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  1. #1
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    Pistons' Joe Dumars: Whether he trades or not, offseason fiscal flexibility prevails

    http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.s...medium=twitter
    AUBURN HILLS -- Joe Dumars on New Year's Day sat in his office, where depth charts of all 30 NBA teams cover the wall to his left, opposite a long window overlooking the Detroit Pistons' practice facility to his right, and where he spends much of his time plotting how to transfer a piece or two from one to the other.

    Much changed for the Pistons over the course of calendar year 2012.

    They got through the lockout and the compressed first-year implementation of head coach Lawrence Frank's system, secured a potential superstar rookie in center Andre Drummond, cleared salary-cap space for next summer when they traded Ben Gordon to Charlotte for Corey Maggette, completed one semi-dramatic turnaround last season and created some hope for another this season after winning five of their last six games.

    The NBA trade deadline is still weeks away but for all the fans plotting along with Dumars in how to improve the Pistons by Feb. 21, the president of basketball operations made clear that any deal must take one overarching theme into account: It must preserve the team's financial freedom going into next summer's free-agency period.

    "We like the flexibility that we have going forward," Dumars said. "Our plan is not to give up that flexibility going forward. So anything that we may or may not do, we don't intend to give up that flexibility that we do have going into the summer."

    The Pistons could retain some of their four players whose contracts expire after this season (Maggette, Will Bynum, Austin Daye, Jason Maxiell) but in most of those cases figure to use that $22 million, and breathing room created by paying the final $6 million payoff to Richard Hamilton, to create a careful blend of free-agency spending and fiscal prudence.

    That's why they traded Gordon.

    It's also why they didn't use the Amnesty Clause on Charlie Villanueva, who has made contributions more in line with his $8 million salary recently and has only a player option for 2013-14 remaining. Whether he stays, is traded, opts not to exercise his option, or is amnestied anyway, Villanueva's value is trending up and the Pistons didn't pay him to play for someone else.

    "Everything we did, all our decisions starting last summer, were to put us in the position to have freedom and flexibility to change whatever we needed to change going forward," Dumars said. "That was the whole basis for all of the decisions last summer. When you create a plan, as to a path that you're going to take, you have to see it through. That's what we're doing here."

    Potential free-agent targets include players such as Josh Smith, whom the Pistons (12-22) will see next when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, and 3-point ace O.J. Mayo of the Dallas Mavericks.

    The Pistons' starters have suffered from poor floor spacing and balky perimeter shooting, supported by one of the league's most potent emerging bench groups.
    "When you create a plan, as to a path that you're going to take, you have to see it through. That's what we're doing here." -- Joe Dumars

    Yet, asked if it's fair to assume the Pistons are looking for a top-shelf wing shooter, either through trade or free agency, Dumars said no.

    "I can't sit here and really tell you I'm looking for any one particular thing," he said. "What's happening is that as we continue to play right now, we're actually learning more and more about our team and what works best for us. Even the emergence of the second group and how they're playing. We're figuring out more and more what works, what combinations work. So let's see how it plays out for a while."

    Fans clamor for Drummond and Greg Monroe to play together. Frank has done so increasingly, though Drummond remains on the reserve group.

    Dumars said every time he sees Drummond play, he envisions the player's ceiling as much as he sees the 19-year-old's clear game-changing productivity on the floor. He chooses his words carefully, not to put too much pressure on Drummond, but he sees what everyone else does, a potentially dominant center for years to come.

    Dumars said he and Frank talk about players daily and he offers input on rotations when asked. But he draws a hard line between overstepping a general manager's boundaries on coaching decisions, which are Frank's alone.

    "And then you support his decisions," Dumars said. "You support whatever it is he's trying to get done."

    For the first time this season, those efforts are showing tangible results in the standings recently, including a win last week over the world champion Miami Heat.

    "We're giving ourselves a chance to win just about every night we step on the floor," Dumars said. "That's a part of the process of getting better."

  2. #2
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    Ahhh...beat me to posting this, lol.

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  3. #3
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    I hope we can sign OJ Mayo this summer. NO JOSH SMITH!

  4. #4
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    Im all about Mayo too.. Josh Smith a few years ago I would have been all about but not so much now. I think we have a better chance at trading for a star player then we do signing one, but hopefully potential free agents are seeing Dre and Moose out there and feel like we have a fighting chance at contending in a few years and want to help.

  5. #5
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    Mayo would be really sweet but this article just sounds like a pre excuse for why Dumars is not going to trade away one of his gems in Prince and Maxiell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RipCity32 View Post
    Mayo would be really sweet but this article just sounds like a pre excuse for why Dumars is not going to trade away one of his gems in Prince and Maxiell.
    This.

    I think most GM's have Dumars phone number blocked so they don't get the "I need 2 #1 picks for Tayshaun" calls.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipCity32 View Post
    Mayo would be really sweet but this article just sounds like a pre excuse for why Dumars is not going to trade away one of his gems in Prince and Maxiell.
    I agree, seems like he's putting out excuses already. I bet we keep Maxiell and C VIll, try to fix our backcourt in free agency, draft a wing. That will probably be our off-season.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdsportsfan View Post
    I agree, seems like he's putting out excuses already. I bet we keep Maxiell and C VIll, try to fix our backcourt in free agency, draft a wing. That will probably be our off-season.
    I don't think it will be from lack of trying. Put yourself in the other GM's shoes. Would you give up anything of value to get any of our rejects?
    Yes Joe has made some mistakes. But for the most part I think he has done alright by the Pistons. Being a former Piston championship player and GM I'm sure he wants nothing but the best for the team.
    I an't believe he would ask the world for Maxiell, Vill or Prince. My guess is he knows its going to be tough to move one or all and he's willing to take just about anything. But it takes another GM to make that happen.
    "Just because the path is well beaten. That doesn't mean it's the right way to go"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdsportsfan View Post
    I agree, seems like he's putting out excuses already. I bet we keep Maxiell and C VIll, try to fix our backcourt in free agency, draft a wing. That will probably be our off-season.
    Probably give Bynum an extension and see if Fennis Dembo wants to play again.

  10. #10
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    Rofl I posted it too. Lionsfan, remove mine lol


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  11. #11
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    But seriously, I wish Joe D would at least give us some idea of what he's looking for. You would think he had a slim idea of what would make us a legit playoff team. I don't think we're far off.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitBadBoy View Post
    But seriously, I wish Joe D would at least give us some idea of what he's looking for. You would think he had a slim idea of what would make us a legit playoff team. I don't think we're far off.
    Meh I like it better when the GM's move in secrecy. Similar to Dumbrowski for the Tigers. Seems to work a lot better when the moves come as a surprise.



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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LionsFan..LOL View Post
    Meh I like it better when the GM's move in secrecy. Similar to Dumbrowski for the Tigers. Seems to work a lot better when the moves come as a surprise.
    I knowww, very impatient sometimes. This is my team and want to know everything lol. I wonder if Joe ever gets on these sites and reads trade ideas.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LionsFan..LOL View Post
    Meh I like it better when the GM's move in secrecy. Similar to Dumbrowski for the Tigers. Seems to work a lot better when the moves come as a surprise.
    I totally agree. Sometimes if things are out in the open another team could mess up a deal. Yes sometimes they can make it happen as well. But not showing your hand is the best policy IMO.
    "Just because the path is well beaten. That doesn't mean it's the right way to go"

  15. #15
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    I'm not really interested in Smith or Mayo, but we have to clear the cap floor. Maybe pick up a 1 year deal guy? CV will help with his player option, but after that I don't know where we'll stand cap wise.

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