Pistons Mailbag - Monday, June 6, 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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Jaron (Port Huron, Mich.): Why do you think John Kuester failed as an NBA head coach?
Langlois: The first NBA coach I dealt with on a frequent basis was Chuck Daly. So I didnít know how rare it was that Daly could make an extraordinarily complex job look so easy. To this day, he was the best Iíve seen at managing personalities Ė and the Bad Boys were a team filled with outsized personalities. I donít think there were too many men on the planet who could have managed that group without being overwhelmed by the headstrong characters in that locker room, but Dalyís magic was forging all those Type A personalities into a cohesive unit. Thatís a long way of saying that a lot of minor issues mushroomed under Kuester Ė it happens more often that not in the NBA that coaches just canít tamp out the daily brush fires and, before long, thereís a wildfire they canít contain. After a while you cross a point where thereís no longer any chance of bending it back in the right direction. I think that point was crossed for Kuester in the first half of his second season. If the ownership situation hadnít been what it was, a change might have happened before the playoffs slipped from the Pistonsí reach.
Tim (Freeland, Mich.): Do you think the Pistons will pay to get a coach like Rick Adelman?
Langlois: I think Tom Gores would probably say Ė as he did in his introductory press conference, talking about the willingness to spend money in general Ė that he will pay for value. And if Adelman becomes a candidate for the job and Gores and Joe Dumars conclude that Adelman at twice the price of another candidate still represents a greater value to the franchise, he would sign off without hesitation.
Eric (Livonia, Mich.): What will it take to compete with the Heat in the next five years? In my opinion, the best option is to go all in for 2012 free agents Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Keep Monroe and Jerebko and everyone else is expendable. This seems to be the only way to win in the NBA.
Langlois: Thatís a risk thatís a little easier to take if youíre Pat Riley with South Beach and Dwyane Wade as selling points. (Or New York, or Los Angeles.) And even at that, it was a risk that very easily could have backfired if Wade had decided to go to Chicago and persuaded LeBron to follow him there Ė as both recently admitted was a consideration. Before you would even contemplate such a strategy, youíd need to see what the new collective bargaining agreement will allow. If a hard cap is instituted and two max players would command upwards of 70 percent of payroll as their contracts matured, it might be next to impossible to field a competitive team.
Jay (Lebanon Twp., N.J.): Monroe was a great pick last year, but I donít think he has the size to be a dominant center. All available bigs in the draft at the No. 8 spot will be stuck in the power forward-center limbo like Al Horford if the Pistons donít trade up to get Enes Kanter. Who can the Pistons trade to Minnesota for the pick?
Langlois: I donít think thatís happening. Donít see a fit with Minnesota. But if the Pistons could add another player like Monroe, or if Atlanta could clone Horford, I donít think either team would feel they were at a disadvantage in the vast majority of matchups. Thereís only one Dwight Howard. If you wait to find the ideal candidate to play center next to Monroe, you might be waiting for years. As for Kanter, while heís probably the consensus pick as the top big man in this draft, even he isnít considered a pure center. He, too, is a power forward-center. The one pure center whoíll get taken in the lottery is Jonas Valanciunas. I think thereís a chance Ė not 50-50, but not 10-90, either Ė that Valanciunas will be there with the No. 8 pick. He wouldnít be as ready to contribute as a rookie as Monroe was, but the year after that or perhaps one more, he could be someone who means as much to his team as Joakim Noah, for one example, means to the Chicago Bulls today.