↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

3-on-3: To tank, or not to tank, that is the question

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.

1. With a nearly-identical record to last season’s team, it appears the Pistons are at a crossroads. On the bright side, they’re currently one games out of the eighth seed. What does the team gain from pushing for the playoffs?

Dan Feldman: Let’s not over-think this. If they make the playoffs, they make the playoffs. I don’t believe a championship is the only way to have a successful season. Without getting too deep, winning is better than losing in the most basic sense (of course, the NBA draft keeps this from being so simple).

Brady Fredericksen: Making the playoffs as a young team is never a bad move. Experience for young players is huge, and I’d argue that someone like Greg Monroe still hasn’t played in a truly meaningful NBA game yet in his career. Yeah, yeah, you’re probably going to get smothered by the Pacers or Heat once you get there, but playoff experience is a necessity for growth and maturity in a player. It’s one thing to strive to make the playoffs when you’ve never been, but it’s another to get a taste of playoff basketball and push for more. Plus, and I’m sure Tom Gores is aware, playoff games mean extra cash and extra time to be the hippest-looking owner in the league on national television.

Tim Thielke: An iota of self-respect? If you had told me in the offseason that Detroit would be ninth in the East right now, that would not have been shocking at all. But if you told me they were 17-27, having lost 13 of their last 17, I would have been appalled. And I am. First Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva (they were both pretty good before coming to Motown). Now Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. Maybe if the Pistons make the playoffs, they can avoid a reputation as the place talent goes to die?

2. The funny part of this is that the Pistons are also just three games ahead of the team with the third-worst record in the NBA in Philadelphia. One could assume this is as prime of “tanking” shape as they possibly could be in. What’s to gain from hoisting the white flag on this season?

Dan Feldman: A first-round pick in the best draft since 2003. If the Pistons get a top-eight pick, they’re going to add a valuable player to an already talented roster. That doesn’t mean it will work any better next season than it did this season, but the Pistons aren’t in position to turn down assets.

Brady Fredericksen: I struggle with this one. If you bow out the rest of the year, you’ve got the chance to draft one of four, elite prospects (Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart and Dante Exum) and if you play your cards right, you could be right back in the thick of it next year in a likely-better-but-still-smelly East. However, there are two sides to every tanking. There are three primary teams that have built their team via the tank job — Sacramento, Cleveland and Oklahoma City. The Cavs have lucked into two (!!) top picks, two No. 4 picks and a pair of late first-round picks. They’ve got one diamond (Kyrie Irving), one starter (Tristan Thompson) three question marks (Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett) Sergey Karasev) and a rotation player (Tyler Zeller). Blah? Blah. Meanwhile, the Kings have had a plethora of top 10 picks and late firsts. The result? One diamond (DeMarcus Cousins), two starters (Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson), two busts (Omri Caspi, Thomas Robinson) and one dude who got the heck out of dodge as soon as he could in Tyreke Evans. Now, look at the Thunder who drafted three times in the top 10, and three times in the mid-to-late first round. They’ve corralled four diamonds (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka) and two current rotation players on a title contender (Reggie Jackson, Steven Adams).

Here’s my point: Tanking doesn’t work unless you locate (luck into?) multiple stars with those picks. Most years there just aren’t that many, and most teams just aren’t as good as OKC when it comes to drafting and player development. If the Pistons bottom out, they’re relying on a likely new front office to rebuild the team through the draft. It’s extremely risky, and the reward of ending up like the Thunder is extremely unlikely, seeing as no one has done what they have.

Tim Thielke: Obviously, a shot at an elite player in the upcoming draft. Detroit’s roster would still be a mess. But if they can add a star, at least they have a starting point. I love Drummond, but I don’t know that you can build a roster around him. That said, the Pistons are more likely to get a very good non-superstar player if they keep their pick in the draft. That would be an asset, but not a game changer.

3. Put your money where your mouth is and make a prediction: Should the Pistons push for the playoffs or should they try to keep their draft pick? What do you think they will do?

Dan Feldman: As I wrote Friday, I have no idea what they should do. I know, that’s shocking, but I could make a case for any direction. Similarly, I don’t know what they will do, either. Gores clearly wanted to make the playoffs, but at a certain point, he must realize that could be futile. I have no idea if we’ve gotten to that point. A lot could depend on how many tickets are already sold for the rest of the season.

Brady Fredericksen: If tanking means that they’re selling off all of their assets for 50¢ on the dollar, that’s not the right move. Say you can trade Monroe for a No. 1 pick and a young wing player and swap Josh Smith for now-injured Brook Lopez with an eye on pulling a fast one on Mikhail Prokhorov. Then you also finding takers for one or both of The Expiring Contract of Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey? You’re looking at a pretty frickin’ horrible Pistons team at that point. I think they will, and should, push for the playoffs. Trading Smith and Monroe with their value so low just feels like a mistake, and if you’re Joe Dumars and your job’s safety is based upon making the playoffs, what are you going to do? My analogy is that the Pistons are kind of like a family business for Dumars — it’s all he’s known in the NBA. He’s brought them to the top multiple times, but he’s the reason they’re currently on the bottom. The easiest way to get back on track is for him to leave, but do you think he would tear apart this team knowing it’ll simultaneously get him fired? That’d be a tough pill to swallow for anyone, man.

Tim Thielke: Honestly, I don’t care. But it’s time to pull out all the stops. Make a swing for the fences trade, try unorthodox rotations and schemes, gamble at every opportunity. If the Pistons improve, that’s a win. If the Pistons get worse, that’s a win. They couldn’t be in a worse place right now, so they may as well choose a direction, sprint headlong toward it, and end up in a better place by default.

63 Comments

  • Jan 28, 201411:54 am
    by Smitty

    Reply

    “I love Drummond, but I don’t know that you can build a roster around him.”
    I don’t know either but, shouldn’t we try. Get some 3 point shooters and other players on the team that can actually guard their positions.

    • Jan 28, 201412:34 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      What you’re describing is the Rockets minus Harden (and neglecting the fact that Howard is presently better than Drummond).

      That would be an improvement from where the Pistons are today, but the Rockets are a second tier contender. Take away Harden and they’re just a fringe playoff team.

      If Detroit can get there while maintaining enough flexibility to potentially nab another star, I’m all for it. Otherwise, not so much. 

      • Jan 28, 201412:55 pm
        by Smitty

        Reply

        We will probably have to draft or trade for another star. In my opinion I think we should tank hard. Go for Wiggins or Parker Randle or Smart.

        • Jan 28, 20141:11 pm
          by Tim Thielke

          Reply

          That’s not a bad plan on the face of it, but I don’t know how doable it is. I feel like this team could ship out a lot of talent without putting a worse product on the floor.

          • Jan 28, 20141:41 pm
            by Smitty

            I honestly think we could get rid of Smith and Jennings and be just as good if not better.
             

          • Jan 28, 20142:01 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            Smith, quite possibly. Jennings, no way. The Pistons do not have another starting caliber PG. And if Bynum is having an off night, or either of him or Stuckey is injured, Billups or Siva would have to play significant minutes.

            If you want to tank, those two are your dream backcourt.

          • Jan 28, 20142:17 pm
            by pablum

            Has any sports writer ever gotten any legit un-named source, or even official source, to go on the record about whether teams actually “tank” or not. I recall Lawrence Frank completely ridiculing the idea that NBA coaches do it. I’m Deadspin serious. Frank took it as an affront to the profession.

          • Jan 28, 20142:21 pm
            by MIKEYDE248

            Only team I even heard rumors about tanking was Cleveland to get Lebron.

          • Jan 28, 20142:30 pm
            by Huddy

            @pablum I think there are pretty obvious decisions on who to sit and such that have occurred that indicate tanking, but I find it hard to believe that teams go into the beginning of the season with that mentality.  Last 20 games or so makes sense, but I can’t imagine throwing away the season.  Toronto is in the 3 seed at this point and based on reports of how they have been trying to move most of their best and most expensive players it seems like that is virtually by accident.  This is supposed to be a particularly good draft, but in most cases (unless like the Pistons there is a conditional pick involved) it probably wont change the teams fate too much if they win/lose 5 games unless they are at the very bottom of the league.

          • Jan 28, 20142:43 pm
            by pablum

            @Huddy Frank would roll his eyes out at you for saying that an NBA coach would tank, period. Let alone the last 20 games. He’d roll his out at you as an abject amateur. not my opinion. He’d do it. So the question for a sports writer it would seem is to prove it. Prove teams tank. Just sayin’.

          • Jan 28, 20142:49 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            I don’t believe players or coaches tank and I don’t believe they should. Front offices definitely do, and sometimes they should. Trading Holiday for Noel and a pick? That was tanking. And it was really smart. The Sixers killed the Pellies in that deal.

          • Jan 28, 20142:50 pm
            by Huddy

            @pablum in a perfect world it would be nice to see a sport writer get a direct quote on that, but it seems unlikely that any coach that now or in the near future would like to work again would keep intentional losing to themselves.

          • Jan 28, 20144:57 pm
            by Chris

            On the note of getting rid of smith. Think we could trade him for a 1st rd pick to phoenix? Per pro basketball talk:

            http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/28/report-look-for-suns-to-be-active-taking-back-quality-players-at-trade-deadline/

            Smith isn’t a bad player, esp if phoenix wants to run more. Aside from the pick we could get the Okafor deal, which is covered by insurance. I’m guessing that means it counts against the cap, but money doesn’t come out of Gores pocket. They might want/take stuckey too, and that’s not all bad really.

          • Jan 28, 20146:12 pm
            by oats

            Smith for Okafor straight up is a good trade for Detroit. I don’t see Detroit getting a pick on top of that. There also isn’t a really good way to work Stuckey into the trade. The only thing I can think of is for them to do it for Channing Frye, but his 3 point shooting is a big part of what makes them good. They might do it anyways, but I doubt it nets a first round pick. I’m thinking at best Detroit could squeeze a second round pick out of this, but I’d do it without the pick. I suspect that they can do better than this with Okafor’s expiring and insured deal though.

        • Jan 28, 20145:20 pm
          by Tim Thielke

          Reply

          If the Suns want Smith (and he would definitely help their team), I would expect them to give up a late first rounder (and of course Okafor). Adding Stuckey for Frye to the deal would be totally optional.

          • Jan 28, 20149:41 pm
            by JYD for Life

            Would you see the Cavs making a move for Smith?  
            They could conceivably lose 7 of their next 10 before the deadline and rumor has it that Deng is incredibly unhappy there.  
            I’d take Deng for a playoff push and to unload Smith’s deal.  Is Dan Gilbert dumb enough? 
             

      • Jan 28, 20149:04 pm
        by AYC

        Reply

        Preach on Brother Tim!
        I’ve said the same thing about Drummond and been taken to task for it.  You are absolutely right.  Spread the message.  I’ll be in the pews waiting for your next sermon on the topic. 
        As a poster below says, building with him is fine.  But viewing him as someone to build around is a mistake. 

    • Jan 28, 20144:39 pm
      by JYD for Life

      Reply

      I wouldn’t say that you need to build around Drummond, but build with him as a valuable piece moving forward.  
      We all can agree he’s not the second coming of Shaq, but he can fill a huge role on this team.  
       
      @Pablum – there is not a competitor in the world who would concede wins in any setting.  Dwayne Casey, Doc Rivers, and a lot of other coaches and former coaches have commented on this throughout the season.  As a coach (or player), you’re working for your next contract and you’re wired one way.  They have all pointed out that most coaches are not ok with management telling them to tank.  
      There have been a number of GMs commenting on tanking this year and most say that “strategic rebuilding” is the preferred term.  I’m sure it happens, but you’re going to be hard pressed for anyone associated with a team to openly admit to intentionally losing games.  

  • Jan 28, 201411:55 am
    by cr29

    Reply

    Just wait until the 2013 offseason. Joe is putting all his chips on that, and he is always one step ahead of the other GMs.

  • Jan 28, 201411:56 am
    by mshansky

    Reply

    I agree with Tim’s final comments. At least they should demonstrate some sort of passion towards some goal. This season appears rudderless, goal-less, and very unentertaining to watch…….do something already…..

  • Jan 28, 201412:03 pm
    by Josh

    Reply

    Does playoff experience really help?  It must of done wonders for Smith and Jennings to have experienced them so young huh?  I remember the very end of the going to work pistons, we barely made the playoffs and the team looked like they could care less…  It was a good possession if Sheed made it past the half court line.  This team is in a far different situation then the 09 pistons but my point being I don’t feel that players gain all that much by getting a fool made out of them on national TV.  Besides, it looks like tanking will happen naturally if it hasn’t already started.
     

    • Jan 28, 201412:17 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      Making the playoffs for the first time for most of this team will feel quite a bit different than the 09 Pistons, who were used to making a long run in the playoff for quite a few years in a row.
      It would be like comparing the Lion’s making the playoffs to the Patriots making them.

      • Jan 28, 20141:42 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        Thats not a great comparison.  I would agree the 09 Pistons certainly had a different mind set, but its not like the Patriots/Lions.  In football just about every team has a chance to win play off games once they make it.  One game can be decided by weather, a fluke TO, etc.  Football brings in more upsets than Basketball ever will because of the current playoff system.  There is a big difference between gearing up for a single game and trying to defy the odds and gearing up to try and win 4 out of 7 games against a team that has won twice as many games during the season.  The 7th-8th seeds in the Eastern Conference of the NBA are utterly worthless additions to the playoff system.  I don’t think Brandon Jennings gained much by getting demolished by the Heat last year.
         
        I find it hard to believe that good teams are making the playoffs because of the experience making the playoffs in the past.  Better players and better coaching…thats the recipe for the team getting better.

        • Jan 28, 20141:52 pm
          by Edgar

          Reply

          The more I think about this, the more I think sneaking into the playoffs and getting swept isn’t worth it, from a purely basketball perspective (I’m aware there are financial incentives). The benefits seem to be mostly in terms of players’ mental/emotional states: experience, mindset, attitude, the “feel” of playoff basketball, the moral victory of making the final 16. I think playing high-level, competitive games in the later rounds can make you better (like Indiana last year). But, can we show that getting swept in the playoffs once makes you a better basketball player or improves your team? I doubt it. Huddy is right: getting better in terms of coaches and players is a more advisable strategy going forward and one way to do that is to get the best lottery pick possible. I’d rather bank on a tangible, fungible asset going forward than something intangible like experience or whatever.

          • Jan 28, 20142:11 pm
            by Huddy

            Even saying final 16 is a stretch since most Eastern Conference playoff teams wouldn’t be close to the playoffs in the west…they aren’t even truly one of the 16 best teams.

        • Jan 28, 20141:59 pm
          by Tim Thielke

          Reply

          No NBA team has ever had a best of 7 series against a team with twice as many regular season victories.

          • Jan 28, 20142:23 pm
            by Huddy

            Currently in the East the 1 seed has 1.79 times as many wins as the 8th seed…I guess 2x was too much of an exaggeration.
             
            The NBA has fewer first upset than other major sports.  Over the last 10 years 3 8th seed teams have pulled upsets, two of those were in the significantly stronger western conference, and one was the 76ers beating the Bulls after they lost their best player to injury.  Being a low seeded team in the Eastern Conference of the NBA is about as hopeless as it comes in the playoffs of any sport. 

          • Jan 28, 20142:56 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            I agree. Upsets are darn near impossible in the NBA playoffs.

    • Jan 28, 20141:36 pm
      by Edgar

      Reply

      This is my question. The idea that playoff experience is beneficial even if you get destroyed in the first round seems nice theoretically, but is it actually demonstrably, tangibly a good thing? Is there even a way to quantify that? It seems like something people just say because it fits in with the “winning is everything” narrative in sports, but doesn’t necessarily have to be proved true.

      • Jan 28, 20142:25 pm
        by MIKEYDE248

        Reply

        The only way I could see it as benificial is that it let’s the players know what it takes to win in the playoffs.
        I really wouldn’t see any benift to making the playoffs, unless they made it into the top 6 spots, just so they would have a slight chance of winning a series.

        • Jan 28, 20142:40 pm
          by Edgar

          Reply

          I agree that that is a probable benefit, but it’s still an intangible benefit. My point is that when you have a bad team, what is more important to your future: an intangible benefit or a tangible asset? In other words, would you rather have this current group of players gain playoff experience (albeit in the form of getting swept in the first round) or get a top-7 pick? I’d rather have the pick.

          • Jan 28, 20143:04 pm
            by Huddy

            That is the better question.  I think it is hard to say appearing in a playoff series is completely worthless to anyone, but is it comparably better to a lottery pick?  I don’t see it.  Personally I have a hard time rooting for the team to lose because A. I like rooting for them to win and they are my favorite team and B.  It would take a lot of losing IMO to remain in the lottery or keep our pick.  I can see New York creating separation and maybe Boston with the addition of Rondo, but even Boston is shaky.  LA might make a push once Kobe is back, but that middle of the road no playoffs no draft pick danger zone is not somewhere I want to be. 

  • Jan 28, 201412:07 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    I agree with Tarsier….swing for the fence either way…I want to believe we are tanking, because of games we’ve lost and how we’ve lost them…but we can be a 4th-5th seed with something as simple.as winning 5 out of the next 7 games…
     

  • Jan 28, 201412:10 pm
    by I HATE LOSING (Predicting A Strong Finish)

    Reply

    Sometimes I feel like our only defense should be to chase teams off the 3 point line…at any cost

  • Jan 28, 20141:04 pm
    by Smitty

    Reply

    Josh Smith is NBA’s worst shooter. No really go check it out. Espn Insider. HAHA, if your wondering Jennings is right up there with him.

    • Jan 28, 20141:31 pm
      by MIKEYDE248

      Reply

      This is the main reason I disagree with all the talk about the Pistons having to trade away Monroe.  I know he has his shortcomings with defense, but he is their best shooter on the team.  I think putting him in a better defensive scheme would help him out quite a bit.  He is already paired with two of the better defenders in Drummond and Smith and we see how that has been going.  I think it all goes back to coaching.
       
      No matter who you add to the team, you won’t win with two of the worst shooter on your team, who also take the most shots.  Either those two need to figure out how to play team ball or they need a coach that will force them to do it.

  • Jan 28, 20142:16 pm
    by pistonspoland

    Reply

    I think everybody forgets that this is last year of Joe Dumars contract. You think he cares about future?? He will do everything to make playoffs and get a new contract to sit here and eat more donuts. Luckily he is really terrible GM and he has really little chances to make playoffs and he will be out.

  • Jan 28, 20142:45 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    1. Bench Josh Smith. Completely. 
    2. Play players who can make shots around league average (Jerebko, Singler, Jorts). 
    3. Make playoffs 
    4. Profit (for Gores anyway). 

  • Jan 28, 20143:15 pm
    by bob

    Reply

    the FO has to decide if guys like exum, parker, wiggins (whom i still think will be a huge star), and smart are guys worth tanking for, and if so, pull the trigger.  No need to tank if they don’t see a guy they can realistically get that is worth tanking for.

    • Jan 28, 20143:16 pm
      by john

      Reply

      i agree, despite people talking down on wiggins, i think he’s actually going to be an absolute superstar in the NBA, reminds me of paul george.

      • Jan 28, 20145:52 pm
        by gmehl

        Reply

        No doubt Wiggins will be a star but I’m hoping if we do keep our pick we get Exum. I see he’ll be sharing the same agent (Rob Pelinka) as Drummond. He’s a high character kid and moving forward he’d be great to pair with Drummond and KCP. We’d be ever so slightly be starting to rebuild our defensive identity which we clearly lack at the moment. Exum has to work on his outside shot be from what i’ve seen he is miles ahead of Michael Carter Williams and we all know how he’s turned out this season. The team has my vote to tank away.

        • Jan 29, 20142:47 pm
          by john

          Reply

          Good call Exum is a sick player, ive been following him for a couple years now, he’s way more athletic than MCW for sure, which can only help.  wiggins and him would top my billboard for top fits along with parker at 3rd, guys like Embiid, Smart, and Randle are very talented as well but not great fits

  • Jan 28, 20143:17 pm
    by Coachp

    Reply

    Whether we make the playoffs, tank, or worse we lose are pick either way these guys have to play with some urgency too many excuses we r young or we r new too each other I don’t want to hear it stop being in a relaxed position on defense get that butt low, low, move! I just feel our defense should be one of the best but nobody is buckled in.  If we r the most intense defensive team with the size and length we can win a lot of games if we can hold teams and get more stops we would be nasty.  We would not talking bout our future we would be talking about a real team.
     
     

    • Jan 28, 20143:27 pm
      by john

      Reply

      100% agreed, we don’t play with that intensity that the good teams have, we have so much more potential than what we’re playing at.

  • Jan 28, 20143:51 pm
    by Keith

    Reply

    I’ve been having this discussion with fans near me all weekend and into today. I disagree that going all-in on either option is the right choice in ambiguity. For one, it’s silly to say both directions have equal utility for the team. Making the playoffs, with what will certainly be a losing records, and getting two home blowouts, adds little value. Gate receipts for two playoff games are significant, surely, but they are fools gold. If the East improves even incrementally, our capped out team (assuming we retain Monroe) will be stuck in the late lottery for another 3 years. Playoff experience, just like veteran experience, is wildly overblown. It has shown almost no correlation to regular season wins. All these players have been playing since a young age, a few more games with higher than normal stakes does very little for their development.
    Tanking is the best possible outcome. Even if the team ends up picking 8th, the player they pick is going to be cheap and talented. Contrast that to trying to land a player in trade or free agency, and you are looking at expensive (at least) and only maybe talented (depending on who we are trading out). The truth of the matter is that Detroit is almost entirely talent (as opposed to production). Drummond is the best player because his skills allow for the greatest growth and impact. Monroe is the next best because he is consistent and young. Everyone else even worth mentioning (Smith, Jennings, Stuckey) is good in their own right, but a shell of their talent in tandem with the others.
    Ultimately the team is less than the sum of it’s parts. We can’t get significantly better because the two biggest saboteurs are the contracts that would be nearly impossible to trade (Jennings, Smith). But at the same time, it would be impossible not to improve minimally through any trade of Monroe. The team fails in large part because of our commitment to playing three bigs. Removing one of them is going to make us better, just not enough to get to team even to .500 level play. So I can see why the team doesn’t seem to be doing anything right now. A trade to make us better can’t make us all that much better, but selling off our best players for assets may not make us any worse. Keeping the team as it is (and perhaps benching players who are good randomly, or advising Smith/Jennings to shoot more) may be the best way to tank.
    I think our future should be determined by opportunity. Right now, we have the opportunity to tank by tweaking our current roster. Keep Cheeks in the loop with the plan. Make sure he continues to sabotage wins where he can. Make sure we emphasize our three bigs together and our weak bench as much as possible. Tell Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings the need to become 25 ppg scorers. This team literally hurts to think about too much. 

    • Jan 28, 20143:51 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      I apologize about the formatting above.

    • Jan 28, 20145:12 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I mostly agree with you, but the team isn’t capped out if they stand pat. If they renounce Stuckey, and they likely will, then they have $10 million to spend before resigning Monroe for whatever they sign him for. That leaves them with some room for improvement at least by spending that money on someone who is at least a better fit than Stuckey.

  • Jan 28, 20144:56 pm
    by JYD for Life

    Reply

    The only problem with tanking is that there is no guarantee you will get a top 3 pick even with the worst record in the league.  
    We need to finish in the bottom five to guarantee we retain our pick.  If we don’t land in the top 3, does adding another young guy help this team that much?  
    I’d much rather make a move for SOLID veterans (Jennings and Smith never fit that description) who can teach the young guys by example and lead us to the playoffs.   Start small with an 8 seed this year, then 4 seed next season.  
    Before you know it, Miami is on the decline and Indiana breaks up because they can’t afford to keep everyone together (Granger and Stephenson are likely gone after this year and West is getting old – you can reload with veterans on the cheap, but I think you get my point that they might not be a powerhouse forever).  
    No one can predict the future, so we have no idea how Milw, Philly, Boston or Orlando will end up, but it appears likely they will be contenders within the next four years.  Brooklyn and NY can reload at any point, so they are always a threat.  Other than that, what are we worried about?  I think this team, even as currently constructed, is in a position to make moves and become a contender.  Tanking should not be an option.  Especially given the uncertainty of quality players entering the draft (Parker or Wiggins could easily agree to stay one more year – Smart can’t shoot and Embiid does not fill a need for us and is incredibly raw).  Adding an asset is a good thing, but not at the expense of the long term happiness of players like Drummond and Monroe.  One could argue that making the playoffs this year would be a positive experience for them in general and not just for developing character or ability.    
     
    This will generate some laughs (and rightfully so), but picture a 1st round series against Miami…Could a slightly tweaked Pistons team beat a Heat squad if LeBron blows out an ankle and Wade is still struggling to get healthy himself?  Still with most of this roster and Cheeks coaching it, probably not…
    My point is that you never know what might happen and look at Chicago as an example of what occurs when your superstar goes down mid series.  You can even make the New York Knicks look good.  

    • Jan 28, 20145:19 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      The 7th worst record has better than a 98% chance of Detroit keeping it’s pick. Maybe that’s not technically a guarantee, but it’s close enough to one that the team shouldn’t really be worried about it.
       
      As for does it help the team? Yes, I’d say any talent upgrade always helps. Even if you do think the team absolutely needs veterans, keeping the pick would make it easier to trade for those solid veterans. Smith is unlikely to land one with the year he’s having, but the 7th or 8th pick almost certainly could.

    • Jan 28, 20145:24 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      At this point, I’d be thrilled with any of Wiggins, Embiid, Smart, Exum, Gordon, Parker, or Randle (in that order).

      So there are 7 guys. It wouldn’t take a top 3 pick to land a difference maker. Assuming the Pistons keep their pick at all, one of those guys will probably be on the board.

      • Jan 28, 20145:51 pm
        by JYD for Life

        Reply

        Tim – would you want Embiid, Randle or Gordon for trade bait?  It could be argued that Monroe is better and will continue to be better than any of them.  
         
        Smart is ok, but again, can’t shoot.  Exum is a wildcard.  Who knows how he will stack up against NBA talent.  Both fill a need, definitely, but I don’t know that there aren’t better options.
        We would all be ecstatic if Wiggins or Parker were the guy.
         
        @Oats – you’re right about this pick being a greater asset to the team to use in a trade.  I just don’t know if that’s worth tanking for.  

        • Jan 28, 20146:56 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          I trade Monroe if I landed Embiid. I’d take Embiid with the top pick for the Pistons. I think he’s got the most potential of anyone in this draft, and I think he’s the best 2 way player in the draft. I’m probably all alone in this assessment amongst people on this board, but more and more analysts are starting to see Embiid this way. Most people would take Parker or Wiggins ahead of him because they fill a more obvious need, but I don’t care. I’m a firm believer that you should take the best talent in the draft regardless of fit, and I think Embiid is clearly the best talent. A lot of people have those two in the same tier as Embiid, and if you do then by all means take them. I see Embiid as the stand out guy who is the clear top pick.
           
          As for Randle, I still likely trade Monroe if I land him. He’s younger and will be on a rookie deal for 4 years while Monroe is about to get a pay day. He’s also more athletic and has more potential on defense than Monroe. It’s definitely risky, but as long as you get a decent return on Monroe it isn’t that big of a risk.
           
          I trade Gordon. I think there’s a clear separation between him and the other guys. He’s much less productive on the glass on a per minute basis, and he can’t shoot. I think he’s a bit overrated, and I actually think I like Noah Vonleh as much if not more than him. Vonleh is the best rebounder in the draft, and he is a solid as a scorer near the hoop and as a shot blocker. Probably not as good of a fit next to Drummond, but it does go to show why there is value at even pick 8 in this draft. Gordon, Vonleh, Gary Harris, Rodney Hood, Dario Saric, and Willie Cauley-Stein are that next tier for me after the top 6. That’s a really good second tier though.
           
          If you hadn’t noticed, I rather like the talent that should be there even at pick 8 in this draft. Harris and Hood look like great 3 and D guys for a team lacking both of those things. Saric’s poor 3 point shooting is problematic, but he’s good enough on the boards to play the 4 and he’s a great passer. At worst he’s a solid trade chip for this team, at best he turns into the perfect offensive player to have at PF next to Drummond and makes Monroe expendable. I already touched on Gordon and Vonleh above. Cauley-Stein is the best defensive big man in this draft. All of these guys are good, and one or two of them could jump one of the 6 guys from the top tier down to Detroit. Yeah, I definitely think tanking would be worth it. Being worthwhile and being the right call are not always the same thing. I understand completely if you’d disagree with me, but I’m in on tanking now.

          • Jan 28, 20149:24 pm
            by JYD for Life

            I definitely respect your opinion, but would still shoot for the playoffs.  We can probably both agree that we don’t want to be in that zone where they miss and lose the pick though.    
            Your take on all of those guys is accurate, but as you pointed out, they all have some type of drawback or weakness at this point.  
            I just feel that where this roster is at, they would be better served to start adding reliable pieces and grow.  The clock is ticking on Drummond and if he’s annoyed after just two years, think of how much he will want to leave after two more years of rebuilding.  

          • Jan 28, 201411:01 pm
            by Jon

            Hood seems a lot like Klay Thompson. If we could get to number 8 to pick him up I’d be ecstatic

          • Jan 28, 201411:51 pm
            by oats

            @ JYD. Fair enough. I really don’t have a problem with hoping for the playoffs, I just think the notion that they wouldn’t get helped by tanking is flawed. I will say this, it’s way more fun to root for the wins than for losses. That fact alone gives credibility to making the playoff push.
             
            @ Jon. I like Hood too, and I think he’s likely there even if a couple guys decide to stay in school. I don’t know if he’s Klay Thompson good, but he definitely could be. That’s actually why I’m pro tanking. I think Rodney Hood or Gary Harris would be good additions, although I prefer Hood since the team already has KCP as a potential starting caliber SG. I think this draft is still going to be strong at the 8th pick where Detroit would likely be at if they keep the pick, and that’s without the possibility of someone slipping to Detroit.

  • Jan 28, 20146:38 pm
    by Jon

    Reply

    I don’t understand all the love for Smart. He’ll be good at defense and maybe nothing else. He could always develop better court vision, ball handling, and shooting but I’d bet against him learning all three. Plus he isn’t even that athletic, just big and physical.

    • Jan 28, 20147:03 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I don’t think that matters that much. Let’s say he doesn’t get much better at any of those 3 things. He’s strong enough and quick enough to get the rim at will, and by doing so he will get to the line a ton. He might have to play SG, but that basically makes him Tyreke Evans if Evans was an elite defender. Do you realize how good of a basketball player that actually is? Then throw in the possibility that he develops a passing game and he could become Russell Westbrook with better D. This is where I point out that his assists are up and turnovers are down since last year, so there is some reason for hope here. That’s all without considering the possibility that he learns to shoot. I didn’t get it last year when he had problems finishing at the hoop, but I get it now. I think Smart is going to be one heck of a player.

      • Jan 28, 20147:32 pm
        by Jon

        Reply

        Is he all that quick though? (serious question, I haven’t watched him enough) He’ll bully his way to the rim on occasion no doubt.  I think he needs better handles if he plans on making it to the rim the way Tyreke does. I guess I just don’t think he’s on the same level as the other top prospects with the exception of Exum who I have no idea about

        • Jan 28, 20147:47 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          I think he’s as quick as Evans at least. He’s also probably as good of a ball handler as Evans at the same age. I really think he won’t have much of a problem getting to the hoop on the next level.

  • Jan 28, 20148:28 pm
    by Marvin Madison

    Reply

    I agree with one of the writers and i say try to make it to the playoffs they gotta start getting motivated and begin to win games. They have to make some kind of midseason player move to get them in a position to push for a spot. If they get their butts kicked so what some time it take a good ass whooping to learn and they need national exposure. If you play the tank game you have to fire dumars before the draft and get a gm that knows young talent because at the rate were going we will be seeing another 6th or 7th pick in the draft. They have major decisions to make in a couple weeks

    • Jan 28, 20149:30 pm
      by JYD for Life

      Reply

      Marvin – you’re exactly right.  
       
      Picture Drummond putting up a 20/20 game on ABC against Miami or Indiana in the first round.  
      It’s not saying that getting swept will make them better players, but it does something like get these guys national exposure.  For Dre specifically, that could mean a few additional endorsement deals.  
       
      I just said above that the clock is ticking and at some point the guy has to be genuinely happy where he’s at.  It seems like we all could agree he doesn’t seem like that right now.  He doesn’t appear to be unhappy aside from Sunday night, but losing for another year and a half could seal the deal.
       

  • Jan 29, 20142:06 am
    by jake

    Reply

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=mqo3a4j
    we get a future 1st rounder from every team.
    boom. tank while also putting all of our young players in a position to succeed.

  • Jan 29, 20148:00 am
    by Brian

    Reply

    THIS THEIKLE GUY IS A DUMBASS. YOU CANT BUILT AROUND DRUMMOND? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WE SHOULD JUST TRY EVERYTHING AND SEE HOW IT WORKS OUT? WIN A FEW/LOSE A FEW? END UP IN MIDDLE (DEADZONE) NO LOTTERY/NO PLAYOFFS….. HOW IS THIS GUY ON YOUR PANEL? WOW, THE CREDENTIALS IT TAKES NOW DAYS ARE RIDICULOUS. THIS COMING FROM A 22 YR OLD. HOW EMBARRASSING. 

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here