Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, April 19, 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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Graeme (Sudbury, Ontario): This summer, the Pistons should push hard to trade for Kenneth Faried. I don’t know what it would take, but I see no reason for Joe D not to chase Denver until we get him.

Langlois: Joe D loved Faried in college, Graeme, but there is no reason to believe Denver is willing to trade a guy averaging 10 points and 7.5 rebounds as a rookie who is due to make less than $8 million total over the next four seasons. The most valuable asset in the league other than the rare LeBron James, Derrick Rose or Kevin Durant – max salary players who outperform their contracts – is a player on a rookie contract who shows the promise to impact games under team control for multiple seasons. The only way Faried leaves Denver in the next few seasons is if he’s part of a package for one of those types of players in Category A.


Lou (Indianapolis, Ind.): I really like Thomas Robinson. He had no quit in him in that championship game and appears to have great character. He’ll match up well with Greg, possibly averaging 20 rebounds between them which would be awesome. With the Kentucky players and so many others in this draft, there is a chance he would fall to the Pistons.

Langlois: Not unless there’s something we don’t know about him, Lou. I can’t see Robinson getting out of the top five even if the suspicion of some scouts – that he’s closer to 6-foot-7 than 6-foot-10 – is confirmed when he is officially measured at the Chicago predraft camp.


Hevvy (Harper Woods, Mich.): What position would Perry Jones play in the NBA – power forward or small forward? Also, I keep hearing the Pistons should amnesty Charlie V but I think it should be Ben Gordon since his contract is bigger.

Langlois: Scouts aren’t really sure what position Jones will play, but I don’t think that’s the biggest question. The comparison I’ve heard from more than one personnel guy on Jones is Tracy McGrady. And, remember, Jones appears a legit 6-foot-11. He’s unbelievably gifted, but the question is whether he didn’t flourish because of something that held him back at Baylor or whether he just doesn’t have the intangibles – love of the game, hunger for competition, basketball IQ, whatever. I still think he’ll go in the top 10 and likely before the Pistons get a shot at him, assuming they wind up drafting ninth or 10th. Tenth now seems a real possibility – we’ll know more after tonight’s game with Minnesota, flagging badly without Kevin Love. As for the amnesty, I don’t anticipate the Pistons using it this off-season. As we saw last December, teams will use the amnesty very selectively. When you look at their cap situation – assuming Jason Maxiell does not opt out – they’ll be somewhere in the mid 60s, well over the cap. (Still over it even if Maxiell does opt out, by the way.) Even if they were to wipe out Gordon’s contract, their largest, it wouldn’t leave them far enough below the salary cap to be big players in free agency. My expectation is that the trade route will be the Pistons’ most likely avenue of summer activity outside of the draft.


Mario (Dortmund, Germany): The draft is deep this year with at least 10 players after the top five or six capable of being starters. Davis, Drummond, Barnes, Beal, Robinson and Kidd-Gilchrist should be gone. After that, it’s pretty hard to find a best player available. Among Sullinger, Zeller, Perry Jones, Lillard, Lamb, Leonard and Terrence Jones, you can hardly tell who is the best prospect. At this point, shall we draft for need?

Langlois: As I’ve said, I think Perry Jones will be gone. I think you have to include John Henson on your list and I would also throw Arnett Moultrie on the long list of possibilities. It could come down to a choice of Sullinger or the two North Carolina players, Zeller and Henson, with Moultrie the dark horse.


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