Monday, June 2, 2014

Pistons Hire Jeff Bower as GM

Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier today that the Pistons have reached an agreement with Marist College head coach Jeff Bower to become the team's GM.  Bower has previous NBA front office experience from two stints with the New Orleans Hornets, most recently from 2005 to 2010.  Wojnarowski says he's "well respected among front-office peers and player agents in the NBA", which hopefully will prove useful in luring quality talent to Detroit through all three major avenues.  He will begin work immediately prepping for the draft and free agency. Bower has a wide variety of experience in basketball, reaching back to his first job as an assistant coach at Penn State in the 1980s.  From there Bower spent nine years as an assistant at Marist before moving into and up through the New Orleans franchise.  He spent 15 years with the Hornets from 1995 to 2010 in roles such as scout, GM and even head coach for a brief stint.  If nothing else, Bower brings a world of knowledge and experience with him to Detroit.

Here's a list showing some of (not comprehensive) Bower's more notable moves when he was running the Hornets, via RealGM:
  • 2005: Traded Baron Davis to Golden State for Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis
  • 2005: Drafted Chris Paul (4th), Brandon Bass (33rd)
  • 2006: Drafted Hilton Armstrong (12th), Cedric Simmons (15th), Marcus Vinicius (43rd)
  • 2006: Acquired Peja Stojakovic (5y, $64M) in a sign-and-trade for Andrew Betts
  • 2006: Acquired Tyson Chandler in a three team deal for Kirk Snyder, J.R. Smith and P.J. Brown
  • 2007: Drafted Julian Wright (13th), Adam Haluska (43rd)
  • 2007: Signed Morris Peterson to a 4y, $23M deal
  • 2008: Acquired Mike James and Bonzi Wells in a three team deal for Bobby Jackson, Adam Haluska and Marcus Vinicius
  • 2008: Drafted Darrell Arthur (27th), traded Arthur to Portland for cash
  • 2009: Traded Tyson Chandler to OKC for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox; trade was then voided by the NBA
  • 2009: Drafted Darren Collison (21st), traded for the rights to Marcus Thornton
  • 2009: Traded Tyson Chandler to Charlotte for Emeka Okafor
There are some good moves on the list, no doubt about that.  He deserves some amount of credit for taking Chris Paul, acquiring Peja Stojakovic and Tyson Chandler and for making some solid picks in landing Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton.  Beyond that, however, are a lot of uninspiring deals.  The 2006 Draft generally stunk, but he didn't do anything of note by taking two players who struggled to stay in the NBA for more than a handful of years.  Same goes for his pick of Julian Wright in 2007.  Along with these mediocre picks are a decent amount of minor trades that didn't pan out.  Bower's transaction history, to me, shows a guy who's merely average at evaluating talent.  Bower's teams, bolstered by the play of Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler still only managed two winning seasons in six attempts, the best of which was the '07-'08 campaign that saw Bower finish 3rd in Executive of the Year voting and the Hornets lose in the second round of the playoffs.  Despite never being able to break through in New Orleans, I think Bower is certainly going to be a step up from Joe Dumars, and working alongside SVG should help to create positive results.

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