Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, April 21, 2011 - Page 2
Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.
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Anthony (Bensenville, Ill.): In reading an article about the sale of the Pistons, I saw that Tom Gores is not purchasing the team but his firm, Platinum Equity, is instead. Is he purchasing the team just to make a profit or to turn around and sell the team again? Or is he in it as a Pistons fan and a Michigan native?
Langlois: Gores sure didn’t sound like a guy interested in a quick turnaround when he answered questions from reporters just last week, Anthony. As for the particulars of ownership, that hasn’t been made public, but after one initial report painted the sale of the Pistons as groundbreaking – claiming it was the first NBA franchise to be owned by a private equity fund – others were quick to say that wasn’t the case at all, that Gores was the principal owner, as per NBA demands for a principal owner to represent the franchise, and that Platinum would have a minority stake.
Eric (Livonia, Mich.): I just read a mock draft that had the Pistons drafting Bismack Biyombo from the Congo in the first round. Do you have any information on this player and would he be a good fit?
Langlois: The short version: Biyombo was called up to the Spanish ACB league – widely considered the best pro league in Europe and second in the world only to the NBA – in January and performed well. He’s raw offensively but considered a potentially dominant defender and rebounder with a 7-foot-7 wing span on a 6-foot-9 frame. Comparisons have been made to Ben Wallace and Serge Ibaka. For a more detailed answer, Draftexpress.com has been a good source.
Christien (Midlothian, Va.): What are the chances the Pistons pick up Biyombo? If Ben Wallace retires, he’d be the perfect pick to replace him.
Langlois: Two weeks ago, it was a lock that Biyombo would be available at the No. 7 pick – the spot where the Pistons stand heading in to the May 17 lottery. Now? It’s still more likely than not, I suspect, though some mock drafts now have Biyombo going sixth or higher. He’s such a wild card, though, with a scant resume and questions about his true age, that anything could happen as the next two months unfold. One of the real keys is how the draft lottery slots the teams. If the teams picking fourth, fifth and sixth, for instance, all have more reservations than many about Biyombo on any number of fronts – raw skills, age, lack of resume – then the odds are he’ll fall to the Pistons, who might wind up having many of those reservations and similarly pass. But it only takes one time to love a guy and pick him. If that team is picking in the spots just ahead of the Pistons, he’ll be gone.
Tiba (Detroit): I’m curious. If you were Joe Dumars, who would be the top five you would want for the Pistons in this draft?
Langlois: I’d be torn between Kryie Irving and Derrick Williams as my first preference, Tiba. I saw Irving scoring more than playmaking for Duke in the NCAA tournament, but it was still extremely impressive that he came back and played at such a high level after such a prolonged absence. If Irving really has a lot of Chris Paul in him, as many scouts have suggested, and if the Pistons see that in him, it would be very tough to pass on that. But when I look at Williams, I see a player who might emerge as an elite-level NBA scorer, the kind of guy who gives you an easy 20 every night and could average 24 or 25 in a few years. If the Pistons look at Williams and envision a player who could emerge as the focal point of the offense – a guy you consistently call plays for in the last five minutes – that also would be hard to pass up. There’s no chance the Pistons will get either one of them unless they draw into the top three in the May 17 lottery. You can probably say the same for two others, Enes Kanter and Jonas Valanciunas. That would be my clear top four. At No. 5, there are probably eight or more names who are tightly bunched.
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