Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, January 26 - Page 2
We reserve the right to edit your question for the sake of brevity or clarity.
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Andrew (East Lansing, Mich.): There have been numerous reports the Pistons are in hot pursuit of Fadi el Khatib, a Lebanese small forward. He is tremendously talented, but he has even garnered praise from Michael Jordan. The only downside is he is already 32 years old. What is your opinion on him?
Langlois: Never seen him play, Andrew. I’ve read the same things you’ve read, but I’d say this: If he’s a player talented enough to play in the NBA, then you can assume many teams have inquired about him. The fact that there was one news report that specified the Pistons have talked to him doesn’t mean many others haven’t – only that news of their discussions didn’t become public knowledge – and, by the way, doesn’t necessarily prove the Pistons have intent to make him an NBA player. It’s something to file away.
Tom: How is Kyle Singler doing? All I could find is he is listed as the starting small forward for Real Madrid. What are the chances he will play for the Pistons next year? He should help the depth of the front line.
Langlois: Singler has played three Euroleague games since his contract was bought by Real Madrid and in those games he’s leading one of Europe’s top teams in minutes played at 25 per game and averaging 11.0 points. By comparison, Rudy Fernandez is averaging 11.5 points in 24½ minutes per game. Singler is shooting .563 from the field and .600 from the 3-point line in those Euroleague games. In Spanish league play, Singler is getting 16 minutes a game and averaging 4.7 points while shooting better than 60 percent. All indications are he’ll be with the Pistons next season, Tom, but until a contract is signed nothing is certain. Regardless, the Pistons will retain his NBA rights.
James (Detroit): ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard recently stated the Pistons should deal Tayshaun Prince to the T-wolves for Michael Beasley. Do you think that trade makes sense for both parties and what is Dumars’ opinion on Michael Beasley?
Langlois: Let’s start with this: I didn’t see the article, but if it was nothing more than a writer on a fantasy mission to talk about trades he thinks should be made to benefit two teams, then let’s treat it as such: fantasy. Also know that Tayshaun Prince is not eligible to be traded until March 1 due to his status as a free agent once the lockout ended. Beasley is, at best, a mercurial talent right now, James. Would the Pistons be willing to gamble on a player who once was viewed as having All-Star potential but during his three-plus NBA seasons has given very little indication he has the personal discipline to maximize it? Maybe. But let’s also remember what Joe Dumars said when pressed to explain his desire to re-sign Prince. He said that he understood where the Pistons were in their timeline but that rebuilding teams have lamented the lack of a significant veteran when they’ve attempted to start from scratch with an across-the-board youth movement. Given that, it doesn’t seem very likely that Dumars would not only be willing to trade Prince but trade him for someone who, by all accounts, would require veteran mentorship.
Oscar (Lisbon, Portugal): Flip Saunders was fired from Washington. I’m thinking his status is way beyond that of an assistant coach in the NBA and also that he wasn’t doing a good job with a young nucleus. But would the Pistons consider hiring him as an assistant?
Langlois: Yours wasn’t the only question on just this matter, Oscar, surprisingly enough. I think there is the same chance Saunders comes to the Pistons as an assistant coach as there is of the Pistons moving to Lisbon. The Wizards still owe him a hefty amount. My guess is he takes the rest of this year off, drops in on his many buddies coaching in the NBA and college, and waits to see what opens up after the season. There will be questions about his ability to command a locker room after his last two NBA experiences. It wouldn’t surprise me if he winds up doing some TV work. Ultimately – and it will depend on the timing of what else is offered to him and when Tubby Smith hangs ’em up – but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Saunders winds up coaching at the University of Minnesota, his alma mater, or failing that, for another college looking to make a splash by hiring a former NBA coach with a fairly considerable resume.
Michael (Greensboro, N.C.): When the Pistons played in the Silverdome sometime around 1985, their white home jerseys looked like a grayish color. Am I seeing things?
Langlois: Alas, no. They were supposed to be silver – for the Silverdome – but when the players began to perspire, they turned a dull gray. Hideous uniforms, the worst the Pistons have ever donned – yes, including the dreaded teal – in my view.
Nikola (Belgrade, Serbia): Is there a team that would like to land Ben Gordon? I saw the Portland game and the Pistons seemed to play better without him, so I think we should trade him for a big man or even future draft picks. And then we could sign Gilbert Arenas, if possible.
Langlois: Basing major personnel decisions off of a one-game sample size is a fool’s game, Nikola. It’s certainly possible that Lawrence Frank at some point decides a Brandon Knight-Rodney Stuckey starting backcourt puts the Pistons in best position to win, but they still need a first-rate No. 3 guard to come off the bench. There aren’t many in the NBA who have proven they can fill that role at a higher level than Gordon has. Especially as long as Will Bynum is also hurting with a foot injury – and there has been no timetable given for his return – it’s unlikely the Pistons would be shopping Gordon unless it’s part of a larger deal.
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