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Tom Gores: Pistons drafted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over Trey Burke while having ‘win-now attitude’

Pistons owner Tom Gores in a Q&A with Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press (emphasis mine):

Q: About draft night, tell me your reaction to seeing the fans boo the selection of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and was there any desire to weigh in to have the team select (Michigan point guard) Trey Burke?

A: I was actually in the draft room, but I did hear about it and I understand. I think Trey is a great player and he did so much for the University of Michigan. I totally understand, but we took the philosophy of being in this draft what we needed as a team and we did take a bit of a win-now attitude. Our philosophy going in was we really wanted to have someone kind of slip right in to the team and help us win now. We felt that Kentavious could help us do that. Having said that, obviously Trey Burke is a great player. He’s going to do great. It wouldn’t be good for either one of us to just make the move for popularity just to get a good hooray from the fans.

The draft is not a good tool for becoming an immediate winner, and treating it as such tends to be poor strategy. Take the best prospect available, using fit only to differentiate between prospect who rate equally otherwise, and go from there.

Joe Dumars deviated from his typical post-draft talk this season, emphasizing need in ways he never did after selecting Andre Drummond, Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe. There are good reasons for taking Kentavious Caldwell-Pope over Trey Burke, but needing a shooting guard more than a point guard isn’t one of them.

At this point, here’s my question: Did Gores convince Dumars to have a “win-now attitude” in the draft, or did Dumars tell Gores this was the best approach?

52 Comments

  • Jul 1, 20139:52 am
    by Atlas

    Reply

    Stop all this trey burke talk -_-  Trey Burke = Jameer  Nelson id be fine with calderon !!!

  • Jul 1, 201310:01 am
    by Ryan

    Reply

    Gores showed more respect for the fans than Joe “popularity contest” Dumars did. If they make the right signings (probably not Calderon) and deals this summer, we’ll all be KCP fans very quickly. Let’s see if that happens.

  • Jul 1, 201310:01 am
    by greg

    Reply

    come on…pope was a great pick and could form a very good backcourt with knight, just give them time…they both defend and shoot the 3, thats perfect for moose and dre. Now i hope we don’t go after josh smith…Iguodala would be ok with me but I think there are better options. If he stays in denver wilson chandler would be a nice piece for the pistons. He’s not a FA but we could offer stuckey and maybe even add singler. I think another big should not be a priority. moose and dre are obviously starting. If dre goes to the bench enter mitchell for a dwfensive presence and switch moose to the 5. If monroe goes to the bench get jerebko in so you always have a defensive presence and also slava is there for 6 hard fouls. In case we move stuckey i really would like to maybe take a look at tyreke evans. he’ s young comes of his best shooting season from deep and has proved he can be good before being used wrong in a terroble invironment. I would offer up to 8 million to stabilize the backcourt. Alineup of drummond, monroe, chandler, KCP, Knight would look good with tyreke coming of the bench along with middleton, jerebko and mitchell.

  • Jul 1, 201310:10 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Dan and other you need to take a step back approach…and weigh the pro / cons…

    once again Pope wasnt higher on my board than shabazz…but if the Pistons are talking about adding speed,, and athletism , shooting….. then YES! Pope is the logical choice…

    IMO..If Burke played for Ohio state…most of you would careless

    People need to get out of their emotions….

    • Jul 1, 201310:20 am
      by Ryan

      Reply

      Yeah, if KCP played for Michigan you would all love this pick! Hypotheticals are informative!

      • Jul 1, 201310:36 am
        by G

        Reply

        Disagree about the Michigan thing – I didn’t want the Pistons to take Hardaway, and I wasn’t a fan of people advocating GR3 (before he dropped out). I wanted the Pistons to draft Burke because I believe he’ll be the better player & plays at a position of need while also providing a skill set not currently on the roster.

        • Jul 1, 201310:40 am
          by Ryan

          Reply

          I was being facetious – some of these arguments against Burke have been absurd.
           
          You’ve made me sort of curious about how much of an upgrade KCP would’ve been over Hardaway on that Michigan team, though. Might’ve cut down the nets…

          • Jul 1, 201311:14 am
            by G

            Interesting point… Michigan’s D would’ve been a little better & KCP would’ve been a better offensive fit next to Burke. My guess is Pope’s FG%’s would have been higher, ppg lower (say 15 or 16 instead of 18.5), and Michigan probably would have beaten L’ville for the title.

          • Jul 1, 20134:31 pm
            by tarsier

            If Pope could have put up 15-16 ppg efficiently while specializing on D on a team of that caliber, I would have liked him significantly more.

          • Jul 2, 20137:21 am
            by gmehl

            If KCP played for Michigan next to Burke then he probably would of been drafted higher. I am just taking a wait and see approach with how KCP goes in Detroit and Burke in Utah. I seriously think both players went to teams where they fit the most. I am expecting both players to have solid rookie campaigns.

    • Jul 1, 201312:24 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      You gotta drop the Michigan bullshit.

      Nobody ever advocated drafting Burke on the basis of where he played college ball. You are the one who is using his college location as a means of judging him (in this case negatively by dismissing all positive comments as biased).

      There are legitimate pros and cons to Trey Burke. Discuss in terms of those (or don’t at all because it is now irrelevant, the draft is over). But stop whining about all these biased Wolverines fans. That argument has been overturned ad nauseum.

      • Jul 1, 20133:51 pm
        by KaBa

        Reply

        So what you are telling me that all this discussion about how much better Burke then KCP is would be talked about in the same intensity if both of them did/didn’t play for UM? I just don’t see it. I said it several times, and I’m standing by my point, there is no reason to come that hard down on the Pistons like people are doing it. People act like we have the draft of 2003 just that it isn’t like that. Both of there games have pros and cons and if you sum them up they have talent wise pretty much the same ceiling. No one is expecting KCP to lead the Pistons, everyone would have expected that from Burke, just like everyone did with Knight. Knight is a solid player and nowhere near as bad as some are trying to make him.

    • Jul 1, 20132:00 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      He’s similar in terms of production and projections to Ty Lawson. I was all in on Ty Lawson too. I like point guards that get assists, avoid turnovers, and shoot the ball well. Burke puts a check next to all 3 things. I like Burke because he’s good at basketball.

      • Jul 1, 20136:47 pm
        by AYC

        Reply

        I like PGs that don’t get beat off the dribble and can defend the pick and roll.  PGs that struggle with that tend to give up easy layups, And 1s, lobs, and kick outs to open 3 point shooters.

        Defense is part of basketball. 

  • Jul 1, 201310:28 am
    by danny

    Reply

    I like this pick and understand what they are trying to do.  Hopefully we dont waste our money on FA’s like Smith and Igggy, unless we do some trades.  At the moment I currently do not like them on this team.  FA’s that will work well with us are Wilson Chandler, Trevor Ariza, and I know Hayword is not a FA but I would love him on the pistons. 

  • Jul 1, 201310:34 am
    by Mike

    Reply

    What if they emphasized needs because they had Burke and Caldwell-Pope as basically equals (like an awful lot of other people like did), and they preferred to take the 2 over the 1? I know, it’s almost impossible to believe such a thing was the case, so you should totally continue to write a bunch more updates about this where you complain about the pick.

    • Jul 1, 201310:52 am
      by G

      Reply

      Who are these other people who ranked Burke equally with KCP? That’s not what I saw.

      • Jul 1, 201311:17 am
        by Mike

        Reply

        Chad Ford reported for almost a month that there was a near consensus top 6 in the draft amongst NBA people, and neither of them were in it. He had them in the same tier based on the polling he did amongst NBA GM and front office types. From a prospect standpoint, they were at the very least close. Burke was likely slated higher for more people than KCP, but the difference between them was minimal. At some point, if Dan is going to continue to whine about this pick, he should at least acknowledge that he was higher on Burke than the rest of the league appeared to be, rather than pretending like Burke was a consensus top 5 pick who fell to 8 and the Pistons let him go.

      • Jul 1, 201312:01 pm
        by DoctorDave

        Reply

        Langlois made one tweet about 10 days ago that based on “the tier system,” the Pistons #37 pick could be as good as their #8 pick – meaning the top one or two tiers was 5-7 deep, and the next tier had 30 players in it. That turned out to be accurate with the Pistons taking Tony Mitchell at #37.
        But for this conversation, here’s the point: KCP and Burke were in the same tier. Very few draft experts had Burke in the top tier. Maybe Burke is a little better than KCP, maybe not; but they’re in the same tier.
        BTW – many experts did not consider Burke the best PG in the draft. Even ESPN had McCollum higher – a combo guard! – than Burke.
        Liking the KCP pick all hinges on the FA signings the Pistons make. Let’s see what’s next. Until then – I like the KCP pick (but wish they had traded up one spot to get McLemore).

        • Jul 1, 20132:30 pm
          by joe dumars

          Reply

          Yeah ESPN did a GM big board where most GMs gave McCollum a higher ranking than Burke.

          • Jul 1, 20133:09 pm
            by tarsier

            And Burke a higher ranking than Pope, right?

            I’m sure overall Burke was seen more highly than McCollum but I would believe that that one went both ways regularly. I’m betting Burke was higher than KCP nearly unanimously. 

  • Jul 1, 201310:39 am
    by D_S_V

    Reply

    I wish Joe managed his team like the Rockets, Pacers, or Thunder.

    • Jul 1, 201310:43 am
      by Ryan

      Reply

      That’s what this build-through-the-draft strategy (after CV/BG) is. Some teams get luckier than others. I also follow the Thunder (family in OKC) and it’s looking like their luck might be starting to run out.

      • Jul 1, 201310:50 am
        by D_S_V

        Reply

        I agree, luck is key, but IMO, throwing a bunch of money at Iggy or Smith is not the recipe for success. If Detroit could throw money around the way a team like Brooklyn can, that’s different, but I think patience and general frugality (apparently that is a word!) are important. I’ll take value rather than overpaid talent.

        • Jul 1, 201310:52 am
          by Ryan

          Reply

          Can’t argue, especially since they’re setup to have cap space again next summer. But it doesn’t look like Joe can afford to be patient, so hopefully if we dish out a big contract it’s a short one.

    • Jul 1, 20136:52 pm
      by AYC

      Reply

      Yes because those teams have a far better track record than Dumars, what with their titles in the last decade and 6 straight Conference Finals appearances.

  • Jul 1, 201310:47 am
    by cr29

    Reply

    Hopefully he can “slip right in” and help get the team to the 30-win mark, that’d be awesome.

    • Jul 1, 201310:52 am
      by Ryan

      Reply

      Haha – maybe by saying “win-now” Gores is only talking about one win.

  • Jul 1, 201311:00 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    Gore’s comments on “win now” were very measured and well thought out, if one reads the entire set of comments in the free press. I basically came across (to me) as saying one should always be trying to win, but not mortgaging the future to do it.  Good stuff. 
    As far as the Burke/KCP thing: rarely is putting the ball in the hands of a rookie point guard a “win now” strategy. If they actually want to win, they should put the ball in the hands of an experienced PG (Calderon, or ?). A rookie SG who will play D and try to score when appropriate is easier to integrate than a rookie PG who has to run the entire offense.

  • Jul 1, 201311:01 am
    by John V

    Reply

    I think all this talk of drafting for need is a nice way to spare Burke’s feelings. The guy is good friends with his son. I honestly think that Joe had KCP higher on his draft board. That is why he drafted him.

    • Jul 2, 20137:37 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      John I think you’re right and I was thinking the same thing myself.

  • Jul 1, 201311:36 am
    by Filo Putz

    Reply

    The need to upgrade at at least one of the scoring positions is much greater than a servicable point guard.By the way after watching Calderon in his time here I’d be very disapointed if they bring him back. He’s might the worst defenders at the position i’ve ever seen.

  • Jul 1, 201311:53 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Both Trey and KCP are going to be great players.

    But the point I make is that the point guard is a more valuable position than the shooting guard. I’d rather take a chance on a more valuable position, that has more control of the game, that effects the teammates more.
    Usually those pass-first, intelligent, on-court leadership guys (that you really need when you have a suspect head coach) are found at the 1 and the 3.
    A pass-first player that can control the game is rare. Utah’s bigs are going to be well fed for a long time with Trey Burke. We have KCP who could be a great player but we still don’t know if we have anybody that can maximize his shooting or get him the ball at a 3/1 assist/to ratio.
    The only thing less common than a dominant center is a point guard (or pass first player such as Lebron) that can pass with an assist/to ratio better than 3/1, and space the floor, get to the hole, and control the pace of the game. Trey Burke would have been a better pick from the opportunity cost perspective.
    Hopefully the Pistons can get Calderon to re-sign… and then angle for someone like Ben Simmons (SF) or Tyus Jones (PG) in 2015 with a natural pass-first control of the game to solidify the long-term core.

  • Jul 1, 20131:12 pm
    by Oracle

    Reply

    Just noticed something kind of cool… I was watching KCP’s pre-draft workout on Draftexpress, and in one of the highlights of drills, you see him high five Tony Mitchell.  Pistons connection!

  • Jul 1, 20131:17 pm
    by Erges

    Reply

    Sounds like playoff now to me. not championship stuff

  • Jul 1, 20131:38 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Sometimes win now is the only way to convince fickle free agents to come here. Long slow rebuilds are the right thing to do, but tend to bore and alienate fans. You can either build a philosophically consistent dynasty like the Spurs, or make unfair trades and land big name free agents like the Lakers.

  • Jul 1, 20132:28 pm
    by joe dumars

    Reply

    People talk about KCP like he was some kind of reach. The T-Wolves were targeting with the 9th pick, and many Wolves fans were upset we the Pistons grabbed him. I see a lot of Klay Thompson in KCP.

    Dumars had talked about drafting for need like this before. If Monroe, or Drummond hadn’t fell to them Ed Davis, and John Henson would be Pistons.

  • Jul 1, 20132:31 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    San Antonio did not have any kind of long patient build.   They have been a contender since the day they drafted Duncan and have been making great minor tweaks all along with the very occasional great tweak.

    However this is not about them having a different philosophy than the Lakers.   The Lakers don’t do what they do because of some philosophy but rather because they have the opportunity to make the moves they do.   The Lakers are probably the most attractive destination in the entire league year in and year out because they are the Lakers.  It’s that simple.   San Antonio on the other hand is like Detroit in that even when they are great, as they have been for the past 15 years, no marque free agents will sign with them because they are the Spurs.  It’s that simple.    Other than the stigma that used to be attached to the Nets and Clippers, marque free agents generally go to California, New York, Chicago, Florida or Houston.   Everyone else has to wait in line behind those teams and the Nets and Clippers are now players too.   

    • Jul 1, 20133:14 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Or they don’t sign big name free agents because when have they last had the cap space to do so? 

      • Jul 1, 20133:35 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        For that matter, apart from Shaq, when was the last time the Lakers signed a big name FA? Kobe, Howard, and Pau all arrived via trade.

        • Jul 1, 20137:11 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          When aging stars like Ray Allen, Jason Kidd, Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Grant Hill, Mitch Richmond, Jason Terry, Kenyon Martin, Juwon Howard and Antawn Jamison choose a team to go for a ring they never choose the Spurs.   When great role players like Shane Battier, Carl Landry, Derek Fisher and now Kyle Korver (going to BK) choose to join a team on the cheap they never choose the Spurs.   The Spurs did get McDyess to sign with them during Duncan’s 15 year run but that is about it.    

          Howard, Kobe and Gasol all demanded out and basically demanded to go to the Lakers so the fact that they weren’t free agents is not a good argument.   Those players all forced their way to LA in spite of the cap situation and the Lakers quite obviously have always been extremely attractive to players of every type.   When has a player ever demanded a trade and put the Spurs on their list of suitors?   Never.  It is almost always about California, New York, Chicago and Florida with the Lakers showing up in nearly every instance.   

          • Jul 1, 201311:08 pm
            by AlC

            Michael Finley?  Antonio McDyess?
            The thing is, the Spurs strike me as the kind of organization that won’t add big name talent just for the sake of adding big name talent.  Whoever they add has to fit into what they need and bring the right attitude.

  • Jul 1, 20133:39 pm
    by KaBa

    Reply

    Come on, even Utah is planing on not giving him much minutes. This is getting ridicoulus. You guys have to stop at some point with this Burke talk. The Pistons did not miss out on a Superstar, so give it a rest. Both of them will probably nice players to have.

    • Jul 1, 20134:29 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Wait, you know how many minutes Utah is giving Burke? How do you have such insider information that even the Utah brass probably hasn’t yet determined?

      The only person who has said that Burke shouldn’t start is Mo Williams. He is hardly a great basketball mind or unbiased. 

      • Jul 1, 20134:54 pm
        by KaBa

        Reply

        https://twitter.com/SpearsNBAYahoo/status/350982553903185922 
        That is what I’m reffering to. Probably there is something to it about the talk from Mo. We shall see what happens. I wish each and every player all the luck, they are going to need it in the NBA.

        • Jul 1, 20135:05 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          So Spears says that the Jazz tend to ease PGs in, even superstars. Therefore Burke is unlikely to start immediately. And what you take from that is that Burke is unlikely to start off the bat therefore he is not all that good.

          Do you see the flaw in your logic?

          Let me explain it to you in logic terms:

          Spears says:
          if P or not P, then Q
          You use that and say:
          Q therefore P

          • Jul 1, 20137:27 pm
            by KaBa

            No, what I wanted to say is, how many guys do you know from this draft that will produce big and help straight away? Porter, McLemore and maybe Oladipo (my favorite pick)? I just wanted to say that KCP is as good as Burke. No Superstars, just 2 fine players that when they are with the right team can really do something. Would have been Detroit the right place for Burke, I don’t know. Now why do you think that is so tragic that pistons didn’t pic Burke? What is it what you see that makes you think stuff like that? I’m asking because I really want to know. 

  • Jul 1, 20139:15 pm
    by CCnation

    Reply

    I hope Tom Gores is reading this post. (not likely, but it’s my Christmas wish in July).

    I wish that the Pistons trade for Eric Bledsoe.

    I would buy season tickets if they did.

    I think they could trade either Stuckey or Knight.

    Calderon is not a legit point guard in this league.

    MR. GORES, I REPEAT:  I WILL BUY SEASON TICKETS IF THE PISTONS ACQUIRE BLEDSOE! 

  • Jul 2, 20131:14 am
    by p

    Reply

    The Pistons are being polite. “Trey Burke was a great college player, but his short stature and below-NBA-average athleticism will limit him at this level. He is also more of a natural 2 guard who happens to play 1 because of his size, than a pure distributor a la Jason Kidd/Jose Calderon, and will find it more difficult to garner assists than he did in the Beilein system against college competition. So that’s why he wasn’t an option for us in the lottery.” isn’t advantageous to them.

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