Expectations and acquisitions

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by J-Train, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. J-Train

    J-Train Team Captain Forum Donor

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    Great post, Laimbrane.

    I'm still waiting for someone to tell me which players the Pistons could have picked up instead of paying Prince and Stuckey. I agree that they're overpaid, but WHO, specifically would you have targeted?

    It appears to me that Joe looked at back-court players in the upcoming draft and free agency, and decided that he would have a hard time doing any better than Stuckey. I kind of agree with him. Even if there is a player who could be an improvement, there's no reason why that player would want to come to Detroit, other than money. Then we'd be talking about how Joe overpaid on THAT guy. As for the players who we missed out on, what is the name of is this young rebounder/shot blocker who Joe passed on in order to sign Stuckey and Prince? What is the name of is this young, stud wing who Joe passed on in order to sign Stuckey and Prince?

    Just because we need a certain kind of player doesn't mean that it was possible to acquire him. It's the same kind of defective thinking that Lee uses to evaluate our roster. It's the same as the erroneous belief in that whatever the team currently lacks is available on the bench. It's the belief that all of our problems stem from players not "being used correctly by an idiot coach". "We wouldn't be so bad if our idiot GM just acquired the right players!", Pistons fans scream. It's the same thinking that led Lions fans to believe that the best quarterback on the team was the one not playing. Lions backup quarterbacks were the most popular players in town for decades, even though they sucked even worse than the guy stinking it up on the field. It's the same thinking that Lions fans use when they demand that the organization draft a certain player in order to "Fill a need". Well, if that player isn't better than what you've already got, then you haven't "filled a need" by simply drafting a guy who plays a position of need.

    It's my understanding that Stuckey's contract isn't fully guaranteed. If he severely under-performs, then we can get out early, or trade him to someone seeking to shave payroll. Prince's contract will be an asset in it's final year. It takes a couple of years to rebuild, unless you get insanely lucky, and we're stuck in the middle of it. Other than swinging and missing on Chucky G and Gordon, I'm not sure anything we could have done over the last few years could have saved us from this.
  2. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    I agree wholeheartedly. It's the "grass has to be greener somewhere" mentality that affects all sports fans of all terrible teams. It's born of frustration and too much over-identification with the team itself. It's that "we" philosophy, where a fan attaches himself emotionally to the team and wraps his or her sense of self up in the success of that team. This is why we hate Yankees and Red Sox and Lakers fans - they seem to think that they're somehow better than the rest of the sports world because they follow a particular team. What we forget is that the same is true at every level of play, from the pros all the way down to high school. It's that tribal instinct bred into us by billions of years of evolution - support your tribe, because they are who you are. Now, lacking an actual tribe, we pick tribes to join and become defenders of them, somewhat arbitrarily. I'm not actually from Detroit and I'm sure Greg Monroe wouldn't give a flying crap about me if he met me in the street, but I follow the Pistons and root for them to succeed. There are guys out there that believe deep down that wearing a jersey to a game makes them part of the team.

    There's no logical reason for it, but that emotional attachment makes us all irrational at times; if the alpha male sucks, he needs to be replaced, regardless of whether there's actually a better alpha male available. The team sucks, we need a new coach. My job sucks, I need a new boss. I have no job, so we need a new President. It's always "this sucks, replace it." There's never any acknowledgement of the very real possibility that things could actually get worse, even though we Pistons fans should have a very good understanding of it, having watched the Pistons go from Rick Carlisle to Larry Brown to Flip Saunders to Michael Curry to John Kuester.

    The reality is that the Pistons have what they have, and it's a flawed team. Stuckey and Prince are actually not bad players. They're not superstars, but that's okay; superstars are hard to find - that's why they're called superstars. They'll hold the fort down adequately for a couple years while the Pistons rebuild. A lot of the guys on this team are overpaid, but they're not on Gilbert Arenas-type deals that are going to be killing the team in three years, either.

    I would love to be a GM, but I know I would suck at it. It's easy to sit here and say "that isn't working" or "fix this," but if it were that easy, the job wouldn't pay much. Dumars has been a pretty good GM. Like all GMs he's made some good moves and some bad ones, but unlike all GMs he built a championship team. Everyone rags on the Darko pick, but nobody didn't think he was a top 3 pick - the question was between him and Anthony. Other than that, he's drafted well relative to the Pistons drafting position, but failed to hang on to many of those players (Okur, Delfino, AA included) not because he's an idiot, but because he couldn't afford to pay them money they knew they deserved to play backup roles while the team ran with its core. I wanted them to keep Okur over Sheed, but it's not like he could have kept both, and it kinda worked out. I didn't want them to trade Billups for Iverson (and certainly not in a package with AA), but he knew the team needed a new direction and leadership. What nobody could have predicted was how badly Iverson worked with Curry and how vital Billups was to that locker room.

    His widely-acknowledged major flaw is his coaching hires, but even those are hated more than they should be. I hated his hiring of Curry and Kuester, but it sounds like Davis didn't want to spring for an expensive coach like Avery Johnson, so he had to do what he could and gambled on some guys with no resume. It didn't work; c'est la vie. Frank seems like a good coach, but it's easy to want someone else - he doesn't look like he should be anywhere near a professional basketball court. It's the Dennis Kucinich syndrome - he's short and scrawny and people are just too affected by appearance to follow him, even if he would win a blind taste test from the majority of the population every day of the week. The truth is that he knows basketball better than all of us put together, works harder than anyone else in the sport, communicates well with his players, and is trying to build a decent team out of the scrap-heap of the Goin' to Work era without any of the following: a) an offseason b) in-season practices to instill his system, c) go-to scorers, d) clutch shooters, e) actual point guards, f) lock-down perimeter defenders, g) intimidating interior defenders, or h) spiritual leaders. His team sucks, but it's not because of him. Nobody gives him credit for degree of difficulty. Why? Because he looks like a Keebler Elf.

    The Pistons will be fine, and they will be back in the playoffs in a year or two with Joe as their GM and Frank as their coach. Guaransheed.
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  3. max

    max All-Star

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    Thats why GM's get paid the big bucks. Who saw Ben Wallace back in 2001? Who would have thought Corliss would be sixth man? Billups in 2003? Its like in 2001 if he had reupped Christian Laittner and someone challenged us to name someone better.

    I don't pretend to know the answers, I just do not like the current solution.
  4. Mogilny

    Mogilny All-Star Forum Donor

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    What makes Prince contract terrible isn't that he's overpaid this season, or perhaps next, but that he's signed for 4 years and he's not getting younger. It's not possible since the contract is signed after the new CBA but if it were I'd rather amnesty him over CAS or Bengo. Stuckey is overpaid but his contract looks alot more tradable to me when taking into account his age and contract length so I don't really mind that signing.
  5. dba

    dba All-Star Moderator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Remember that one of, or maybe the biggest reason the owner didn't want to spend a lot for a new coach is that they were still paying the last one who was also fired.
  6. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    They were paying the last 3 probably...
  7. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    I have to admit that I don't know the answers either...at one point I thought Pepe Sanchez was our point guard of the future. I thought Cheikh Samb was a diamond in the rough. I thought it was just the first of many three pointers for Will Blalock. I was one of the only fans I know who owned a Charles OBannon jersey.

    I think we have to be patient and stick with the current solution. I like the coach and I like the enthusiasm I've seen recently from the young guys. I can see the beginning of something building here.
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  8. J-Train

    J-Train Team Captain Forum Donor

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    I did.

    The detnews.com posts prove it. I watched Ben Wallace with the Wizards. I watched a whole season of him, back when he was skinny. I called him a shot-blocking Dennis Rodman. When everybody wanted Jeff Mcginnis, I called for Billups. I just watched him tear up Nash in the playoffs. It was a no brainer. I also was the only person on that board to be extatic about the Stack/Rip trade. Corliss was always a sixth man. That's why Sactown moved him when they had Webber. As much as I hated Nasty tearing up Juwan Howard in the tourney (I was a big Fab-Five fan), I knew that he had a place in the league. That place was as a scorer off of the bench. Big Nasty... what a great Piston.

    I'm not saying that I'm a NBA genius. I'm not. I danced when we drafted Darko. I really liked Terrico White. I actually thought that Brian Williams could make us into a contender, God rest his soul (He was a nice guy who didn't deserve that). I thought that Arroyo could be a solid reserve PG. I've advocated for Daye, which is making me look like a complete azzhole. I really liked Delfino. Although Delfino has resurrected his career, he wasn't the 17 point scorer that I thought he would be. The list of my blown calls is available for anyone with a computer.

    My point is... nobody is right all of the time, but if you go through the thought process, you can maximize your odds. To be successful in this life, you have to make calculated risks, and maintain an ability to move laterally down the line. If whatever move that has been made is well thought out, I can deal with it, even if it doesn't work out.

    Life's like that.
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  9. J-Train

    J-Train Team Captain Forum Donor

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    Another fantastic post, Laimbrane. Iwould thank you for the time that you took to compose such a thoughtful response.

    Frank is a very good coach. This is obvious to anyone with whom I actually would wish to converse.

    I really like Dennis Kucinich. He has the annoying habit of nearly always being right. I still wouldn't vote for him. He looks like a gnome. I'm not having that dude represent the U.S.A. to the world. A cabinet post would be nice though.

    I'm you really like Kucinich, and you would like to engage in a thoughful dialogue, then I would suggest that you email Chomsky (with a well thought out position). He's very responsive.
  10. J-Train

    J-Train Team Captain Forum Donor

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    The "I'm" at the beginning of the last post should be "If", obviously.
  11. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    I would rather have seen Joe PUNT and sign NOBODY than pay Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stucky almost $15 million per year to lead us to another lottery pick that could likely fall outside of the top 3. We already have 2 SFs (3 if you count K. Singler) waiting in the wings to take over for a guy who's best years are behind him physically and mentally in Tay Prince.

    There are about 60 guards in the NBA that are ranked higher than Rod Stuckey statistically and a damn good percentage of them are paid much less for their services. He's no longer a 'young promising player' on his rookie contract.
    He's reached his plateu.
    He has no more upside.

    I gotta believe that if when you're as bad as the Pistons are, you need to start filling your roster with two kinds of players:
    1. Young players who are "arriving" or have "arrived" and can be part of your foundation for many successful years. (i.e. Greg Monroe)
    2. Young players who have upside and show potential to either be "special", "key" or "solid" pieces. (i.e. Brandon Knight, Jonas Jerebko).

    Given the Pistons' current situation, I see no reason to waste ANY resources on a player that doesn't fit 0ne of those two descriptions.
    I'd rather take a shot on a D-Leaguer than see 3-4 more years of the same guys that we've seen for the last 3-4 years.
    At least with a D-Leaguer, you retain HOPE as a fan.
    ...Hope that the D-Leaguer turns into a contributor.
    ...Hope that the cap space that you have saved by signing the D-Leaguer can be used to snatch some complimentary FA's to go along with the building blocks that you're aquiring according to your plan.

    It's not an issue of the "grass being greener" on the other side.
    The issue is that our grass is trampled; dead; no longer growing. ...It's time to plant some new seeds!

    Every transaction should be about getting younger, better or at least better positioned to GET better.
    NO transactions should be about remaining the same. Remaining the same SUCKS!!!
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  12. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    I like to think of our young players as a variety of garden plants. The goal is to fertilize the young tomatoes, squash, zuchini and green peppers and give them enough sunshine and water to hopefully be the ingredients to our next squash salad. Now sometimes you see an old stick driven into the garden to support the younger plants. Tayshaun is like the old stick in the garden. He hopefully helps the young plants thrive. I wouldn't pay too much for an old stick.

    Now coach Frank is the gardener. He picks the plants when they are ripe and then he eats them.
  13. Nemo

    Nemo Pun Master Forum Donor

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    I like BDLs post. D-Leaguers are waiting in abundance, just trying to prove themselves.

    Need I say Jeremy Lin.........with a big fat ole grin.................:)

    He's the answer........especially in the Madison Square Garden..........:)

    BOOM.......
  14. BallDon'tLie

    BallDon'tLie All-Star 3x Fantasy Champion

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    Your post reminds me of the movie Being There staring Peter Sellers.
    I think "Old Stick" is a good nickname for Tay.
  15. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    There's a reason I have you sigged, BDL - "if we're going to be bad, we might as well be young." Mostly, I agree. I think it would be a blast to throw a team out there that was all hear and effort and guts. And maybe they would do well, and change things. But as far removed from the NBA as I am, I do recognize that the NBA is a different world from what I'm used to. I don't know if it would work. I don't know what it would be like to have a team full of young 'uns trying to figure things out for themselves, to deal with the losing and the potential "Lionization" (for lack of a better word) of the team. Veteran leadership is respected for a reason, and while I would love to see a team of nobodies playing like every underdog Hollywood story ever made, I don't think it would work.

    That being said, Prince is overpaid. I'm not sure his veteran leadership is the right kind.
  16. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Since you bring it up, I always though Condor would have been the best nickname. He has those long arms and that beak face, and he had those sort of gliding dunks.

    It still fits now - he's going extinct and we're paying too much to keep him around.
  17. pass99

    pass99 All-Star Forum Donor

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    Very nice.
  18. pass99

    pass99 All-Star Forum Donor

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    1 and 2's are in abundance.

    The greatest and most comfort levels are therefore those that have past associations spilling into overall team levels (that can serve on an individual basis ). Notice the unbalance on this team.

    As the league grows more youthful, the emphasis is on what has the most comfort history (vets, and past associations) and the new have distinct flavors of reinforcing past ego associations. JD was part of what composition? You have to look at this.

    It is not abnormal to gather the northern moss, but where is the navigational balance? Mr. D had his financial lines. JD had his gut level of past player levels (older associations) and what had the most immediate emphasis?

    Isiah was a full blown sail and many players understood that their associative feathers where unique in all the animal kingdom. For all, this has not changed.

    JD knows the difference between scales and feathers. Perhaps (unfortunately), JD has not understood that once formed, the feather is a dead horny structure without living cells. It receives nothing from the body but physical support. In a sense, one will always find many more feathers then dead bodies.
  19. brofmfa

    brofmfa Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Very deep and profound exchange, thank you inadvance, guys.
  20. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    Let's look at how Joe build the Championship squad in detail. Maybe it will be insightful. Just scanning his moves in hindsight reminds me of how active he used to be. I'm going to grey out certain fluff to make it easier to see the key moves.

    • June 6, 2000 - Named Joe Dumars President of Basketball Operations. Named George Irvine head coach.
    • June 29, 2000 - Drafted Mateen Cleaves with the 14th pick and Brian Cardinal with the 44th pick in the 2000 NBA draft. (rough start)
    2000-01
    • August 3, 2000 - Acquired Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace in exchange for Grant Hill in a sign-and-trade with Orlando. (move of Joe's life! Brilliant)
    • August 11, 2000 - Re-signed Jud Buechler and Mikki Moore. Signed Torraye Braggs.
    • August 22, 2000 - Acquired Billy Owens from Milwaukee in exchange for Lindsey Hunter.
    • August 29, 2000 - Acquired Cedric Ceballos and John Wallace along with Eric Murdock and cash from Dallas in exchange for Christian Laettner and Terry Mills. (flushing the has beens in exchange for expirings and cash?)
    • October 17, 2000 - Acquired Dana Barros and Ansu Sesay from Dallas in exchange for Loy Vaught.
    • November 20, 2000 - Signed free agent Joe Smith, waived Torraye Braggs
    • November 26, 2000 - Acquired second-round draft choice from Miami for Cedric Ceballos. (just dumping that trash after Laettner/ Mills trade)
    • February 22, 2001 - Acquired Corliss Williamson, Tyrone Corbin, Kornel David and a future first-round draft choice from Toronto in exchange for Jerome Williams and center Eric Montross. (OK, real trade here. JYD for Corliss seems like a fair deal. We lost a Center, but got a first-round pick).
    • February 23, 2001 - Waived Tyrone Corbin.
    • April 19, 2001 - Fired head coach George Irvine (Joe didn't like the coach that was forced on him)
    • May 15, 2001 - Named John Hammond as director of player personnel (!!! nice move in hindsight)
    • May 25, 2001 - Named Rick Carlisle as head coach. (perfect hire at the time)
    • June 28, 2001 - Selected Rodney White with the ninth pick in the 2001 NBA Draft and Mehmet Okur with the 38th pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. (should have been the other way around, eh?).
    That was one really active year. Joe inherited somebody else's goons and he went to work dismantling it. He made a lot of really good small moves that got us out of mediocre contracts, made us younger, got us draft picks, created financial flexibility, etc. The S&T for Grant Hill turned out to be the bedrock for our ship. Grant was going to leave anyways and Joe went with the underappreciated defensive hard worker character guy. Salute.

    LOST: Grant Hill, Hunter, Ceballos, John Wallace, Laettner, Mills, Junk Yard Dog, Loy Vaught, Montross, George Irvine
    ADDED: Atkins (trade), Ben Wallace (trade), Corliss (trade), Joe Smith (FA), 2nd round pick (trade), first-round pick (trade), Rick Carlisle
    RESIGNED: Buechler, Mikki Moore
    DRAFTED: Rodney White, Okur (should have been switched around. A strike out and found gold).

    Wow... 4 new quality players, a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick through trade. Picked up a FA and a good coach. Drafted a bust and a steal.
    2001-02
    • July 18, 2001 - Traded Jud Buechler and John Wallace to Phoenix in exchange for Cliff Robinson. Traded a 2002 second-round draft choice to Toronto for the rights to Zeljko Rebraca. (classy moves here for sure. Rebraca'a heart was the only thing that kept this from being stellar).
    • July 24, 2001 - Re-signed Corliss Williamson. and Ratko Varda to contracts.
    • September 7, 2001 - Acquired Jon Barry and a future first-round draft pick from Sacramento in exchange for Mateen Cleaves. Re-signed Dana Barros.
    • September 10, 2001 - Re-signed Brian Cardinal and signed free agent Victor Alexander.
    • October 29, 2001 - Signed free agent Damon Jones.
    • May 21, 2002 - Promoted John Hammond to Vice President of Basketball Operations.
    • June 27, 2002 - Selected Tayshaun Prince with the 23rd pick in the 2002 NBA Draft.
    Much, quieter year. But still got 5 players and a 1st round pick through trade. Pretty sweet.

    LOST: Buechler, John Wallace, 2nd round pick, Cleaves, Barros
    ADDED: Cliff Robinson (trade), Rebraca (trade), Jon Barry (trade), 1st round pick, Damon Jones (FA)
    RESIGNED: Corliss, Varda, Cardinal
    DRAFTED: Tayshaun Prince (the love of his life)

    Joe made the team significantly better in these 2 years with a flurry of value trades and subtle maneuvers.


    2002-03
    • July 17, 2002 - Signed free agent Chauncey Billups. (Overpaying for a FA to come to Detroit? Not even close. FA steal of the decade).
    • August 5, 2002 - Finalized buyout agreement with Mikki Moore. (In hindsight, not a good move)
    • September 11, 2002 - Acquired Hubert Davis, Richard Hamilton and Bobby Simmons from Washington in exchange for Brian Cardinal, Jerry Stackhouse and Ratko Varda. (Brilliant!)
    • October 1, 2002 - Acquired Mengke Bateer, Don Reid and a future first-round draft choice from Denver in exchange for Rodney White. (Joe got Don Reid + a 1st round pick for the bust- Rodney White??? Awesome).
    • October 3, 2002 - Acquired a 2003 second-round draft choice from San Antonio in exchange for Mengke Bateer.
    • October 10, 2002 - Signed free agent Juan Sanchez.
    • February 5, 2003 - Signed free agent Danny Manning.
    • March 11, 2003 - Signed Clifford Robinson to a contract extension through 2004-05.
    • May 31, 2003 - Relieved Head Coach Rick Carlisle of his coaching duties.
    • June 2, 2003 - Named Larry Brown as head coach.
    • June 26, 2003 - Selected Darko Milicic with the second pick, Carlos Delfino with the 25th pick and Andreas Glyniadakis with the 58th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
    LOST: Mikki Moore, Cardinal, Stackhouse, Varda, Rodney White, Carlisle
    ADDED: Billups (FA), Hubert Davis (trade), Rip (trade), Simmons (trade), Don Reid (trade), 1st round pick (trade), 2nd round pick (trade), Sanchez (FA), Manning (FA), Larry Brown
    RESIGNED: Cliffy
    DRAFTED: Darko, Delfino, Glyniadakis (bust, steal, N/A)

    All in all, a pretty awesome year. Got rid of the high scoring ball hog in exchange for a guys who would lead the Pistons in scoring for the next 8 years, unloaded the draft pick bust for great value, picked the FA steal of his life in Billups, and somehow came away with more draft picks. Plus he nabbed LB to mold these guys into shape. He screwed up the draft (again), but Delfino did pan out for his draft position.. but only after a year overseas.



    2003-04
    Abbreviated version
    • Signed Elden Campbell as a free agent
    • Resigned restricted FA- Rip Hamilton
    • Traded Michael Curry and got Lindsey Hunter back
    • Signed Darvin Ham as a free agent
    • Traded Sura, Atkins, Hunter, and Rebraca for Rasheed Wallace and Mike James (3 way trade)
    • Got Lindsey back after waivers
    LOST: Sura, Atkins, Rebraca, Michael Curry
    ADDED: Elden Campbell, Hunter, Ham, Sheed, Mike James
    RESIGNED: Rip
    DRAFTED: Ricky Paulding (late pick- no big deal)

    In this season, Joe made the finishing touches with complete mastery of his craft. He got the Shaq stopper in Campbell (smart). He kept Rip (essential... but Rip was already dating CB at this point, so it wasn't hard to keep him). He brought back his old pal, Lindsey (strong move), and of course, he nailed the coup de grace- Sheed and Mike James for scraps!!!

    This machine that Joe created was young, stubborn, and had a serious chip on their collective shoulder.

    Composition of Championship Team:
    Billups- cheap FA
    Hamilton- brilliant trade
    Prince- great late 1st round draft pick
    Sheed- trade of the year in the NBA
    Ben Wallace- trade of the year in 2000, JD went for toughness and defense and picked a winner

    Okur- absolute steal of a draft pick
    Corliss- came from solid trade of JYD (we got rid of duplication at energy guy with low offense and added complementary player in Corliss)
    Campbell- smart FA pickup for specific purpose of winning championship
    Hunter- FA pickup- defensive specialist at this point
    James- part of Sheed trade, jelled as a Pistons

    That is-
    2 draft picks (Tay, Okur) both later picks that were way better than their draft position
    3 FAs- Billups was brilliant, Campbell and Hunter were cheaper role players by design
    5 trades- Wallace, Wallace, and Rip were unbelievable trades. Corliss and James were solid.


    Joe was a trading machine and he routinely out-traded the opposing GM. He built this whole team without killing the future (he was getting more draft picks than he was giving up). He traded established vets for youth... until he needed a few final pieces of the puzzle and he brought in Sheed, who was in his prime.

    He had 4 BRILLIANT years. His poor drafting was partially offset by his good/ lucky later picks in Prince and Okur. It was his block and tackle maintenance and trades that really put the Pistons in a near dynasty position. The FA pickup of Billups was a once in a lifetime value bet and payoff for a GM.


    New theory: I'm wondering if part of Joe's early success was due to him being fresh into retirement and having actual peer to peer knowledge of which guys were worthless and which ones had character. He just made trades like he had insider information in years 1-4.

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