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Monday, July 14, 2008

Inside The Mind of Joe Dumars

Posted by TADOne


It has turned into the quite the interesting off season in The Palace of Auburn Hills offices. Since the end of the ’07-’08 season for the Detroit Pistons, there has been a coaching change, a promise to change the core of team, a ‘for sale’ sign hung around the necks of every Pistons player on the current roster (with the exception of Rodney Stuckey), some made public rumors of possible trades that followed, and a draft that could be termed as “quirky”.

With all that is happening regarding the immediate and far-off future of the team, I decided to look into the mind of the Pistons GM, Joe Dumars, and break down his thought process on his moves already made and future ones to come.

The Coaching Change:

After going thru numerous coaching changes the past 7 plus seasons, Joe went a different route with this coaching hire. Instead of hiring the ‘best available’ coach with a sterling resume, Dumars went with the unknown entity. Well, unknown outside of the Pistons locker room that is. Michael Curry, by NBA standards, is a coaching newbie. But if you were to ask any of the players, he was the correct choice. The GM trusts him, the players love him, and fans in Southeastern Michigan know him.

Joe’s thought process on this? Keep it in the family.

Changing the Core:

With all the players, sans Stuckey, on the trading block, this could go a multitude of ways. The problem is that it takes two to tango. The most prominent dance partner thus far has been the Denver Nuggets, with Joe going hard at Melo. Hence, the Billups/Prince Pu Pu Platters was not enough to entice the Nuggets to pull the trigger. There have been numerous trade rumors out there, but most have been ridiculous. Even Baron Davis was mentioned, before he did an about face, opted-out of his contract, and went home. Joe is intent on making a change, but is also intent on asking for any teams best player in any trade offer. So where does that leave us? Pretty much back at the beginning.

Joe’s thought process on this? Joe is no dummy, and even though he stated his intent on making a change, he also will not be taken to the cleaners on any trade proposals. My guess? Unless Melo talks heat up again, Joe ends up standing pat.

The Draft:

No matter what they say, you can always go home again. Unless you are Chris Douglas-Roberts. The former Memphis Tiger and Detroit native, CDR was opined by many to return to his hometown and join the Pistons as a versatile backup to Prince and Rip, eventually taking over Rip’s starting spot down the road. I, like many, was quite surprised when I didn’t hear CDR’s name mentioned at pick #29.

However, I was completely caught off guard by what happened next: After selecting D.J. White out of Indiana with the pick, the Pistons then proceeded to trade White for Seattle’s 2 second round picks, numbers 32 and 46. With that, the Pistons avoided paying guaranteed money to a first-rounder, which is a good thing. However, the two players the Pistons grabbed had many scratching their heads. Detroit drafted Walter Sharpe of UAB with the 32nd pick and Trent Plaisted of BYU with the 46th pick. With the teams own pick at #59, Dumars drafted Deron Washington on Virginia Tech.

Plaisted and Washington are already set to go overseas to work on their games, but Sharpe is expected to join the team back in Auburn Hills and be a part of the rotation, although his time will be limited. Sharpe, who is 6-9 and 245, is heralded as a talented player with serious character issues. The team did their own background check on him, and found out that a lot of his problems early in college stemmed from narcolepsy, which has since been diagnosed. His other issue was an arrest following a fight at a nightclub. Dumars is comfortable that he is a good kid who was just misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

Sharpe is described as being a talented, smooth, skilled small forward who can handle the ball like a guard. Joe was quoted as saying that he would have considered taking him at #29 because he is extremely talented and he knew of two teams looking to trade up for him. He is expected to backup Prince this season.

Joe’s thought process on this? Besides the fact he doesn’t have to pay guaranteed money to a player who is a risk, he thinks that Sharpe is talented enough to take a risk on. Joe didn’t draft CDR was because he blew off two requests to workout with the team feeling that he wouldn’t fall that far in the draft. Joe would rather take his chance on a talented risk who wanted to be with the team than a known quantity who didn’t want to be with the team.

Free Agency:

The Pistons only have the mid-level exception to offer to any free agent, so the options are limited. They are still looking for a backup to Tayshaun Prince since Jarvis Hayes is a free agent as well and didn’t work out with the team last season. In that regard, the team has shown interest in Corey Maggette (signed with Warriors), James Jones (signed with Heat, Mickael Pietrus (signed with Magic), CJ Miles of Utah, Carlos Delfino of Toronto, and James Posey of Boston.

With three of the players off the board, the Pistons have the most interest in Posey, who is a long shot since he is reportedly looking for a 4 year deal. CJ Miles is a young player with talent, but is very inconsistent. Delfino was originally drafted by Detroit, so this is a player the team knows very well. The Pistons may very well not even end up as players in the market and may instead choose to re-sign Walter Herman, a player already on the roster. However, he is weighing options to play overseas.

Joe’s thought process on this? My guess here is that he stands pat and leaves the option on the table in case a player gets cut that he may have interest in.

Bottom Line:

Joe Dumars does not believe in rebuilding. He does not believe that you have to get worse to get better. He believes in keeping a strong core and just building around that to stay in contention year in and year out. He also likes to take chances, which is reflected in his coaching hire and draft picks. I expect Detroit to stay in the top echelon of the East next season and compete well in the playoffs, regardless of changes that may or may not come.

DEEEEETROIT BAAAAASKETBAAAALLLLL!

25 comments:

BETCATS said...

well Micheal Curry isnt going to change anything for the good. You are a optomistic man Tad.

Eboy said...

The NBA's equivalant of the mid 90's Buffalo Bills need to change up to step up. Sheed needs to go in a package and bring someone in that can create all day long (like T-Mac of 2000 not 2008).

TADOne said...

Changing for changing sake is never a good idea. If a team does not offer up a great deal, then why make a trade that doesn't improve your team? Just to make a trade? The Pistons have no malcontents or bad character guys, so they don't need to get rid of anyone just to say they made a change.

Now, I will agree that Detroit could use someone that can creeate off the dribble but hell, who couldn't? Stuckey is looking like he will be that type of player.

And E: You agree that TMac is not what he used to be, so do you think Joe should give up 2 starters and a 1st or 3 starters to snag him? That is what Houston is rumored to want. If that is the case, I have no problem at all for Joe standing pat.

TADOne said...

BET: Curry has the players respect. He may be new to head coaching, but the hardest part for new coaches is to earn a players respect. In that case, Curry is already ahead of the learning curve.

Now, he will have to adjust to be THE head guy and implementing a game plan, offensive and defensive schemes, and in-game decisions, but what young coach doesn't?

All coaches have to start somewhere, and Joe D., the owner, and the players all have trust in the man to get the job done. Who am I to question them?

Eboy said...

I should have qualified that statement, TAD. The Pistons don't need the 2008 T-Mac at all. They need a young cat, a fire ball with the rock, A vet, not a still green Stuckey. Baron would have been fabulous, but since he's gone, looking to deal Sheed and Chauncey for that type of dude should be the focus. Yeah, there's no personality issues with the team, like an old marriage, just happy & complacent to be together every day because they put out a nice product year after year, but you know what? When that burning hot broad comes through that catches the attention of the old wife and can rock the foundation, it could be a good move to instill some fire into the marriage again, 'cause sure as shit, they've been sleepwalking once the playoffs come around for the last few seasons. You know who'd be a fantastic Piston? Who could come with another strong piece for Sheed and Chauncey? In the beginnings of the twilight of his career and would be hungry for a title with dudes that could get him a ring? Someone who would take the mantle of leadership and instill that heat? Yeah, I said it, Allen Iverson would look good in the backcourt with Rip and they would be crazy good with him, Rip and Tayshaun with Stuckey running the point off the bench.

TADOne said...

Honestly, I did look at and consider the AI factor on the current Pistons. AI does leave it all on the floor, leads by example, and is burning inside at a chance to win a title. All positive things.

The negatives? He'll be 32 soon, he only has 1 year left on his current deal, he would retard the development of Stuckey unless Rip was dealt, and Joe is no longer interested in him.

Should Joe be interested in him? I would say yes if in fact we can somehow also keep Sheed since we would need his defensive presence on the floor since AI is not a stout defender.

Bottom line, I love AI and have loved and followed him since his rookie season in Philly, and would be completely excited to have him as a Piston. However, I just don't see it happening.

Eboy said...

Killjoy.

TADOne said...

Trust me E, other than a few, I don't think there are many bigger fans of AI than myself. I was just being honest as far as Dumars interest in him. When Melo was being discussed, the Denver GM switched gears and actually offered packages involving either AI or Camby, and Dumars said he wasn't interested in anyone but Melo. So take from that what you will.

Eboy said...

Joe's not trying to win another title then, in my estimation, unless he can pull a Gasol/Laker type deal and steal some productive dude for nothing.

Hursty said...

wow TAD, that sh*t was really good. *bows in a graceful manner*. Nice work.

TADOne said...

Your sarcasm leaves much to be desired, E. But not for lack of trying.

Thanks Hursty. I've been enjoying the work on your blog as well. Keep it up.

Eboy said...

I don't think I was being sarcastic. They need another piece to get over the top of the hump they've been running into too for the last few playoffs. A major piece, not a periphary guy. I know you can see some of their faults from being a fan, but as an outsider, and many others like me, their complacency starts with your boy Sheed and his carefree attitude and that's what keeps them from being a championship dynasty, which they should have been after '04. That's why he should move, regardless of everyone's love affair with his silliness.

TADOne said...

"Joe's not trying to win another title then, in my estimation, unless he can pull a Gasol/Laker type deal and steal some productive dude for nothing."

This is what I was actually talking about, E. I know for a fact you, and just about everyone else, feels as though the Pistons need to make a move regardless whether or not the trade makes sense or Detroit gets fleeced in the deal.

You know for a fact that there is no Gasol or KG deal out there to be had. Getting Melo would have been the closest thing to that.

TADOne said...

Well, with the Camby heist to Clipper land, i'm thinking Melo talks may heat up again, only because I cannot believe that he would be a happy camper today. Or maybe we can get AI for next to nothing.

TADOne said...

Then again, Screamin A. Smith reported last night that McGrady would be interested in a trade to Detroit. There are also reports out of GS that the Pistons are interested in a swap of Billups for Andris Biedrins. Since I know very little about Biedrins, I don't see him as worth that much, but maybe i'm wrong?

Eboy said...

"You know for a fact that there is no Gasol or KG deal out there to be had." And you thought there was nothing like this available? I tried to tell you....

TADOne said...

If you mean Camby, that was only because the Clips had the cap space and the Nuggets needed to trim payroll. But, they did say the Nugs need to trim even more payroll, so who knows. But I know for a fact that you won't get Melo or AI for nothing.

Hursty said...

what happened to my post?

Hursty said...

It was between the 8:23 post from TAD and the next from Eboy...

Eboy said...

I'm not sure Hursty.

TADOne said...

What did you say Hursty? I know I didn't delete anything.

Hursty said...

My writing was on your question about the qualities of Andris Biedrins. I didnt swear and it was not racial at all, just plain statements such as him leading the L in shooting % for a large portion of the season, running the floor really well, interior shot blocker, his length, quick grasp of language, intensity, etc. You said you didnt know much about him and I answered... Im kinda confused as to why that happened. but thats my point now.

TADOne said...

Cool Hursty. Trust me, the comment never showed up or I would have seen it.

As for Biedrins: I hear what you are saying about him, but I still tend to think he is more of a product of playing in the Warriors run, run, run, shoot, and run some more system. I'll admit that you still need skills to do what he did, but I don't feel at all he is worth a top PG who is also a Finals MVP. Now throw in Brandon Wright or a 1st round pick, then we can discuss things.

Hursty said...

absolutely TAD. Ellis and Biedrins would be a done deal even if they arent (right now) a perfect fit for Detroits system, although under Flip it seemed like they could also run and outscore teams and also play great D for 90% of the time. Interesting to see what Curry brings to the table though.

TADOne said...

I must admit that I did NOT see Kwame Brown's image in any of my thoughts when writing this piece. Go figure.....