Pistons Mailbag - Monday, April 16, 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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Trevor (Oakland, Calif.): I’m warming to the idea of the Pistons picking Terrence Jones, given their likely draft slot. I like Jones’ rebounding, blocks and steals numbers on two loaded Kentucky teams. If you study his style of play, stats and size, he appears to be a slightly more skilled, slightly less athletic version of Josh Smith. Do you buy the comparison?

Langlois: I think the better comp is Al Harrington, Trevor. I don’t think Jones will be as capable of guarding power forwards as Smith. Jones played better over the second half of Kentucky’s season than he did early, when he would mysteriously disappear for long stretches or even entire games – see Kentucky’s December loss at Indiana. There’s a lot to like there, though, and I would include him on the long list of Pistons possibilities. As I always contend, you’re better off taking the player you believe has the best long-term NBA career ahead of him rather than grabbing a player based on roster needs. But Jones is a tweener forward, which in a perfect world is not what the Pistons most need.


Davi (Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil): Shouldn’t the Pistons package some players for something big, perhaps Gordon and Villanueva? Monroe and Stuckey are already close to stars. If they can add another player of that level, they would have the trio formula. What about Lamar Odom?

Langlois: It’s tough to trade players when they’re not offering production in step with their contract, Davi, and while Gordon is a player good enough to help a lot of teams – and you can lump Villanueva into the discussion, too, when he’s healthy and in the rotation – their contracts would dissuade most interested teams from taking them on unless they were to trade a player with a similar contract and similar production levels. As for Odom, it will be interesting to see what the market is for him. He probably would hold the most appeal for a contender looking for a versatile veteran off the bench. If Odom is willing to take a mid-level deal, his possibilities will be considerable.


Douglas (La Jolla, Calif.): Arnett Moultrie looks like the perfect complement to Monroe – very long, athletic and a good rebounder. Analysts have different perspectives of him. Some have him in the mid- to late first round, others have him in the top 10. Which is the more likely scenario? I could be wrong, but I see Moultrie as a safer pick than Perry Jones, Sullinger or Henson, for example.

Langlois: Moultrie strikes me as one of those players who could rise quickly in the eyes of NBA scouts if he is impressive in predraft workouts and interviews. I still don’t think it’s likely he rises as high as the top 10, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility at this point. If he checks out at a legit 6-foot-11 and his wing span and reach are commensurate or better for a player that size, his appeal will grow. Mississippi State seemed a dysfunctional mess for much of the season, Douglas, and scouts will do some digging to find out if Moultrie was part of the problem or part of the solution. Moultrie is a player scouts probably don’t feel like they have a total picture of just yet. They’ll want to fill in the blanks as much as they can between now and late June.


Jack (Kitchener, Ontario): Do you think the NBA will ever reward teams like the Pistons for not tanking? I think it’s pathetic what Golden State, Cleveland (which was losing even before Kyrie Irving got injured) and a few others have been doing. I feel teams that obviously tank should get their chances at a top-three pick revoked and their odds should go to teams like the Pistons, Utah, Phoenix, Milwaukee, etc., that are still showing they care about winning.

Langlois: It’s more likely that the initiative would be to punish organizations that don’t do their best to field competitive teams, not to reward teams that live up to the expectation of competition, Jack. The result, of course, would be pretty much the same. But it’s not very likely, in any case, because it’s difficult to prove somebody isn’t hurt or to question the decision of an organization out of the playoff running to player younger players, if it chooses, instead of veterans likelier to provide opportunities to win. Outwardly, at least, this doesn’t seem to be an issue that stirs much conversation among NBA officials.


Graeme (Sudbury, Ontario): The Pistons probably will end up with two second-round picks. What do you think of Darius Miller of Kentucky? If he’s available with either of those picks, I say we take him. He was a leader for Kentucky and a very underrated shooter and defender. If we draft him, send Singler’s rights to Sacramento for Jason Thompson. We’d have a very nice young core of Monroe, Knight, Jerebko, Miller, Thompson and whoever we take in the lottery.

Langlois: And Rodney Stuckey. The consensus on Miller seems to be high second round to middle of the second, Graeme. He might be gone before the Pistons get to use either of their second-rounders. It seems he’d be a great value if they could get him with the pick they have coming from Houston. No question that Miller seems to have one certain NBA skill: shooting.


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