Thursday, January 31, 2013

Did the Pistons make a good trade? This is what it depends upon

A couple things about the Pistons' three-way trade with Memphis and Toronto:
- Throw the sentimentality out of the equation. Pistons' president of basketball operations Joe Dumars made two glaring strategic mistakes re-signing Pistons' players from the "Going to Work" era to long-term deals. The worst was Richard Hamilton, but so was re-signing Tayahaun Prince. He just hasn't fit what they have been doing for quite awhile, although he may thrive on a contending team like the Grizzlies.
- Jose Calderon, is a good, solid NBA true point guard offensively, who is defensively challenged. He will help the Pistons make a playoff run. His expiring contract will help this summer, freeing cap space. He gives the Pistons more balance on the floor.
- Rudy Gay would have fit the Pistons' biggest need. They need a genuine, NBA-caliber, big-time scorer from the wing or 2-guard spot. But he wasn't having a very good season and his contract is huge. Time will tell if Toronto, which has had the same issues, got the player the Pistons should have sought.
Jose Calderon: Should help Pistons' balance on floor
- Despite their disappointing record, the Pistons have put some nice pieces in place. Andre Drummond is a tremendous addition, far better than could have been imagined, if he stays the course. His size-athleticism equation is off the charts, and he has adjusted surprisingly well to the tougher competition. Greg Monroe is a very good NBA player with inside moves, post-passing and persistence on the offensive boards. Brandon Knight will emerge as a quality combo guard, who will benefit the most from addition of Calderon in the short run. Kyle Singer is an excellent outside shooter, with respectable other aspects in regard to scoring, but who is limited in shot creation and defensively. A solid nucleus is there.
- Still missing: The pure scorer to go to when they need a basket late in a tight game. Not inside, so much, as someone who can take it to the rack from the wing or the top and score or draw a foul. The best teams have those players. The really good ones, have a couple of them. It's still the missing part for the Pistons. It was particularly glaring in a recent loss to Chicago, as the Pistons blew a huge lead, and just couldn't stop the bleeding by creating points outside their offensive sets.
But after a slow start, there is some progress being made despite back-to-back disastrous games.
- The Pistons are 5 1-2 games out of playoff spot with 36 remaining. It would benefit their young players to win and taste a playoff series more than just living on the hope Pistons' stink and luck into a first overall draft pick. Calderon will help in that cause. At minimum, the deal provides flexibility for the future and the Pistons could have a bright one if they play their cards right.


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