Joe Dumars needs another big trade— and a much better one than when he dealt for Allen Iverson in 2008—to turn the Pistons around this offseason. (mrzh, Flicker)
In the last several months, Detroit Pistons’ fans have been treated to a smorgasbord of heartbreaking basketball trade what if’s courtesy of the national media.
Just some of the names that were rumored to be heading to Detroit at some point over the past eight years? Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, among others. All the deals were reportedly close to being done, and any would have helped spark a turnaround as well as provide the Pistons with the headline grabbing, star power filled deal they needed to change course. For one reason or another, none of the moves happened, and now they only come to represent tantalizing near misses.
Now, with plenty of money available this summer, Joe Dumars needs to find and complete a bold move like this to get the franchise back on the right track and spark some new interest in the team. No longer is coming close acceptable. The roster’s status quo, as everyone knows, has been terrible and cannot continue.
This summer, with Dumars clearly on the hot seat in the minds of ownership, the Pistons cannot afford to be left holding any chips in their hand. If bold deals are available, they must be explored. If they’re on the table, close and start to fall through, it will be up to Dumars to rescue them and maneuver around a solution.
Free agency only represents one way to mold a team. Certainly, the Pistons will look to be aggressive on that front this summer with players such as Josh Smith, O.J. Mayo and Andre Iguodala available on the open market. Though Detroit has plenty of money to spend, none of them will be promised. A trade is the Pistons’ best shot of landing a big name talent or two in order to round out their roster, especially considering teams are always looking to shed veteran players with larger contracts.
Historically, Dumars has been better making trades to build teams, anyway. Ben Wallace, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Corliss Williamson, backbones of the 2004 championship team, were all acquired via tough trade. Role playing free agents, such as Antonio McDyess and Chauncey Billups, were largely unceremonious free agency moves which ended up paying huge dividends later on. When Dumars tried to make a big free agency splash in 2009 with Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon, he struck out in bad fashion.
This time around, a nice mix between both free agency and trade should be the plan for Dumars in July 2013. As was discussed at Detroit Bad Boys, Dumars could ship Rodney Stuckey, the number eight draft pick and Brandon Knight for Rondo, Courtney Lee or Jason Terry. After that, in free agency, Dumars could find a way to turn around and sign either Iguodala or Mayo and have the makings of the best offseason Detroit basketball fans have seen in some time.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing either way, and Dumars must keep his eyes open for big moves which will change the dynamic of the team and the franchise. With more uncertainty involved with free agency, the bulk of those moves should be explored on the trade market.
Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax