Immediate Needs:Detroit Pistons

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by CarlosGallan, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. CarlosGallan

    CarlosGallan First Round Draft Pick

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    The Detroit Pistons 2008-2009 campaign was a season of broken streaks and recent firsts. And that wasn't a good thing…
    For the better part of a decade, the Pistons had established themselves as one of the most consistently successful franchises in the NBA. Heading into last season, Detroit had won at least 50 games and advanced to (at least) the Eastern Conference every year since 2002-2003. And, in retrospect, that stretch of sustained success was largely the result of the offseason moves made prior to that '02-'03 season. In that summer of 2002, The Pistons completely overhauled their roster. They traded Jerry Stackhouse for Richard Hamilton. They signed the well-travelled Chauncey Billups as a free-agent. And they also drafted a tall, skinny kid out of Kentucky, named Tayshaun Prince, late in the first round. The rest, as they say, is history.
    Now, as Joe Dumars gets ready to embark on his most important offseason in seven years, he can only hope to approach matching the success of 2002's incredible haul…
    Immediate Needs in the Draft:
    Looking at the Pistons roster, their biggest issue is the gaping hole in the middle. Antonio McDyess (arguably the team's best player over the second half of the season – Dice averaged 12+ points and 11 boards over the season's final 30 games) and longtime starter Rasheed Wallace are both unrestricted free-agents and are unlikely to come back. Returning bigs, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, whom many in Motown were expecting big things from last season, were disappointingly inconsistent and relatively ineffective. Thus, if the Pistons don't make any moves this summer, they would likely have to head into the 2009-2010 campaign with Kwame Brown as their starting center -which is a worst-case scenario if there ever was one.
    Unfortunately for the Pistons, there are very few legitimate center options in this draft class. However, one of the most intriguing seven-footers in the draft, B.J. Mullens, could still be on the board when Detroit is on the clock at #15. Mullens is typically projected to land somewhere in the 12-18 range. While the jury is out as to whether or not Mullens will develop into a legit NBA pivot, he is the only true center prospect available in the middle of the first round. And due to his combination of size and an impressive skill-set, he does have an undeniably high upside.
    Another option would be the time-tested route of selecting the "best available talent." Because this draft is so unpredictable, it is difficult to guess who might slip into their laps, but the Pistons could get a crack at the ultra-versatile forward Earl Clark, who would be a great value-pick at #15. Some other options might include Austin Daye, Tyler Hansbrough, or DeJaun Blair (injury concerns).
    Lastly, Dumars could opt to go for a point guard. Even though the organization seems likely to stick with Stuckey at the point – despite somewhat mediocre prediction over the second-half of the season (he shot 40% from the floor and 19% from three-point land) – they would likely have the opportunity to snag a quality PG next Thursday. Point guard is this draft's deepest position and there could be some quality lead guards on the board, i.e. Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings, Eric Maynor, etc.

    Immediate Needs in Free Agency
    The good news is the Pistons have plenty of salary-cap space ($20+ million thanks in part to the disastrous Iverson/Billups trade) and cash to throw around this summer. Unfortunately, they arrived at the party one year too early. Next summer is when the much ballyhooed "Summer of LeBron" free-agent class hits the open market. However, while this year's crop pales in comparison to 2010, there are plenty of quality players up for grabs.
    The question is: what does Dumars do? Does he try to add a few established veteran stars to the foundation of Stuckey, Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince in effort to 'win now'? Or, does he trade away Rip or Prince (cap-friendly contract) and go after younger assets and embrace a complete rebuilding project?
    The more likely scenario is Dumars keeping the core intact and immediately addressing the glaring holes in the roster. While there aren't any superstar centers on the market, there are a definitely some intriguing options at power forward.
    Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz is the biggest name available. He's just 27-years-old and has already proven himself an elite NBA talent when healthy, after averaging roughly 21 points and 11 boards per game over two recent seasons (2006-2008). The question is where Boozer will spend the prime of his career. He would address a major need in Motown and it would make a lot of sense for both he and the Pistons.
    Another candidate could be Boozer's teammate in Utah, Paul Millsap. After Boozer was sidelined by a knee injury early last season, Millsap exploded onto the scene. After being inserted into the starting lineup, Millsap improbably produced 19 consecutive double-doubles. For the month of December, he averaged 18.6 points (on 59% shooting from the floor) and 11.5 rebounds. At just 24 years of age, he will be a hot commodity. Most analysts expect Utah to re-sign the more affordable Millsap. Utah's Memo Okur, a former Piston, could also be a target.
    Looking at the list of free-agent centers, there isn't a legit star on the radar. Orlando's Marcin Gortat will command a lot of attention and does possess some promise, but he is an unproven commodity. Unrestricted free-agent Chris "Birdman" Anderson would bring a lot of blocked shots, boards, and bad tattoos to whichever teams he signs with. And there are bunch of other, far more affordable but less productive, big men on the open market: Zaza Pachulia, Jamaal Magloire, Melvin Ely, Chris Wilcox, Robert Swift, Mikki Moore, Johan Petro, Rasho Nesterovic, Chris Mihm, Theo Ratliff, Stromile Swift, Channing Frye, and Ike Diogu…

    There have also been rumors floating around that Detroit is willing to offer Ben Gordon a contract starting at $11 million a season. This seems highly implausible for a number of reasons. First, Gordon is a gifted scorer, but he brings very little else to the table other than offense. And he needs plenty shot attempts to be most effective – similar to Iverson in that respect. So it would be very surprising to see any team pay Gordon upwards of $11 per season, especially considering the current state of the economy. Moreover, the Pistons are stacked at shooting guard. They have Rip Hamilton locked into a multiyear contract and Stuckey can certainly handle the two-spot as well. Detroit would have to trade away Hamilton in this scenario. Anything is possible, but this seems farfetched.
    Lastly, although Dumars has the means to add two big-name free-agents next month, that doesn't mean he has to spend his entire allowance this summer. If the top free-agents are playing hardball, Dumars has plenty of leverage. There are only two other squads with significant cap space to burn - the Memphis Grizzlies and the OKC Thunder - and neither club has shown a willingness to spend freely. Moreover, the Pistons need not be in any hurry to get something done. If they ink one quality power forward/center this summer, they can comfortably head into the 2009-2010 season. Then, with the cap-space they have saved, they can pursue a trade for a big-name pending free-agent (Bosh, Amar'e etc.) Having the ability to absorb excess salary could be very appealing, especially to a team like Phoenix which would be looking to slash payroll.
    Or, if the right deal doesn't present itself, Dumars could just keep his hands in his pocket and save his loot in order to go shopping next July, when the real cream of the crop could be up for grabs…

    HOOPSWORLD
     
  2. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Booser or Millsap won't have Williams to set them up. Can they create on their own? This team has many holes to fill. Do we want another center "prospect"?
     
  3. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

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    If we play Boozer or Millsap as a center, we're doomed.

    On the "creating their own shot" front, I like Millsap better than Boozer. Boozer does the pick'n roll with Williams really well, but is predictable/not very effective on his own in the post. We don't have a PG that is remotely as good as WIlliams. Millsap did show more versatility around the basket this year when he was starting. I watched quite a few Utah games this year, and Millsap would be very good PF upgrade for us.

    However, the problem with signing Boozer or Millsap is that it would be an easy team to defend if we don't get some good shooters. Boozer/Millsap are so successful at Utah because the Jazz have some decent shooters. As a result, the lane opens up for Williams or Brewer to drive (even Okur with his bizarre high dribble to the paint and WTFallaway shot), or Boozer/Millsap for an easy dunk/bucket.

    We rely on Bynum & Stuckey's drives to the basket or Rip running through screens. You add a PF that doesn't have range to this with Kwame in the middle and all the other team has to do is clog the lane and dare the Pistons to beat them by Rip or Tay shooting 3-pointers.

    Probably why everybody seems to think the Pistons are targeting Gordon+Boozer.
     
  4. Smoooth

    Smoooth First Round Draft Pick

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    I rather have Millsap too, he's a better version of Jason Maxiell.
     
  5. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Isn't Millsap a tweener? Wouldn't we rather have an actual PF or a C? I know they are tough to come by, but why settle?
     
  6. Walter

    Walter All-Star Forum Donor

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    Millsap's not big enough to play the 5 (listed at 6'8").
     
  7. max

    max All-Star

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    The more appropriate question is what don't we need?
     
  8. mercury

    mercury Bench Warmer

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    This is a fresh perspective... how much did Boozer and Milsap benefit from having someone like Memo that forces shot blocking bigs out of the paint?

    It seems that Joe will need to be careful with the mix of players he brings in... ie. Chandler and Earl Clark would not be a good combo (especialy with Stuckey)... the paint would be like I75 on Labor day.
    The other extreme would be Memo and Austin Daye.
     
  9. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Badly needed 1 (even better 2) big man who can post up and protect paint.
     
  10. Laimbrane

    Laimbrane All-Star Forum Donor

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    Biggest immediate need: coach
     
  11. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Joe can coach if push comes to shove, but need players to play.
     

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