Thursday, February 27, 2014

Looking Ahead to Next Year: Preview, GM

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Wednesday night's expected loss to the Spurs pushed the Pistons to 3.5 GB of the 8th seed Bobcats Hawks.  The loss was yet another blow to the playoff mandate that new owner Tom Gores established for the team in the offseason.  The Pistons have all the talent in the starting five to make the playoffs in this year's Eastern Conference.  The backcourt is the obvious weak spot, and Josh Smith didn't get off to a great start, but the Bobcats arguably don't have as talented of a roster as the Pistons.  However, they have a team that plays well to their coach's style of play, and they can win games when their offense doesn't show up.  The Bobcats didn't just fall into a playoff spot this year, they've earned it, and it starts with their front office building a team the right way.  Joe Dumars doesn't know what that way looks like; so that leaves us to look ahead to next season, even though the Pistons are only 3.5 games back of a playoff spot with 24 games left to play.  That might as well be 13.5 games back, so it's time to take an early pulse on what next year might look like, starting with the guy who built this year's dumpster fire.

GM: Joe Dumars - His contract expires at the end of the year and the team hasn't been legitimately competitive in the last six years.  His best moves in that time span were extremely lucky draft picks of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.  If the Warriors had taken Monore over Ekpe Udoh in 2010, Dumars probably would've been fired when Gores bought the team.  Dumars' stay for the last few seasons is just a result of draft luck.  Let's run down his personnel moves since 2008:

Bad Move; Good Move; Neutral Move
  • Traded Primoz Brezec for Juan Dixon
  • Named Michael Curry as Head Coach. 
  • 2008 Draft: 2nd Round - Walter Sharpe, Trent Plaisted, Deron Washington
  • Signed Will Bynum, Kwame Brown, Alex Acker; Extended Arron Afflalo, Rodney Stuckey, Walter Hermann
  • Gave Jason Maxiell a 4-yr, $20M contract extension (yes, really)
  • Traded Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb for Allen Iverson; McDyess would be waived and re-sign w/Detroit a month later
  • Traded Alex Acker and 2011 2nd Round pick (Trey Thompkins) for a conditional 2013 2nd Round Pick (Peyton Siva)
  • Traded Amir Johnson for Fabricio Oberto in a three-team deal (yes, really)
  • 2009 Draft: 1st Round - Austin Daye (15th); 2nd Round - DaJuan Summers, Jonas Jerebko, Chase Budinger (traded to HOU for cash, future 2nd)
  • Fired Michael Curry, would later hire John Kuester
  • Signed Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva (THERE ISNT A SHADE OF RED DEEP ENOUGH)
  • Traded Arron Afflalo, Walter Sharpe and cash for a 2nd round pick
  • Signed Chris Wilcox, Ben Wallace, Chucky Atkins, Maceo Baston
  • 2010 Draft: 1st Round - Greg Monroe; 2nd Round - Terrico White
  • Re-signed Will Bynum, Ben Wallace, signed Tracy McGrady
  • Fired John Kuester, hired Lawrence Frank
  • 2011 Draft: 1st Round - Brandon Knight; 2nd Round - Vernon Macklin, Kyle Singler
  • Re-signed Tayshaun Prince, Jonas Jerebko
  • Signed Damien Wilkins
  • Traded Ben Gordon and a future 1st round pick for Corey Maggette (sigh)
  • 2012 Draft: 1st Round - Andre Drummond; 2nd Round - Khris Middleton, Kim English
  • Signed Slava Kravtsov
  • Traded Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye for Jose Calderon in three-team deal
  • Fired Lawrence Frank, hired Mo Cheeks
  • 2013 Draft: 1st Round - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; 2nd Round - Peyton Siva, Tony Mitchell
  • Signed Josh Smith, Luigi Datome, Chauncey Billups, Josh Harrellson; re-signed Will Bynum
  • Traded Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, Slava Kravtsov for Brandon Jennings
  • Fired (kind of) Mo Cheeks, named John Loyer as Interim Head Coach
So, how did he even keep his job into 2010?  The stretch from the start of 2008 up until the night that Dumars lucked into Greg Monroe might be one of the worst runs an NBA GM has ever had.  Seriously, just look at it.  Hired a terrible, over-matched Michael Curry to coach a team full of players who weren't going to respect him from day one.  Had three second round picks in the 2008 draft who ended up playing a combined 8 NBA games (all 8 belonging to Walte Sharpe).  HE SIGNED KWAME BROWN.  He gave Jason Maxiell a contact worth $20 million dollars.  Traded the MVP of the NBA Finals from four years prior for a past-his-prime combo guard, thus truly signaling Joe Dumars' love affair with combo guards.  Traded Amir Johnson for beef jerky, or something like that.  Drafted Austin Daye ahead of Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Darren Collison, Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson.  Fired Michael Curry to replace him with an older, whiter Michael Curry.  Gave $92 million dollars to Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.  You work too hard, you really do.  Traded Arron Afflalo for a 2nd round pick which never actually turned into a pick.  That's a run of bad decisions that could make Robert Downey Jr., circa 1998, blush.  That's a run of decisions so bad, that it's not even worth organizing it into a coherent paragraph.

To sum up the previous paragraph, Joe Dumars won't be back next year.  So, who might be running the ship for the Pistons this coming offseason?  There are a few logical choices, both from Detroit's past regimes, and from up-and-comers around the league.  Phil Jackson's name will be brought up plenty.  Until the day he's officially hired, tell anybody who says he's coming here that they're an idiot.  Here are a few realistic options of executives who might be calling the shots for the Pistons starting this offseason:

Scott Perry - Orlando Magic Assistant GM: Perry served four years under Joe Dumars as his VP of Basketball Operations.  The 49-year-old Perry might feel like it's his time to finally run the show.  He had a hand in Dumars' reign of terror from 2008-12, so maybe we don't really want him here.  However, Orlando's rebuild after the Dwight Howard trade is running very smoothly.  They stole Tobias Harris away from Milwaukee, arguably won the Howard trade, and have a good young core that should be competitive soon.  It's hard to tell how much credit Perry deserves for the Magic building a core, and how much blame he deserves for what happened in Detroit from '08 to '12.

Allan Houston - New York Knicks Assistant GM: No executive working for the Knicks really has too much of a say in personnel moves with James Dolan (literally) lurking around every corner.  Buzz around the league suggests that Houston may be next in line in New York; maybe the Pistons could scoop him up before the Knicks can give him a try?  He had talent as a player, but as we've learned over the last decade, that doesn't mean he knows how to see it in other players.

Bryan Colangelo - Former Raptors, Suns GM: I know I don't like retread coaches, but I don't know how I'd feel about a retread GM.  Things didn't really work out for Colangelo in Toronto, but he does have a record of success from his time in Phoenix.  Much like Dumars, Colangelo's better days are well behind him.  Another negative, if Colangelo is hired, there is always a threat that he'll hire Mike D'Antoni.

Chris Grant - Former Cavs GM: Just kidding!

Bill Branch - Portland Blazers Assistant GM: As a huge Rich Cho fan (current CHA GM, former POR GM), I would love to see one of Cho's assistants take over the Pistons.  Branch has been a part of adding pieces like Wes Matthews and Damian Lillard to Portland's core.  He also was a part of the Blazers building an extremely deep bench this past offseason.  Branch hasn't been the one calling the shots necessarily, but if he's had a say in some of Portland's moves, he might be able to run the show in a different city.

The list above certainly isn't comprehensive, but it's a start on trying to identify who will be calling the shots this upcoming offseason.  I feel confident enough to say that Dumars won't be back. Let's just hope that his replacement is competent enough to not sign Kwame Brown.  Stay tuned for more Looking Ahead to Next Year, where a review on coaching candidates will take place, as well as an analysis on what kinds of roster changes might take place.  You can follow SixCD on Twitter, @Kevin6CD, and you can add your suggestion for the next GM, or list your least favorite Dumars move in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Didn't mean to delete the previous comment, still learning Blogger. I did miss the Rip extension, the Pistons' official transaction list didn't have it. As far as the Moose pick, it was a good move, just not the best possible one. Would be different if everybody knew PG would be this good. Thanks for reading!