Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I, for one, have always felt that Joe Dumars has been overrated as an NBA GM. He did put together a championship team a few years back, but nothing really stands out beyond that. In fact, Joe D is responsible for the worst move in NBA Draft history circa 1983 by drafting Darko over Wade, Bosh, and 'Melo. But that is beside the point. Today, Dumars pulled the trigger by sending Chauncey Billups, Antonio McRobotKnees, and some weirdo to Denver for Allen Iverson. So was this a good trade or not? Honestly, a move like this can only be judged as a hit or miss; there is no gray area.
As far as the new look Pistons go, eh, whatever. They weren't going to win the East with their old team and I don't think that this changes anything (kind of like the Cavs last year, they weren't going anywhere with Gooden and Hughes anyway). Iverson still has a few miles left on the odometer, but he's going to be asked to play the point and he has never been a true point guard...especially on a team that relies on unselfish, team-oriented basketball. He is a shoot-first guard that has never been known as a distributor. And that is what the Pistons brought him in for. Don't give me an excuse. He is the point guard. I don't care how much they love Rodney Stuckey (who will never be a point guard either), they aren't starting him and sitting either AI, Rip, or Prince. And then there's the chemistry issue.
Iverson couldn't make it work with Carmelo; what the hell is he going to do with an insane personality like Rasheed? Someone like Larry Brown could probably get the most out of this, but a rookie head coach? Michael Curry is in way over his head here. Now, I will be the first one to say that Billups has been declining every year, but the fact is, he's a glue guy and a leader. He took a ton of big shots (used to make them, too!). They are going to miss his floor presence.
A lot of people will say that Dumars did this because it gave the Pistons great cap flexibility this coming summer. While I'm sure that it helped, that is bullshit. You don't trade for Allen Iverson as a move to build toward the future. You trade for AI to go for one last title run with the current group of guys before an overhaul is done this summer. This is the ultimate "all-in" move for the Pistons. Considering that there is no real negligible difference between Billups and Iverson at this stage in their careers, I don't see how this is the move that gets Detroit over the top in the East though.
It just screams desperation, in my opinion. The thing that really boggles my mind here is that the trade happened less than a week into the season. Why? Why not do this in July so they can gain some familiarity in the preseason? What changed in the first three games that made this deal a must happen for both teams?
We'll see how this unfolds throughout the course of this 20 month season. However, in my always humble opinion, Joe Dumars made the Pistons worse for a season that could be the end of the line for a few of their past core guys (and one is already gone). Pistons fans, all two of you that read me, give me your thoughts.