Whatever It Takes

Tom Gores: ‘You Can Tell the World: We’re Ready to Spend’

Sean Hodgson/Pistons photo
Tom Gores understands the coming off-season presents the Pistons with an opportunity for a magnitude of change that might not come around again for several years. To ensure those personnel decisions are made with all due consideration, Gores will make the decisions he needs to make soon, he said before Monday’s home finale.

“We’re assessing everything fast,” Gores said when asked if he had a timeline in mind for decisions on the futures of team leadership. “It’s a very important time, a critical time for the franchise. We’re fortunate enough to have a good young group of people, so we’ll do it fast, like we did when we came in and bought the team. We’re going to do this very, very quickly, but thoroughly.”

Gores said he met with president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and head coach Lawrence Frank on Sunday.

“I expected better results,” he said. “I met with Joe and Lawrence yesterday and let them know that. They’re great guys that know their business, but I’m here assessing everything. My job is to move this franchise forward.”

Asked about the job status of Dumars and Frank, Gores said, “We’re assessing it right now. Both of them, including ownership, has to be accountable for the year.

“I expected to be in the playoffs, so I’m disappointed by that. When I said that last year, I meant it. I am very excited about what we have going. We have a lot of (salary cap) room. We’ve set ourselves up financially and basketball operations set ourselves up, so I’m excited about the future. But I’m not content about how we performed this year.”

Gores said any decision on Frank’s future would involve his input.

“It’ll be a discussion,” he said. “I have to be involved because I’m taking care of this franchise. There’s no doubt I have to be involved. Lawrence is a tremendous guy, but I have to really think about this franchise and what the best thing is.”

Gores seemed to welcome a question regarding his willingness to spend this summer, when the Pistons are poised to have $25 million or more in space under the salary cap to pursue free agents or use to help facilitate trades for coveted players.

“We are prepared to spend and we’re prepared to do what we have to do to move this franchise forward,” he said. “We want to win. You can tell the world: We’re ready to spend.”

Allocating those resources wisely, Gores emphasized, to augment a young core led by Greg Monroe, 23, Brandon Knight, 21, and Andre Drumond, 19, plus another young player to be added in the June draft lottery, will be vital.

“It’s magnified this year because we’ve put ourselves in a position to really make moves,” Gores said. “We want to win a championship. We want to get into the playoffs. We want to do all those things. It is an extra important year.”