It should come as no surprise that the Pistons are not really on anyone’s national radar heading into the season. Young, intriguing players are either relatively quiet like Greg Monroe or still too raw (Brandon Knight, Austin Daye) to attract national buzz. The team didn’t have an eventful offseason, other than bringing back their own free agents (Jonas Jerebko, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey) and parting ways with a player most expected would be gone in Rip Hamilton.
In short, there isn’t much that is noteworthy about the Pistons right now. I’m still excited to watch basketball again, but we should all be fairly ready for possible poor performances until the team proves otherwise. And we shouldn’t be surprised when the national previews reflect the malaise that has afflicted the franchise and fanbase over the last three years.
Seven years after the Pistons won their last NBA championship, I think the grace period for President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars is over. He is a terrible GM and I have to wonder how much nostalgia for that title and his playing career in Detroit is keeping him employed in his current job.
Does Joe even understand that his team needs to rebuild? And if he knows this, does he know how to do it properly? Based on the contracts he just approved while re-signing Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey, I have a hard time believing that. Even if the Pistons improve their talent level with high draft picks, the cap-clogging contracts of Prince and Stuckey will hold them back for at least the next two seasons.
Youch. Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo!’s Ball Don’t Lie is no fan of some of Dumars’ moves, but expresses faith that he can get the team moving back in the right direction:
So, with a new owner, new facilities, and a coach that won’t be terrible? Who is to say that Dumars can’t get his house in order? That he won’t find a home for Prince or possibly Ben Gordon? He’ll likely dump Charlie Villanueva next year, he can’t exactly build around Greg Monroe but he can delineate trading situations with the best of them. This is someone, in spite of a half-decade of poorly-conceived moves and rash decisions, that can turn a franchise around.
He’s done it before, and after walking into a situation in 2001 that was not unlike this one. Joe Dumars is worth giving another chance to.