Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, May 12, 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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Karl (Zurich, Switzerland): Do you see any similarities between Brandon Knight and Chauncey Billups? Billups was a shooting guard when he was drafted but successfully turned into a top-10 point guard later on. I’m not sure about Stuckey because I doubt he’ll ever have such an outside game. I also think Biyombo’s size is closer to Serge Ibaka than to Ben Wallace. Biyombo is a lot longer than Big Ben.
Langlois: Yup, Biyombo is probably closer to Ibaka in size, but the comparison to Ibaka breaks down at the offensive end. If Biyombo can be as disruptive as Ibaka on the defensive end, that alone is enough to put him in consideration at seven, as I’ve said. I think Chauncey Billups always saw himself as a point guard, dating to high school, but he didn’t develop a point guard’s sense for how to run an offense and control tempo until early in his stint with the Pistons. I think Knight can be similar to Billups in that sense. Also in the sense that he’s considered a great kid with a great work ethic who will become as good as his natural skills allow.
Patrick (Munich, Germany): I agree with your contention that the Pistons should make improving their frontcourt a priority, preferably with someone who is able to put the ball in the basket. But I think Chris Wilcox is a talented and athletic big. Do you think Joe Dumars might consider re-signing him so he can focus on picking a decent defensive big in the draft?
Langlois: I’m sure there will be interest on both sides in bringing Wilcox back, Patrick, but the Pistons can’t know on draft night what will happen with Wilcox. So I expect the Pistons – if they decide to go with a big man, which is the strength of a draft that doesn’t appear to offer many players who can provide immediate help – will draft more on the promise of what the options provide. If they draft with the idea of complementing any big man on the roster, it will be with Greg Monroe in mind as opposed to Wilcox. But because they believe Monroe is versatile and equally capable of playing center or power forward, that really puts them back where we started: drafting the big man they believe will be the best of the bunch.
Rory (Brisbane, Australia): Jonas Valanciunas might lack physical strength and only has sub-average athleticism compared to NBA bigs and his buyout terms are more complicated than expected. Do you think Joe Dumars will be not be interested in his services? I personally do not think he will be a good complement to Monroe.
Langlois: He’s a legit 7-footer and just turned 19 last week, Rory. I think it’s premature to question Valanciunas’ athleticism. In my limited exposure to him, I saw a player who runs well and appears to have more than adequate initial quickness. He also plays hard and sticks his nose into the fray. There’s a lot to like there, in other words. But questions about his contract could very well push him to the Pistons at No. 7 – and then they’d have a huge decision to make. Are they willing to wait a year to get him? Two years? You would think he would have to be significantly better, in their estimation, than all other options. If we’re going to limit the measurement of athleticism to how high a guy jumps or how fast he runs, then Valanciunas might not pass the eyeball test. But go back and look at the predraft assessments of Greg Monroe. Who’s complaining now?
Franco (San Diego): Is there any chance we’ll have the fourth, fifth or sixth pick in the draft?
Langlois: No. The lottery determines who gets the top three picks. After that, the rest of the lottery is determined strictly by record. So the Pistons could pick 1-2-3 or 7-8-9-10.
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