Pistons Mailbag - Monday, May 9, 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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Bruno (Sao Paulo, Brazil): I remember Joe Dumars showing interest in Al Thornton in the 2007 draft, but he was selected at No. 14, one spot ahead of Detroit. Do you think now that he is an unrestricted free agent and coming off of a bad season that Joe D would puruse him? Especially considering Tayshaun Prince might not come back and we donít know if Daye is ready to be a full-time starter.
Langlois: Good call, Bruno. Thorntonís career has been a disappointment, but heís been in some pretty chaotic situations, too. If this were a normal year, meaning free agency opened on July 1 Ė in doubt this year because of the expiration of the CBA Ė Thornton would be one of those players you would expect to be signed much later in the process. He would be a player who would go into free agency hoping to get something more than the veteranís minimum, but heíd be right on that bubble. The Pistons will do the other major work of putting their roster together and see where they stand. If Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady, for instance, have moved on in free agency, then Joe Dumars will be looking for options at small forward Ė probably. It also depends on how the draft goes. Itís unlikely the Pistons will take a small forward Ė partly because of the depth of this draft being in power forwards, partly because of roster need. The Pistons did like Thornton coming out of college. But now they have four years of NBA play to get a better handle on him. If they still believe he has something more to give than heís shown, he will be one to watch when free agency rolls around.
Aubrey (Sterling Heights, Mich.): Do you think the Pistons would seriously consider picking Charles Jenkins with one of their second-round picks? He has good measurables and leadership qualities and would be more ready to contribute after four years in college. I think he would be a steal in the second round and would be able to compete for the starting point guard spot.
Langlois: I know multiple members of the front office have scouted him, Aubrey, just as they try to do for the nearly 100 players that start the season on the big board in personnel director George Davidís office. If the Pistons were to spend one of their two second-rounders on Jenkins, as you suggest, Iím pretty sure it would have to be at 33 Ė he isnít very likely to be around at 52. I havenít seen much of Jenkins Ė you have to search pretty hard to find Hofstra games on TV Ė but everything Iíve read or heard about him, he sounds sort of like Rodney Stuckey Lite. Not quite as big, not quite as strong, not quite as dynamic, probably a better deep shooter at a similar stage. He put that Hofstra team on his shoulders and made them competitive, going 14-4 in the Colonial. Heís been the star of that team all four years. Nobody doubts heíll find a spot in the NBA, and in a draft with few sure things, Jenkins very well could go higher than the consensus currently holds for him.
Doug (Pebble Beach, Calif.): Any views on Jeremy Tyler? He measured out well at the Reebok Eurocamp a year ago. Itís been a rough two years for him since he skipped his senior year of high school to play overseas, but the kid has a lot of raw talent. I think some of the bigs in the second round (Keith Benson, Nikola Vucevic, Tyler) are more interesting than some of the bigs projected to go in the first round.
Langlois: Havenít heard much buzz about Tyler lately, Doug. He spent the past season in Japan and appeared to have a better experience than he did the previous year in Israel. Fans might recall that Tyler made headlines by deciding to skip his senior year of high school in San Diego to sign professionally. He wasnít nearly ready to play at that level. Tyler, interestingly, is automatically eligible for this yearís draft Ė he didnít have to apply as an early-entry candidate Ė because heís an American who had previously signed a professional contract that is no longer in effect. But scouts really have very little to go on because, as you can well imagine, the Japan league is not one that is typically scouted. So workouts are going to dictate where he gets drafted, or if he gets drafted. The Pistons could have some very intriguing options at 33, the pick they get from Toronto as final payment for Carlos Delfino. I donít know if Tyler can do enough in workouts to make himself one of those options at 33. Thereís a chance he could still be there at 52. Thereís a decent chance, in fact, that heíll go undrafted.
Jason (Houston): Please tell me why we are mocked to draft a power forward? If we want to improve, we need to start Monroe at power forward and trade for a veteran center. This draft needs to be about trades, clearing cap space and drafting a point guard. Kemba Walker would work perfect in our system. Stuckey, Gordon and Walker would be a great combination.
Langlois: First things first: Mock drafts are to be taken with a pound of salt, Jason. They imply no knowledge of what the Pistons themselves are thinking. That said, the strength of this draft is in power forward/centers. The Pistons need more size. Theyíre comfortable with Monroe at power forward or center, so they wonít discriminate in seeking a frontcourt partner for him that might be better suited to one spot over the other. Your opinion on Walker being a great fit as a point guard isnít universally Ė or even widely Ė shared. Walker might wind up being a tremendous asset, but there is plenty of skepticism whether heíll truly be an NBA point guard. Many see him ideally as an off-the-bench spark plug in the Jason Terry mold.
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