Player Preview: Chris Wilcox

Chris Wilcox (Nike)

Essentials

Position: Power forward/ center

Age: 27

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 235 pounds

Years pro: Seven

From: Maryland

Role

Wilcox played just six minutes against the Grizzlies in the season opener – a blowout the Pistons dressed just 10 players for.

Besides Kwame Brown and Ben Wallace, Wilcox is the Pistons’ only other legitimate center. Wilcox isn’t that good, but he’s in a good position to see minutes – at least compared to where he’d be on other teams.

Scouting report

Will: Score

Wilcox runs the floor pretty well, and he can finish on the break. He also has couple of low-post moves.

He’s not great, but he can put the ball in the hoop. His career offensive rating of 108 is solid.

Won’t: Defend.

On the other hand, Wilcox’s career defensive rating is also 108 – pretty dismal. It’s never seemed like he wants to absorb and dish out the contact that good interior defenders must.

Must improve: His outlook.

Wilcox and Kwame Brown are very similar. Both were high draft choices who haven’t performed up to that billing. And both have tremendous physical statures.

Brown has reinvented himself as a defender and a rebounder, and it’s worked out great. Wilcox would do well to take a lesson from his new teammate.

Stock

Falling

Wilcox is entering his seventh year in the league. And the former No. 8 pick still hasn’t made a significant impact.

He’s talented enough to hang around the league for a while. But time is quickly running out (if it hasn’t already) for him to make the type of impact many though he could.

Three predictions

1. Wilcox will be the last player from the opening-night roster (including the suspended players) to crack the rotation.

He’s a step ahead of DaJuan Summers and Chucky Atkins – but that’s it.

Pistons coach John Kuester preaches defense – not exactly Wilcox’s strong suit. Wilcox isn’t on the fast track to endear himself.

But he’s still talented enough that he will get a chance at some point when injuries strike.

2. Wilcox will have the best offensive game of any Pistons center this year.

Wilcox doesn’t produce consistently, but he’s definitely capable of putting together a few monster games. His offensive ceiling is much higher than Wallace’s or Brown’s. Even with fewer opportunities than them, Wilcox will have at least one great game. 

3. Wilcox won’t be a Pistons next year.

Everyone said Ben Gordon was a bad fit with the Pistons. But what about Wilcox? At least Gordon tries on defense.

Wilcox has a $3 million player option for next season. If he picks it up, I bet Joe Dumars will look to move him.

For each of the Pistons’ new players, I want  get another voice (or more) besides my own into the previews – someone who has seen these players up close more than I have. I call this feature “in other words.”

In other words: Royce Young

Royce Young, who runs Daily Thunder, explains what the Pistons should expect from Wilcox.

If there is one word to describe Chris Wilcox, it’s inconsistent. He can actually drive you nuts with it.

He’ll go through a lull of four games doing nothing – 18 minutes, four points, two rebounds two turnovers, or something like that.

But then on the fifth night, he’ll blow up for 16 points, 11 boards and a crucial block or two. He’ll energize the arena with a soaring dunk. And you’ll think, "Okay, here we go! Let the Chris Wilcox era begin!"

Sadly though, the next game it’s back to another lackluster performance. I don’t know if he’s unfocused or uninspired, but it really drives you batty. To have that much skill and ability and not work to harness it.

It finally got to Scott Brooks last year as he stuffed Wilcox on the end of the bench before Presti finally got him shipped to New York after the failed Tyson Chandler deal.

Wilcox can definitely help win you a game here and there, but that’s the problem. He’s all here and there.

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