Well, I'll have to admit that I have been a bad fan. I have not watched a Pistons game since their last win; and since they are on a 9 game losing streak, that has been a while. No, it is not because I am a bandwagon fan and I'm abandoning them for thier poor play. It was the Holidays, and with the kids out of school, the wife with time off, relatives visiting, and going to visit relatives I just haven't seen them. I hate excuses, and it is a poor excuse for a real fan; I should have found a way to see them so I could pass on analysis as I usually do. But like the Lions and UM have already shown me, it is easy to just not make the effort when the team is playing poorly. I appologize for my failing as a fan and resolve to do better in the new year.
Since I haven't seen the games it is hard for me to say what it is that is going wrong. I had been watching a shorthanded team that was surviving on hustle and teamwork which I expected t get better as their best players returned from injuries. What I've seen in the box scores is that at full strength this team isn't even competing, losing badly to some bad teams. I know Charlie Villanueva, though playing, isn't at full strength, and that kills any inside scoring which the Pistons desperately need. It also looks like Stuckey has been trying to do it all himself; while his scoring numbers have climbed his assists have dipped, and since the Pistons usually win with team play this doesn't bode well (though when other guys fail to score he's got to do something). I don't know what Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon, and Will Bynum have been doing since their return, but clearly it is something that is not good enough. In my hiatus they have gone from potentially challenging for the 5 spot in the playoffs to potentially challenging for the 1 spot in the lottery. The wheels simply came off in the second half of December, hopefully the New Year will bring a renewed fire.
So now we are into the sacred year of the 2010 free agents. I have posted before and will state again that I think very few of the big names teams are hunting will actually make it to free agency. It is just too much to lose for the teams holding them; I expect to hear a lot of trade talk and see a lot of player movement with an icreased frenzy as we approach the trade deadline on February 18th. Now, if any team needs to make a move it is the Detroit Pistons. I don't expect them to really make a splash for any of the big name 2010 guys; with the signing of CV and BG over last summer it fills the spots that Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudamire, Carlos Boozer, and Dwayne Wade would take and drafting 3 guys who play SF in addition to still having Prince fill LeBron James spot on the floor. Not that any of these guys wouldn't improve the Pistons, it is just that Joe Dumars made his moves at these spots last summer, choosing not to place all his stock on the limited chance of getting one of the few 2010 guys and tying up a huge chunck of change in one guy (though he dropped a bunch of Gordon). Also, the one glaring hole for the Pistons is a true center who can play both ends of the floor, and there aren't any in the 2010 class of free agents. However, there are some guys that I would like to see Joe Dumars make a move for and whether it is a straight trade or multiple team deal with some of the 2010 guys I think it will be possible to do something with all the movement that will start happening soon. Joe Dumars has some trading pieces that may be of value to some in RIP and Prince, in addition to young guys at the SF, Will Bynum, and draft picks.
My first choice to try and get is Michigan native Chris Kaman. This guy simply goes to work and gets it done quietly on both ends of the floor. I think he would be a perfect fit for the Pistons and he still maitains a residence here so I don't think moving from LA would be an issue for him. The problem is he is producing so well for the Clippers, who have a lot of talent and not a lot of need for what the Pistons have to offer. The other option with the Clippers would be DeAndre Jordan if Joe D wanted to continue a youth movement; he would be cheaper and likely easier to get and has potential, but is still a big question mark and a project. I think Emeka Okafor would be a nice fit for the Pistons also. A trade for Prince and Kwame for Emeka and Posey work money-wise and would give the Hornets a SF and contracts that expire sooner than the ones they hold, but leaves them with a laughable center rotation. The only other guys I have on the list are on the Washington Wizards: Brendon Haywood and JaVale McGee. I think Haywood could be a solid double double guy on the Pistons, though he is getting up there in years, and McGee is another unkown project guy. The Wizards pose the same issue as the Clippers though, they don't really need what the Pistons have to offer. I wouldn't mind going after Marcin Gortat as he is good enough to start and would put up nice numbers given starters minutes, but the Magic showed how much they value him by resigning him and a straight trade is hard to get the money to work, but maybe a multiple team deal could be found. Of course Roy Hibbert or Andrew Bogut would be nice too, but I think they are in their team's long term plans and aren't going anywhere. Lastly, Joe could just hold, have a second year like last year and take a shot at a center in the draft; there are likely to be more and better big men than there were last year and at this point it looks like the Pistons would draft high in this scenario to get their pick of players. I don't like this option as the lottery is all based on promise which some fullfill and others never do and it takes a while to truely develop a big man. I'd rather go after DeAndre Jordan or JaVale McGee who have a little experience and have shown they can play some and work on developing them since I'm not sure anyone in college is a sure fire NBA center at this point.