Pistons Mailbag - Monday, February 20, 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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Ifham (Ann Arbor, Mich.): Why doesn’t Jonas Jerebko get more minutes?

Langlois: I think he’s getting a pretty fair amount of minutes, Ifham. He didn’t play in the second half of last week’s win at Boston. Lawrence Frank said afterward it was just a spur-of-the-moment call for him because he liked the roll Jason Maxiell was on, Greg Monroe was scoring and having a fine all-around game, and Ben Wallace was grabbing rebounds. But Jerebko is getting 25 minutes a game. The way he plays, you might risk diminishing his effectiveness by playing him much more than that.

Ryan (Grand Rapids, Mich.): Ben Gordon and Austin Daye to Minnesota for Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Brad Miller. The trade gives Minnesota some shooters and gives the Pistons a couple of young guys with potential and a bad contract that comes off the books in the same summer as Bynum and Maxiell.

Langlois: It leaves the Pistons dangerously thin in the backcourt for this season, at least. Your proposal leaves Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey as the starters with Will Bynum and Walker D. Russell Jr., two undersized point guards, as the backups. Including both Gordon and Daye leaves nobody to play shooting guard – Gordon and Daye would be the guys right now – when Stuckey isn’t available. We’ve addressed Beasley and Randolph in the past; my hunch at this point is the odds are well less than 50-50 either one plays up to his draft status and no better than 50-50 they become dependable rotation players. So the only real motivation for the Pistons is cap space in 2013. I wouldn’t give trades that fit into this mold a high probability.

Jesse (White Pine, Mich.): I remember back in the golden age of Pistons basketball, the Bad Boy era, cranking up the volume on Channel 50 just so Ken Calvert could work me into a frenzy with his pregame introductions. Why doesn’t FOX Sports Detroit start telecasts with Mason’s superb player introductions?

Langlois: Times change, Jesse. I can’t speak for FSD, but I can’t think of any network, local or national, that carries the public-address lineup introductions on a regular basis any more. It might have to do with using that time, right before tipoff when an audience figures to be pretty high, to sell commercial time. It might have something to do with consistency of production and the fact that if you show Mason introducing lineups for home games, what do you do with that time slot when the Pistons are on the road? Mostly, it probably has to do with making the most efficient use of time by addressing the starting lineups in graphic form as the network comes back from commercial right before tipoff. But I hear you – I used to enjoy that part of the telecast, too.

Jonathan (Hartsville, S.C.): With the exception of the Washington game, the Pistons have played well of late. Now it seems too late to make a playoff run, but is there any chance the Pistons could trade Prince and a couple of players for a young center to put beside Monroe?

Langlois: I think Prince appeals to one kind of team above all others: a team that thinks it has a real chance to go all the way this season and feels Prince would be that one extra veteran piece – either as the starting small forward or as a luxury backup wing defender and versatile offensive weapon that could provide a matchup threat in the grind of the postseason. So scan the rosters of contenders who have a young center to spare – I just don’t see it. Young big men are like quality left-handed starting pitching – it’s the thing everyone’s looking at. If a contender has one stashed away good enough to be a long-term part of the solution for the Pistons, that player escapes me at the moment. What a contender would be far more apt to offer would be a similar contract (expiring would have the most appeal in most cases) of a player not part of the rotation or barely a part of it plus draft picks.

Paul (Appleton, Wis.): Why aren’t we looking at Brian Butch? He was hurt but he’s now rehabbed and going to Bakersfield of the D-League. He can rebound and shoot 3-pointers. That’s what the Pistons need.

Langlois: I love questions that start with “Why aren’t the Pistons …,” as if the fact they haven’t signed a player or traded for him means they wouldn’t like to or haven’t considered it. The Pistons, of course, are aware of Brian Butch and were fully aware of him dating back to his days in the Big Ten. Their front-office staff was in the building in Las Vegas in July 2010 when Butch suffered a torn patellar tendon. Without knowing anything about the Pistons’ estimation of Butch specifically, it’s safe to assume that if a D-Leaguer isn’t playing for the Pistons it means – at that moment, at least – that they don’t feel he would improve the present or the future enough to commit to a roster spot.

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