons are in position to take risks. What I disagree with is the level/area of risk. We should be trying everything in our power to develop our own players, risking losses in the face of playing time. We should be bringing in every decent rookie FA and mid tier UFA to get an idea about who was undervalued. We should be trying out young coaches with drive and passion, and hoping they develop into something great.

          But I don’t think we should be taking max contract financial risks that are more likely to fail than pan out. There’s a difference between betting a dollar on the lottery once in a while, and betting your house on that same lottery. If you are out a dollar every month, so what, it was worth the little excitement of trying. But if you already know that you probably won’t win, you shouldn’t risk the house.

          We have two really talented young big men, and at least still some potential with Knight and KCP. I know it seems depressing and hopeless to fans, but there is a foundation their. I don’t want Joe betting our unfinished house on players that are likely to fail here. We’re not a better situation than Sacramento, and Tyreke overlaps a lot with Stuckey. Gay has never proven an ability to be a great player, and his contract has big implications next year. 

          We can argue about the level of risk all day, I’m sure. All I want is for the level of risk to be reflected in the contract we are signing or taking on. If we are paying the max, we better be damn sure the player is both good and a good fit. If we are paying minimum or mid-level, I have no qualms swinging for the fences.

          • Jul 3, 20134:32 pm
            by oats

            Pretty much this. I’m all for taking a smart risk. Gamble on efficient young players who are productive in limited minutes, especially if he has shown signs of improvement. Gamble on a player who hasn’t put it all together but shown talent and can be had for a really low cost. Gamble on a good player coming off an injury. Those types of risks are worth looking at. Do not gamble on a guy who is about to turn 27 and has consistently shown himself incapable of living up to his monstrous contract. That’s just not a sound plan.

    • Jul 3, 20134:25 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Al:

      “I thought you’re content was pretty interesting but the more I read your posts, and especially how you interact with readership, the more I think you’re just a couple of sensitive, inflammatory and stubborn fans who happen to have pretty good HTML skills.”

      To be fair, Dan doesn’t really negatively interact with readership. That’s mostly me. Sorry for offending your sensibilities. Excuse me for thinking that if commenters present wild opinions or are critical of something that is written, they should have to come up with a compelling counter-argument. That’s my fault for having expectations.

      Also, I’m not very good at HTML.

      “Guys, stop insulting everyone. Stop acting like you’re fn RC Buford.”

      Wait, does RC Buford insult people? I had no idea.

      “Your personnel strategy is pretty much the same as the Timberwolves and before you know it you’ve got a roster full of 23 year olds who are always a “about a year away.””

      I don’t have a personnel strategy because I don’t work for a team. I have an opinion that the Pistons no longer have a great personnel strategy. My opinion is supported by about four years of data backing that up. Am I saying I could do better running the team myself? No way. I hate when fans do that. But as someone who follows the NBA, pays attention to how good organizations are run and, in fact, watched how a good organization was run back when this was a good organization, I understand the difference between good risks and bad risks. Rudy Gay is not a good risk. It doesn’t mean he might come to Detroit and become the star his contract suggests he should be. But the chances of that are pretty minimal. It’s not a good risk. I’m not a fan of making moves for the sake of making moves. Have a strategy. Trading for Gay screams, “We don’t have a strategy.” It’s a hail mary attempt, and nothing more.

      “Let’s roll the dice. Make a play for Eric Gordon and hope he stays healthy.”

      I would be far more supportive of an attempt to get Gordon than Gay. He’s younger, a tad cheaper and has a passing chance at returning to form. Gay doesn’t have a form to return to. He’s always been a ‘what if’ guy whose production has never come close to matching the expectations for him.

      “Lastly, Burke couldn’t get to the paint in the Big 10, what’s he going to do against the Bulls.”

      Burke shot 72 percent at the rim last season, pretty good for a point guard. Also, I’m far more impressed with his ability to take care of the ball (11 percent turnover percentage) and ability to pass the ball (37 percent assist percentage).

      Listen man, I’m not super sensitive to reader complaints. It’s sports, after all. People are supposed to have strong opinions, defend them, etc. I’m sure I’ve crossed a line more than a few times in responding to commenters. Occasionally, I feel bad about it and say I’m sorry. But I’m also protective of what I write, believe in it and will defend it, particularly against a handful of obnoxious trolls who populate the comments (most of the people down here I get along with pretty well). If you have a good point supported by data, make it. I’ll certainly consider even dissenting views that are backed up by some relevant data.

      But I’m sorry, most of the dissenting arguments down here on this topic boil down to, “the Pistons have to do something because they have to SHAKE THINGS UP!” That has no meaning. It’s not a legitimate point, and it’s not a good vision to hope a team you root for embraces.

       

  • Jul 3, 20131:55 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    @Al

    Just to pile on,

    I want to see Chauncey Billups PER at 23. It may have been awesome, but I’m guessing Joe D. took a bit of a risk in signing him.

    PS – I didn’t mean to say that Gay would be our best player, only that he’d be our best wing player.  

  • Jul 3, 20131:58 pm
    by Fennis

    Reply

    26 rather.

    • Jul 3, 20132:15 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      17.6 his last year in Minnesota. He was 25 that year by the way. That’s above average, and showing signs of improvement from his 14.1 PER the year before. Not that I love PER as a metric, but it was showing him as a potentially up and coming player. There are other stats that better illustrate why he was a safe bet though. O rating loved him, solid Assist % and Turnover % (and other passing metrics like Assist to Turnover ratio), really strong TS%. Advanced stats had him pegged as a potential breakout player when Detroit swooped in on him.

    • Jul 3, 20134:04 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Oats already quoted the key stats that showed Billups was a good bet to succeed in a bigger role. He’d shown signs of breaking out for two straight seasons in Minnesota.

      Was there some risk in that he had injury issues and had bounced around a bit? Sure. But the Pistons also only gave him a mid-levelish deal, so that risk is significantly less than trading for a guy on a max contract who has never come close to performing to that salary level.

      There is no contract that is untradeable, and Gay’s would be no different. The Pistons could certainly make moves if it doesn’t work out. But it absolutely limits their flexibility if something better presents itself later in the offseason or during the season.

  • Jul 3, 20133:52 pm
    by ffz

    Reply

    What if our original plan when we traded Ben Gordon was to get James Harden this summer, i remember alot of us wanted james harden on this team and he would be our star player

    • Jul 3, 20134:39 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I’m positive that they hoped for a more robust free agent market. In addition to Harden, Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday and Steph Curry, to name a few, all could’ve potentially been on the market as restricted FAs before agreeing to extensions.

      • Jul 3, 20134:51 pm
        by Dan Feldman

        Reply

        “I’m positive that they hoped for a more robust free agent market.”

        You are right. My lord. It’s 2009 all over again. 

  • Jul 3, 20134:14 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    It is truly mindboggling, imho, that detroit fans are positive about the prospect of burdening the franchise with another problematic player with a problemetic contract.
    It is as if AI, BG, CV and the disastrous  charlotte trade never happened.
    Cannot fathom why anyone would want to assume gay’s ridiculous contract, considering his actual production.
    I’d much rather  pay matt barnes a fraction of that amount and at least know exactly what i was getting with barnes.
    The good and the bad and the ugly. 

    • Jul 3, 20134:37 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Great point. If the Pistons want to upgrade the SF position with a veteran, but aren’t enthused (and they shouldn’t be) about paying big money to Gay or Smith or Iggy (although of the three, he’d be the only one I’d be remotely enthused about at the three spot), there are plenty of decent stopgaps on the market to upgrade, make the team more competitive and still give flexibility going forward.

      Mike Dunleavy had a GREAT season (including, surprisingly, on defense) and was signed super cheap by the Bulls. Korver is still on the market. Matt Barnes. Dorell Wright, Wayne Ellington, Corey Brewer, Ronnie Brewer … you can literally find competent production to upgrade that position for very modest expenses right now. So upgrade away on the cheap, continue the push for the eight seed or whatever the organizational goal is and continue looking for a bigger deal for a better player.

      Trading for Gay would just represent a panic move and take away potential avenues to improve moving forward.

      • Jul 4, 20134:36 am
        by Who Is Us?

        Reply

        Although I disagree with you about the Gay trade, I think it has potential. I would much rather see the Pistons make smaller moves to upgrade the roster.
         
        I’ve been advocating since before the draft that if the Pistons came out of the off season with KCP and Corey Brewer, and another couple vets like Nick Young and/or Jarret Jack then they should be good enough to earn a playoff spot.
         
        With the way the market is moving right now, the Pistons might be best suited to make short term offers to Brewer, Young, and J.J. Hickson which would give them young long talent that can play both ways. The only position I would look to make a longer term commitment on might be at PG. I still believe that Knight can turn it around. That wouldn’t however stop me from pursuing Jack on a multi-year deal to compete with him of be his backup/mentor.
         
        In order to make it work under the cap the Pistons could offer $4mil, $6.5mil, and $5.5mil to Brewer, Young, and Hickson respectively (all raises from what they made this year). I order to sign Jack the Pistons would likely need to be at least at or more likely above his salary for this year which was $5.4mil. That would me Detroit would either have to work out a sign and trade (sending out Stuckey’s contract would work) or amnesty Charlie V.
         
        With the East as it stands today, there is a pretty good chance this roster is a playoff team.
         
        PG: Knight/Jack/Siva(or maybe Bynum)
        SG: Pope/Young/English
        SF: Brewer/Singler/Middleton
        PF: Monroe/Hickson/Mitchell
        C: Drummond/Kravtsov
         
        With Boston in the tank, Atlanta rebuilding, and the Bucks being, well…the Bucks that leaves 3 playoff spots in the air. Philly has taken a big step back (and losing Young wouldn’t help them), That only leaves Toronto in front of Detroit based on last year’s standings.
        Just my two cents.
         
        Here is a link to an article that supports your position Patrick:
        http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/03/3484333/pistons-wisely-restrained-amid.html

  • Jul 3, 20135:00 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    But the Gay trade as speculated is so low cost and that’s the thing. It’s not like we are giving up anything we hold dear (fans I mean, Joe and Mo seem to love Stuckey). The only drawback is a year delay on cap flexibility, which you can deal with in exchange for getting a player that COULD BE A SUPERSTAR to come to Detroit, AND in a roster position that is currently a HUGE VACUUM.

    It’s not like Joe is proposing trading Monroe or some other important piece for Gay, it’s Stuckey and CV! Two failed experiments we can jettison to take on an ugly, but short contract. If Toronto agreed it would be a very shrewd move on Joe D’s part, especially since he can still use the 20 million in cap space to find value or land another star.

    Yes, I agree having that giant contract could preclude some blockbusters, but what the hell do you have in mind? Dwight Howard isn’t coming here! We’re not trading for Chris Paul! I tried to comment above that A bird in the hand is more two in the bush. Gores and Dumars are in win-now mode and we just have to accept it. We might not have 3 years to turn Khris Middleton into Paul George. The way Dumars built the championship team was by quickly snatching up value where he could find it. We can argue about whether his eye has dimmed, but giving up what are essentially bums for 2 years of Gay at small forward, before he comes harmlessly off the books represents positive value.

    The thing about winning now, unsustainable as it may seem, is that it creates buzz around your city and lures free agents. This is what happens in an NBA where image counts. Not everyone can build cathedrals of principle over decades like the Spurs.

    Plus with recent decision in the Supreme Court Ga 

    • Jul 3, 20135:42 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      There is no evidence to suggest Gay could be a superstar. He’s never been anything remotely close to that. It’s giving up a year of cap flexibility for a guy that is a pretty average player. That makes no sense. This team just traded away a first round pick to get cap flexibility a year earlier. To then turn around and give up flexibility for a middling player like Gay is not a smart decision.

  • Jul 3, 201310:48 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    “It’s not like Joe is proposing trading Monroe or some other important piece for Gay, it’s Stuckey and CV!”

    And the Raptors said that wasn’t enough. I haven’t seen a report yet that says the Pistons are not interested if the cost is more than that. There’s a chance they could sweeten, and that’s a concern. If the team has a win-now mandate and they turned a couple of expirings to bad players into Gay to get marginally better, I wouldn’t like it, but I could defend it half-heartedly. If Gay costs future assets like picks or young players, I can’t defend it at all.

    “The thing about winning now, unsustainable as it may seem, is that it creates buzz around your city and lures free agents.”

    I think the Raptors used similar logic when they took a risk by trading financial flexibility in Calderon’s contract for Gay last season. That resulted in the GM getting fired and the new guy cleaning house. I think there’s little evidence this type of move works.

    As far as the problem with Gay and why he has so many defenders on here, is he LOOKS like how a prototypical star NBA wing should look. He’s athletic as hell, he has good size, he finishes well, his jumper mechanics look great. He’s EXACTLY the type of player who passes the eye test with flying colors. You could watch Rudy Gay highlights and look at nothing else and easily conclude that the guy is a star. He makes a dozen or so plays every season that only five or so guys in the NBA can make. He’s the type of player who makes casual fans (and certain twitter-beef loving sports writers) swoon and conclude that the sky’s the limit despite any nerdy nerd nerd non-game watching NERDS claiming that his meaningful numbers have never approached anything resembling great.

    He’s entering his prime years, just like Gordon and Villanueva were when similar cases were made for them that they could improve and that they were just victims of their situations. It’s just frankly not likely that a guy who has been in the league seven years makes some giant leap forward.

    I understand why Gay got paid big money. I understand why there is a lot of faith in him. I understand that he undoubtedly has some positive attributes that the Pistons lack. But he’s not anything resembling a franchise-altering talent. If Dumars is under some make the playoffs or else mandate and they trade for Gay to help accomplish that and don’t make it? It probably pushes Dumars out the door just like it did Colangelo. Or, if they do sneak into the playoffs as the eight seed, they lose a chance to draft a potential franchise-altering talent by ceding their first round pick to Charlotte. Save for a very, very unlikely thing happening — Gay suddenly hitting a statistical/production peak that he’s never shown he can — there is not a good outcome I can think of for trading for him. Is a wild, longshot chance that Gay does something that is extraordinarily rare — improving immensely this far into his career — worth the potential negatives?

    That’s basically the question I keep coming back to, and that’s how I define good risk/bad risk. This, to me, is the definition of a bad risk. 

  • Jul 3, 201310:51 pm
    by Garret

    Reply

    How about this move? 1. Don’t sign Iguodala or Smith, or trade for Gay.
    2. Suck this season (shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish) 3. Win the Lottery 4. Draft Andrew Wiggins 5. Sign LeBron to play with Wiggins 6. Re-sign Monroe 
    1. Knight/Siva
    2. Wiggins/KCP
    3. James/Wiggins/KCP
    4. Monroe/James/Mitchell
    5. Drummond/Monroe

    65+ wins, Championship 

  • Jul 13, 20132:43 am
    by Scott

    Reply

    Gay is terrible, Smith is a PF, Monroe is not worth the Max or anywhere near it, his trade value is much higher than his value to the Pistons playing next to Drummond.

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