The Pistons are a train wreck

Submitted by MGoCooper on December 20th, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Usually, if you watch the NBA for long enough, you can get a sense of the direction that a team wants to go in, by the personnel moves they make. With Joe Dumars, I have no clue. This off season is a prime example of the fact that this team has no direction.

-Tayshaun Prince re signed for 5 years

-Jonas Jerebko resigned for 4 years

-Richard Hamilton bought out

-Brandon Knight drafted

-Rodney Stuckey resigned for 3 years

-Amnesty not used on Villanueva or Maxiel


While I love the drafting of Knight, the release of Rip, and the resigning of Jerebko, the coinciding moves have me scratching my head. The goal of any team in the Pistons position, is to play the young guys, and to let bad contracts expire. Stuckey and Prince returning to this roster is baffling on many levels. It's almost as if Dumars is telling the fans "we're gunning for that position just outside of the playoffs, but just good enough to not add a quality piece in the draft". In terms of NBA level talent, Stuckey and Prince are not bad players, they are two solid pieces, just not for this team. This team should be in a clearly defined rebuilding situation, but Dumars appears defiant to accept that.

Brandon Knight, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko,, and other young players need to be playing as much as possible. But with Tayshaun, Stuckey, Maxiell, and Villanueva being kept on the roster, it limits their opportunities greatly. If you want to win more games, then the aforementioned veterans should absolutely be getting the bulk of the minutes, The problem however, is that the ceiling for where those players can take this team, is incredibly low. Dumars recent comment that if he could tweak the team, he'd only add a big man, are incredibly disturbing. It cements what we've all feared, that he believes this team is just a serviceable big man away from competing.

I always felt that Dumars should be given the chance to rebuild this team, given his incredible success during his tenure. But he has given every indication, that he either doesn't believe we need to rebuild, or he considers this rebuilding. If this were football, I'd be behind Dumars version of rebuilding, but this is not football. the NBA is a star driven league, not a collection of role players driven league. I know it worked once, but the NBA, like life, changes.

Pistons fans, we're in NBA purgatory. No where good enough to make an impact or even make the playoffs. But not bad enough to add a star by way of the draft. Equaling, Purgatory.


Edit: Feel free to down vote, I'm a disgusted Pistons fan ranting out of disgust.



December 21st, 2011 at 9:10 AM ^

Lockout aside, the NBA is at its best level since the early 90s. So many awesome young stars to watch (DRose, Griffin, Durant, Westbrook, etc) while the old guard is still going strong (Duncan, Kobe, Garnett). Plus we finally have another villain team (the Heat) to root against.

Just like any other pro sport, the players can be overpaid babies. But the product on the court is amazing to watch.


December 21st, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

witness all the upset fans during the strike, and then the sheer joy when the season was announced. /s

You are correct to criticize the guy posting on a thread he doesn't like, so I'm not criticizing you, but news flash: the NBA is really not that big a deal to most sports fans. There was more discussion in any one hour of the NFL lockout than a week of the NBA's.


December 21st, 2011 at 7:22 PM ^

If you read, you'll notice that I agreed with the poster in saying that people shouldn't complain about threads being posted, and took care to say so. Which is the opposite of trolling BTW. The guy said the NBA's ratings "were through the roof" last year, implying that the NBA is really popular and growing. I  then expressed an opinion, an opinion which is pretty close to a fact actually, that there are only a few of you who "care a great deal about the NBA." Just because you don't agree with it is irrelevant. Other guys said the NBA is a joke and hope it fails, I did not. I'm just like a lot of sports fans who watch their team, but if the NBA started every year in January, wouldn't care a  bit. 


December 21st, 2011 at 7:27 PM ^

2004 was fun, but the NBA is my least favorite league in all of sports.  Joe D has forced me to suspend my fanhood.  

I think most Detroiters would agree when I saw that they are the least liked Detroit sports team.  Not that people dislike them, just that everyone likes the Red Wings, Lions, and Tigers more.

The Shredder

December 20th, 2011 at 9:33 PM ^

As a die hard Bulls fan... Yes your roster is a complete mess. It looks like a kid went to the roster section on NBA2k12 and had a hey day. Makes little sense. Signing Tay made very little sense. Dumars has had a ton of misses since trading away Billups for an over the hill AI.


December 20th, 2011 at 10:24 PM ^

Prince shouldn't be taking minutes from younger guys, but they value his leadership apparently.

Stuckey is an odd fit with this roster, but he was also their best player last year.

Prince ( 4 years 27 mil) and Stuckey (3 years 25 mil) were signed to reasonable contracts that are tradable if Dumars wants to go in a different direction.

While the direction he seems to be taking the team seems questionable, re-signing these guys was the right move.  Question is, will he make the subsequent correct moves of trading them when their peak is highest? They are unlikely to win a title without first bottoming out to get a star.  Dumars hates that philosophy for some reason. He likes to rebuild with undervalued veterans.  Understanding this philosophical constraint that Joe D has applied to his team construction process, we see that these moves fall in line.  

His previous moves - (failing to trade Rip for value,  billups for iverson, signing villanueva and gordon) - were bad.  These moves are fine and don't kill their cap situation.


December 21st, 2011 at 9:31 AM ^

Why can't GMs just let guys walk? The Stones would have been far better served cleaning out the old guard and letting the younger guys establish themselves as leaders. Not re-signing Tay and Stuck would have allowed for more PT to evaluate some of the younger guys going forward. Is Daye worth signing long term? No IMO, but how can Joe make an accurate assessment when he's only logging 12minutes off the bench?

Has no one informed Joe D of the amnesty clause? He buys out Rip. OK. That makes sense if he subsequently amnesties one of the 78 horrible contracts we have. No? He's not going to amnesty anyone? He added three more bad contracts to the books? We're doomed.

IMO we should have let everyone walk, and signed enough guys to one year deals to reach the cap floor. Then you play the young guns, evaluate the pieces you have to see if they're worth moving forward with, and bottom out for a shot at a franchise guy in what will be a very deep draft.

Instead Dumars opted to put the Pistons in the worst possible place, the 7-12 range in the East. Not good enough to compete, not bad enough to land a franchise guy in the draft.


December 21st, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

I think you are truly underestimating the horribleness of this roster.  There is no legit scorer: Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey are not true scorers, they are at their best when they complement a true scorer.  The low post defense is abysmal, and they have no depth.  I guess I don't see the middling talent, I see one of the worst rosters in the league.  I see three players worth keeping and that's it: Monroe, Jerebko (only as a backup PF) and Knight (and that's just because he's a top 10 pick).


December 21st, 2011 at 10:36 AM ^

Wow. I'm kind of struggling to respond. I feel like you missed every point I made.

The main one being this roster is terrible, blow it up, play the young guys to see if any of them are worth keeping and start over. I'm not sure how anyone could read all of my criticisms of Dumars, "We're doomed," let all of our free agents walk, bottom out and start over as, "Hey guy, things aren't that bad."

AFAIC, there is no one worth keeping on this roster outside of Monroe and Knight, but that's only because there really isn't enough data on those two guys for any conclusions to drawn about them.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:33 PM ^

And were in year three. You'd think new ownership would reinvigorate the franchise but it's stagnant. Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight are good pieces to start building but this lineup is a tire fire. Like you said there's no vision. How many combo guards and small forwards can one team have?


December 20th, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

Go in the bathroom and splash water on your face and then wipe with a towel.  Repeat this loop until you remember that our beloved football team is prepping for the Sugar Bowl, the head coach just missed out on COY award, tsiO just got gut punched by the NCAA, and the Lions are on the verge of a playoff birth and sport one of the most talented teams in the NFL...........................oh, and it is almost Christmas Fergodsakes.


Just offering a suggestion.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

Greetings from Cleveland!

As a former Detroiter who (until the decision) was also a Cavs season ticket holder I can tell you that the Pistons are simply one of the 25 "Washington Generals" to quote our owner Dan Gilbert.  The NBA is a star driven league and unfortunately for us....the stars ALL want to play in one of 4 cities and the rest of us can go to Hell.

I was hopeful the lockout would put some mechanisms in place to prevent this but sadly this did not happen.  So prepare yourself for all the "stars" to end up in either Miami, New York, Chicago or Los Angeles while we fight over the scraps they don't want or can't sign.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

Except Dallas won last year. And for like 4 years in the last decade the two best teams were Detroit and San Antonio. Look at OKC. It's possible to build a strong franchise in a small market with savvy management. Dan Gilbert is a terrible owner and I hope he never wins anything. Dumars seems to be a good talent scout with no big picture vision for this team and I don't see how it's going to get better soon so thats too bad. I'm still fine with the NBA.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:49 PM ^

And thank God Dallas did but would you like to take "the field" if I get the teams in those four cities for the next 5 NBA Championships?  Lebron, Wade & Bosch have shown the rest of the players how to manipulate the system to play with their buddies in the cities they like.  If you don't think that's the blueprint the rest will follow you are absolutely kidding yourself.

And what do you have against Gilbert?  I absolutely loved his trashing LeBron and his comments to Stern that essentially blocked the Paul trade to the Lakers.


December 20th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

I don't know if I want to trash your owner that you like but since you asked...
Hes a spoiled child. He bought into the NBA at a high price (NBA teams were just like houses 5 years ago. Why not buy, the price keeps going up?!). He bought with full knowledge of how the system worked and then when the superstar that was already there left he threw a hissy fit. Lebron James doesn't owe Dan Gilbert anything. He should be allowed to do whatever he wants. This is America. The team is poorly managed. What good basketball moves have they made since he took over?  When Lebron left, the franchise value tanked. Why? Because, he was the only worthwhile part of that team. Now Dan Gilbert is strong arming David Stern because he can't run his own business that he bought into with full knowledge.


December 21st, 2011 at 7:40 AM ^

Oh boy, I LOL'd when you wrote "Dumars seems to be a good talent scout." He's awful, he was living off of one championship and a bunch of misses. He should have had multiple but he was too afraid to break this team up...then when they were clearly not good enough he held onto the pieces until they turned into worthless players. No one wants Tay anymore, nor Stuckey, nor Charlie V, nor Maxiell. They can't trade any of these pieces for anything anymore...and this team is circling the drain.


I cannot for the life of me understand why Joe didn't pull the trigger on the Josh Smith for Tayshaun and Maxiell trade that was offered. You had your ring and you had a chance to go grab a bonafide superstar and you pissed it away.  


December 20th, 2011 at 9:52 PM ^

The whole era of the stars all playing on one team will not last especially with the cap. The Mavs won last year with Dirk and a bunch of good role players while the Heat had 3 of the top players in the league mixed in with 10 of the worst players in the league. It just doesn't work.


All you need is one star player and a bunch of above average role players and you can win championships. If you look at it the Pistons may seem like a wreck but they have the role players in place they just need that one player to put them over the top like a Andre Drummond would do if he were drafted.


If the lineup in the near future is PG Knight SG Stuckey SF Prince PF Monroe C Drummond/Sullinger we could potentially be a really solid team and compete with the so called "best" teams in the league because of there lack of depth in key places like the Heat at Center and PG, the Clippers without a true SG or PF/C, and the Knicks with PG, SG, and Center.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:49 PM ^

We can't cut all of those players. I don't mind Gordon at all, I think he can be a very nice player off the bench. Ben Wallace isn't a problem, he's making minimal money, and he has one year left on his contract. Players like Wallace, aren't going to be considered a deterrent. Maxiel is probably a player that you could stomach keeping until his contract is up. But Villanueva, Villanueva is a special kind of failure. He plays a lot of minutes, and contributes little compared to his contract, and is awful in the locker room. He would have been my first amnesty buy out, and I'd have been happy to write him the check.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:54 PM ^

If we can trade any veteran assets for picks do it. Sign short term contracts to get to the salary floor, bank the luxury tax share and win 5 games this year. Get a top 3 draft pick in a high quality draft and draft a franchise big man. With a short season it's the best time to tank because theres less lost revenue from empty arenas. Build around that pick, Brandon Knight and use the salary flexibility you've created to sign a big free agent in a couple of years. That's how you build a basketball team. Short term pain for long term gain.

Blue Bunny Friday

December 20th, 2011 at 9:44 PM ^

I think you're pretty off base after this year. BTW who cares? This was never expected to be a good year.  

This team has a decent and young core in Knight/Daye/Jonas/Monroe. I think all these guys can play and the extra 'combos' potentially add depth and trade value. 

I didn't love the Tay contract, but the Stuckey signing makes some sense. Give it another year  and see how it turns out. There was so much sucess that it makes this lull inconceivable, but it could be fun to see this team develop.

Blue Bunny Friday

December 20th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

In a lockout shortened season the team can develop those guys, get a good draft pick and make a move next off-season. 

You're writing checks your ass couldn't cash. 

E-pinion: You don't care about direction and want something to bitch about while upvoting your own posts. 


December 20th, 2011 at 10:12 PM ^

I don't give a fuck about up voting or down voting anything. I'm not sure you quite understand NBA economics. What move will they make next year? Dumars moves have been panned league wide, because Dumars has locked us into contracts that will keep us in our current state for 4-5 years. The only time those players/contracts would get you anything valuable, is if they were expiring. Translation? You need to read the new CBA.


E-Opinion: You enjoy talking out of your ass.

Blue Bunny Friday

December 20th, 2011 at 10:33 PM ^

You clearly do give a 'what' because you bothered to click the button.

Why are you reacting like this?

As to an earlier point, you stated that you never said anything negative about the guys I mentioned, but listed:

-Jonas Jerebko resigned for 4 years

-Richard Hamilton bought out

-Brandon Knight drafted

Damn. There's 2/4 + Hamilton who needed to go. I don't want to debate this anymore.


December 21st, 2011 at 9:00 AM ^ have to have someone for the fans to come out and watch

the pistons stink on ice, but at least fans can root for Tay like they have for 10 years

you need someone to draw people to the palace, tom gores wants at least 5k in his new arena

(did you see the exhibition game?  there were maybe 3k people... maybe)


December 20th, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

The worst place to be in the NBA is in the middle. If you're not a contender you need to bottom out and try to get a superstar in the draft (especially in an unsexy city like Detroit). See Oklahoma City


December 20th, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

he is just not that good, at least as a point guard. Prince's contract is for four years I read, and he is not overpaid for what he can contribute. They do have a lot of 2-3-4 players, hopefully Knight at point guard makes them better than Stuckey did.


December 20th, 2011 at 9:49 PM ^

Joe D says the Pistons are in need of another Big since Wilcox got picked up and he wants one soon. Kyrylo Fysenko looks to be the best UFA bench Center available. Plays about 10+ minutes , averages 3-4 rebounds, 5-6 points and 1 block a game. Pistons have more than $5m cap exemption to play with and would have the most young talent in the league to trade with if they get him. G Brandon Knight, G/F Austin Daye, F Jonas Jerebko, F Kyle Singler, F/C Vernon Macklin, F/C Greg Monroe, and C Kyrylo Fysenko would give Detroit a great foundation for the future, or great bargaining power in trade.

Note: Singer is playing in Spain at the moment. Surprising for a rookie to make the move to Europe when so many veterans just stayed home during the lockout. his first game he earned man of the match honors with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He decided to stay in Spain and play for Real after the lockout ended because he'll make more money than a second round drafted rookie and will return to Detroit for next season.