Pistons Mailbag - Monday, June 27, 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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Drew (Livonia, Mich.): Do you see Brandon Knight being a true point guard with Chauncey-like potential? Or more like a Jason Terry-type combo guard?
Langlois: Iíve heard both of those names used as comparisons, Drew, which underscores why scouting is such an inexact science. I think everybody would agree that Chauncey Billups and Jason Terry, though they share some characteristics, arenít really all that similar as players. Knight has some similarities to Billups and some to Terry and he no doubt will become a player who retains some similarities to each but ultimately writes his own book. I think the big thing isnít what type of player Knight becomes but how effective he is at whatever become his strengths. Iíve talked to a few people since he was drafted and I keep hearing that Knightís speed, poise and shot-making give him a real shot at being a special player offensively, and that his work ethic and intellect will enable him to maximize the physical gifts heís been given.
Clinton (Flint, Mich.): Iím a huge Will Bynum fan. Should I be expecting his trade soon? I feel he and Rip need to go if we ever are going to go forward. That leaves Stuckey, Knight, Gordon and Terrico White.
Langlois: I would be surprised if the Pistons actively look to trade Bynum, Clinton. Of all the guards on the roster, heís the most unique. Joe Dumars admires Bynumís heart and tenacity and values his ability to break down defenses and get to the rim.. Down the road, as the Pistons get a better idea of what Brandon Knight can become and how he and Rodney Stuckey fit together, other changes could be coming. But Bynum doesnít appear in any imminent danger of going anywhere because of Knightís selection.
Simon (Ocean Grove, Australia): The Pistons made some great pickups in the draft. Now to shore up the frontcourt, what do you think about bringing in Malcolm Thomas from San Diego State for a trial?
Langlois: Thomas will get a shot with somebody, Simon, thatís for sure. The Pistons brought him in for a workout last week Ė a sign they clearly were aware of him and considering him for their choice at No. 52. The cancellation of Summer League and the possibility of a work stoppage do no favors to prospects like Thomas, but if he spends his off-season working on his game, heíll be a prime candidate to go to training camp with somebody to give him a chance to make an impression. It might require a D-League season before he really gets the opportunity to land a roster spot, but I think heís a guy weíll see in an NBA uniform at some point.
Josh (Perth, Australia): Do you think Brandon Knight is our point guard of the future and how do you think a backcourt of Knight and Stuckey will work out?
Langlois: Tough to say until we get a chance to see him play five on five against other NBA teams, Josh. If you use his status as a lottery pick Ė and especially if you believe, as some do, that Knight is very close to Kyrie Irving as a prospect Ė to assume that he has the type of talent to be an impact player, then itís not a great leap to envision a backcourt with Knight and Stuckey being used almost interchangeably, with Pistons coaches given the flexibility to use them to best exploit matchups. Knight is adamant that he sees himself as a pure point guard, though he also says heís willing to play off of the ball if that helps the team more. Stuckey always has said it doesnít much matter to him which spot he plays, though he is as confident as Knight is in his ability to run a team from the point.
Dena-Rose (New York City): With regard to the head coaching vacancy, what would it take for the Pistons to lure Jerry Sloan into a return to the sidelines?
Langlois: Sloan reportedly has rebuffed any overtures, Dena-Rose. If he had any interest in coaching the Pistons and expressed it to Joe Dumars, you can bet he would receive utmost consideration. Joe D has sung his praises since he was a player going against Sloanís Utah Jazz. So what it would take, more than anything, is Sloan feeling in his heart the desire to commit himself to the grind of coaching another NBA season. I donít think it would come down to throwing money at him. Sloan is about as unassuming as it gets. He doesnít need his ego stroked by having the biggest coaching contract, though his status surely puts him in the upper tier. Itís as simple as Sloan expressing the desire to get back in the game. Heís not the type to jump back in unless he feels he can commit fully to the job and he might not have that fire any longer. Heís given a lifetime to the NBA. You couldnít name 10 people whoíve given more of themselves to the league.