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10 predictions, sane and insane, for the 2013-14 Detroit Pistons season

Although my presence at PistonPowered has become inconsistent over the past few months (that might be putting it kindly … I might be the Charlie Villanueva of PistonPowered right now, just collecting paychecks* and occasionally chucking threes), I assure you, I’ve still been lurking. And like many commenters, I share a great sense of optimism for the season.

* Note: Paychecks don’t actually exist at PistonPowered

Part of the reason my writing has become so sporadic is simply that this team became exhausting to write about. Although I’ve been a Pistons fan for my entire life, my first full season writing about the team was the 2009-10 season — the beginning of the John Kuester era. I don’t need to recap how dreadfully boring the past four seasons of Pistons basketball have been — you’ve all been paying attention. The challenge for me during that stretch has been trying to find fresh angles and interesting analysis to offer about a team that, let’s face it, had very few redeeming values. Once the abundant positives of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond were covered, once all of the many appropriate Jason Maxiell jokes were made, once all off the ridiculous commenters were properly insulted, there was very little of value that I could offer to the conversation.

I’m as excited for this season as I was during any approaching season in the most recent golden age of Pistons basketball. Not because I expect this team to be as good as any of those teams — they most assuredly won’t be. But because there are no shortage of interesting, meaningful storylines that will be worth following throughout the season. Whether those storylines ultimately end up playing out favorably or unfavorably, the results are going to be compelling — a high stakes failure, though certainly not what I’m rooting for, can ultimately be as interesting to watch as the more preferable exceeding of expectations. The uncertainty is what is appealing to me this season. The lead-ups to the past four seasons have simply been exercises in self-delusion — any non-ignorant fan could look at those rosters and know those teams were going to suck, those coaches were going to fail and that there was next to no talent on those rosters. Whether the Pistons win or lose this season won’t be a question of talent — they have it.

So, what better time than now to throw out a bunch of way-too-specific predictions with almost no supporting data? Don’t worry though … I’m not the type of writer who makes ridiculous predictions and then forgets about it. This column is bookmarked and we’ll revisit it after the season to see how badly I missed the mark.

1. The Pistons will have their first All-Star since Allen Iverson.

Despite a sound statistical case that Greg Monroe has played near an All-Star level the past two seasons, because of the team’s general irrelevance and terribleness, the Pistons have had no realistic shot at an All-Star. That changes this year. Monroe, already very good, is out to prove he’s worthy of a max extension. Prized free agent acquisition Josh Smith has been about as close to being an All-Star without actually being one as a player can get for most of his career. Brandon Jennings hasn’t ever played close to an All-Star level, but probably thinks he has and has plenty of motivation to prove critics from his Milwaukee days wrong. All three are very good bets to have breakout seasons, but none will represent the Pistons in the All-Star game because …

2. Andre Drummond will be an All-Star and win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

As we’ve seen in the preseason and his limited minutes last season, Drummond is capable of putting up astoundingly gaudy numbers. His play and personality have attracted national media attention (he’s arguably the darling of Grantland) and will continue to, his athleticism will continuously get him prominent highlights on SportsCenter and he’s one of the funniest social media personalities in the league. As we know, All-Star selections require both performance and buzz. Drummond is positioned to deliver both better than anyone on the Pistons, and those factors will be enough to garner him a spot on the Eastern Conference roster.

As for Defensive Player of the Year, it won’t go to the player who should win it, LeBron James, because he’ll have to settle for another MVP. It won’t go to the most recent defensively dominant big man, Dwight Howard, because voters will be too influenced by the non-basketball ‘Dwightmare’ drama that has been going on for, what, like four straight offseasons now? So how about giving it to a likable, defensive game changer with outlandish numbers on a much-improved team?

3. Tom Gores will be annoying in a good way.

Gores has received some criticism for not showing his face much around the Palace since purchasing the team. But in all honesty, would you show your face around the bunch he inherited? With splashy offseason moves and an exciting roster, Gores finally has a chance to show off and brag about his investment. So expect a lot of scenes like this, with a goofy poofy-haired guy in too-tight jeans and too much exposed chest hair celebrating big wins with the players. Expect that to be hilarious every time and expect it to really annoy opposing teams but really endear Gores to Pistons fans.

4. Charlie Villanueva will be annoying in a bad way.

Although I’ve made my share of jabs at Villanueva, I’m far from his harshest critic among Pistons fans. Hell, I’ve even made occasionally tepid efforts to defend the guy. In the last year of his dreadful failure of a contract, on a team with enough talent to never have to worry about playing him and already with his new coach questioning his conditioning, Villaneuva is sure to be at optimum fan-irritating levels this season. For exhibit A of his lack of self-awareness, check out his tweets during yesterday’s amazing Detroit Lions game:

 

 

 

 

 

So much in that series — first, classic Charlie V move to leave a back-and-forth one possession game with over a minute left, then be upset when it has a wild ending that he missed; second, pretty funny that he blamed Romo for a meltdown that Romo had nothing to do with — did Romo get the holding penalty on Dallas’ final possession that stopped the clock when Detroit had no timeouts? Did Romo play poor pass defense on Detroit’s final drive?; third, LOL at Tony Romo … I can’t imagine a more embarrassing fellow athlete to clown your performance. Never change, Charlie. Unless we’re talking about changing teams … because in that case, totally change.

5. Rodney Stuckey will have a good season.

I once devoted an entire book chapter to my belief that Stuckey is the symbol of everything that has gone wrong during the second half of Joe Dumars’ tenure as team president, so I obviously have not been on the board of trustees of the Stuckey fan club (hypothetically speaking though, since no Stuckey fans exist … JK JK). Admittedly, I haven’t been a fan of his game, his lack of development and the free reign and seemingly limitless minutes the Pistons have given him in his career to develop into … whatever it is they thought he could develop into.  But criticisms aside, I also like to think I’ve been fairly realistic about what Stuckey is — a limited upside, versatile guard who can give quality minutes in the right situation at either backcourt spot. His size and athleticism will both come in handy for the Pistons this season, as will his knack for getting to the line. As soon as he returns healthy from his freak offseason injury, he’ll carve out a valuable rotation spot off the bench where his lack of shooting is less glaring an issue and give productive minutes all season.

6. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will not.

In the longrun, Caldwell-Pope will be fine. He seems hard-working, he’s strong, athletic and a prototypical NBA perimeter defender and his shooting mechanics aren’t bad. But expect his offensive inconsistencies from Summer League and preseason to carry over into the season. The Pistons desperately need shooting and they can ill-afford a slow start to the season, so if KCP’s shot isn’t falling early, they have other rotation options in Chauncey Billups, Kyle Singler and, when he gets healthy, Gigi Datome, they can try. If Caldwell-Pope makes an impact as a rookie, it won’t be until later in the season.

7. Greg Monroe will get traded.

I closed my eyes when I typed that (impressive, right?). I don’t want the Pistons to trade Monroe because I think it will be nearly impossible to get equal value for him, but I’m also not convinced they want to pay him max money when Smith is making near that amount and Drummond most assuredly will be getting the max in time. That’s a very expensive frontcourt on a team that has always operated within a budget and could use upgrades at other positions. I fully expect Monroe to continue to improve and having a season that justifies him receiving the max deal he’s earned to this point in his career. As that realization becomes more clear, other teams will notice and, more importantly, be willing to invest high level assets for Monroe. I think the Pistons will be offered a package for Monroe that features a really good shooting guard or small forward this season and I think they will take it. Also, any commenter who interprets ‘really good shooting guard or small forward’ as ‘Rudy Gay’ will immediately be banned for life.

8. The point guard play will stabilize, but still underwhelm.

Early in the preseason, a Milwaukee Bucks writer I follow on Twitter wrote something like (paraphrasing … can’t find the exact tweet), “Brandon Knight just really clumsily tried to split a double team. That will lead to TOs if he does that a lot.” Sorry Bucks fans … good luck with that. One thing I will absolutely not miss about the past two seasons — all of the storylines pretending that Knight is a can’t-miss prospect simply because he’s hard-working. He’s likely not a starting-caliber NBA point guard. Now, he’s some other team’s reclamation project. I’m not rooting against his success by any stretch — I root for everyone’s success, with the exception of a few commenters who I openly root against. But it became frustrating to try and find silver linings in Knight, generally, being a poor basketball player during his Detroit tenure. He has a chance to figure it out, and I honestly hope he does, but I’m glad I don’t have to watch the struggle to do it anymore.

So what are the Pistons left with as an alternative? Jennings will be less shot-happy, particularly early in the season, as he tries to ditch the reputation of playing selfishly that he earned in Milwaukee. Less shots for Jennings will be good for this offense, and his speed and passing in the open court should be good for the team’s bigs. Will Bynum will continue to mix great plays with occasional sloppiness, but his ability to create shots for himself and others, particularly Drummond, will prove valuable when the offense is stodgy or the pace needs to be picked up. Billups will provide a comfortable security blanket for when either of the aforementioned become too erratic.

The trio will combine to provide more consistent play, but by the end of the season, Jennings’ shoot-first tendencies and the fact that Bynum is old and Billups is really old might have the Pistons still considering options to upgrade the PG spot in the future.

9. The coaching situation will stabilize, but still underwhelm.

Maurice Cheeks is a retread coach who hasn’t distinguished himself as anything but in two previous coaching spots. I expect the Pistons to be better this season because they have more talent, not because they hired one retread coach to replace another. Best case scenario is that the team plays hard for Cheeks, gets off to a strong start (or at least not a disastrously crippling start like the previous two coaches were known for) and, within a year or so, the team has improved enough that Joe Dumars can hit the market for an upgrade. There’s little evidence to suggest that Cheeks is going to suddenly figure out how to be a difference-making head coach in the NBA. It rarely happens that coaches have multiple failures with other teams then put it together elsewhere. That’s not really a knock on Cheeks though — the NBA is full of retread coaches. Unless you have one of the few best or few worst, coaches have very little positive or negative impact on a team. If Cheeks can get the Pistons to maximize their talent and play competently, he’ll have a job for a couple of years. Then, once the team has improved enough to truly need a difference-making (and expensive) coach, Dumars can look for a replacement and Cheeks will have done enough in two years of helping the Pistons improve to be in play for other head coaching gigs.

10. The Pistons will be the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.

That’s a pretty big jump for a team that would probably just be happy to sneak into the playoffs as the eighth seed. But really, if you believe in the defensive potential of a Drummond and Smith-led frontline, the matchup problems Smith/Monroe/Drummond create and believe that the backcourt can stay modestly healthy and run a competent offense, moving up into the fifth spot is not that big a stretch.

Along with the aforementioned, for this to happen, we’d have to be working with a few givens. The Heat, Pacers and Bulls are the consensus top three, in some order. Charlotte, Orlando, Philadelphia and Boston will catch you next season. So that leaves eight teams — the Pistons, Knicks, Nets, Raptors, Wizards, Cavs, Raptors and Hawks — competing for those five spots. The Knicks and Nets were playoff teams last season and should be this season, but they’re really old too. It’s not far-fetched to think at least one will take a dive down the standings this season. The Hawks were a playoff team and lost Smith to free agency, but I also think they had an underrated offseason (Paul Millsap was a nice get) and I’m a huge Al Horford fan. So we’ll pencil the in for the fourth seed. To get the fifth seed, the Pistons would have to rely on age/injuries pushing the Knicks and Nets down and they’d have to hope they improve at a more rapid rate than the Raps, Wizards and Cavs. Improbable? Absolutely. Impossible? Not at all.

Who wouldn’t love to see the Pistons and Hawks rekindle their two-year rivalry from the Grant Hill-Dikembe Mutomobo years that also included two of the most hideous jersey designs ever?

From the Vault

I’m going to add a little recurring feature to my Monday columns this season … looking back at some of the worst stuff I’ve written over the years. Enjoy the first installment.

So everyone here knows about my Will Bynum infatuation. In fact, I’ve long argued that Bynum is the superior player to Rodney Stuckey. That point isn’t far-fetched, although it is certainly debatable, and some key stats back the position. But I took it a step further for MLive in 2010 and tried to decide whether Bynum or Stuckey (or both!) should be looked at as a franchise cornerstone at the point guard spot:

The Pistons have a problem that many teams would love: two young, promising point guards, both who have experienced some NBA success, both who should continue to get much better.

But who’s the guy?

Stay tuned for my column later this season when I discuss how Peyton Siva and Kim English could’ve been the next Isiah/Dumars.

Top Tweet

Which Piston was the best Twitter personality this week? Each Monday, I’ll hand out this meaningless award.

There’s a Pistons fan on Twitter named Karl. This is not hyperbole — he’s the most persistent, odd Pistons fan I’ve ever encountered. Anyone who writes about the Pistons has probably been bombarded by Karl with the same questions over and over again (for me, he kept insisting for months leading up to last year’s draft that the Pistons would be crazy to pass on Arnett Moultrie in the lottery … I’m sure every other writer has a story about a question Karl bashed them over the head with as well).

Anyway, a big talking point for Karl related to Josh Harrellson was splitting hairs over whether he’s a center or power forward (as if that distinction matters anymore in today’s NBA). Keith Langlois of Pistons.com posted a story about Harrellson and Karl immediately responded, worried that Harrellson did not meet some arbitrary height minimum to be a NBA center (incidentally, Ben Wallace did pretty well as an undersized center).

 

Now, I suspect that weird, random and uninformed commentary from fans is just something that every athlete deals with. But I thought it was cool that Harrellson took the time to politely say that was a really stupid question:

 

Unfortunately for Harrellson, it opened the floodgates for this series of questions that seem like they were posed by a curious (but still ignorant) 7-year-old. Oh well. Keep fighting the good fight, Josh. Also, who is taller? A cloned version of yourself standing on the real you’s shoulders or a giraffe?

We’re going to try out a weekly mailbag feature …

This will only be as successful as your participation, but I’d like to kick off a PistonPowered mailbag next week. If you have questions about the team, the NBA, grooming tips, this week’s episode of Raw … basically, whatever’s on your mind (seriously … no question is too weird for me to consider), send away. You can email me at patrickhayes13(at)gmail(dot)com or find me on Twitter @patrick_hayes. We’ll see how it goes next week.

Also, I haven’t been around here much lately … according to Feldman’s posts, am I obligated to end every post by writing, “Read my thoughts at NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk?”

113 Comments

  • Oct 28, 20134:41 pm
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    Looking forward to more Monday columns.

  • Oct 28, 20135:40 pm
    by Chuck Hayes

    Reply

    I’m maybe 6’6″ on a good day and I’ve played the 5 spot in the league for a number of years.

    • Oct 29, 20139:51 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Another good example. And along those lines, though he was no great shakes, Jason Maxiell at a generously listed 6-6 held his own at the center position for the most part.

  • Oct 28, 20136:06 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    CV always checking out early… don’t figure… what an ass!

  • Oct 28, 20136:24 pm
    by Ryan

    Reply

    If we trade Greg Monroe because we signed Josh Smith I’m officially going to become a free agent fan and honestly I don’t think I’ll be coming back. Even the idea makes me sick.

    • Oct 28, 20139:20 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      @Ryan you might want to start searching for a new team because it will come down to choosing either Monroe or Drummond. I can’t see Gores going into the luxury tax to keep both. I don’t like it either but unless another team was to pick up Smith’s contract be ready to be disappointed because i’m readying myself to be. I am just praying that we can get something worth it for him. Looking around I think our best bet might be Kenneth Faried who is rumoured to be on the block. A trade that works would be Monroe/Jerebko for Faried/Chandler. Just imagine a line up of:
      PG-Jennings, SG-Chandler or KCP, SF-Faried, PF-Smith, C-Drummond. It would be a spectacular defensive lineup that would own the glass. It will suck to lose the Moose but I just can’t see us giving him a max deal.

      • Oct 29, 201312:39 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        What would be gained by swapping Monroe for Faried? Even worse shooting? Even less complimentary talent?

        Monroe/Jennings for Faried/Gallinari/Lawson… that would be worth considering. 

      • Oct 29, 20139:53 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Yeah, I agree with tarsier … Faried is nowhere near enough for Monroe. But a multi-player trade that nets the Pistons upgrades at a couple of other positions along with Faried might be worth considering.

  • Oct 28, 20136:38 pm
    by RP

    Reply

    So happy you’re back

  • Oct 28, 20136:48 pm
    by Pt

    Reply

    So many shots at Feldman and us here commenters! 

    Two questions for the mailbag 1) will the pistons regret not drafting Kelly Olynyk? 2) how about Rudy Gay/Demarr Derozan for Monroe/V/Stuckey? 

    Looking forward to your thoughts!  

    • Oct 28, 20137:03 pm
      by jeff m

      Reply

      It’s possible that every team that drafted a head of boston will regret not drafting him.

      • Oct 29, 201312:26 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Olynyk becoming the best player to come out of this draft would be a bigger upset than the Sixers making the playoffs.

        • Oct 29, 201312:31 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          Not really.   It’s not like anyone from this draft is a lock to be anything but the 76s are almost a lock to be the worst team in the league.   The guys on the CBS basketball podcast all thought they were the best over under bet offered by Vegas this year with the bet being the under and the under being 17 games.  One of them predicted they would win 9.   In terms of rookie talent, this could be like the year Mike Miller edged Drew Gooden for ROY and it wouldn’t be shocking if Olynyk turned out better than Miller and Gooden–unlikely though.    

          • Oct 29, 20133:20 pm
            by tarsier

            I wouldn’t be shocked if Olynyk won ROY. I’d put the odds around 5-10% whereas the odds of the Sixers making the playoffs are probably more like 1-5%. But Olynyk won’t be the best player to come out of the draft, just like Lillard wasn’t last year and Tyreke wasn’t a couple seasons back.

            I would be floored if Olynyk was better than all of McLemore, Porter, Oladipo, Burke, Bennett, and Noel. And that doesn’t even include all the other long shots to come out on top (Zeller, Len, Muhammad, etc).

            Initially, I was going to say that Olynyk being the best player in the draft is a longer shot than the Sixers going to the Finals. That would have been hyperbole. Longer odds than their making the playoffs is not.

    • Oct 28, 20137:14 pm
      by Scott

      Reply

      monroe for rudy gay????!!??  are you high??

    • Oct 29, 20139:54 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Pt is just trolling folks … he’s Canadian, hence the love for his countryman Olynyk and for lopsided trades that favor the Raps.

      • Oct 29, 201312:33 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Plus, your article almost dares people to back Gay.   I will say that while I wouldn’t endorse a Monroe for Gay trade, Gay is good enough that any small forward who is definitely better than Gay would have to be intriguing. 

  • Oct 28, 20137:40 pm
    by Hardy

    Reply

    If we have to trade Monroe we need a top 5 pick to go after Marcus Smart or Andrew Harrison in case the Brandon Jennings project fails.

  • Oct 28, 20138:16 pm
    by anthony

    Reply

    In NBA 2K13 I traded Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings for James Harden and Patrick Beverly. Didn’t force the trade, they offered. 2K wouldn’t make a bogus trade! Come on Dumars make the call!
    /s 

    • Oct 28, 20138:26 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      hahahahahahah

      DO IT!!! 

    • Oct 28, 201311:05 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      A year ago, Dumars totally could have gotten Harden for Monroe.

  • Oct 28, 201310:38 pm
    by Victor

    Reply

    I would say that Kevin Durant would be a nice piece in exchange for Monroe

  • Oct 28, 201310:48 pm
    by labatts

    Reply

    “pretty funny that he blamed Romo for a meltdown that Romo had nothing to do with”
     
    To be fair, when Dallas had the ball just prior to the 2 minute warning, Romo threw the ball away on a third and long.  They then had to punt, giving the Lions the ball with time still before the two minute warning. 
    Had he simply taken a sack instead of throwing the ball away, that probably would have wasted enough clock to effectively win it for them.

    • Oct 28, 201311:14 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Terrible armchair quarterbacking. Trying to pick up the first down was definitely the right play. The greatly increased odds of winning that a completion would have given the Boys made the attempt worthwhile. You gotta play the odds. The fact that they sometimes screw you doesn’t mean you should go with the play that is statistically worse.

      • Oct 28, 201311:30 pm
        by labatts

        Reply

        No, I am not disputing attempting a pass play.  He was scrambling like crazy trying to get away from Suh.  He had run back about 7 or 8 yards at that point.  He had no chance of completing  a pass.  He wasn’t even TRYING to complete a pass.  He intentionally threw it out of bounds. 
        It was the right call to attempt a pass, but not the right decision to throw the ball out of bounds. 

        • Oct 29, 201310:20 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Actually, given the situation: up 3 points, about to punt, way more than enough time left for the Lions to march 40 yards down the field into relatively easy FG range, I would say that stopping or running the clock was a 50/50 call, so he might as well take the field position. And that’s after the fact. You expect him to make the marginal call to take a sack in real time?

          Remember, at that point, upon recovery of the ball, the Lions only needed a field goal. And, if they got it, it would actually help the Cowboys to have more time on the clock to try to get one of their own. It’s not like it’s reasonable to expect him to know there were 3+ possessions left in the game.

          • Oct 29, 20135:52 pm
            by labatts

            “You expect him to make the marginal call to take a sack in real time?”
            Yes, players do this all the time.  Its what makes them good.  But, I am getting tired of the discussion, so lets agree to disagree.  (at least that is what I am going to do)

          • Oct 30, 20139:57 am
            by tarsier

            It’s easy to get tired of a discussion when you’re wrong.

  • Oct 28, 201311:10 pm
    by Jodi "The Guru" Jezz

    Reply

    I’m betting against Patrick…I’ll guarantee right now that we won’t trade Monroe…Monroe won’t get the a max deal either, I’m booking on 4yrs/55.8mil deal…

    • Oct 28, 201311:20 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Your an idiot if you don’t think Monroe won’t get offered a max deal. As soon as the Josh Smith signing was announced, Monroe’s name instantly went onto every GMs blackboard under ’2014 potential free agents’. If we keep him i’ll be ecstatic but I wouldn’t even put $50 on it. If Joe doesn’t have any intent on re-signing him I think he should be calling the Nuggets about Kenneth Faried.

      • Oct 29, 201312:02 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Faried? Really? He’s a rich man’s Jerebko. Nice player to have, but nothing special.

      • Oct 29, 201312:19 am
        by Jodi "The Guru" Jezz

        Reply

        Call me an idiot now, but remember we had this conversation…Monroe will get slightly under a max deal and we’ll match the offer…Dumars isn’t going to let Monroe or Drummond leave Detroit anytime soon, they’re the face of this franchise…And no sir to Faried!..I totally agree with tarsier, he’s a great back-up player at best…

        • Oct 29, 201312:24 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Monroe could accept a deal below the max. I won’t rule out the possibility. But I guarantee that someone will offer him a max deal. So if he gets a contract lower than that, it will almost certainly be because he is choosing his destination. In other words, a direct negotiation with Detroit (why sign a deal elsewhere for less than the max if you know they’ll match anyway?) or a sign and trade.

        • Oct 29, 201310:07 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          “And no sir to Faried!..I totally agree with tarsier, he’s a great back-up player at best…”

          He was a starter on a playoff team that had a 15-game winning streak at one point last year. 

          • Oct 29, 201310:36 am
            by tarsier

            Faried has started almost every game f his career but is only averaging 26 mpg. I agree that his upside is more than aback-up , but the role and minutes he has been playing are pretty much “a great back-up player” even if he has technically been on the floor for tip-offs.

          • Oct 29, 201310:48 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            He led the team in rebounding last season. He only played 26 minutes per game because George Karl used a 10 (and occasionally 11 when he played Fournier or Mozgov) man rotation last season. Only three guys on that team played more than 30 minutes per game. For the way that roster was used, Faried played starters minutes and he was one of their most productive players in those minutes.

          • Oct 29, 201311:57 am
            by Huddy

            Faried is a solid starter, but not a good fit.  If Monroe is being traded because the team has too many bigs that don’t have range then Faried doesn’t solve that problem.  He is not a good trade target for Monroe, but is a good player.

          • Oct 29, 201312:00 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            @huddy:

            I don’t look at Faried as the target. I think he’s a nice additional piece that also includes Lawson and either Gallo or Chandler in a bigger trade. Those would be the main targets.

            I agree with you — a trade with Monroe and Faried as the principles is incredibly lopsided. 

          • Oct 29, 201312:06 pm
            by Huddy

            @Patrick I agree with that.  IMO there is no way Denver moves Lawson and Faried in that deal and even attaching Chandler sets them back as a team.  Injured Gallinari, no more Brewer and Andre, lack of floor spacing…they’d be in a rough place.  I would love to find a way to get Chandler from them since he has been underutilized, but it is less likely with Andre gone and probably almost impossible until that get Galinari back.

      • Oct 29, 20137:36 am
        by hoophabit

        Reply

        That would be “You’re an idiot,” although I’d agree with your point that GM is very likely to get a max offer.  Wouldn’t it be better to say something like “you’re sorely mistaken?”  Why do people feel so free to be uncivil in these kinds of settings?

    • Oct 29, 20139:58 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      @Jodi:

      First of all, ‘the guru?’ You a big Mike Myers fan? Did you learn anything from George ‘T-Bone’ Constanza? You can’t give yourself a nickname. Nicknames are earned.

      Secondly, Monroe’s agent, per David Aldridge, is reportedly not accepting less than a max deal. Monroe’s market, based on what guys like Cousins, Hibbert, etc., got, suggests that he’s a max player. So I guess it’s possible that he takes less because he loves being a Piston so much. But that’s a very remote possibility. Also, you saying he’ll take $55 million is basically saying he’ll get a max deal. A max offer sheet to Monroe as a restricted free agent will only be slightly more than that.  

      • Oct 29, 201310:27 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Patrick, can you explain why max contract guys have agents? I’ve never understood this. Is it just about negotiating outside endorsements? Because when your salary is capped and you’re going to hit that cap anyway, why pay someone a percentage to negotiate for you?

  • Oct 28, 201311:31 pm
    by CityofKlompton

    Reply

    “Also, any commenter who interprets ‘really good shooting guard or small forward’ as ‘Rudy Gay’ will immediately be banned for life.”

    My favorite quote ever. In history. Of all-time. 

    • Oct 29, 201312:46 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Monroe+Jerebko+Bynum+Villanueva for Gay+Valanciunas is a trade I would be happy with.

      • Oct 29, 201312:02 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        That is definitely solid value, but the team probably moves Valanciunas after since he is high value and probably is worth more in trade than he is with what contract he will require to be a back up.  A lot of people are really high in him and I would be surprised if Toronto moved him for Monroe.

      • Oct 29, 20131:39 pm
        by Some Dude

        Reply

        If that trade happened, it would put Valanciunas behind Drummond. He’s already shown he’s a starting caliber player, so that would be bad for him. Good for the Pistons, but I can’t imagine he’d be happy with that, nor would the Raps give him up. He’s basically their Drummond.

        • Oct 29, 20133:38 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          If Monroe can play beside Drummond, why can’t Valanciunas? He can actually shoot.

  • Oct 29, 20136:22 am
    by @GPMasters

    Reply

    Are we not doing Monroe for Rondo ideas any more ?

    Someone come up with a three-teamer which involves us giving up Monroe and Jennings, and receiving Rondo and a high quality SG or SF.

    • Oct 29, 20139:00 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Why would we want Rondo? Yeah, he’s highly talented, but he’s a terrible fit, not the type of character that is fun to root for, and Boston would probably be askinga whole heck of a lot for him.

      And, as pointed out earlier, there aren’t a lot of high quality SGs and SFs. It would be hard to get one for Monroe without also getting Rondo. The Pistons definitely aren’t getting both.

      • Oct 29, 201310:01 am
        by Patrick Hayes

        Reply

        Highly disagree on the ‘not fun to root for’ thing. Rondo’s dickish personality and competitiveness is exactly the type of player who thrives in Detroit. Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, Rodman, Isiah, Rasheed Wallace … all those guys could be (and probably have been by opposing fans) described as aloof, standoffish, jerks or any number of things by fans. And they’ve all been universally loved in Detroit. I don’t know that I’d do a Rondo for Monroe trade, but I think Rondo would be a huge fan favorite here precisely because he cares about winning and he has a nasty streak that has always been appreciated among Pistons fans.

        • Oct 29, 201310:23 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Perhaps, but you also have to factor in the element of already disliking him prior to arrival. That didn’t exist for Laimbeer, Thomas, or Rodman. I’m too young to remember the arrival of Mahorn, but I didn’t dislike Wallace prior to arrival (I don’t know, maybe some did).

          • Oct 29, 201310:50 am
            by Patrick Hayes

            Yeah, there were a lot of fans who weren’t super enthused about Rasheed prior to his arrival because of his reputation, but his style of play and personality won people over. I think Rondo would be the same.

      • Oct 29, 201312:42 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        I love Rondo already and he’d easily make my list of fave five non pistons.   I’m pretty sure Tarsier hates the Celtics so that could part of his animus.   Rondo has a chip on his shoulder and he’s got balls.  During the last few years, I can’t think of anything I liked seeing more in the NBA than the Celtics trying to come back down the stretch and Rondo following the rolled inbound to around half court before picking the ball up and immediately attacking the basket to save time on possessions.   I’ve always looked at Rondo and thought he was a perfect example of a classic Piston in another uniform.  Also, I’m with any player that openly despises LeBron and the Heat.  

        All that said, the fit right now is poor due to the shooting issues.   

        • Oct 29, 20133:54 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          It’s true, I do hate the Celtics. But, given that you were recently telling me that Pistons fans should hate the Bulls, I don’t see how your own logic fails to extend to the Celtics.

          And the thing I dislike about Rondo isn’t the chip on his shoulder or his having rough edges, it’s that he rubs all his teammates the wrong way. Sheed’s teammates loved him. 

          • Oct 29, 20134:00 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            A partial defense of Rondo — his veteran teammates were the ones who taught him to be a dick when he was a young, unproven starter on their title team. So I think a lot of the relationship issues he’s had with teammates have been more about Boston’s struggle between its aging old guard and Rondo trying to assert himself as the team’s actual best player the last few years. I won’t conclusively say that Rondo rubs his teammates the wrong way until I see him more with the team now. I think he definitely rubbed Allen/Pierce/KG wrong at times though for sure.

          • Oct 29, 20134:10 pm
            by tarsier

            Fair point. If Rondo is a better teammate this season, I may still dislike him just as much, but I would be much more interested in a future that sees him play for Detroit.

          • Oct 30, 20133:39 pm
            by Max

            @Tarsier

            You probably have a point for some Pistons fan regarding the Celtics but after Isiah and the gang beat them in a playoff series and the Bird team faded away, I didn’t have hard feeling towards them anymore and felt more nostalgic about them.   Also, I love NBA history and have the utmost respect for Russell and Cousy’s Celtics and will joyfully watch any game of their’s I can get my hands on.  I think they are the greatest.  

            The Bulls are in a category of their own for me in terms of hatred and I would think most Pistons’ fans but for me, even with the Bulls, there are exceptions.   I still loved Rodman when he was on the Bulls for obvious reasons but I can’t help from loving Noah these days–I see a player in the classic Pistons mold when I look at him and Rondo.   Also, at the time Garnett joined the Celtics he was easily my favorite non Piston in the league–yet another player who I look at and think classic Piston.   See a pattern?   The other big factor for Noah and Rondo in recent years is that I temporarily loath one franchise more than the Celtics and that is the Heat.   I rooted for the Bulls for the first time in my life against the Heat in the playoffs last year and the fact that Rondo and Noah openly despise LeBron and the Heat endear them to me even more than my perception that they would make perfect Pistons.  However, even though I hate the Heat more than the Bulls right now, I will drop it as soon as Wade and LeBron are gone as they have no meaningful rivalry with the Pistons at this point and I don’t hate the franchise itself–just these players. With the Bulls, I even hate their front office people.  

            None of this is very logically but I guess it’s just about being a passionate fan.   

  • Oct 29, 20139:14 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Other than Rudy Gay what other rea….. I mean just Good Guard/forwards are available?

    I mean if Iggy plays really well for Warriors… We could get Barnes… (who potential is there but he’s not better than Gay) 

    Other than that SG in this league are either OLD or unproven… although I could see an Evan Turner deal taking place…but not for Monroe

    SF’s its comes down to Batum and Gay…. I’d take Gay over Batum everytime

    • Oct 29, 201310:04 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      “Other than Rudy Gay what other rea….. I mean just Good Guard/forwards are available?”

      If Gay is ultimately the only wing available, then the solution is simple … don’t trade Monroe. That’s not even close to an upgrade or equal value.

      Right now, the only two intriguing teams for any possible Monroe trade are Denver and Golden State. A Warriors package that includes either Barnes or Thompson plus other pieces or a Denver package that includes some combo of Faried, Gallinari, Chandler and/or Lawson is at least interesting enough to listen to. Not sure I’d do either of those deals, but I wouldn’t immediately hang up the phone either. 

      • Oct 29, 201310:43 am
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Why not a deal centered around McLemore? How is that not intriguing? And if Eric Gordon gets back to prime form, there should be some interest there.

        Also, I think the Warriors overvalue Klay and Barnes sufficiently that a decent Monroe trade with them just wouldn’t happen.

        But yeah, Denver may be the best match out there, depending how many of their pieces they’re willing to part with. 

        • Oct 29, 201310:51 am
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          I’d want to see more from McLemore first.

          I’ll also add Beal to the list, though Washington likely won’t part with him. 

          • Oct 29, 201311:22 am
            by tarsier

            If McLemore starts looking really good, his price tag goes up. I’d just as soon get him when that hasn’t yet happened. After falling to 7th, you can bank on whatever he produces his first four years being a fantastic bargain either way. And trading Monroe for McLemore would open max contract cap space for next season. Pau Gasol would seem like a realistic target. Even if McLemore is merely solid rather than studly, that would make for a heck of a team.

            Beal or Porter seemed like decent candidates before the Gortat trade. Now Washington would have less motivation to get Monroe.

          • Oct 29, 201312:47 pm
            by I HATE FRANK

            i think you guys are making my point…..

            IF  you do not consider Rudy Gay a really Good Guard/Forward….

            and he is a High quality Guard/Forward that even being discussed… Then the overall market value  market value for the position drops…Because Gay has been and Currently is better than all of the players that people are naming…

            UNLESS you are banking on potential….

            So i agree…we are better of just paying Greg… because no one is going to give several major pieces away for him, because he just doesnt have Superstar potential like lets say how much Denver got in return for Melo

          • Oct 29, 20131:18 pm
            by Max

            Gay sucks.   If you think he is so good, ask yourself why the Grizzlies two best seasons ever came when Gay was hurt and when he was traded for an old Tayshaun Prince.  

        • Oct 29, 20131:49 pm
          by Some Dude

          Reply

          @ tarsier: Why go after McLemore when we already have KCP? They are essentially the same player. McLemore may be a little ahead of KCP offensively but KCP will come along fine, plus KCP plays intense defense. McLemore may have more star potential, but KCP is better, or will be a better overall player. That’s a pointless trade.

          • Oct 29, 20133:14 pm
            by tarsier

            A) It’s always good to have more good players, even if that means some of them coming off the bench.

            B) You need multiple wings anyway. I see no reason to believe McLemore and Pope couldn’t play the 2 and 3 (don’t care who is which).

            C) I believe McLemore is a much, much better prospect than Pope. I would trade 3 Popes for McLemore and I’m not even being hyperbolic. 

          • Oct 29, 20133:19 pm
            by Max

            I’m with Tarsier on this one although I don’t really feel either is a good option at the 3.  

  • Oct 29, 20139:50 am
    by Danny

    Reply

    I’d take Batum over gay every time.  Able to see the floor better and plays hard on defense.  Doesn’t put up the sexiest numbers but that’s cause he knows how to play team ball instead of fading along the elbow like Gay every time.  
    Kelly Olynk is going to be really good in the nba, his ability to pass, shoot, and drive is reminiscence of Dirk. He reminds me of Monroe as well but with better handles and vision.  I do think we end up trading Moose.  Atlanta, Denver, Orlando, and the Kings are potential trade partners.  I think those teams have pieces they cant utilize properly or are ready to move forward with their rebuilding process.

    • Oct 29, 201310:05 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yup, exactly … Batum’s versatility, defense and passing are all huge plusses over Gay. It’s not even a contest, really. Batum is a much better player than Rudy Gay.

      • Oct 29, 201312:46 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        Agreed.  It’s not even close.   Batum would be a great addition and Gay would be a cancer.

      • Oct 29, 20131:04 pm
        by I HATE FRANK

        Reply

        Batum is nice player…But Gay has more Big time ability….

        Last season he was playing at a highly…..he is only 26-27 years old

        If you look at the Pistons make up you’d need a play LIKE GAY, someone that can get his own offense often and on most night he isnt going to lose on the other side of the floor…

        Gay would make alot of sense, unless you can get some great package deal with Batum, Matthews, and McCollum
         

        • Oct 29, 20131:11 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          What does Gay do better than Batum other than fast break dunks?—which doesn’t figure to be something the Pistons need help with anyway.  

        • Oct 29, 20131:21 pm
          by I HATE FRANK

          Reply

          Batum is nice player…But Gay has more Big time ability….
          Other than last season he was playing at a high level (he did have corrective surgery)…..he is only 26-27 years old
          If you look at the Pistons make up you’d need a play LIKE GAY, someone that can get his own offense often and on most night he isnt going to lose on the other side of the floor…
          Gay would make alot of sense, unless you can get some great package deal with Batum, Matthews, and McCollum

          Biggest knock on Gay is that he did not live up to his contract…. but he is still a guy that gave you 18-19ppg 6rebs 45-46% FG 3ast 1.5stls around 1blk 

          • Oct 29, 20131:28 pm
            by Max

            I’m imagining Reggie Jackson from “The Naked Gun” with a voice like a robot saying “Rudy Gay has Big time ability”.  

            Since you like to repeat yourself, I’ll do the same:  Batum is better than Gay and it’s nice even close.   Also, since you keep repeating that Gay is 26-27 years old, I’ll point at that Batum is younger and is 24 years old.     

          • Oct 29, 20131:28 pm
            by Max

            *not even close

        • Oct 29, 20132:20 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I actually agree that Gay is a bit underrated (that said, he has no more “big play” ability than Batum). Gay is only slightly worse than Batum, but that contract is atrocious. It makes Gay a negative asset. So even if Gay were better than Batum, he’d have to be better than Batum plus Matthews or Jennings or someone of that caliber/contract size to be more worthwhile.

          If Monroe were traded for Gay, the Pistons aren’t getting a FA next summer. So not only would Gay have to contribute more than Monroe (which he won’t, in spite of being a better fit, because he just isn’t as good), he’d have to contribute more than Monroe plus a good free agent (maybe Pierce or Deng or Granger).

          • Oct 29, 20133:00 pm
            by Max

            I don’t know why you keep bringing up Granger as some kind of viable option.  Until he proves he can play again and stay healthy he is almost like signing Greg Oden, with a “who knows?” spirit on the unlikely chance that he can overcome his issues and start contributing again.  Unless he bounces back this year with the Pacers, I don’t think he’s worth much more than a minimum short term contract for the right to even take that risk.   And I don’t feel much better about how you continually bring up Eric Gordon.   We should be thankful these guys aren’t on the team and let them be someone else’s headache.  Maybe I’m too rigid but my philosophy would be to never sign injury prone players even if that means not lucking out with a McDyess once a decade or so.  

          • Oct 29, 20133:57 pm
            by tarsier

            Granger and Gordon are both pending recovery options. I have no idea whether Gordon will ever be a good player again because he has continually been injured and hasn’t even fully recovered his form between. I don’t get the skepticism with Granger though. He got hurt, but it’s not a trend. Why wouldn’t he recover? If he doesn’t, ok, don’t sign him. But I expect him to.

          • Oct 30, 20133:54 pm
            by Max

            Granger has only played 2 relatively healthy years in the last five and he teased the Pacers throughout much of last year without making it back like Rose but I find it even more troubling that he is supposed to now miss the first 3 weeks of this season.  At least Rose is back after missing a whole season but Granger always seems to have something else wrong with him and he’s not going to be that young anymore when he signs his next contract.   

            I did say something like, “unless he bounces back this year” but I just won’t credit the idea of signing Granger until he has a healthy season this year and he’s off to rocky start.   If he plays the last 65 games of the season and an extended playoff run without incident and returns to form then he’s a viable option.   I wouldn’t bet on it though and the prospect is more frightening than exciting for now.  

  • Oct 29, 201312:16 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Hi Patrick. Nice to see you back in action. Good piece here.
     
    Note 1: It would have made for a funny and appropriate headline if you pointed out that the predictions were somewhat contradictory. This isn’t a criticism, btw, because of course not all of these can come true anyways. I’m specifically talking about the “we’ll have an All-Star” / “Drummond will be an All-Star” and “Monroe will prove worthy of a max contract” / “Monroe will be traded.” If this team has multiple All-Stars, that means things are going unbelievably well, in which case I think Dumars will keep Monroe no matter the price (and it WILL be max money) and figure out the details later. I’m skeptical about the fit here, since I think Monroe and Smith are going to step on each other’s toes and split touches that either one would get if the other wasn’t here. But if Monroe can play like an All-Star maximum money player in this system, then things are probably working…
     
    Personally, as much as people point out that he’s not a good defender, I think his defense isn’t nearly criticized enough. He is downright godawful. He doesn’t display the slightest interest in stopping his man aside from swatting at the ball with his admittedly quick hands. But he doesn’t utilize his size and often just gets right out of the way. It’s like the equivalent of Iverson-style guards who get a lot of steals because they cheat in passing lanes, but they give up so much more by not just defending solidly. Monroe is just a complete disaster on defense, and there’s only so much the rest of the team can do to compensate. It’s not like when a guard lets his man slip by, where there’s a front line there to stop him. When Monroe lays out the red carpet for his man, it usually ends in a dunk. In a vacuum, Moose’s offense definitely makes up for his defense, but to the tune of a MAX contract? Absolutely not. He’s not even a strong #1 option. And for that reason, I’m all about a trade. The issue in trading Monroe isn’t getting “equal value,” it’s in getting “good value” and avoiding having to pay him like a franchise player. If you know right now that he’s unlikely to justify all that money, you may as well trade him as soon as possible.
     
    Fifth seed would be something. If we went that far, which I don’t see happening, then there’s cause for keeping this team together, adding whatever perimeter help we can during the summer, and probably be a trendy dark horse pick the following year. However, I think a fair projection is that Milwaukee and Boston slip out and the last two playoff spots go to the top two among Washington, Cleveland and us. If that’s the case, I sure hope Dumars traded Moose by the deadline, because I just don’t see where the improvement comes from. Most of our core players are pretty much finished products or don’t have THAT much room to grow. It would be a recipe for being the Hawks or Bucks forever, and I don’t see Gores paying the luxury tax for a middling playoff team just because there’s a mind-boggling amount of money invested in a group of big men who can’t get us over the hump.
     
    Also, I’ve seen and heard enough to believe that Mo Cheeks is probably going to stink.

    • Oct 29, 201312:56 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      How can you say that about the Pistons core when they have Drummond who, if he fulfills his potential, blows away anything the Hawks or Bucks have had on their roster since the days of Nique and Kareem?  Drummond could be the very best center in the league and if so, there’s no way the Pistons will be the Bucks.   A few years ago the Magic made the finals and they couldn’t have done a worse job of surrounding Howard and yet that team was better than the Hawks or Bucks every year until the Howard situation spun out of control.  Drummond could be better than Howard so he has a lot of room to develop.  

  • Oct 29, 201312:53 pm
    by Adam

    Reply

    Let’s not Sam Presti this….we have a few years before having to deal with Drummond’s contract situation.  I say sign Monroe to the max extension now, then figure it out when the time comes to extend Drummond.

    But if we’re going to throw around trade ideas, let’s talk about one that centers around Monroe/Kawhi Leonard.

    By the way, welcome back Patrick!  It’ll be nice to hear from you more frequently. 

    • Oct 29, 20131:00 pm
      by Max

      Reply

      If it looks like Monroe should be traded but a good trade can’t be found then I agree with this.   There’s nothing wrong with signing Monroe to the max and then trading him down the line.   Those who say he won’t be easy to trade with a max contract haven’t been paying attention since any contract, even players making over 20 million who don’t play anymore, can be traded and have been traded.   Monroe will be easy to trade with a max unless he gets injured and he’s never been injured so far.  The risk is small.  

    • Oct 29, 20131:12 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      This is basically the attitude the Detroit Tigers took when it came to Anibal Sanchez. “We wanna win NOW! Pay the man and sort out the details later! Huzzah!” Skip ahead to this winter where the team has no left fielder, no bullpen whatsoever, didn’t even make it to the World Series this year, and there’s legitimate talk about trading STUD pitcher and Cy Young lock Max Scherzer to fill the roster’s considerable holes. And this is in baseball, where money isn’t as much of a factor. Teams are heavily penalized for having bloated payrolls nowadays.
       
      I’d be okay with throwing max money at Monroe if he was the only option available at center. But as it stands he projects to be our second best center. He scores points, but his defense is a total nightmare. It balances out enough that he remains a valuable player and an asset on the floor, but to the tune of $60-some million over four years? I think not. Especially when this roster has a strong PF/C duo in Smith and Drummond who do basically all the things he does for less money than Monroe is scheduled to earn starting next year. If these three aren’t absolutely dominant, you can’t afford to extend Monroe. This team has one of the weakest perimeters in the league. The only player we have among three perimeter positions (PG, SG, SF) who can even be considered “above average” is Brandon Jennings, and lots of people think he stinks. If your front line doesn’t carry the team and dominate almost everyone, the team’s formula has no chance of success. If they play great together and are one of the league’s most feared and respected front lines, by all means pay the man. If not, you’re better off trading him for help on the perimeter.

      • Oct 29, 20131:15 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        But I said, “if a good trade can’t be found”. Do you want Monroe traded without finding a good trade?

        • Oct 29, 20131:23 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          On that score, if Monroe doesn’t look like he fits well with Drummond and Smith a couple of months from now; why not trade Monroe for a stretch four since the crop of small forwards and wings is so thin right now and just leave Smith at the three?  

        • Oct 29, 20131:48 pm
          by Otis

          Reply

          Check out who I replied to. My reply was not to you, and we posted our replies almost simultaneously. I’ve told you before that I won’t engage you in discussions about basketball and I meant it. I’m not going to waste any more of my time arguing with your strange opinions.

          • Oct 29, 20131:56 pm
            by Max

            Well, my question stands and I’ll just assume you don’t have any good answers for it or my “strange” opinions.   I will say of your opinions that they are the most repetitive, narrow minded and over the top, as in strained to the point of absurdity, that I see on this site.   

          • Oct 29, 20132:36 pm
            by Otis

            Yep, I wasn’t trying to engage you in conversation. This is the last time I’ll be addressing you this season. God bless.

          • Oct 29, 20133:05 pm
            by Max

            Awesome!  Now I can slam your posts and be sure of the last word or get to call you a liar.  This is great!  

  • Oct 29, 20131:09 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    I’m a Stuckey slappy that loves the Stuckey prediction.   This will be his first chance since his rookie season to play with a talented roster that won’t overwhelm or burden him with having to be some kind of savior.

  • Oct 29, 20131:26 pm
    by Desolation Row

    Reply

    Monroe for Rondo. Monroe + CV/Stuckey(whatever makes the contracts work) for Kevin Love. 

    • Oct 29, 20132:22 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Monroe for Love talks really should be happening. That move (plus the signing of Smith) could win Dumars exec of the year.

      • Oct 29, 20132:41 pm
        by Otis

        Reply

        It would be amazing. The way I see it, there are a pretty clear top 10 or 11 teams in the league (depending on where you rank the Knicks). If Detroit isn’t in that discussion by February, then a trade of Monroe for something looks pretty essential to me. It won’t be easy for Dumars, and he probably won’t get equal value, but it’s going to be one of those tough decisions that just has to be done. You know, the kind of tough decision Joe hasn’t had the stomach for in recent years (though let’s hope the Prince trade was a good sign). If this is just a middle-of-the-road team this season, they stand very little chance of getting over the hump with this core.

      • Oct 29, 20133:05 pm
        by Turns

        Reply

        Huge fan of Love but the guy is never healthy at the end of the season

        • Oct 29, 20133:07 pm
          by Max

          Reply

          This.  

        • Oct 29, 20134:07 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Injury history is a concern. But I think the timing of his injuries have been flukes.

  • Oct 29, 20131:28 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    Nice….I like this. Welcome back Patrick. Looking forward to getting another season underway…

  • Oct 29, 20136:58 pm
    by Jo-Nathan

    Reply

    Everybody keeps saying that we are going to trade Monroe but I refuse to believe it and solely for this reason. Why would we have brought in Smith just to trade Monroe? We could have traded him on his own, tanked this season for the LOADED draft coming up and had all our young players develop while not to mention also saving SO MUCH CAP SPACE for a potentially good-looking 2014 free agent class. You guys cannot tell me that the excitement of bringing in a guy just to make us not pitiful is worth all the potential routes we could have gone without him. I mean let’s be honest, who would you really rather have next to Drummond, Smith or Monroe? That line of thinking leads me to believe that there has to be some plan to keep Monroe, or like dude said earlier I’m becoming a free agent fan for someone else.

    • Oct 29, 201310:33 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I don’t think anyone really thinks they’re definitely going to trade him. But I think most everyone does agree that they either have to trade him or give him a max contract, and the Pistons haven’t really shown that they’re fond of either option at this point.

      As far as tanking this season, I don’t think that was ever an option. It’s pretty clear Dumars has a win-now edict from ownership. That, I think, could be a motivating factor in Dumars looking to trade Monroe, particularly if the team doesn’t play well early. If the Pistons struggle and a team comes along and offers a decent wing player who could bring shooting and be a long-term starter at the 2 or 3, I think Dumars might make some sort of big desperation move in that scenario.

      Or, the other scenario could be that Monroe plays so well that a team covets him and puts together a package too good for the Pistons to turn down — like maybe a package of Thompson/Barnes/Lee from Golden State for Monroe and expiring deals.

      Overall, it’s very improbable that Monroe gets traded, but it’s also not completely out of the question that they’d deal him. 

  • Oct 29, 20138:59 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    I don’t think they should trade Monroe unless they get something very good back. But one comment here did trigger a thought I hadn’t had before- if they were able to trade Monroe straight up for someone on a rookie contract (e.g. Leonard or Barnes), or a lottery pick this next year (unlikely), that would leave them with $15m+  in cap space next summer. It’s perhaps a bit doubtful they could get a star to sign next year, but if Drummond really takes off this year, he might draw someone’s interest.  someone like Leonard or Barnes PLUS the right free agent could make for quite a team.

    kind of a crazy gamble, though- if the return on the trade isn’t good. Maybe Barnes and a first, not just Barnes, for example. 

    • Oct 29, 201310:04 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      For one thing, $15 mil in cap space could go towards trades ‘n stuff. I think it goes without saying that the Pistons would need to get something very good back, but I’m looking especially towards next summer and the decision of what to do with Monroe THEN if they don’t trade him before the deadline. 100% chance he absolutely gets max money, and I certainly wouldn’t be especially thrilled to have him around on that contract. If you love the idea of Monroe at 4 yrs >$60 mil, then the decision is easy. If that makes you queasy, you gotta trade him. And you’re better off doing it sooner rather than later. I have no problem with them waiting until February to make the decision, but pretending like they have 82 games to comfortably evaluate Monroe in this new system is absurd.
      They’ll have already limited their options and the potential return package significantly.

  • Oct 29, 20139:29 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    After further review, it looks like the 2014 free agent class is likely to be pretty unappealing, unless one has reason to believe Lebron or Bosh was headed this way (HIGHLY unlikely).

    • Oct 29, 201310:06 pm
      by Otis

      Reply

      How about a package centered around a nice looking 2014 pick? Or possibly a solid wing to go along with a promising pick? That’s my “sell low” point, but again, my main priority is avoiding having a tough decision next summer to extend Moose and just hope they eventually figure it out or lose him for pennies on the dollar.

    • Oct 30, 201312:10 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Besides the maybes that are LeBron and Bosh, there is Anthony, Gasol, Nowitzki, Deng, and maybe Love.

      It’s not a phenomenal FA class, but it’s not bad.

      • Oct 30, 201310:40 am
        by Corey

        Reply

        I wouldn’t want Melo at the price he’s going to get- well over $20m per year. Gasol and Nowitzki are too old- although if the price was reasonable Nowitzki could push them into contender status for a couple years.  Deng (at a reasonable price) or Love would be great. Obviously a good or really good stretch 4 playing with Andre and Josh would be ideal. 

        I might jump at a good young wing and a likely lottery pick next summer, but I think everyone who has one will keep a death grip on it, or protect it to the point there’s no hope of a top pick.
         

        • Oct 30, 20134:26 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          I think Melo is overrated. But his presence would mean the Pistons have the best player on the floor most nights. That’s worth his $20+M/yr.

          He would mean that when it came time for Drummond’s second contract, the Pistons could no longer afford to keep Smith. But in the meantime, Drummond+Smith+Anthony+mediocre backcourt is a contender.

          Any time you can vault a team into contention, even for a couple years, you gotta do it. 

  • Oct 30, 20139:21 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    NOT going to trade Monroe! Say it ain’t so.

    Gotta be an All NBA or All Star SF under 25, and a 1st rounder if so. 

    • Oct 30, 20139:58 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      So in order to trade Monroe, you would require getting back a better player (Monroe is not an all-star or all-NBA) and a first round pick?

  • Oct 30, 20139:23 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    I think Stuckey is going to have a good year too. i think he will be a key piece for defending the athletic pgs come playoff time. John Wall, Derrick Rose, Irving, etc…

    KCP is going to be a top 4 rookie by the end of the season. 

  • Oct 30, 20133:58 pm
    by ToneTouch

    Reply

    How are there 15 East teams mentioned but I don’t see the Bucks

    • Oct 30, 20134:08 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      The Bucks barely exist. I don’t consider them to be tanking or trying. They’re just here.

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