Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, April 28, 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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Jymel (Detroit): The Pistons need to target more defensive players. Is there any way we can get Andre Iguodala? I feel if we can get him and maybe draft Bismack Biyombo and Lucas Noguiera, we could be a playoff team.
Langlois: Maybe in 2014-15, Jymel. Biyombo and Noguiera are intriguing prospects, and itís even possible that Biyombo could help as soon as next season. But they are also two of the biggest mystery men in this draft, both very raw offensively and probably with much to learn defensively before their promise at that end would translate to competence, let alone dominance. As for Iguodala, it was widely known last season that Philadelphia was shopping him. His experience with Team USA at the 2010 World Championship is believed to have sold Iguodala on becoming more focused on what he does best Ė being a lock-down wing defender Ė and less on trying to be an every-night scoring leader. Doug Collins would probably object to losing him at this point, but management might convince him that Iguodalaís $44 million due over the next three years could be better spent elsewhere. Again, if Philly decides to move him, the market will be shaped to a significant degree by what the new CBA makes possible.
Shikhar (Troy, Mich.): The Pistons already have 15 players on the roster. So when the draft comes, what two players would we removed? And did Joe Dumars even try to get Zach Randolph?
Langlois: The Pistons have three draft picks, Shikhar. But once the clock hits midnight on June 30, the contracts of Pistons free agents Ė Tayshaun Prince, Tracy McGrady and Chris Wilcox become unrestricted Ė come off the books. Teams donít have to get down to the 15-man roster limit until the regular season starts. As for Randolph, Memphis management was adamant Ė publicly, at least Ė that it fully intended to retain him and make him a centerpiece of their near future. There was no indication they were sending other signals privately to rival teams. And the near-trade of O.J. Mayo to Indiana that fell through at the trade deadline would support the belief that Memphis intended all along to keep Randolph and pending restricted free agent Marc Gasol; dealing Mayo before his rookie contract matured and it would require bigger money to keep him would make that plan feasible.
Max (New York City): Itís been a tough few years and Iím worried the Pistons are going to have a worse year next season. It seems conceivable to me that Prince, Wallace and Stuckey will be gone and replaced only be the No. 7 pick and a role player as a free agent. Am I off base?
Langlois: I donít think Stuckey is very likely to be elsewhere, Max. The Stuckey who finished the season, Greg Monroe taking more big steps, the return of Jonas Jerebko and Austin Dayeís continued progess will all take up the slack of losing Prince, if he indeed winds up elsewhere. Thereís at least some likelihood of a trade. If the lottery yields a player who can come close to contributing at the level Monroe did as a rookie, heíll be another big piece. Iím still expecting the Ben Gordon who scored a consistent 18 a game for Chicago to re-emerge, given some tweaking in the way heís used. Itís too soon to start making projections for how next year will play out, but the Pistons arenít without the assets to cobble together a playoff team.
Eric (Livonia, Mich.): Iíve heard rumblings Chauncey Billups will be waived by the Knicks to save money. Would Joe D consider bringing Chauncey Billups back to Detroit?
Langlois: Moot point now, Eric. The Knicks picked up Billupsí option this week. The deadline for them to inform Billups of their intention was Friday. Heís back in New York, where heíll make more than $14 million next season, in the final year of his contract. Heíll be 35 when the season opens. Itíll be interesting to see if he holds up physically. But Chauncey was right when the playoffs ended when he said the Knicks really didnít have much choice. They had little alternative on their own roster at point guard Ė Toney Douglas is a fine young player, but he was considered a shooting guard coming out of Florida State and heís still far more that than a point, though he might eventually play himself into a point guard Ė and, with so much money tied up in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, and the roster having been gutted to get Anthony, they had nothing in the way of assets to add a quality point guard via other means.
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