Motor City Mediocrity

08.01.10 8 years ago 39 Comments

Is there a more irrelevant NBA franchise right now than the Detroit Pistons? They’ve got no clearly identifiable franchise star — it might be Rip Hamilton, might be Rodney Stuckey, and neither is exactly having his jersey fly off the NBA Store shelves — and probably the most anonymous coach in the League. They finished way out of the East playoffs in 2010, and haven’t done anything to make anyone believe they’ll avoid the Lottery in 2011. They used their Lottery pick on a talented yet Duncan-ish personality in Greg Monroe, last summer’s two big free-agent signings were disappointments, and their only two free-agent moves this summer were re-signing a backup point guard and a 57-year-old center. The Pistons might have to move to Vegas just to remind people they’re in the NBA … And short of Monroe becoming a star right away, it doesn’t look too good for Detroit getting much better in the near future. Rip, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva are eating a big chunk of the salary cap through at least 2013, however Tayshaun Prince‘s $11 million comes off the cap next summer. In an ideal world, Joe Dumars would have enough money to make a run at Carmelo Anthony and right the wrongs of the ’03 Draft … Pretty safe bet the Pistons won’t be included in Tuesday’s announcements of the NBA’s Christmas Day and Opening Night schedules. What matchups do you want to see? We’re guessing Lakers/Heat gets the Christmas main event, and either Heat/Celtics or Celtics/Magic is one of the Opening Night games. The Lakers will of course be involved Opening Night to get their championship rings. They’ll probably play Oklahoma City, the Clippers (Blake Griffin‘s debut) or Houston (Yao Ming‘s return) … Rudy Fernandez is still hoping to be traded, and the Blazers are still trying to trade him. Yesterday a rumor surfaced of a deal sending Rudy to Chicago for Taj Gibson. Solid move for both sides if it goes down. Gibson showed a lot of promise as a rookie — he was the only big man on the All-Rookie First Team — but with Carlos Boozer‘s arrival, he’s going to see his role reduced in Chicago. The Blazers, meanwhile, need depth in the frontcourt considering they have Marcus Camby and Greg Oden on the roster. The Bulls would get a high-energy scorer/shooter off the bench in Fernandez, who fits the running style Tom Thibodeau has said he wants to implement … Dwight Howard to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Shaq: “He’s still a big body. He’s different than he was back in the day but he’s still big. He can be a great fit for a team to help them win.” So basically Shaq’s greatest asset at this point is the same thing that allowed Jerome James to steal $30 million-plus in NBA money. Maybe it is time for the Diesel to hang ’em up … We’re out like Jerome James …

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