Joe Dumars better hope that Rip Hamilton is looking towards Utah. A trade for Carlos Boozer would help both teams and make up for Dumars early mistake.
Imagine you have $20 million to spend on NBA players such as Hedo Turkoglu, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, Paul Millsap and Ron Artest.
Now imagine you took that $20 million and signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to long-term deals that combine to about $98 million. And now Plax yourself.
Don't get me wrong, both Gordon and Villanueva are both very good basketball players. Gordon can shoot the lights out at times and comes through in clutch situations. Villanueva is a 6-foot-10 forward that can handle the ball like a shooting guard and stretch the defense.
The problem is Gordon is undersized, which causes him to have more cold nights than one would like. And since he doesn't play much defense, he is pretty much useless when his shot is off. Villanueva, as stated before, is 6'10". But his rebounding is often invisible and his low-post defense is non-existent.
So there you have it Pistons fans. A $98 million rebuilding process brings you two players with a lot of good skills and absolutely no chance of making a team an immediate contender. Patience is a virtue and Joe Dumars clearly did not have it. He could have tried to pursue other options in this free agency period, or better yet, signed just one of the players between Gordon and Villanueva and saved the rest for next summer for the top-quality talent that will be available.
And while Dumars has made some terrible financial decisions this summer, all is not lost. Word has it the Utah Jazz will do all they can to sign Paul Millsap so they can send off Carlos Boozer. If the Pistons want to improve the 2009-10 version of their team, they should think long and hard about trying to convince the Jazz to trade one expiring contract for another.
A Rip Hamilton for Carlos Boozer deal would give both teams financial flexibility while filling in immediate needs. The Pistons desperately need a presence down low and need to bust up an over-filled backcourt, while the Jazz need to let Millsap take his place in the rotation while getting a serious threat at the two-guard position.
If Dumars can make that deal happen, then all was not lost this summer for the Pistons. Either way, best of luck to Gordon and Villanueva because I like them both and I really do think they are good basketball players so I hope they don't draw to much heat from Detroit fans and media.
That's one bad deal done, are you ready for another? Good, let's do it again.
Imagine you are one of the 29 teams in the NBA that doesn't have Zach Randolph and the $33 million, two-year contract he comes with along with a few guns and DUIs.
Now imagine you willingly bring him to your team by trading one of your players. Now Plax yourself.
The Memphis Grizzlies looked like they were doing things right for a while. They have Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo and Marc Gasol. They drafted a center with some questions, but at least one that would provide strong defense. They were looking to get young and athletic.
But now they trade Quentin Richardson, who would have been a great sixth man for them, and take on Zach Randolph. I only had a brief conversation with Randolph, but while he was a gentleman to me, it's clear to see how he would be a terrible practice player and a cancer in the clubhouse.
While he might get double-doubles, he does not do it in a way that helps the team wins. He will play about 10 minutes of inspired basketball per game before just going through the motions. He doesn't care too much about helping rookies and seems more interested in what he is going to do after the game is over.
He is not the player a team should take when they are trying to instill a winning attitude and work ethic in the clubhouse.
Oh yeah, and that $33 million over two years is going to make it difficult for the Grizzlies to make a play at a 2010 free agent.
Here's hoping your team does a little better this summer.