Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, June 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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Al (Flint, Mich.): Everyone has concerns about Biyombo’s age. Wasn’t Dennis Rodman 26 when he was drafted, yet turned out to be a Hall of Famer? Is this a case of overanalyzing?
Langlois: Great point, Al. I think the age issue has been a little overstated. Teams obviously want to know how old he is, but ultimately they want to know how ready he is to help. If they think he can slide into the rotation next year and make an impact, he’s going to go pretty high. If they’re convinced he’s 18, though, they might be persuaded to believe that he could be phenomenal – and I mean something approaching Dwight Howard-like defensive impact – in three or four years. That would make him a strong candidate to go in the top five in this draft. If, however, there’s enough nagging doubt that he’s three or four years older and will make more modest gains from what he is today, then he won’t go that high. But, as I’ve written, at some point in this draft, you would take Biyombo even if you think he could be 21 or 22 and be content with what you have today.
Sebastian (San Marcos, Texas): With the Heat the new team to beat in the East, what pieces do we lack that would enable the Pistons to compete with them? I think trading for Andre Iguodala would be a start based on his defensive skill and playmaking ability.
Langlois: Teams that have designs on contending for the East title in the next three or four years are going to have to possess a stable of athletic wing defenders, Sebastian. Iguodala obviously fits the bill, but he makes so much money that it might make it tough to add the other pieces you’re going to need to really contend with the Heat. Think of it like this: Iguodala will make about $13.5 million next year, $2 million less than Wade and 2.5 million less than James. If you were going to base the salaries of Wade and James off of Iguodala’s $13.5, what would they be worth? In value to their franchises, Wade and James put Miami a lot farther ahead of the game in a sport governed by a salary cap.
John (Grand Rapids, Mich.): None of the big men in this draft overly impress me. The best possible players available at No. 8 should be Alec Burks, Tobias Harris or Klay Thompson. What do you think?
Langlois: All three of those guys have a shot to go in the lottery, John, though I would be a little surprised if Harris wound up going that high. It could turn out that all three have better careers than some of the big guys that wind up going in the lottery. That wouldn’t be a surprise, given what we’ve heard all along about this draft – that it’s hit or miss in the top 10, but relatively strong from there through the middle of the second round. Thompson and Burks are both shooting guards, though, and unless the Pistons see All-Star potential in one or the other it would be hard to justify taking another one at that position. Harris is more difficult to project, but he’s a skilled scorer who needs to find the right fit in the NBA.
Denny (Shelby Twp, Mich.): I think Jerry Sloan would be able to bring some toughness, discipline and defense to the Pistons. Do you think the Pistons might pursue him for the head coaching job?
Langlois: Joe Dumars has never been shy about voicing his admiration for Sloan, Denny. I think if Sloan hadn’t pretty emphatically closed the door to a return to coaching, he would have naturally been given full consideration. The only question would have been if Sloan, at his age, would have been satisfied coaching a team whose roster is in as much flux as the Pistons’ could be.
Bosco (Abingdon, England): If Joe Dumars goes for the best player available and takes someone like Kemba Walker or Alec Burks, would he consider Jeremy Tyler in the second round?
Langlois: Based on the positive impression Tyler has by all accounts made since the Chicago draft combine, Bosco, I think it’s safe to say he would be solidly in the mix at 33. The question now is whether he’ll be there.
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