Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, March 8 - Page 2
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Brian (Detroit): I’ve heard people talk about trading Austin Daye, but I think that would be a mistake. If he was in the rotation consistently, he would be playing better, don’t you think?
Langlois: That’s a chicken-or-the-egg argument, Brian – do you need to be in the rotation to play consistently well, or do you need to play consistently well to be in the rotation? Daye has had opportunities this season but hasn’t found a rhythm except for a four- or five-game stretch in late January. It’s really tough to gauge what his trade value would be right now. My guess is most GMs would be hesitant to part with a player who would be an obvious upgrade for the Pistons, but there are probably a few who remember the promise Daye showed in his first two seasons and are confident that player will blossom. The question, if the Pistons would be interested in trading him, is if any of those few have a player the Pistons like and he’s available.
Ryan (Grand Rapids, Mich.): I really like the direction of the Pistons, but I have a couple of suggestions to speed the road to contention. With Daye out of the rotation, trade him to San Antonio for James Anderson, use the amnesty clause on Ben Gordon and sign Jeff Green and Greg Oden. If we have a starting lineup of Monroe, Thomas Robinson, Prince, Stuckey and Knight with a bench of Oden, Jerebko, Green, Anderson and Bynum I think that’s a playoff team with a very high ceiling.
Langlois: Anderson is a guy like Daye – has shown promise in the past but pushed out of the rotation for now. Maybe it’s the kind of deal where both GMs hope the change of scenery unlocks their talent. Jeff Green is an interesting guy. The Pistons liked him a great deal coming out of college. He’s a hybrid forward and they might be looking for more of a pure power player, but if they feel confident they can find that player elsewhere then he’d be a viable option. Oden … that would be a leap of faith after recently undergoing his third microsurgery. I think the team that signs him will have to be one that already has enough frontcourt depth that a healthy Oden would be a luxury. Under your scenario, he’d be the No. 1 big man off the bench – a dangerous proposition. Robinson is a personal favorite. I know there are questions whether he’s really 6-foot-9 and if he’s not how effective he can be in the NBA. I look at his consistent production at a high level of college basketball and think he’s about as safe a bet as there is this side of Anthony Davis in the coming draft.
Eric (Raleigh, N.C.): Do you think the Pistons will be active in the trade market? With depth at small forward – Daye, Prince, Singler – do you think Joe D would entertain trading Prince or Daye?
Langlois: I’m sure all of those names have come up in his trade discussions, simply because there’s not a day that goes by when he isn’t engaged in talks with his peers around the league. Whether or not any of those players gets traded – or the Pistons make any moves in the next week before the March 15 deadline – is something even Joe D probably couldn’t say for certain at this point. But I’ve said before that I don’t believe the Pistons signed Prince in December with the intention to trade him in March. Daye’s market value, as I said in a previous question, is likely diminished at this point. As for Singler, he’s intriguing, but there are no guarantees he’ll come to the NBA next season and, therefore, it’s extremely unlikely he would be traded now. After the season, when his intentions are more clear and the market for him is set in Europe, things will come into focus.
Simon (Melbourne, Australia): I’ve seen some mock draft sites slotting us into the fourth or fifth spot and selecting Jeremy Lamb. Do you think that is what we would do with such a high pick? I know we need a big next to Monroe, but Lamb looks like the second-best player in the draft behind Anthony Davis. I think fourth or fifth is a bit high for Sullinger, who looks like the next best big man in the draft behind Drummond and Davis.
Langlois: I haven’t seen Lamb projected that high by anyone I consider a credible source, Simon, but I’ll say this: I think Lamb, when it’s all said and done, might well prove to be worthy of a pick that high. He hasn’t had that type of season so far, but a big tournament run could push him firmly into the top 10. As for Lamb as a fit for the Pistons … I’d say unlikely, but then no one was guessing Brandon Knight would be the pick last year, and that’s turned out exceedingly well. My prevailing sentiment is that in almost all cases, you’re always better off taking the player with the highest NBA ceiling, no matter what the roster dictates. The exception, in my mind, would be for a team that winds up with a lottery pick but isn’t really a lottery team – either it’s another team’s pick or a crush of injuries made for an aberrant season. In that case, I’d lean toward picking for roster need. I’m not sure Sullinger, by the way, is going to be drafted as high this year as he would have been a year ago. Better draft, for one thing, and a disappointing season from Sullinger, in my estimation.
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