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.

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