Lets go back to around 2000 and see how well we have done with developing young guys. Rodney White, 9th pick. Never played him hardly at all, and gave him away. He did have talent, had some decent years in the Nuggets rotation. They we got Cleaves, hometown hero drafted mostly for being a home town here. Even though he could not shoot. Sure, we gave him every chance to play, but he just could not play, could not shoot the ball. Let me see, we built the 2001 team up by bringing in one young player, Damon Jones. Good pickup. Only we did not keep him around as we added Rip and Billups the next year. We did get Zelly to sign with us too. Now, even though he was 28 when he came to us, he was still a rookie, who after using him perhaps too little the first year, was slated to be our starter in his 2nd year here. But he came down with heart problems. Fine player. Bad luck on our part. But really, Zelly never needed any developement. Great post up game, fine defender, fantastic boxout guy. (we have not seen a better boxout guy since, or before Zelly.) Ahh. Prince. We drafted him. Carlisle did not keep his job because he could not see the value in playing Prince, who while a rookie, was plenty old enough and capable enough his very first year. Larry Brown came along, recognized his talent, and played him major minutes and won a championship with him. So, there is at least one success story there. But not really. Tay was good out of the box. No developement needed. Only in Carlisle's singularly warped mind was a guy like Curry suppose to play ahead of Prince. Again, Prince needed zero NBA development. He had NBA talent and game day one when he got here. Despite playing very little his first year, we all saw him play TMAC, who was doing great that year, toe to toe and score with him point for point in a playoff series. So we did get a couple of young players involved. But not any actual developement. Ok, Stuckey. Young guy. Still on the team. But he is a point guard. We never won any games with him at point though, and now we have management imagining that they can make a shooting guard out of him. We are going nowhere fast with Stuckey at this point. Got to give a solid fail to the organization at this point. JMAX. Here, we brought the guy along slowly. Too slowly. By the time he got to play, it had been years since he was a decent shooter for Cincinnati. Further, except for just the tiniest bit, we refused to play him at small forward, where like Corliss, he might have had some success. Instead, he was last seen as our starting power forward, despite a horrible height disadvantage there such that he could not defend the position nor hold his own in the rebounding battles. For sure, he never got around to part of any winning formula for us. And since he left in free agency, I give the organization another fail here. Amir Johnson. Fine starting power forward for Toronto these days. Don't like him? I don't care. I want to know what we got for him in trade. Nothing. Another fail. Carlos Delfino. Another victim of coach hatred. Pure hatred of foreigners just for being foreigners. No other reason. Let him go for nothing too. He has seen lots of starts on other teams since. Milicic. We got him as a skinny young man more suitable for playing small forward, at least at first. He eventually developed into a very large, gifted center. Just last season, before he left the NBA for family problems, NY was planning on him being a big part of their rotation. But why did we give him away for nothing, instead of using him just a bit and building up his trade value. There was no reason. Just bad management of a player. A victim here for his first two years of player hatred by his coach. How about Afflalo. A fine player. Tons of starts since we gave him away for nothing. He has had 40% plus shooting for seasons from the 3 line. He can defend too. The best perimeter defender we had when he was here. Why did we give him away for nothing? Guys like Curry were the coach, that is why. And Joe Dumars is totally responsible for both giving Afflalo away, and for him not playing more when he was here. How about Middleton. Here, Dumars sells it as the Jennings / Knight trade. And yet Milwaukee fully expects Middleton to be a key player on their team this year. This is an example of just giving a player away, again, for no good reason at all. Next, Knight. Sorry. Can we really say we got anything for Knight? Jennings was a free agent. We did a sign and trade. Sure, we used his contract. But that is all cap spsace issues. Fact is, we could have just simply signed Jennings if that was a priority for us. So, we will leave this one as a maybe ok thing. Me, I won't say it is ok, but I will not call it a failure - as Milwaukee sees Knight as their starting point guard this year, and just extended his contract yesterday. And Daye. Amazingly, we started him out of position as a power forward for a stretch, and yet never used him as a backup small forward to Tay. All the opportunity in the world to do so. But never did. And we gave him away as part of a trade, a cap move, nothing more, where Tay left. Failure. Pretty typical result for Dumars and this organization. Currently on team. We are giving JJ and Singler plenty of developement time. But will either actually play winning ball in the NBA? Foot speed problems plague both. Right now, some see JJ as a possible backup power forward even though he so undersized there its incredible that this is actually being considered. Totally incredible. Player developement of players who pretty obviously not going to get anywhere does not count. Well, I know I have left out some, but I will finish with our current crop of youngsters. Dumars is so far not hindering the developement of Pope, and yet he is showing a lot of signs of planning to. And not only would it be a disaster in terms of his develpment if he does not play to give the likes of Bynum playing time, this also threatens team chemistry and ever getting our front line dunking the ball thru the hoop as planned. They say that Drummond is our future. But wait, we have, in Monroe, a case where a young player is actually being developed. A player getting better every year. So rumors are starting we are going to trade him away. Totally nuts. Lets instead dump Bynum, only use guards who know how to play the point, and see what kind of explosive results we can get with a solid front line of Smith, Monroe, and Drummond. Note, if we actually trade Monroe for a player of similar value, that would be a success for the Pistons. But with Dumars track record, he is most likely going to settle for a cap move, and sell it to us fans as a good move. I highly doubt it.