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The Pistons have not had a lot of success in the NBA draft because of some egregiously bad decisions (1. Darko / 2. Zach Randolph / 3. Lee) but a few of the ones listed are informed by hindsight.
For instance, Brandon Knight was being projected as a potential franchise PG. No one faulted Dumars for selecting Knight (especially after he led Kentucky to its first Final Four in over 10+ years). On the flip side, Kawhi Leonard's success as a player can be partially attributed to Gregg Popovich and the Spurs. Hence, Leonard has the benefit of playing under the best coach in the NBA and playing for the best organization in the NBA.
Also, the Pistons were not the only ones to miss on Manu Ginobli or Marc Gasol. Look at where they was drafted: Ginobli as the 57th pick and Gasol as the 48th pick. Think of all the other teams that passed on them.
Lastly, the Pistons have also had some success (Prince, Monroe, Drummond) but the mistakes overshadow the positives. Here's why...
Detroit Pistons from 2002 - 2008:
- Lost 4-1 to Celtics in EC Semifinals.
- Lost 4-0 to the Nets in the 2003 EC Finals
***2003 NBA Draft***
- Beat the Lakers 4-1 in the 2004 NBA Finals
- Lost 4-3 to the Spurs in the 2005 NBA Finals
- Lost 4-2 to the Heat in the 2006 EC Finals
- Lost 4-2 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2007 EC Finals.
- Lost 4-2 to the Boston Celtics in the 2008 EC Finals.
If the Pistons would've drafted either Carmelo Anthony or (preferably) Dwyane Wade with the 2nd overall pick, then the Pistons would've been a dynasty.
Either Anthony or Wade would've put the PIstons over the top. The Pistons could've won 5 straight NBA Championships.
Instead, the #2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft turned out to be the historical equivalent of Boston's #2 pick in the 1986 NBA Draft (where the Celtics selected Len Bias) after winning the 1986 NBA Championship.
If Bias hadn't overdosed on cocaine, who knows how many more NBA Championships the Boston Celtics would've won. To this day, there are people who still strongly believe that Bias was just as good as Jordan and that he would've been a perennial all-star for the Celtics.
That #2 pick will haunt the Pistons for a long time unless something dramatic happens. Consider this: after Bias's shocking death, the Celtics didn't win another NBA Championship until 2008 when Danny Ainge was able to assemble an incredible collection of talent: Paul Pierce (10x All-Star), Kevin Garnett (15x All-Star), Ray Allen (10x All-Star ), and Rajon Rondo (4x All-Star) as its core.
* * * N E O . R E T R O * * *
This really isn't a horrible signing as it isn't a max contract but only if Dumars has a good deal involving Monroe in some form. If not, a lineup of Drummond, Monroe, Smith, KCP and Knight will be terrible offensively since there will be some serious floor spacing issues. If Dumars trades Monroe for a good SF or PG, the Pistons can instantly become a decent playoff team. But hopefully he doesn't trade Monroe for Rudy Gay or Rondo, both are overrated players and Rondo is a cancer. He and Stuckey together would ruin the careers of both Knight and Drummond.
Theo Ratliff, talk about a blast from the past
Josh Smith is a good player. A huge portion of the league would probably love to have Smith on this roster. When I first heard Dumars was going after Smith and eventually when he signed him, I had some positive thoughts. The guy's got talent, but the more you break it down, the less sense this signing makes.
First, Smith just doesn't really fit with this roster. Yes, he can play at the 3, but I don't think there's anybody out there that believes that the 3 is his position of choice. He's a better fit at the 4, but the Pistons already have Greg Monroe there. Monroe was very arguably the best player on the Piston's roster before this signing, which means you have the best player on your team and now the highest paid player on your team as natural fits for the same position. Something has to break and it's probably going to mean Smith is at the 3 spot. Your only other options are to put one of them on the bench (makes no sense), switch Smith to the 4 and Monroe to the 3 (makes no sense), or trade Monroe (which I don't even want to think about).
So let's assume the Pistons go with Smith at the 3 and Monroe at the 4. Smith's production has not been "All Star" quality at the 3, so you're taking a hit there. Will he be better than what the Pistons had at the 3 after they traded Prince? Probably, but a guy that's worth $14 million a year? I certainly don't think so. A few guys will be coming off the books after this season, but Drummond and Monroe will need to be resigned, which is going to eat that cap space right back up. So regardless of how you break the numbers down, you're taking a monster hit for some questionable production.
And the final thing that just makes no sense to me about this whole thing is how you fit signing Smith and drafting Caldwell-Pope together. Now, not only are you shifting Smith out of his natural position, but you're going to have Knight and Caldwell-Pope basically competing for the same spot because Smith will be eating up the minutes at the 3 spot. Yes, Knight can play the point, but it's pretty clear that he got pulled from there because he wasn't productive. And to add even more, you drafted Mitchell who looks like he's going to turn out to be a guy at the 4 spot in the 2nd round. It just seems like Dumars is trying to overload two positions on the court. It just doesn't make sense to me, especially when you literally have just 1 point guard on the roster. Not to go back to draft night, but it's hard not to believe Burke would have fit better into this lineup than KCP.
Basketball Analyst For BTPowerhouse & Wolverine 247 - Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tbeindit
Thomas, you nailed it.
If you are really going to move Smith to the 3, and you expected Calderon to be gone...why not draft Burke?
The pieces just don't add up.
Good write-up Thomas, but think Drummond will be the best player for Pistons. I have high hopes for him, think he will be an All-Star for many years.
i agree with this.
I just dont see JDs vision here. He either has no confidence in Knight at the two or really thinks Knight as his future PG. He also must think that Josh Smith is his 3. What is the starting lineup going to look like?
that is a lot of size, for sure. I like KCP a lot. think he is going to be a good one. I just dont see Knight as a true PG. I also dont know how i feel about Smith at the 3...
So Thomas, at this point, how do you see the Pistons fixing this? Do they trade Monroe and Knight? for a 1 and 3?
At this point, the biggest need has to be a point guard. They pretty much have Siva and nobody else. It's halftime of their first Summer League game and I think Siva has looked decent, but he's not going to be any answer this year. You have to either move somebody to get a point guard or settle for one on a short deal. Pretty much all the good options are now off the table so you either have to sign an alright guy or deal somebody, deal cap space, or deal draft picks. Frankly, I think there's a market out there for this, but these Smith type of deals make it a lot harder when you're trying to deal things like cap space and draft picks.
If it was me, I'd probably just try to sign a free agent point guard on a short deal. I don't think anybody's going to want to trade heads up for Knight or any bench guy and the cap space/draft pick option doesn't appeal to me. The future is too bright to want to limit the team like that. Once the season's over try to draft someone or sign someone. It's a tough situation, but I think a lot of this was created by the front office.
Do you see knight and kcp on the court at the same time? Does that assume knght as pg?
I definitely think it will happen this year. KCP can play the 2 or the 3 and Knight can certainly play at the 1 or the 2, so I assume in some substitutions they'll both be out there. Not as convinced for a starting lineup unless the Pistons really tank on getting a free agent point guard or one in a trade.
Rasheed Wallace joins Detroit Pistons staff.
"Rasheed Wallace will join the Pistons' coaching staff. Wallace will serve the Pistons as a big-man coach.
Idk if this is good or bad lol.
Pistons have resigned PG Will Bynum to a 2 year $5.75 million contract.
This will probably upset a lot of people, but with the current state of the market and the Pistons current options, this was probably one of the best situations they could get. A pretty short deal for a guy who can reasonably carry your bench point guard role and you got him to take a pay cut to take the deal. I don't think Bynum is the answer, but the Pistons desperately need depth there. Hopefully, they can get a nice deal worked out to get a quality point guard in the next few weeks.
Will Bynum has agreed to a two-year deal worth $5.75 million, according to his agent Mark Bartelstein.
At the risk of turning this into a flame war, I just wanna say...
LOL @ the delusional morons who think that Lebron is going to return to Cleveland for the 2015 season even though he'll have the opportunity to go anywhere he wants.
I just hope that Kyrie Irving will have the good sense to opt out of his contract and leave Cleveland as soon as possible. He deserves better than to play for that worthless franchise.
Why is it so crazy of an idea? Lebron still lives in Ohio and does alot of charity work there too.
Not big enough of a paycut
Is Dumars on a short leash or does he still have the benefit of the doubt from Detroit's ownership?
This post was edited by Project M135 9 months ago
Building a class one member at a time.
1. Because he'll have better options (i.e. teams/organizations with better personnel, coaching, and management)
2. His goal should be to win more NBA Championships rather than to mend fences with the people of Ohio.
3. The Cavaliers are still owned by Dan Gilbert who acted like a petulant child or a woman scorned after Lebron's departure
And I want you to provide me with a link that confirms Lebron still "lives" in Ohio. Lebron might still have a residence somewhere in Ohio but I'm pretty sure he spends most of his time in Miami during the season + offseason.
Believe it was ESPN that said Lebron hangs out in Cleveland all the time and lives there in the offseason. Just because ESPN plays up the whole Jordan vs. Lebron thing (which is dumb) doesn't mean he wants it. He may be happy with his two championships and want to try to win one in Cleveland again. I for one am a fan of Dan Gilbert for what he tries to do with Detroit. Hope he gets a title someday.
This post was edited by Aces High 9 months ago
1. Cleveland will (should) be able to offer more or the same as any team in the league.
2. Cleveland is actually set up to be one of the better teams in the east over the long term. Celtics - rebuild. Nets - highest payroll/highest age, they won't last long. Knicks - as long as Melo is there, LeBron will not be. Chicago - They are in bad salary situation, plus I personally can't see LeBron trying to play in "Jordan's City", I believe Wade will end his career there though.
3. Gilbert has stated that he was dumb. And people close to him say that he'd welcome him back in a second.
LeBron will either stay in Miami or come to Cleveland. As stated above, he lives in Akron, I just saw him the other day at a park in Akron playing kickball. Another friend saw him at the local gym working out. I can assure you that he is in Akron a lot. Giving a shout out to Akron was the first thing he said after winning the NBA finals this year, the dude lives for that city.
He wants his kids to go to St Vincent St Mary, and they are probably entering grade school age. He is getting married this summer. His wife/fiancee refuses to move to Miami. His agent/best friend JUST relocated his headquarters to Cleveland. There's been a lot of rumors coming from inside his circle of friends about wanting to come back. He is pretty good friends with Irving, Tristan Thompson (shares agent).
To be more on topic.
I'm not sure how this will work out for the Pistons, but they sure as hell will be fun to watch. I really like Monroe and Drummond. I just hope that Josh Smith's style/attitude on the court doesn't inhibit the growth of those young guys. The one thing that would worry me is how many guys are on the team that need to have the ball in their hands to make something happen. Perimeter defense is another worry.
I wouldn't give up on Knight yet. He's still just 21 years old. And Will Bynum is a solid, pretty efficient backup.
I hope Rasheed wears a headband on the bench this season. I read the bench picked up a technical at their first summer league game and it was probably him.
Don't underestimate how much Lebron hurts emotionally from the damage he took leaving Cleveland. It still bugs him, and if he could heal that, I think he would like to.
One other thing: long term, Miami is not as strong as they may appear...getting older quickly. So, it is a tougher decision than at first glance.
Short leash.. If we're not in the playoffs this season, he's fired.
Perhaps I'm underestimating Lebron's desire to return "home" and lead the Cavaliers to their first NBA Championship (which he promised) but I think you're not considering other possibilities (i.e. teams in the Western Conference). Lebron could choose to be a Los Angeles Laker or even a Golden State Warrior.
Also, the 2014 free agent class will probably be the best one in NBA history. If Lebron chooses to go somewhere else (say Boston in rebuilding mode), then others may choose to join him there.
This post was edited by Frank C 9 months ago
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