Tag:Tayshaun Prince
Posted on: December 17, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Pistons re-sign Rodney Stuckey

By Matt Moore

The Pistons don't seem to quite know where to go with themselves. They continue to draft young quality players like Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye, and Brandon Knight, who showed a much-improved skill-set on Friday night in a preseason tilt against the Cavaliers. And at the same time they keep giving long-term contracts to veteran players. They re-signed Tayshaun Prince to 4-years, $27 million. And on Saturday, they re-signed Rodney Stuckey to a three-year, $25 million deal via Yahoo Sports

Stuckey posted an 18 PER last season, posting career numbers in multiple categories. He's only 25 and is entering his prime. Then again, he was also part of the tumultous locker room for Detroit last year, siding with Rip Hamilton and the veterans he's played alongside for the duration of his career against John Kuester, according to reports. Kuester was clearly a problem, but Stuckey was part of the drama last year. 

Outside of last season, however, there haven't been reports of trouble with Stuckey being coachable. The bigger concern is the logjam it creates in the backcourt for the Pistons. Brandon Knight looked very much like an actual point guard against the Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving. Will Bynum has been a consistent change-of-pace guard. And Ben Gordon has too much money invested to bury. So where does Stuckey fit in? He can play starting two-guard, but is a ball-handler. 

It's just odd that with a solid core of young players, the Pistons seem intent on simultaneously going forward with veteran talent and building through the draft. The lack of direction in Detroit continues to perplex, but with Lawrence Frank, maybe the results will change.  
Posted on: December 17, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 6:48 pm
 

2011 NBA Free Agency Winners and Losers



By Matt Moore


All the big names have landed, and while there are still a handful of guys working out where they'll be playing in 2011-2012, we have a pretty clear image of how free agency worked out this year. So to give you a recap on how teams managed to do, here are your winners and losers for NBA free agency.

Winners

New York Knicks: It takes a lot for them to get a winning status when they picked up Mike Bibby and re-signed Jared Jeffries. Tyson Chandler is a lot. Chandler gives them exactly what they need at center, for a reasonable price considering he's coming off winning the Finals as a difference maker starter and compliments Amar'e Stoudemire well. This could wind up as a disaster, but for pursuing defense over offense and size over speed, they get into the winner's circle.

Los Angeles Clippers: Two days ago I would have planted the Clippers in the losers circle with a dunce cap. $24 million for Caron Butler over three years? DeAndre Jordan for a ridiculous price? Are they stoned in Clipperland? Chauncey Billups who may or may not hate the ground you walk on for denying him free agency? But then they landed Chris Paul. And you go "Oooooooh" like you just figured out that they got off the island and it's a flash-forward not a flash-back. Shooters to go with Paul, veteran defenders to go with Paul, and the big man to provide long-term support for Griffin. The Clippers avoided disaster by getting CP3. But funny how that makes everything seem better.

Miami Heat: Eddy Curry already looks like a waste (has had conditioning issues already). Mario Chambers is a divisive point guard, but he's good enough to start for a team with no cap space. Landing Shane Battier, though, genius. Battier is going to miss threes like all Heat spot-up shooters do. But he's going to make their defensive rotations even better, their team chemistry even better, their basketball IQ even higher. He's worth the money and a win for them.

Indiana Pacers: We were all convinced the Pacers were going to splash onto the scene and overpay for a big man in such a way as to cripple the franchise. Instead, they got David West on a low eight-figures, 2-year deal that guarantees if his knees or production go, they have options and are not stuck. They re-signed Jeff Foster to give them another center, and they were prudent with not re-signing Josh McRoberts for more than he was worth. Good upgrade for them.

Phoenix Suns: Shannnon Brown is a great fit for the system, and they managed to convince Grant Hill to return. Brown in the run-and-gun system under Gentry should excel with Aaron Brooks stuck in China. Hill still played brilliantly last season and staying in Phoenix means he stays with that training staff which has extended his career after one filled with injury issues. The Suns didn't make any significant step forward, but in terms of just making good value signings, they did as well as most. 

Mid-level centers: Kwame Brown got one-year, $7 million. DeAndre Jordan made out like a bandit. Marc Gasol walked away with more money than Kendrick Perkins and Nene (though Gasol is arguably the best free agent in this class, just without the name value). It's a league short on legitimate star centers, and while the biggest free agent center names (Chandler, Nene, Greg Oden) did not land monstrous deals, the mid-level centers available rose up to meet in the middle of the band. Good year to get paid. 

Losers

Boston Celtics: They had David West stolen out from under them in the midst of the Chris Paul debacle. They re-signed Marquis Daniels which isn't bad but isn't great. They traded Glenn Davis in a sign-and-trade for Brandon Bass which is pretty good but doesn't address most of their concerns. They gave Jeff Green a big one-year deal after which it was discovered he will miss the entire season after surgery when a heart condition was revealed after a stress test. Their bench is unbearably thin with starters that can't log big minutes. No, it was not a good few weeks for the Celtics.

Orlando Magic: Giving Jason Richardson and Glen Davis mid-size contracts is not the way to keep Dwight Howard, I don't care how good a friend he is with them. The Magic sacrificed their future, which is going to become very important to them in the next six months, in order to try and make another run with the same team that didn't succeed last year, plus Davis who is a big who doesn't help their issues in rebounding and has conditioning issues. Re-signing Earl Clark doesn't make a big enough impact to matter.

Detroit Pistons: Re-signing Tayshaun Price at that price makes no sense whatsover, especially not for four years. They need to be looking to the future. I understand the desire to reward Prince for his time and send him off in Detroit white, but this team has questions it has to answer quickly, and Prince gets in the way of development for Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko. Rodney Stuckey's re-signing gets in the way of Brandon Knight's development and continues his very mixed-results stay in the Motor City. 

Dallas Mavericks: Maybe 2012 will make up for it. But if we're just judging the Mavericks on what they gave up and what they got back, this wasn't a good offseason. Even outside of the trades which brought in a quality player and sent two out, Dallas lost its starting center and part-time starting two-guard in agency, without really bringing in anyone. They're deep enough to survive it but this was a team that would have been considered favorites had they brought back the gang. As it is, there are questions about the Mavericks this season and beyond.

New Orleans Hornets: Setting aside losing Chris Paul in trade and impending free agency, the Hornets re-signed Carl Landry for a high one-year deal and brought back Jason Smith for three years. The deals are cheap. It's not a bad set of deals. But it's still a little perplexing considering the overwhelming need for this team to tank in order to ensure a top five pick to go with  

Arron Afflalo: Afflalo hasn't signed yet, which isn't a problem but the fact that no team was willing to bother with making him an offer knowing the Nuggets would match means he may not sign for as much as he could have. Bear in mind DeAndre Jordan is a less established player than Afflalo and was helped by the Warriors' attempt to free him from Los Angeles. Afflalo could have likely wound up with top dollar as an unrestricted free agent. Denver may wind up as the best thing for his career, though.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 2:30 pm
 

Pistons lock up Tayshaun Prince for 4 years

Posted by Ben Gollivertayshaun-prince

The Detroit Pistons have found their man. And he's a familiar one.

Yahoo Sports and ESPN.com reports that the Pistons have re-signed free agent forward Tayshaun Prince to a 4-year deal worth $27 million. Prince was drafted by Detroit in 2002 and has played his entire career for the Pistons, helping the team to the 2004 NBA title.

This is a deal the Pistons made with their hearts rather than their heads and it's one they will surely live to regret. Prince's production has been steady for the last seven years at the 14-point 4-rebound, 3-assist level but at 31-years-old he's headed for decline sooner or later. The deal keeps him under contract at far more than Mid-Level money until he's 35 and that's not a spot you want to be with anyone who isn't a star player.

They've used multiple draft picks in recent years to fill out their wings -- Austin Daye, Kyle Singler -- but have so far not bitten the bullet and gone ahead with the full-scale rebuilding movement. Instead, cap killer Charlie Villanueva remains and aging guard Richard Hamilton, who repeatedly clashed with head coach John Kuester last season, hasn't been dealt.

This wasn't quite a panic signing but it wasn't the most thoughtful long-term play either. The Pistons concluded that with Singler preoccupied in Europe after signing with Real Madrid, with free agent wing Tracy McGrady reportedly heading to the Atlanta Hawks and with only a truly few reliable roster pieces in place -- Greg Monroe and guard Ben Gordon -- the idea of losing Prince was worse than the idea of over-paying him. Prince would theoretically retain trade value for contenders looking for a reserve piece as this contract plays out but the salary number is going to give a lot of teams pause when there are younger, better players available at the Mid-Level. Let's not gloss over the fact that Prince wasn't the biggest locker room peach last year, either.

The good news is that Prince, a Motor City mainstay, may very well retire as a Piston. He's sure to have his jersey lofted to the rafters and that's worth something. Still, the Pistons remain in the one place in the NBA you don't want to be: locked in to long-term salary commitments to non-stars while lacking both the talent to win now and a bona-fide future star to build around.

Letting Prince walk and pursuing with a slash-and-burn rebuilding effort would have been the better play.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 5:52 pm
 

The Top 40 Players in NBA Free Agency

Posted by EOB Staff

When free agency starts there's a relatively lackluster class to choose from. Nevertheless, here are the top 40 players available in unrestricted or restricted free agency now that they tentatively have this sorted out.

Rankings are based on overall value, factoring in production, age, potential, star power, interest and market value. For the full list of free agents this offseason, check out our tracker

1. Nene, C: You're looking at a cornerstone piece in Nene, which means someone's got to pay cornerstone money. He's just now hitting his prime at 29 years old and as the second half of last season proved, he's top guy material. The Nuggets are definitely looking to put pretty much all of their eggs in Nene's basket, but there could be another big spender that tries to swoop in and grab him. He's a prize and someone that can be a building piece for the next four or five years. 

2. Marc Gasol, C:
The perfect combination of factors lead Gasol to our No. 2 spot. Talent, capitalizing on a stellar playoff run, centersmarc-gasol being at such a premium in the league and Gasol's age of 26. There are bigger names on this list, but no one is as valuable as Gasol. His restricted free agency status only drives his value farther, as a front-loaded contract is the only thing that might push the Grizzlies off matching an offer.

3. David West, F: Were West not coming off of a significant injury at 31 years old, he'd likely be in the top spot on this list. A former All-Star with excellent mid-range skills and a heap of attitude, West opted out and enter free agency, presumably to attempt to get a front-loaded contract before any CBA restrictions drive down his long-term value. He'll have bidders if the Hornets don't quickly recapture him once free agency begins.

4. Tyson Chandler, C: Hitting free agency just after being the starting center and a key factor for a championship team -- talk about great timing. Chandler is a lock to return to Dallas as there's no way Cuban lets the guy who validated all that work escape. But Chandler's going to have whatever offer he wants. Which is stunning for a guy who can't contribute much offensively outside of the lob. But that's the difference a ring makes.

5. Jason Richardson, SG: Richardson's age is kind of a concern here; he'll be 31 next season. But he's the best overall offensive weapon and has a few more years of contribution left in him and is the kind of veteran that teams look for. Orlando may be looking to make room for a bigger trade, so Richardson could fetch offers on the market. But if teams have learned anything from the Joe Johnson valuation, they'll keep it within reason.

6. Thaddeus Young, PF: It's really hard to imagine Philadelphia letting one of its very best young options get away, but Young has become one of the most lethal bench weapons in the game. He can realistically play three positions and is one of the game's most versatile players. He became a legit Sixth Man of the Year candidate and as he matures -- he's still just 23 -- he could become one of the 76ers prized future pieces, making him a valuable asset.

7. J.R. Smith, SG: Unstable? Probably. Unreliable? Possibly injured? He may be all of these things. But Smith's a scorer whose not on the downslide of his career. A sixth-man scorer with guts. Think Ben Gordon a few years ago with a worse attitude.

8. Glen Davis, PF: "Big Baby" has a championship ring and has shown he can contribute to a winner. The only thing keeping him lower on this list is a disappointing playoff run after a tremendous season; 14 points and 7 rebounds per 36 with great defense and the ability to take charges will get him the rest of the way.

9. DeAndre Jordan, C: In a normal year, Jordan's the top of the B rankings. This year, he's the seventh-best available player considering value. Jordan had a tremendous year for the Clippers and is nearly a lock to be re-signed by the Clippers. Then again, it's the Clippers. Jordan averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 last season but more importantly started to show understanding of defensive rotations, which makes it much tougher to turn away from him.

10. Grant Hill, SF: Anyone else think Hill's career is going in reverse? If Hill doesn't want to return to Phoenix, there will be contenders left and right vying for his services.

11. Tayshaun Prince, SF: Part of the worst locker-room environment in the league last year, Prince should have a higher value, even at 31. He's still capable of excellent defense and averaged 14 points on 47-percent shooting last season. Seeing him in another jersey would be bizarre, but after last season's hijinx, it's a coin flip.

12. Wilson Chandler, SF: Chandler's a young and versatile player. Denver is unlikely to re-sign him considering their need to get Nene back in house and they have Galinari and drafted Jordan Hamilton. Chandler has been rumored to be interested in a return to the Knicks, if they've got the scratch to pay him.

13. Jeff Green, SF/PF: This one is mostly on account of his market value. Green is not a good rebounder. He can't really take over offensively, and he's not a great defender. But Danny Ainge thinks he's the bee's knees and will overpay to keep him, plus he could theoretically develop any of the aforementioned skills. This one caused some debate among our crew in developing these rankings.

14. Jamal Crawford, SG: Crawford made it public knowledge that he wanted a big extension last year, but the Hawks declined to oblige him. Crawford is 31, and his numbers took a dive last season (42 percent FG percentage, 14 points per game down from 18). But he's likely to still pull offers based on star power. The question will be whether it comes close to matching what Crawford thinks he's worth. His playoff heroics should help matters on that front.

15. J.J. Barea, SG: Barea's stock could not be higher coming off the Mavs' championship win. He answered every question about himself and showed the ability to compete at the highest level. He won't dictate a huge asking price due to his diminutive size, but for a role player, he'll collect a tremendous amount of interest, though like Chandler, it's certain Cuban will re-sign him.

16. Caron Butler, SF: So many Mavericks, such a poor free-agency class to drive up their value. Butler's over 30, coming back from injury, and has been on the slide for quite a while. Still, veteran defender who can shoot (or at least can have a few hot shooting nights) is going to get offers. Cuban will likely re-sign Butler in a wave of goodwill on his championship high.

17. Aaron Brooks, PG: The best point guard in the free agent class. How depressing is that? Brooks is a high-usage, low-assist-rate pointaaron-brooks-suns guard who's undersized. And yet because of his work in Houston before getting shuffled off to make room for Kyle Lowry, Brooks is rumored to be on the radar for Sacramento among others, but as a restricted free agent, the offer will have to be significant for Phoenix not to match.

18. Marcus Thornton, SG: Guys who can drop 40 in a night are rare in this league. "Buckets" has that ability coming off his rookie contract. Yes, his shot selection needs work, and he's undersized for a two-guard, but he's scrappy, hustles and can hit big shots. Thornton should be high on every team's list if the Kings elect to let him slide after adding Salmons and Jimmer.

19. Arron Afflalo, SG: A 26-year-old guard with great athleticism who shot 50 percent from the field last season coming off his rookie contract? Afflalo could be a steal if the Nuggets decide not to match for some reason. Odds are that he's headed back to Denver, though.

20. Samuel Dalembert, C: Dalembert played surprisingly well last season for Sacramento. But he's an aging center with injury questions who has never contributed much offensively. So why is he top-20? Seriously. NBA centers. Not good right now.

21. Carl Landry, PF: A below-average rebounder who learned to work well with Chris Paul (who doesn't) late last season. Landry didn't gather a huge contract last time he was in free agency and will probably not draw much this time. Still, he's a reliable power forward who's great defensively even if his defensive rebounding is a significant letdown.

22. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG: A combo guard's combo guard, Stuckey may have outstayed his welcome in Detroit, even in restricted free agency. Teams looking for quality guard play could definitely look to Stuckey who may have some improvement left in him at 25.

23. Kris Humphries, PF: The Incredible Hump is looking to cash in after averaging a double-double, finding himself in the Most Improved Player discussion and locking down a Kardashian last season. The Nets have expressed interest in David West but will be very motivated to retain Humphries if that chase doesn’t work out.

24. Shane Battier, SF: After taking part in a miracle run past the San Antonio Spurs, it would be heartbreaking to watch Battier and the Memphis Grizzlies part ways. At the same time, Battier has reached the “latch on with a contender as a very valuable role player” stage of his career. Would be a huge get for a team looking for an experienced, gritty wing defender.

25. Mario Chalmers, PG: Chalmers got buried behind Mike Bibby for no apparent reason by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra but, nevertheless, made a solid name for himself by being the most capable and consistent member of the Big 3 support staff. He enters free agency as a young talent with upside if given more minutes, but the Heat, without another point-guard option, will likely do what it takes to keep him.

26. Nick Young, SG: When given the opportunity after Gilbert Arenas was dealt, Young became quite the scorer, finishing up at better than 17 points per game. He was a bit trigger happy however and one has to wonder how he'd fit in a more traditional offense. He's not a go-to scorer but will make a nice bench option or even second or third starting scorer for someone. But that's the thing: He has to realize that.

27. Luc Mbah a Moute, SF: It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for the Bucks to retain him. Even though the Stephen Jackson trade muddles up the available minutes on Milwaukee’s wings, a low-cost, quality defender is worth keeping around.

28. Jeff Foster, C: Life isn’t very complicated for Foster. He’s a lunch-pail worker who does the dirty work and not much else. He’s getting up there in years but always seems to find a niche. Indiana’s frontcourt is fairly shallow aside from Roy Hibbert, so if the Pacers strike out in their attempts to get bigger fish in free agency, Foster could be a good fallback option.

29. Jonas Jerebko, SF: A tough-minded wing who has been lost because of injury and the coach-killing mess left by his higher-profile teammates. President Joe Dumars is preaching a fresh start after Thursday’s draft, and it makes sense that Jerebko, a fresh-faced worker, would be a part of that.

30. Andrei Kirilenko, SF: The Utah Jazz are finally freed from one of the ugliest contracts in recent memory. Where will AK land and at what price? Very difficult to say. He’s a quirky guy who brings loads of versatility and should have some miles left. If a contender throws its mid-level at him, that could get real interesting.

31. Marco Belinelli, SG: The Hornets have concerns than Belinelli. Namely, David West. Belinelli's future is uncertain, although his shooting is a clear role player asset that should draw interest, if not big dollars.

32. Kwame Brown, C: The only other big man Charlotte has on its roster is DeSagana Diop, so if Brown leaves in free agency, there will be a gaping hole in the middle. That will be a sure sign that the Bobcats are truly committed to a full-scale rebuild. Once a punchline, Brown has emerged as a serviceable defender.

33. Greg Oden, C: One less knee surgery and Oden's probably a top 15 free agent on this list. Two less and he'd be top five. Butgreg-oden then, that's another universe, and the reality is that Oden is too much of an injury risk to devote money to. For all the promise born in his frame, there's a desperately terrible injury to go with it. At some point there's only so much damage you can do before you're relegated to lemon status until you prove you can stay on the floor.

34. Marquis Daniels, G/F: Daniels wasn't a terrific player but a pretty good one. But he's coming back from a gruesome injury, and that's going to raise red flags.

35. DeShawn Stevenson, G/F: The only Maverick free agent not in the top 20. Stevenson did a fantastic job in the Finals, but the "Ariza effect" is something to be wary of. A strong playoff run does not make up for an overall career of questionable production. Still, Stevenson could be a value pick up for another team... or they could overspend dramatically, blinded by the shine of his championship ring.

36. Earl Clark, F: This one caused some consternation within the committee for where to put Clark. Athletic, low production, warned off in the draft, cast off by Phoenix, produced marginally for Orlando with some intriguing potential. But Clark is young, healthy and can be had for cheap. This is a value slot.

37. Tracy McGrady, F: McGrady actually wasn't bad last year for the Pistons. I mean, the Pistons were bad last year for the Pistons, but still. McGrady isn't going to be a difference-maker, but he can contribute some points, assists and rebounds every now and then to finish out his career. Provided he stays healthy. You can file that under "Famous last words."

38. Josh McRoberts, PF: McBob was surprisingly productive for the Pacers last season, and in a league where big men are overvalued, he'll find a spot.

39. Kenyon Martin, PF: There are dozens of reasons not to sign Martin. But if you need someone with experience to bring a metric ton of attitude to your team, Martin's as good a pickup as any. Remember when this guy was part of a Finals squad?

40. Yi Jianlian, PF: An unrealized offensive talent, Yi still seems like he should be every bit the player of an Andrea Bargnani. Yi's not a strong defender or rebounder, but at seven feet with touch to the 3-point line and just 23 years old, he's going to be worth a contract to see if he can sniff a little of that lottery potential.



Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:49 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 5:22 pm
 

The Pistons have their guy... whoever that is

Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:
With top prospects in New York Thursday for media and service responsibilities, a person familiar with the draft discussions said the Pistons appear to have zeroed in on Texas small forward Tristan Thompson with the eighth pick. Thompson canceled other scheduled workouts after working out for the Pistons with five other players Wednesday.
via Draft buzz: Nash, Smoove, and more - CBSSports.com.

There have also been reports that Kawhi Leonard has canceled his workouts after meeting with Detroit. Throw Marcus Morris and now Markieff Morris on that list as well.  Now, Leonard was expected to go top six regardless, but it's interesting that so many players are certain Detroit's going to take them if available. 

The quandary for the Pistons is a complex one. They clearly need to go in a younger direction, ditching the older talent they have. But they can't really upgrade in positions they need to because of how those players have killed their value. Greg Monroe is a huge part of the future. Austin Daye presumably is, but he played most of his minutes at small forward. Jonas Jerebko is also part of that future, but he split time between the 3 and the 4. So if they draft a power forward like Marcus Morris or Tristan Thompson, Jerebko likely moves to the 3 and Daye is then benched, and that's before you get to the issue of Tayshaun Prince and whether to bring him back. If they go with Kawhi Leonard (if available) Jerebko stays at 4 and Daye, again, remains on the bench and they still have the Tayshaun Prince problem. And they still have to settle what they're going to do at the 2 with Rip Hamilton needing a trade more than anyone in the league and the question of whether to retain Rodney Stuckey

It's a mess the Pistons have gotten themselves into, and it appears one they're prepared to compound.
Posted on: February 26, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 3:26 am
 

Rip Hamilton's messed up situation

The Pistons are imploding and at the center of it all is Rip Hamilton as reports continue to fly about the meltdown in Motor City. Yes, that is the best lede we could come up with.

Posted by Matt Moore


Following Ken Berger's report of the Pistons' decision to fine Chris Wilcox and Rip Hamilton, and not to fire John Kuester for the moment, we're starting to get a picture of a strangely torn and bizarre locker room, with Rip Hamilton at the center of it. Here's what we know, or at least, what we think we know. Bear with us, because at this point trying to figure out the Pistons is like spelunking in a sewer: 


  • Berger confirms a Yahoo! report that in January, Hamilton went on an "explitive-filled diatribe" in front of the locker room, alleging Kuester had done nothing in his time in Detroit, and that he was nothing more than a career assistant coach. Now, Yahoo! makes a leap and says that the younger players were shocked by the tirade.  Except that Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye probably fit in that model of young players and yet they were part of Hamilton's "cabal" or whatever you want to call it. In reality, it appears immensely more likely that the locker room was surprised at Hamilton going off, but agreed. 
  • If true, it certainly paints Hamilton in a clear light as the source of all this discontent. His tirade led to his benching, he's refused to communicate with his coach or GM, and now this boycott/protest/whatever it was. If Hamilton was offered an out and turned it down because of the $9 million.  Now, $9 million is a lot of money. But when you factor in the contract money he'd pull from another contender, the playoff revenue he'd pull in, and future earnings, the payoff may not make up the $9 million, but it makes it nearly negligible. It doesn't change the fact that the Pistons agreed to pay Hamilton the remaining $25 million when he signed the latest contract with them.  But it removes Hamilton's ground to stand on, since the Pistons have offered him a reasonable way out, especially considering their financial and ownership situation.  Instead, Hamilton seems to be waging a players' revolt against the organization to undermine the coach, regardless of whether ownership can afford to fire Kuester in this situation or not. 
  • Making it even more complicated is part of the ESPN report which claims that an earlier boycott was planned prior to All-Star weekend, but after management assurances Kuester would be fired over the weekend, they backed down. Until Friday. 

So now Hamilton is still trying to work a buyout, which Berger terms as "unlikely" while the Pistons are in complete disarray, the coaching staff has no control over its players, management can't make decisions because of an ownership situation in flux, and ownership can't get out fast enough, requesting an extension from the league to finally get the team passed to new ownership. 

Things are bad in Cleveland. They're bad in Sacramento. They're bad in New Orleans.

You could argue they're worse in Detroit. 

Posted on: February 26, 2011 1:25 am
Edited on: February 26, 2011 1:55 am
 

The Pistons should be declared a disaster zone

Posted by Matt Moore

This is it. This is rock bottom. It cannot get worse than this, right? Doesn't matter if they're winning or losing, this is the very bottom of the professionalism barrel.  There are ruins, there is rubble, and there's the Detroit Pistons

Hours after four veteran players staged a protest sleep-in , and were summarily benched, things hit a new low. First, Kuester was ejected in the Pistons' loss to the Sixers in Philadelphia tonight. And the players responded as you'd expect professionals to. By laughing. 




Ugh. 

To top it off, Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press is reporting that before the All-Star break, the players walked to the shower postgame while Kuester was talking. Double ugh. 

Okay, long story, short story. 

Short story: The only victims here are the fans of the Pistons, who don't deserve this. Any of it. 

Long story: Kuester has been losing his players for a year and a half.  There have been clashes since the beginning, along with losses piling up. The biggest questions surround Rip Hamilton and his benching this season. On the outside it appears like Hamilton is just a petulant player struggling to accept he's no longer the star he once was. But combined with all the other stories of unrest, it certainly seemed like there was a pattern to suggest that Kuester was at least partially responsible for the chemistry problems.

But this?

It's unproffessional. To a ridiculous degree. You're not happy? Fine. Voice it to management. Or the press. Or on Twitter.  But don't stoop to what you consider to be his level by resorting to childish, immature behavior that will follow you wherever you look to go for the short remainders of your careers.  It's inexcusable, and the Pistons need to suspend and/or fine the players for their behavior. Regardless of what they decide to do with Kuester, the players have to be held accountable, because you can't run a team like this. 

But. 

To make John Kuester into a victim here is to deny a pattern of unrest among the players and a disturbing deviation from the norm. There are those that stipulate it was Tayshaun and Rip's attitudes that helped lead to all the coaching turnover of the past seven years. But there's a huge gap between being difficult, and veteran guys who at the very least were known as hard workers. To not come to work is the nuclear option. To engage in this kind of behavior goes above and beyond desperate measures. The Pistons are only six games out of the playoffs, but they're also 18-29 (yes, the middle of the East is still terrible), and there have been multiple questionable moves by Kuester. 

Consider it this way.  If you're an executive, and employees who have helped your company for close to a decade all of a sudden start engaging in completely inappropriate behavior in response to their manager, you're going to punish them.  You can't just let the example stand that it's okay not to respect the company and it's management. But at the same time, you're definitely going to want to examine the manager to see why it is his employees are the ones behaving in this manner. You have to look at the whole picture while reacting responsibly. 

But at the heart of this? This is on Joe Dumars. He didn't move Rip Hamilton last year when he still had trade value despite the acquisition of Ben Gordon. He didn't move Tayshaun Prince despite his trade value. And he was completely silent at the deadline, despite needing to make moves badly. Maybe it's the ownership situation, still in flux. But the situation is untenable. One way or another, Dumars has to step in now. 

It's not just time. It's past time.

We'll see what's left of the Pistons when all of this is over. Though we do support John Schuhmann of NBA.com's idea for Elizabeth Shue from "Adventures in Babysitting" to step in.
Posted on: February 25, 2011 2:40 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Pistons skip shootaround to protest coach Kuester

Five members of the Detroit Pistons skipped shootaround on Friday. Posted by Ben Golliver. rip-hamilton

The Detroit Pistons have been a disaster all season, and after the organization failed to move any of its disgruntled veterans prior to Thursday's trade deadline, five players staged a "protest" by skipping practice on Friday, according to the Detroit News.
Tracy McGrady, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Chris Wilcox did not show up to Friday's morning shootaround. Ben Wallace also wasn't present, but has been dealing with an ongoing family matter for the past several weeks.
The players have not been happy with their coach, seemingly all season, for the way he communicates, among other reasons they've given.
A team's spokesperson provided (suspicious) medical excuses for McGrady and Prince, but had no explanation for why Wilcox and Hamilton missed shootaround. Additionally, Austin Daye and Rodney Stuckey showed up late, according to the paper.

Detroit's coach, John Kuester, has had his fair share of battles this season. Hamilton said he was "offended" by how Kuester handled his minutes while Prince said his moves were "buffoonery." He's clearly not cut out for managing this drama.

But even if your coach is terrible and in way over his head, there is no excuse for simply deciding not to show up to work. Certainly Pistons president Joe Dumars will need to discipline those who protested, unless he's joined his players and his fanbase by being past the point of caring anymore.

The Pistons, or whichever portion of the Pistons decides to show up, face off against the Philadelphia 76ers at 7 PM Friday night.
 
 
 
 
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