Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 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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John (Sterling Heights, Mich.): Is it wrong to still want Detroit to tank the season so we can get a higher draft pick in arguably the deepest lottery since LeBron and others back in 2003? The Pistons arenít bad enough to get a great lottery pick and not good enough to challenge for the playoffs. Theyíre in no-manís land.
Langlois: Itís not wrong, necessarily, but it is futile Ė itís not happening on Joe Dumarsí watch. Iím on record, long and often, that I believe in karma, and that teams that intentionally mess with the integrity of competition will eventually Ė perhaps not immediately Ė get whatís coming to them. From a more cynical viewpoint, I could even concede the merits of tanking if a team plans to clean house at seasonís end, including a new coach. But for the Pistons right now, with Lawrence Frank in his first season and young players like Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight critical to their future on board, it strikes me as ludicrous to invite losing and plant that seed after theyíve just spent every waking moment for a full season trying to eradicate losing from their organizational DNA.
Jermaine (Detroit): Is it possible for the Pistons to trade for Josh Smith without breaking up the young core of Stuckey, Knight and Monroe? If so, would they still pursue Chris Kaman, knowing thereís a good chance they will draft a big in the upcoming draft?
Langlois: Donít see how for Smith, Jermaine. The only other asset that could land Smith, in all likelihood, would be their lottery pick this year. Atlanta might have interest in something like that because payroll going forward has to be a huge concern for a franchise that traditionally doesnít draw well and will have some hard decisions to make about how much it is willing to spend to keep intact the core of a team not quite good enough to contend for titles. Keep in mind that if Atlanta looks to trade Smith, the motivation is going to be monetary. That means draft picks, expiring contracts, good young players.
Graeme (Sudbury, Ontario): You responded in your last Mailbag by saying you would go for the best available player. If someone like Beal or Barnes falls to us, would you take them over a big like Henson or Zeller or any other big projected in that area?
Langlois: Iím guessing the Pistons are going to go into the lottery in the No. 8 or 9 spot, Graeme, and letís assume they stay there Ė donít draw into the top three, donít get leap-frogged. Look back at the 2006 draft, when Patrick OíBryant went ninth, 12 spots ahead of Rajon Rondo. Golden State had a loaded perimeter Ė Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, a young Monta Ellis Ė but needed help up front. So the Warriors reached for OíBryant. All Iím saying is itís important to make sure you come away with a player you know is going to be of the highest possible value three, four or five years down the road. The trick is to properly evaluate all those players and make the best, most-informed projections possible.
Aaron (Reno, Nev.): The Pistons need to grab either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson in the coming draft. Robinson would be a great fit in our offense and be able to guard Dwight Howard. Do you agree?
Langlois: If theyíre both in the draft, the Pistons would likely need to draw into the top three to have a shot to get either player, Aaron. From the standpoint of talent plus makeup, those are two of my favorite players for how they would mesh with the Monroe-Knight-Stuckey core. But Robinson guarding Howard might be a stretch. I know they listed him at 6-foot-10 at Kansas, but thatís a stretch. If it turns out itís a 3-inch stretch, which weíll find out at the Chicago draft combine in early June, then it might cost Robinson a few draft spots.
Byron (Detroit): I have dreams of seeing the Pistons with a frontcourt of Monroe and Anthony Davis. We really need a guy like that. Can you explain how the Pistons could get the No. 1 pick even if they have the sixth- or seventh-worst record?
Langlois: Only one way, Byron: get lucky on May 30 when the NBA draft lottery is held. The odds for teams that go into the lottery slotted in the nos. 6-9 positions to get the No. 1 pick are 6.3 percent, 4.3 percent, 2.8 percent and 1.7 percent. The Chicago Bulls won the No. 1 pick in 2007 from the No. 9 position.
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