Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, February 9, 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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Sipu (Hamtramck, Mich.): Do you think Miami would contemplate trading Dwight Howard for Chris Bosh, give or take a few players? If the Pistons could trade Monroe with others for Howard, should they do it? And when is the trade deadline?

Langlois: Miami would do more than “contemplate” that trade, Sipu. The Heat would jump all over it. As for Orlando, only if one of the other players was Dwyane Wade. It would be difficult to imagine the combination of players it would take to entice Orlando to send Howard to a division rival, never mind an in-state competitor. Maybe Shane Battier, Norris Cole and Udonis Haslem and a No. 1 pick or two in addition to Bosh? But the holdup is Howard’s willingness to sign on for the future with Orlando’s trade partner. And so far he’s only indicated a willingness to extend with New Jersey, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Pistons could not afford to trade Monroe and then lose Howard to free agency in July. The trade deadline is March 15. It could be a dizzying two-week period between March 1 and 15 because March 1 is the date when players signed before the season began as free agents – half or more of some teams’ rosters – can first be traded.

Nathaniel (Ann Arbor, Mich.): Do you think there is any chance Ed Davis of Toronto would be available? Andrea Bargnani’s true position is power forward and Jonas Valanciunas is coming to the NBA next season. Maybe once Tayshaun Prince can be traded, we could offer him and a future first-rounder for Davis. That would give the Raptors a legitimate small forward, allow Jerebko to play a more natural small forward position and give the Pistons a good complementary power forward to play next to Monroe.

Langlois: Down the road – once Valanciunas gets to the NBA and shows he can handle a heavy workload, 35 minutes or so – then I think it’s pretty likely Toronto would look to move one of Davis or Amir Johnson to shore up the perimeter, Nathaniel. But that’s not very likely to be this season. Davis and Johnson are essentially job sharing one frontcourt spot now and putting up similar numbers. Johnson is a better offensive rebounder, Davis a better defensive rebounder, but they’re pretty similar guys. The Pistons liked Davis coming out of North Carolina – if Golden State had taken Greg Monroe instead of Ekpe Udoh with the No. 6 pick in 2010, the Pistons likely would have taken Davis over Udoh at No. 7 – but would they trade Prince and a No. 1 pick to get him now? That’s a hefty price to pay. Also, because Toronto is unlikely to consider that trade this season, it’s certainly possible the Pistons will have adequately addressed their frontcourt needs before next season in the draft and, possibly, in free agency.

Mark (Detroit): With the success of Walker D. Russell, will Joe D look to bring in more guys on a sort-of tryout basis? How about a big man like Derrick Caracter, recently waived by the Lakers? He’s low-risk, high-reward, in my opinion.

Langlois: Of all players waived this week before non-guaranteed contracts had to be picked up or the players released, Caracter was perhaps most surprising. Greg Monroe’s first D-League game was against the Lakers and Caracter looked good. He made the Lakers last year as a late second-rounder and there was quite a bit of buzz about him. He had been quite heavy in his college days and really whipped himself into shape before the 2010 draft. Maybe he hadn’t been able to maintain that level of conditioning. As a tax-paying team, maybe the Lakers just were looking to save themselves some money. I’m sure he’ll get another shot with someone.

Trevor (Detroit): Would a trade of Gordon to the Lakers for their trade exception work under the new CBA? I know Gordon makes about $11 million and the Lakers’ exception is worth $9 million, but since the season is half over he isn’t owed the full $11 million anymore. It would provide the Lakers a scoring boost and give the Pistons financial relief and maybe they would get a late first-round pick.

Langlois: I’m not versed on every nuance of the new CBA yet, Trevor, but unless they’ve significantly changed the rule, no – a player’s salary for the entire season must be accommodated by the exception. And in this case, I’m sure it’s a moot point. The Lakers, as taxpayers, would have to send at least the amount of Gordon’s salary to the league, in addition to paying him, in luxury taxes, and depending on where their total payroll comes in, perhaps even more than a dollar-for-dollar in taxes.

Lisa (Wheaton, Ill.): What is the status of Charlie Villanueva? Is he expected to play again this season?

Langlois: I don’t know that there are any expectations for Villanueva with regard to his return from injury at this point, Lisa. They’ve immobilized his ankle for a few weeks. Once that phase is over, they’ll re-evaluate. Stay tuned.

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