Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, June 30 - 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.
We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.
Dave (Lenox, Mich.): With the possibility of a lockout looming, how are contracts affected? Will players like Rip have a year come off their contracts? Will the Pistons lose a relatively “cheap” year of Greg Monroe’s rookie contract? Drafted rookies who haven’t signed yet – will they start their rookie contracts a year later?
Langlois: In the event an entire season is lost, Dave, there is no reset button – those years evaporate. So, yes, Rip would come back to just the final, partially guaranteed 2012-13 year of his contract and Greg Monroe would be in the third year of his deal. Rookies were drafted under the rules of the old CBA but their rookie contracts will be governed by the rules of whatever the new CBA dictates.
Rich (Canton, Mich.): I’ve read some criticism of the Pistons for drafting Knight instead of a big man at No. 8. What big man left was worthy of the No. 8 pick? Knight could end up being the best guard in the draft.
Langlois: Markieff Morris was drafted 13th – he was the next “big man” to go. Four more guards went after Knight was picked – Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Klay Thompson and Alec Burks. The Pistons liked Morris. He had a strong workout for them two days before the draft. But they had Knight rated as one of the top four players in the draft, so there was no debate in the draft room.
Jeff (Flagstaff, Ariz.): Why was Kyrie Irving the consensus No. 1 pick and Brandon Knight not even considered? Both were AAU stars and went to big-time programs. They even had similar stats and are similar in size. Why was Irving the can’t-miss point guard?
Langlois: It’s a valid question, Jeff. The major recruiting services had Knight and Irving ranked very closely – and very highly – as high school seniors. I don’t doubt that Irving, as you stated, was the consensus No. 1 pick and the consensus top point guard. But were there teams in the NBA that preferred Knight over Irving? Yes. One GM told the Pistons as much the morning after the draft. It’s possible if their situations had been reversed – Knight goes to Duke, surrounded by a veteran team with a deep bench; Irving attends Kentucky, which lost five No. 1 picks to the 2010 NBA draft and often played just six players – that they would have been viewed a little differently heading into the draft. They landed in the same division and will go head to head four times a year, so we’ll have an idea in a few years if one is clearly the better player of if they will continue to be grouped very closely together.
Eric (Wyoming, Mich.): How much will the Brandon Knight lottery pick influence the coaching search? Getting a coach that could cultivate him into an NBA point guard seems like it should be a priority.
Langlois: With everything we know about Brandon Knight, it doesn’t seem like he’s going to be a difficult guy to coach. I’m sure Joe Dumars now considers him a critical part of the young nucleus – along with Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye, to go with the young veterans like Ben Gordon, Will Bynum and Charlie Villanueva – so, of course, he’s going to want a coach who can teach and relate to young players. You’re right that the coach-point guard dynamic is an especially critical one. As long as he finds a coach he believes offers the right mix of strategic vision and locker-room presence, my guess is Joe D will have full confidence that Knight will buy in to what the new coach preaches.
David (Lawrenceburg, Ky.): A number of people have sign-and-trade suggestions for Prince, but don’t take into consideration that he would have to want to play for the team to which he is traded. He drives any sign and trade, right?
Langlois: Yup. Useful reminder for us, David. The first step in a sign-and-trade deal is the free agent and another team coming to a contract agreement. Prince has to solicit an offer from another team first. At that point, the agent or opposing GM will reach out to the original team to see if there is interest in pursuing a sign and trade.