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Tom Gores focused on current Pistons, not trade deadline

David Mayo of MLive:

Asked specifically if he was panicked over the job performances of president of basketball operations Joe Dumars, who is in the final year of his contract, and/or first-year head coach Maurice Cheeks, Gores replied, "Right now I’m patient, but I want to make sure we make adjustments if we have to make adjustments."

"We’ve been focused really on the individual players," he said. "The fact is, we’re better than our record and I think we just have to make our players the best they can be. We have to focus on them. So we’re not focused on deadline or anything like that. We’re just focused on getting the guys better and preparing them."

"I’m not satisfied … our job is to make sure that the players are working at their maximum," he said. "So I’m not satisfied with the job I’m doing, I’m not satisfied with the job anybody’s doing right now, including myself.

"We have to get better and these young men work really, really hard. I feel like our job is to make sure that they are at their maximum and I don’t think they’re at their maximum."

"We’re not that far out," Gores said. "I think it’s frustrating because we’re better than our record. At the same time, there’s a lot of hope right now. I see a lot of possibilities. We have to come together. We have to jell.

"I don’t think you could say our team and our players don’t work hard. I think they work hard. So we just have to figure out how to work together."

"I actually don’t think we have done our best job to make sure they’re working at 100 percent," he said. "We have great young players. These are guys that need a lot of preparation. These are young men."

Approximately 90 percent of all NBA teams and 100 percent of losing NBA teams believe they’re better than their record. That type optimism gets few of them anywhere.

We’re 46 games through the season with just 36 games remaining. How much more is there to learn about this current group of players? As I’ve said all along, I expect the Pistons to make more internal in-season improvements than the average team – and I believe that will be true for the rest of the season, too. They have a lot of talent that hasn’t fit well immediately and could fit together a little better with more time.

But how much better?

The Pistons’ problems, both predicted and not, are very real. They’re 19-27 and even if their pieces mesh better the rest of the year, it’s difficult to see it getting better to the point the Pistons even near preseason predictions.

Gores should be frustrated, and he should be considering franchise-altering moves before the deadline. It’s not feasible to fire Joe Dumars now, and firing Maurice Cheeks is also probably a non-starter. But trades should be explored that put the team on a different course.

I don’t know what deals are available, so I wouldn’t say for certain the Pistons should make a trade. They definitely shouldn’t make a trade just for the sake of doing so. But it seems Gores is much more convinced than I am that this might be the roster to proceed with.

If nothing helpful emerges before the trade deadline, I can accept that. But if I were in Gores’ shoes, I’d be doing as much as possible to take advantage of these two-and-a-half weeks before Feb. 20. There’s a small window to improve via trade. Don’t squander it. After it closes, internal improvements can become the focus once again.

These Pistons – general manager, coach and players – aren’t working. I think they need more than just time for that to change significantly.


  • Feb 3, 20145:34 pm
    by mshansky


    Have the Pistons improved as the season has progressed? Is that a relevant variable?
    If they have not, does that matter ?
    Is it realistic to expect the players to go all out for the remainder of the season, knowing these would be meaningless victories or losses?

  • Feb 3, 20147:34 pm
    by gmehl


    It is clear to me that the company spin atm is to make it seem like we’re not in panic mode and will match ‘ANY OFFERS‘ that any teams are prepared give Monroe. I wonder who will call Gores/Dumars bluff first. We know Washington is one but I wouldn’t be surprised if New Orleans and a couple of others make a play too.

  • Feb 3, 20147:56 pm
    by microjfox


    Smith for Gerald Wallace. Smith for Evans.

  • Feb 3, 20148:30 pm
    by Reaction


    I’ve been saying this since before the signings /trades. Dumars needs to go. Sure he is Pistons royalty but you can not confuse what he did as a player with how he is as a GM. He has overpaid players and made some terrible signings to attempt to save his job. While, I can not blame him for trying to save his job he has cost the Pistons their future. By trading Ben Gordon with our first round pick (protected top 8 this year), he has caused us to lose out on a potentially strong draft with many phenomenal players. I would honestly hope that everyone is on the table except for Monroe/Drummond. I hope that Gores has at least learned from this and won’t rush the rebuilding process any further. The Pistons need to build through the draft. Gores needs to realize that Detroit is not an “ideal” location for players to come to unless they are overpaid. The Pistons need to think about the future and not be so focused on the present because if they focus on the present they will jeopardize the future.

    • Feb 3, 201410:07 pm
      by gmehl


      Wait a second here buddy. You just said that Joe needs to go because he has been guilty of overpaying players that we have and then further down you said that Gores needs to realize that Detroit isn’t an ‘ideal’ location for players to come to unless they are overpaid. Am I missing something here or are you for or against overpaying players to come to Detroit or just against Dumars doing it.
      For the record I’m no longer a Dumars the GM supporter but I used to be a big one. I guess 8 years of bad GM’ing will do that to the most loyalest of fans. All I am saying is you can’t have it both ways in criticising the guy.

      • Feb 3, 201410:30 pm
        by JYD for Life


        I’m with you gmehl…I’ve been one of his biggest supporters as well.  
        But at some point he needs to realize that he can’t take someone else’s trash and turn it into gold like he did with Rip, Chauncey and Ben.  That mentality has to stop.  He also doesn’t have the coaching staff he did when those guys developed into a TEAM.  Smith and Jennings are going to gain nothing with Cheeks letting them do whatever they want.  
        Great take on it in the 3 on 3 today…especially this line:  ”I expected this type of result: a few flashes of brilliance and a lot of leaving people wanting more. Isn’t that how you could sum up their careers?” 
        If all of us on this message board, national writers and broadcasters could see this thing was flawed to begin with, how can change not come soon? 
        2. Fact or Fiction: Detroit is the East’s biggest underachiever.
        Haberstroh: Fiction. I’ll go with the Nets here, who admittedly have played much better over the last month. They were supposed to be competing for the top seed in the East and they’re five games under .500 in February. Detroit has been a miserable disappointment, but no one was expecting them to realistically challenge for the East crown. Wallace: Fiction. Any team that hinges their hopes of a major breakthrough on Mo Cheeks as coach and Josh Smith as a franchise-altering, free-agency acquisition is asking for disappointment. But for as much as the Pistons have stumbled from the gate, either team from the Big Apple would qualify for this distinction. Windhorst: Fiction. Only if you believed Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith worked together. I never did. I thought it was a bad idea from the start and its looking that way. These are two of the lowest efficiency players of this generation, giving them huge contracts is one gamble. Putting them together made little sense to me. I expected this type of result: a few flashes of brilliance and a lot of leaving people wanting more. Isn’t that how you could sum up their careers? 

      • Feb 4, 201412:22 am
        by Reaction


        Sorry I meant to say I’m against overpaying players unless they are actually worthwhile players that shoot a good percentage and are efficient. Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith have never been efficient. Anyone who watched Josh Smith last season would know he is not fit to be a 3. His shot is terrible and he doesn’t have great range. 

  • Feb 4, 20143:23 am
    by grizz3741


    This time the owner Tom Gores did not sound terribly pushy about making the play-offs .. Is that because we took his quote out of context or has Gore simply changed his viewpoint? I never was unhappy with Gores making play-offs a litmus test for Joe D and Mo Cheeks …. and actually .. hearing him sound this easy going kind of scares me … Sensing Dan Feldman is frustated with the status quo … AND THAT IS A GOOD THING … I know I am … I prefer an excellent head coach replacement FIRST before an excellent trade (not against that though!) …. but  realizing getting a great head coach such as the Spurs, Hawks, Bulls and other teams have is not an easy thing to achieve … especially in mid-season ….And as others have mentioned .. I wonder if Joe D being Joe D the GM is a factor against a great head coach arriving here anytime soon…

  • Feb 4, 201410:50 am
    by Rev. Deek


    Taking into consideration how close the Pistons are to being an 8th seed, what seems to be a playoffs or bust season for Joe D., and potential pieces this team has to move; I don’t see the sense it makes to let Dumars make anymore roster decisions going forward. In  my opinion, they would  only be in the best interest of him holding onto his job for another season. I agree, if the Pistons have some opprotunities to make moves  in the next few weeks they should explore them very seriously. BUT–Giving Dumars the power to impact this roster any further is un-wise.

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