Pistons Mailbag - Monday, May 23, 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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Max (New York City): I liked the ďGrain of SaltĒ blog from last week and the re-establishing of Pistonsí culture. That said, what are the odds Joe D passes on all of the shot-blocking, defensive-minded rebounders available? It would really depress me. Why not pick Faried? Rebounding translates from college. Also, why is there no Tayshaun talk? Can his rights be traded on draft night? Also, is there any chance that Joe brings him back at a reasonable rate?
Langlois: There is no way to predict what will happen in free agency this off-season, Max, simply because we have no idea what the new CBA will dictate. Will there be a hard cap with the elimination of tools like the mid-level exception? If so, free agents like Prince will find very limiting circumstances. If thatís the case, returning to the Pistons on a team-friendly contract is a possibility. No, the Pistons cannot trade Princeís rights on draft night. Their last chance to trade him before free agency opens came at the trade deadline. It is possible to do a sign-and-trade deal if Prince finds a suitor to his liking in free agency and the Pistons can agree on compensation with that team. As for grabbing frontcourt help, thatís the most likely scenario at No. 8 simply because of the reality that the Pistons could use more size and youth up front and that happens to be the strength of this draft. But itís certainly possible that the Pistons have a dividing line (or will have developed one by draft day) that separates one group of the big men considered lottery picks from another, and wonít pick one from their second tier if they think a better talent at a different position is available. In other words, just to throw out random names, if the Pistons conclude that Jan Vesely and Enes Kanter would be taken ahead of any perimeter player at No. 8 but that Kawhi Leonard or Brandon Knight would be picked ahead of any other big man, then thatís will dictate their actions as the draft unfolds.
Steve (Lincoln, Neb.): Do you think thereís any way the Pistons can make a trade with Golden State for David Lee?
Langlois: I doubt that Lee is untouchable, but not sure I see a match with the Pistons. They arenít interested in trading Greg Monroe, obviously. There is an expectation that Golden State will explore, at least, what the market would bear for Monta Ellis on the belief that Ellis and Stephen Curry donít provide enough size. But that doesnít get us any closer to a match with the Pistons. The Warriors would have to believe last yearís lottery pick, Ekpe Udoh, is ready to be a starter to consider dealing Lee.
Trevor (Oakland, Calif.): My sense is that Jonas Jerebko and Tristan Thompson have similar skill sets Ė hustle, defense, offensive rebounding. Do you see a significant difference between the two?
Langlois: Yes. Jerebko can play power forward, but you have to pick your matchups wisely for him at that spot until he proves he can guard players like Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh or Carlos Boozer. Thompson is a paint protector all the way. He averaged about 2Ĺ blocked shots a game as a Texas freshman. In his last two games of the NCAA tournament, he blocked 11 shots Ė seven alone in Texasí win over Oakland University when he hounded NBA prospect Keith Benson. Thompson also got to the foul line about eight times a game (shooting less than 50 percent, an area that will require immediate improvement if he is to make strides at the offensive end). Even though Jerebko is actually a little taller than Thompson, I think Thompson will wind up being able to guard most centers due to his wing span and athleticism. If Thompson were to compare to anyone on the Pistonsí roster, Jason Maxiell is probably the closest.
Kyle (Detroit): You have been mentioning Tristan Thompson quite a bit. Is that a hint about what the Pistons are really interested in? He measured 6-foot-8ĺ and 224 pounds at the draft combine Ė disappointing and not making the Pistons bigger. Why canít the Pistons just pick the best available player at No. 8 and get a decent big man in the second round?
Langlois: I donít think Thompsonís measurements were disappointing. A shade under 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-2 wing span, given his athleticism, are solid numbers. Iíve been mentioning him a lot because I think heís among the more likely big men to be available at No. 8 Ė more likely to be there than Enes Kanter, Jonas Valanciunas or Jan Vesely, in my view, with the caveat that much can change between now and June 23. I think there will be some interesting big guys on the board at 33 Ė maybe one or more from among a group that includes Keith Benson, JaJuan Johnson, Nikola Vucevic and Jordan Williams, for instance Ė and the Pistons might take one of them. But letís nod to the reality that, given the premium on big men, itís unrealistic to expect one picked in the second round will have a better than 50-50 chance to offer immediate rotation help.
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