Pistons Mailbag - Monday, June 13, 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.
We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.
Henry (Detroit): Do you think it’s possible to get both Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas on draft night? We could give up our two second-rounders and Charlie V or Austin Daye to Sacramento or somebody else.
Langlois: You’d have to believe Motiejunas would be a better player than Daye or Villanueva to consider that trade, Henry, and I’m not sure you’d find a lot of NBA folks who would be warm to that idea. There were a lot of questions about Motiejunas heading into the weekend’s Eurocamp, where Motiejunas apparently did little to allay concerns.
Tim (Freeland, Mich.): All of these possible players from Europe that have potential – are they more of a sure thing than Darko? I was a supporter of that back then because of the makeup of the Pistons at the time, but not ever seeing these guys worries me.
Langlois: You might not have seen them, Tim, but Pistons executives and scouts have, many times in most cases. The Pistons even feel comfortable that they have a pretty good handle on Enes Kanter. George David, their personnel director, caught several Kentucky practices last season, spending the better part of a week in Lexington in November when the Wildcats had a lull in their game schedule. Joe Dumars, David and Scott Perry have all been to Europe at least once. David’s been there three times, Perry twice. Darko’s buzz was incredible heading into the 2003 draft. It was considered a very big deal when the NBA tweaked the draft rules in February 2003 to make Darko eligible for that year’s draft – everybody knew he was going second behind LeBron James even then, and there probably were some teams that would have taken Darko ahead of LeBron. The workouts he put on in New York for the Pistons one day and Denver, which had the third pick, the next were jaw-droppingly good according to several people I’ve spoken to who saw them. In hindsight, scouts probably would have liked to have seen more of Darko in five-on-five settings, but I’m not sure it would be any different today. If he were in this draft, based on his measureables and his workouts – despite the advances in international scouting in the eight short years since then – it’s fair to believe he’d be viewed as the potential No. 1 pick.
Cam (Grand Rapids, Mich.): Do you think Joe Dumars would be willing to hire Rick Adelman, who might demand major involvement in personnel decisions?
Langlois: I don’t know that there’s any reason to believe Adelman would have that expectation – it’s pretty rare for coaches to be granted personnel power – but there’s even less reason to believe Joe Dumars would grant it to him. He’s surrounded himself with a front-office staff he trusts. In the past four drafts, the Pistons have landed Rodney Stuckey, Arron Afflalo, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Greg Monroe. There is little question that all would be taken above the slot they were picked. (Daye is the only one that’s iffy on that score. While he would be taken above several players taken ahead of him, there were point guards picked after him like Darren Collison, Ty Lawson and Jrue Holiday that would go much higher today than where they were picked.) Joe D naturally discusses trade possibilities with coaches as they are in development. How much it influences him, only he can say.
Nisim (Waterford, Mich.): Who’s the most realistic big name for the Pistons to acquire via trade and what package could we send to that team?
Langlois: Chris Kaman and Andre Iguodala are two players who seem to be readily available, Nisim. If the Clippers make a run at Tayshaun Prince as a free agent, perhaps a sign-and-trade deal that involves Kaman is possible. But I’m not sure under a new CBA if Prince is going to command the type of salary that would allow that trade to happen. Is Iguodala a fit for the Pistons? They could use an athletic small forward with Prince and Tracy McGrady set to hit free agency. If Philly wanted Rip Hamilton, the question for the Pistons would boil down to whether they believed Iguodala is worth the $44 million he has coming to him over the next three years – more than twice the guaranteed money left on Hamilton’s contract. It also appears that Golden State is aggressively shopping Monta Ellis. I don’t see a fit for the Pistons on that front. Other names will surface, pending the status of labor negotiations as the July 1 expiration of the CBA arrives.
Oscar (Lisbon, Portugal): Considering next year’s draft class is supposed to be deep, wouldn’t it be a good option for the Pistons to stay a lottery team next year and draft a good player rather than make the playoffs now with an average team?
Langlois: Joe Dumars isn’t building his off-season strategy around landing in next season’s lottery, Oscar, I can assure you of that. A deep draft class, if the 2012 class indeed turns out to be that, will mean that teams drafting in the late teens – the teams that win 40-45 games and qualify for the playoffs as a lower seed, probably – could do about as well for themselves next year as teams picking around the Pistons’ slot this year will.
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3