Pistons Mailbag - Monday, December 26, 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.
We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.
Kendell (Baton Rouge, La.): Some trade options are Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva for Pau Gasol, Gordon for Emeka Okaor or Chris Kaman or Al Jefferson. I think starting the rookie along with Austin Daye in the backcourt would be the best combination.
Langlois: The Lakers are only moving Gasol if they get another superstar in return, Kendell. Gasol isn’t going anywhere until Dwight Howard’s fate has been determined. As for Okafor, Kaman and Jefferson – yeah, I think they’d all be available for the right price. I continue to feel that Utah is going to want an athletic wing player in return for one of its spare big men, Jefferson or Paul Millsap, although last week’s trade of Mehmet Okur to New Jersey might have the Jazz a little more reluctant to part with either player at this point. I still think the safest bet for a starting backcourt to start the season is Rodney Stuckey and Gordon, but both Knight and Daye bring some unique offensive ability to the table. They’ll factor somehow.
Darrell (Detroit): I was quite intrigued to see what Terrico White could do as a Piston ever since I saw him play in the 2010 NBA Summer League. Any chance he ends up on the Pistons or another team’s roster this year?
Langlois: White got an invitation to training camp with the New Orleans Hornets but didn’t last long. One week into camp, the day after he went scoreless in a 13-minute outing, they waived him. DaJuan Summers, however, cracked the 15-man roster of New Orleans and will open the season with the team.
Mario (Battle Creek, Mich.): I saw that Atlanta cut Keith Benson. Any chance we give the hometown kid a look?
Langlois: Benson played high school basketball at Detroit Country Day, where one of his teammates was Jordan Dumars, Joe Dumars’ son. He played college basketball at Oakland University, a five-minute ride from The Palace. I doubt there’s a team in the NBA that knows more about Benson than the Pistons. The fact Benson, a second-round pick, got cut by Atlanta is a stark reminder how difficult it is to play in the world’s best basketball league. Benson dominated his league the past two seasons for a team that played in the NCAA tournament. He might make it to the NBA someday, but he probably will need to spend another year or two elsewhere and find one or two things he can do better than most to make himself attractive as a bench specialist. Benson, given his slight build, might have to become a face-the-basket power forward to stick in the NBA. He didn’t make much of an impact playing for a lower-level Italian team this fall and the fact that the Hawks cut him after a two-week look – an unusual step for a team’s own draft pick – says he might be farther away from sticking than seemed possible going into the draft last June.
Chris (Brighton, Mich.): I can’t believe I’m asking this, but is there any chance we could bring Darko over from Minnesota? His length and athleticism would fit our roster nicely.
Langlois: They’re paying Darko like a starting center, or at least like a valuable reserve, but it will be interesting to see how Rick Adelman uses him. Brad Miller is currently out with a knee injury, but when he returns Miller – a favorite of new coach Rick Adelman from their time together in both Sacramento and Houston – might take some of his minutes away. As it is, in two preseason games centers Nikola Pekovic and Milicic played barely half of the games combined.