Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Where Do We Go From Here?

This offseason (hopefully) has a few moves left in it for our Pistons. Whether we make some major alterations to our roster through trades, or just use our remaining cap space on (a) backup big(s), something has to be done. Apprehension breeds speculation. I mean, there's only so many times I can refresh, so let's let loose some good 'ol speculation.

1. If We Stand Pat:

The Pistons currently have about 3.5 million in cap space left to sign a free agent big. "Major" (i.e. somewhat recognizable) names include (ranked in order of my approval):

1. LEON POWE - I don't care if he's injured! He's come back from an ACL tear before! Someone needs to give him a chance after Boston made asses of themselves by punting him out unceremoniously. I mean, he only shoots well above 50%, crashes the boards (10 per 36 on a team with Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins), and constantly hustles. Not to mention he's a great story and a true Dumars player.

2. Chris Wilcox - He's 26 and 6'10". His career averages are 15 pts/8 rbs per 36 minutes on 53% shooting. He's had minor problems with injuries, but Detroit's trainers have a knack for keeping guys on the court (How quickly we forget that Dyess was ALWAYS injured before he came here). I just don't understand what else you need. You can get Wilcox for peanuts right now and he's a great bench guy.

3. Ike Diogu - One of the three guys I don't have to talk myself into. He's moved around a bit since being drafted 9th overall in 2005. Obviously he's not a top 10 caliber player, but he's put up reasonably solid numbers (6 pts/3 boards) in limited minutes (12 per), and he's only 25. Plenty of upside there, too. I like to think I'm objective about each and every player, but I always seem to overrate guys that have had big games against the Pistons in the past. Diogu dropped 20+ points of the bench against us as a rookie, and I never forgot his name.

4. Drew Gooden - Here's where things get a bit sketchy. I've never liked Gooden. He puts forth minimal effort and has a really low basketball IQ. As a starter, I hate him. However, as a bench player, he's not bad at all. He rebounds at a surprisingly high rate (10.1 per 36) and shoots at a decent clip for a big that has a jumpshot in his repertoire (47%). Character issues aside, and they're most definitely lurking (the guy goes back to Chicago on a regular basis just to party), he could be a productive big off the bench.

5. Walter Herrman - Just kidding!

6. Glen "Fat Ass" Davis - NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Remember when I said I like players that have put up uncharacteristic games against the Pistons? Well, that's pretty much been this turd's bread and butter for the last two years. And yet, I've always hated him. Too many red flags for me to talk myself into him. He's a restricted FA. He's a lard ass. He doesn't hustle. He's living off of one buzzer beater in the playoffs (in a series the C's lost, by the way), rather than the fact that Rashard Lewis owned his fat ass that series.

Yes, I realize that Davis put up 13.4 ppg on 54% shooting that series, but he gave up 20 per to Lewis and was even OUTREBOUNDED BY HIM(!!!). Rashard Lewis is a SF who has zero post presence playing out of position. That didn't stop him from grabbing two more boards a game (6 vs. 4) than Davis per game that series.

The worst part about Big Baby is that he's inefficient. Boston fans loathed seeing him chuck up bad jumper after bad jumper when he filled in for KG down the stretch. 44% shooting for a PF is, as Chuck Barkley would say, "turrible." Davis makes Zach Randolph look downright efficient. Now, I know we just got rid of a fan favorite who routinely averaged shooting percentages in the 40-45% range, so calling Davis a chucker might be a big hypocritical. BUT, that's if you assume that Piston fans didn't think Sheed was a chucker for long stretches of time (which, especially last year, he most definitely was), OR if you ignore the fact that Sheed's shooting percentages were submarined by the absurd amount of 3's he took. If Davis had range outside of 14 feet, I might condone his shooting percentage, but he's got nothing in terms of shot selection outside of a mid range jumper that is mediocre at best. I could go on, but I'll just get mad.

Ideal Course of Action: Sign Powe for a 2 year/$2 million deal with some incentives if he stays healthy. Sign Wilcox to a 3 year/$9 million (backloaded) deal.

2. If We Make a Trade:

1. Rip Hamilton for Carlos Boozer + (3.5 million-ish dollar throw-in, presumably C.J. Miles) -

This trade has been talked about a lot. Boozer is definitely on the way out in Utah, where Paul Millsap will very ably replace him. Utah could certainly use a shooting guard that is good enough to turn their roster into a potential contender in the West. Ronnie Brewer just isn't going to cut it. Detroit would get a guarenteed 20-10 who'll be playing for a contract. Plus, he's an expiring deal, so if we don't like him, we don't have to resign him. Utah saves up to 3.5 million depending on who they throw in with Booz. At this point, it's between the 'Stons and Da Bullz in the Boozer race.

2. Maxiell and Kwame for Tyson Chandler and Julian Wright

New Orleans is tanking financially and DESPERATELY need to get under the luxury tax. That's where Detroit and their cap space come in. The Pistons gets a great rebounder and post defender, who is only 26, as well a defensive stopper in Wright. The Hornets get a solid backup in Maxiell and an expiring contract in Kwame, who can kind of, maybe start somewhat capably in place of Chandler.

3. Rip or Prince for Chris Kaman or Marcus Camby

The Clippers' recent flirtations with Allen Iverson (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) have shown me two things:

a. Mike Dunleavy has no idea what the fuck he's doing


b. The Clips want another SG

Now, Prince would make a lot more sense than Rip for LA, but Dunleavy is... a moron. Kaman or Camby have to be moved to finally break up the Clips' logjam, and the lovable losers are clearly interested in someone to steal minutes from sweet shooting Eric Gordon (once again, Dunleavy has no fucking clue). Dunleavy has had no problem in the past taking contracts like Rip's.

However it turns out, Joe D isn't done yet. It's blatantly obvious to just about everyone that the Pistons aren't a finished product right now. What the front office cooks up in the next couple of weeks could determine whether we end up as a 4 seed/fringe contender (Unless Boston's age finally catches up to them, there's no way we break the top 3 in the east) or a lottery team. God, I hope it's the former.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

John Kuester: Curry or Carlisle?

It appears as though the Pistons have found their new coach. According to Marc "Steiny Mo" Stein of, Cavs assistant coach John Kuester will be named as the new Detroit head coach.

Now, many see this move as a bit odd, considering Joe Dumars had previously stated that he wanted an experienced coach after the recent Michael Curry debacle. Basically, I see it as a reaction to Avery Johnson's rather... lavish demands (5 million a year? Uh... no thanks). Kuester was their 3rd choice (behind Doug Collins and Johnson), and they figured he'd be perfectly happy to take the job.

Many Pistons fans see Kuester as Curry 2.0. I don't really think there's a comparison between the two. Kuester has tons of experience as an assistant, unlike Michael Curry's paltry one year of service prior to his hiring, and is a protege of Larry Brown -- who won something or other here... I can't really remember, but I'm sure it's not too important. If there's any comparison to be made, it's that Kuester is similar to former Pistons Coach Rick Carlisle. Carlisle was a highly touted assistant who'd coached for another team that couldn't quite get over the hump while he was there (The Pacers, who lost in the ECF, and Finals under Larry Bird and Carlisle) and would've had to remain an assistant under a (to put it nicely) less qualified coach (The Ineffable Mike Brown for Kuester, and ISAIAH THOMAS for Carlisle). Carlisle was an absolute saving grace for a Pistons team that was... well... kind of shitty before he came here. He posted two straight 50 win seasons and made the Eastern Conference Finals before being ousted (largely because of tensions with the FO) for Larry Brown.

The only thing that bugs me a bit about this choice is that we could have made a run at Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau is a defensive genius who created top 10 D's for Jeff Van Gundy's Knicks/Rockets and now for Doc River's Celtics. The only knock on him is that he has troubles relating to players (shades of Curry, there). Both Thibo and Kuester have been labeled "the brains behind *insert coach*," but the difference between the two is pretty simple. One has a ring. The other lost in the Conference Finals as a heavy favorite. Still, not too bad to have a guy that shadow-coached a 66 win team. I don't think Pistons fans would be too angry if we made it to another Eastern Conference Finals.

All in all, Kuester is a pretty solid hire. He's not as fun as Bill Laimbier, or as qualified as Avery Johnson, but he should be able to sculpt our offense into one of the best in the NBA and field a solid playoff team. What he does with our Defense should determine how successful he is in Motown.

In AI related news: Iverson has yet to commit to a team; mainly because the only one showing significant interest is the Memphis Grizzlies. Ouch. Looks like it might be a long offseason for The Canswer.