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 Pistons Offseason... 
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Post Pistons Offseason...
Interesting take...do we give an aging center with no offense the max???

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Detroit faces uncertain offseason
by Marc Narducci / June 3, 2006

The Detroit Pistons looked old, slow and dispirited in being ousted in six games during the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. Now the attention turns to the future, which once looked so bright for the Pistons and is now wrought with questions.

Is this an aging team on the decline? Did the lack of developed depth finally catch up to the Pistons? Were they worn down by playing 66 postseason games over the past three years? And is coach Flip Saunders the right person to guide this team?

The Pistons have been assembled by arguably the best executive in the NBA in Joe Dumars. This offseason Dumars will certainly have his reputation put to the test.

The Pistons aren?t a team that will be totally disassembled, but one that needs more than just a little tinkering.

The biggest question is what to do with free agent center Ben Wallace. When the 2006-07 NBA season begins, Wallace, the NBA?s Defensive Player of The Year, will be 32-years-old.

Wallace earned $7.3 million this past season and there is no doubt he will be looking for a long-term, maximum contract. The question Dumars faces is whether Wallace is worth it.

There is no doubt that the Pistons will have to pay top dollar to keep him because there are teams such as the Chicago Bulls who could use a major defensive presence and wouldn?t mind overpaying Wallace.

What was once thought of as a foolish discussion is now a legitimate question as to whether the Pistons should sever ties with Wallace.

He is still a major defensive presence, but has continued to become an offensive liability ? especially when he goes to the free throw line. In the playoffs this year, Wallace shot 18 of 68 (26.4 percent) from the foul line.

One thing that may influence Detroit?s decision concerning Wallace is that this year?s free agent crop is substandard. Wallace and Atlanta?s Al Harrington are arguably the best players out there.

Still, it would be difficult to lavish a declining Wallace with a big contract. It?s likely Detroit will do what it can to keep him, but that may not be the best move.

Here?s one vote to let him go and try to acquire another center, which also won?t be easy.

Sure, the Pistons would miss Wallace?s defense, but how much did it help them against an aging, but effective Shaquille O?Neal in the playoffs? Shaq averaged 21.6 points and shot 55 for 84 (65.4 percent) against the Pistons.

Going after a player such as Chicago?s Tyson Chandler would make sense ? especially if the Bulls sign Wallace as a free agent.

The other four starters, should be back, although Rasheed Wallace, like Ben, didn?t distinguish himself in the postseason. Both Wallaces also second-guessed some of Saunders? moves, giving the impression that the once close-knit team has suffered some serious cracks.

While Rasheed Wallace was less than 100 percent with an ankle injury, he also was inconsistent from the field, shooting 43 percent in the Pistons? 18 postseason games.

Still, if healthy, he is among the league?s more versatile players, a top defender and a viable three-point threat. Rasheed Wallace, who is signed through 2008-09, should be a keeper as should the rest of the starters.

In the playoffs, Pistons guards Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton played at a level below their All-Star regular seasons. Despite their postseason performance, the two form one of the top backcourts in the NBA and are the strength of the team. The goal for both next season should be to cut down their minutes.

Tayshaun Prince, the only Detroit starter not to make the All-Star Game this year, was arguably Detroit?s best player in the playoffs. He is a great defender, and poses matchup problems on offense with his long arms, his ability to shoot the three-pointer and his quickness driving to the basket.

Whether Ben Wallace returns or not, the Pistons have to upgrade the bench and Saunders has to be willing to give his starters more of a rest.

The only dependable player off the bench was Antonio McDyess, who played all 82 games in the regular season for the first time in his career, but one has to wonder how much he has left.

The Pistons will likely try to re-sign defensive specialist Lindsey Hunter, who averaged 13.2 minutes in the six playoff games against Miami. Maurice Evans only saw 10 minutes in the entire Heat series and shouldn?t be considered a major contributor in the future.

One underutilized player was Tony Delk, who can provide instant offense off the bench. Delk will be a free agent and would likely only stay if he were assured more minutes. That?s something that Detroit should do.

The one player that will either see an increased role or will be traded is Carlos Delfino, the 6-6 swingman, who played just 32 minutes in the postseason and was unhappy with his almost non-existent role. Delfino, who turns 24 in August, probably would like to be traded, but the Pistons should consider keeping him and expanding his role. He could be the type of offensive player off the bench that could give the team a needed jolt.

If Dumars doesn?t agree with that assessment, then Delfino will be dealt and there shouldn?t be a lack of interested parties, especially since he will earn slightly more than $1 million next year.

Detroit has to decide whether 6-9 Amir Johnson, who played in only three games and also spent time in the NBADL, can contribute next season. The Pistons appear to like the potential of the 19-year-old Johnson, who played well in the NBADL. Since Detroit thinks it has another championship run left, it?s doubtful that a young player such as Johnson will get much of a chance to perform.

So a team with the four starters minus Ben Wallace, plus a new center, McDyess, Delfino, Delk and possibly another scorer off the bench could remain a contender, although not likely the favorite.

And that brings us to Saunders. He was praised for leading the Pistons to 64 wins in the regular season and then criticized for the team?s playoff collapse.

Like his predecessor Larry Brown, Saunders had little faith in young players and rode his veterans hard. Billups, Prince and Hamilton all averaged more than 40 minutes a game against Miami.

Saunders was given a lot of credit for adding offensive innovations, but criticized for allowing the defense to falter. And after being second-guessed by his own players, Saunders must win back the locker room and show he is the coach to guide the team.

It?s a team that will no doubt have a different look next season and the key is whether the Pistons can experience a facelift while still remaining among the elite in the NBA. How Dumars reshapes this team will be among the most interesting offseason storylines in the NBA.

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June 5th, 2006, 11:59 am
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Post Re: Pistons Offseason...
theAlphaMale wrote:
Interesting take...do we give an aging center with no offense the max???


No, and I doubt any team in the league would either...


June 5th, 2006, 1:23 pm
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Post Re: Pistons Offseason...
wjb21ndtown wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
Interesting take...do we give an aging center with no offense the max???


No, and I doubt any team in the league would either...


You forgot about N.Y. :lol: :shock:

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June 5th, 2006, 1:25 pm
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Post Re: Pistons Offseason...
theAlphaMale wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
Interesting take...do we give an aging center with no offense the max???


No, and I doubt any team in the league would either...


You forgot about N.Y. :lol: :shock:


I guaransheed they don't have the cap space! :P


June 5th, 2006, 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Pistons Offseason...
wjb21ndtown wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
Interesting take...do we give an aging center with no offense the max???


No, and I doubt any team in the league would either...


You forgot about N.Y. :lol: :shock:


I guaransheed they don't have the cap space! :P


That has NEVER stopped them before :lol:

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June 5th, 2006, 1:34 pm
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Joined: March 10th, 2005, 10:02 am
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Post Re: Pistons Offseason...
theAlphaMale wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
wjb21ndtown wrote:
theAlphaMale wrote:
Interesting take...do we give an aging center with no offense the max???


No, and I doubt any team in the league would either...


You forgot about N.Y. :lol: :shock:


I guaransheed they don't have the cap space! :P


That has NEVER stopped them before :lol:


I don't understand how Isiah still has a job! He IS the worst president/GM in the history of the NBA. The NY owner must be hypnotized. :shock:

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June 5th, 2006, 1:44 pm
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If they let go of Ben that would be IMO the stupidest move the Pistons will have ever made.

The guy can play Defense and rebound the hell out of the ball.

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June 6th, 2006, 3:48 pm
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LionsFan4Life wrote:
If they let go of Ben that would be IMO the stupidest move the Pistons will have ever made.

The guy can play Defense and rebound the hell out of the ball.


And he shoots 22% at the line :roll: ... You can say that the rest of his game makes up for it, but not when you have a coach that is too stupid to counter the oppositions strategey for 5 games....


June 6th, 2006, 5:05 pm
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Post Re: Pistons Offseason...
Quote:
The biggest question is what to do with free agent center Ben Wallace. When the 2006-07 NBA season begins, Wallace, the NBA?s Defensive Player of The Year, will be 32-years-old.

What was once thought of as a foolish discussion is now a legitimate question as to whether the Pistons should sever ties with Wallace.

He is still a major defensive presence, but has continued to become an offensive liability ? especially when he goes to the free throw line. In the playoffs this year, Wallace shot 18 of 68 (26.4 percent) from the foul line.

One thing that may influence Detroit?s decision concerning Wallace is that this year?s free agent crop is substandard. Wallace and Atlanta?s Al Harrington are arguably the best players out there.


Nobody is really out there in free agency, so we have to pick up role players. We can't sign Ben Wallace for more than three years at a huge salary, because he body won't hold up much longer. I know that Ben Wallace is a machine but with the rate he is playing at and the high energy game he uses he'll be maxed out sooner rather than later.

If you choose not to resign Ben Wallace, we'll be out of contention this year (clearly), because we won't have a center that can replace Ben Wallace. But this could also stand as a turning point for the future of the Pistons replacing Wallace with a younger center in next year's free agency which many great players come off the books.

We cannot afford to sign Ben Wallace for over three (four at most) years. The contract will kill us in the future and Dumars knows it.

Quote:
The Pistons will likely try to re-sign defensive specialist Lindsey Hunter, who averaged 13.2 minutes in the six playoff games against Miami. Maurice Evans only saw 10 minutes in the entire Heat series and shouldn?t be considered a major contributor in the future.


Hunter is a machine and if his legs hold up, we need to pick him back up.

Quote:
One underutilized player was Tony Delk, who can provide instant offense off the bench. Delk will be a free agent and would likely only stay if he were assured more minutes. That?s something that Detroit should do.


Delk has to be one of the worst Pistons pickups in recent memory. If we decide to keep him, use him more in the regular season, then bench his rectum during the playoffs. The guy plays a me-first game and wants to get fifty points again.

The guy plays hot or cold and when he's cold he tries to get himself out of a scoring slump by racking up thirty shots in five minutes. He needs to be drugged to calm himself down.

Quote:
The one player that will either see an increased role or will be traded is Carlos Delfino, the 6-6 swingman, who played just 32 minutes in the postseason and was unhappy with his almost non-existent role. Delfino, who turns 24 in August, probably would like to be traded, but the Pistons should consider keeping him and expanding his role. He could be the type of offensive player off the bench that could give the team a needed jolt.

If Dumars doesn?t agree with that assessment, then Delfino will be dealt and there shouldn?t be a lack of interested parties, especially since he will earn slightly more than $1 million next year.


Delfino is the x factor for the team next season and sadly I can see him coming to an end in Detroit. I think that Delfino can develop into a monster and produce off the bench and be a threat for the future of our team, but Flip needs to give him some playing time.

Our bench used to be really solid when we went with the European bench from the previous drafts and we had one of the best benches in the league. That's why Carlisle had great success with the Pistons during the two 50-win seasons.

We need to add a better bench and the key starts with Delfino getting more minutes.

Quote:
And that brings us to Saunders. He was praised for leading the Pistons to 64 wins in the regular season and then criticized for the team?s playoff collapse.

Like his predecessor Larry Brown, Saunders had little faith in young players and rode his veterans hard. Billups, Prince and Hamilton all averaged more than 40 minutes a game against Miami.

Saunders was given a lot of credit for adding offensive innovations, but criticized for allowing the defense to falter. And after being second-guessed by his own players, Saunders must win back the locker room and show he is the coach to guide the team.


Flip does need to win back the team and restore the chemistry that the Pistons are known for. Sadly all of our coaches that have been hired by Joe Dumars haven't put any trust in the young players starting with Carlisle (and that's why he got fired). If the Pistons want to keep up with the rest of the league we need to get younger and expand our bench.

The defense played its part in the playoffs, but our offensive production was terrible. The players didn't buy into what Flip was saying.

I'll give him one more year to attempt to buy the players back and then he gets the axe if he can't. But one year is a lot of time and the current Pistons have three years tops to win another championship (they ain't getting any younger).


June 6th, 2006, 10:16 pm
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I just wanted to throw this out there and hear people's reactions. If this whole Flip Saunders as coach doesn't work out, do you think Joe Dumars would ever consider becoming the Detroit Pistons head coach? Similar to the move Pat Riley made in Miami or the move Isiah Thomas is expected to make in New York.


June 6th, 2006, 11:01 pm
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Good analysis GM. I would not want to sign Wallace to a max deal, but the implications of that are the end.

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June 7th, 2006, 12:06 pm
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Preston,

There is no way Joe will coach. He has already stated that he has no desire to be a coach. He likes being a GM and staying lowkey. If he were to coach, he would'nt like all the attention. So that will not happen.

As for Ben, we will resign him. I agree that his deal should not be more than 4 years. Cause if he is not resigned then we would definitely fall back into the pack and our window would close for being an elite team.

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June 7th, 2006, 1:20 pm
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if Joe dosent keep flip and brings in a former player dont be suprised if it's Laimbeer or mahorn depending on how the shock dose this year. remember Thomas interviewd lamb last year


June 8th, 2006, 11:16 pm
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