Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, June 16, 2011 - Page 3
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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Chris (Fremont, Ohio): What are the chances that Terrico White makes the rotation next year and do you think he could contribute? I like his athleticism. And what do you think are the chances that Tracy McGrady returns?
Langlois: Making the roster will be the first hurdle White has to clear, Chris. I don’t think that’s a given coming off an injury-filled rookie season in which it took White an unusually long time to rehab from what was expected to be an eight-week injury. He hardly got any meaningful practice time, even, and wasn’t ready to play in the D-League season after reporting experiencing foot pain shortly after returning to practice. The Pistons loved his athleticism when they drafted him but understood he slipped out of the first round because of concerns about his ability to play the point or harness his athleticism into basketball production. None of those questions were answered in his first season. Without a guaranteed contract for next season, White goes into the off-season needing to focus first on convincing the Pistons he deserves a roster spot. If a lockout occurs and eats up most or all of the normal off-season, White will have little chance to make a positive impression. McGrady’s return will be determined by how other dominos topple. Joe Dumars said at various points last season that the Pistons would welcome him back.
Ash (Wayne, Mich.): Do you think LeBron would have had a better chance at a championship if he had stayed in Cleveland? The way it seems, the Cavs were built around James and were essentially his ideal team. He had two consecutive 60-plus-win seasons and their chemistry was great.
Langlois: I can’t say he stood a better chance of winning a title in Cleveland when Miami just played an exceptionally close six-game Finals series with Dallas before losing. But I do think the perception that the Cavs were going nowhere fast is overplayed. Sure, not every move Danny Ferry tried – born of the pressure LeBron largely created by making it painfully clear the clock was ticking on his free agency – worked out. But you’re right to point out that the Cavs dominated the East the past few seasons and wonder why LeBron didn’t think he was capable of leading that team to a title with another off-season or two of tweaking. He’s not the first to flee one situation for another he deemed more promising, but no matter how it plays out from this point, choosing to join forces with another Alpha dog like Dwyane Wade will make it very difficult for James to ever earn wide acceptance as belonging in the discussion for all-time greatest players.
Sam (Dearborn, Mich.): What happens if the Pistons don’t have a coach in place by the July 1 expected lockout? Even if there is a free-agent signing period, training camp and preseason, I would expect it all to be shortened, leaving a new coach with a young team without a lot of time to prepare.
Langlois: There is very little urgency to have it done by July 1, Sam, especially with the draft looming on June 23. I suspect the coach search will ramp up after the draft takes place. Even if it takes two or three weeks from that point, you’d still have a new coach in place by mid-July. With no Summer League on the docket this year, that’s plenty of time to plot a course for the season ahead.
Fran (Southfield, Mich.): I think the Pistons are lacking a pass-first or true point guard. What do you think about ex-Michigan point guard Darius Morris? He’s big, athletic, has great court vision and would be the perfect fit.
Langlois: He’ll be part of the profile of potential Pistons point guard picks at 33 to be posted Friday on Pistons.com, Fran. There is probably less than a 50-50 shot he’ll still be there, but Morris would represent good value if he were to be the pick. I’ve compared him to a young Andre Miller for his size, passing and ability to score in the paint, all while lacking much in the way of a jump shot. He’s not a “wow” run and jump athlete, but the size and vision give Morris a chance to put up big assists totals once he matures and learns the league.
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