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Thoughts About the Detroit Lions Off Season and Adding Safety Erik Coleman via Free Agency

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on February 19, 2011

I know he’s not Atogwe or Asomugha or Sanders but I think the addition of Erik Coleman is a smart and savvy move for our Lions. Coleman isn’t a throw away guy. He was a starter and a decent one at that until he hurt his knee. Once he recovered he had been replaced by a second round pick that was playing well enough to make his contract expendable. I think all Falcons fans seemed pleased to have him as a quality back up at safety and even when he was a back up he managed to be the captain of the special teams unit. To me that shows character. He could have taken it easy or got an attitude about not getting his starting spot back but instead he went out and performed at a high level.

This has been a trend in Detroit, bad character guys have been removed and replaced with guys that are willing to work hard and give their best. Maurice Morris, Stephan Logan, Kyle Van Den Bosch, Ndamukong Suh, and even some lesser known guys like John Wendling have all been sought out because they are professionals and bring character to the team.

Coleman also gives me even more insight into the Lions plan in the secondary. I have a strong feeling that Chris Houston will be back next year with a multi-year deal.Coleman and Houston played together in Atlanta and should be able to play together quite quickly. An upgrade could still be had at the other side but if the season started today with the combination of Nathan Vasher, Alphonso Smith, Prince Miller, Brandon McDonald, and Tye Hill as you rotational corners I think the team’s pass defense would be in better shape than most people give them credit for.

The Lions finished last year as the 16th ranked pass defense in the league. That’s a major improvement over the past years. Especially when you consider the amount of injuries and rotations they made. Remember Jonathan Wade? The starter? Ya, I don’t really either. Both Vasher and Smith played better than I think anyone anticipated. So much is made of continuity and chemistry. This unit should have a chance to gel this off-season. I still think a rookie defensive back is a real possibility in the draft but if they only get another mid round developmental guy like Devon House, Jalil Brown, or Johnny Patrick then I think they will still be in good shape.

I hope they focus more on bringing in two solid line backers. One in the draft, one in free agency, and another late round developmental guy with speed that can be a special teamer. Obviously Von Miller in the first round if he falls. I think he will but not sure if he falls that far. One of my favorites that has gone under the radar somewhat is Chris Carter from Fresno State. He’s played at defensive end but is a true athlete and can make the transition to backer. He’s around 230 pounds which isn’t bad but you’d like to see him around 240-245 in a year or two. If he can keep his speed and athleticism and gain some size in a developmental year then I think he’s a guy that could take over a starting spot inside in a 3-4 defense or outside in a 4-3 will be where he is best suited.

Dontay Moch in the second round along with Mason Foster are guys to watch. I like Adrian Molten from Maryland as a developmental third day prospect so watch for them. All in all the run defense was much more of an issue last season than the pass defense, ranking only 24th. That’s actually an improvement over recent seasons but nowhere near good enough to contend for a playoff spot. With the talent and skill that is on the defensive line the Lions should be a top 15 defense in both the run and pass game.

The back seven really only needs 3 players at this point from what I’m seeing. A quality starting corner, a quality starting line backer, and Chris Houston. With Coleman in the mix the depth is good. With guys like Palmer, Dizon, and Carpenter the line backer depth is solid and one of those guys could start.

If I was in charge, which I’m definitely not, I would go after one of the top line backers available out there that will fit in as an upgrade where Julian Peterson used to be. There will be up to 10 solid possibilities to look at. Find the best scheme fit and bring him in to start. Then I would try to get my hands on whomever the best weak side prospect is in the second round. In the first I’d strictly go best available and build the talent level on the team.

After fixing the line backing core with a guy like Chad Greenway and drafting a weak side prospect like Dontay Moch in the second, I would resign Chris Houston and hope to get a good corner prospect in the first round like Jimmy Smith or Brandon Harris. That would fill every perceived hole on this team. In the third round I would look at another offensive play maker like Randall Cobb or Lester Jean(one of my sleeper prospects). A center prospect has to be high on the list as well. The trouble Dominic Raiola keeps finding himself in as well as his questionable abilities combined with Dylan Gandy being a free agent make the need for a developmental center significant. I haven’t found a solid mid round prospect that I like yet though.

Thanks for reading, leave questions or comments if you’re so inclined. Martin, if you’re listening, I like the move and what I think the plan is.

David

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Pistons Trade Rumor

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 10, 2011

There is plenty of press surrounding the Carmelo Anthony trade but not much talk of it’s impact on Detroit. The balance of the team and the money allocation has been a problem for two seasons now. Two of it’s worst seasons in the last decade. The trade as it is rumored to go down would balance the floor out some.

The addition of Troy Murphy and Johan Petro has plenty of pros and cons. The pros are the addition of two big men, one who can score, and the other has good length. Murphy is still capable of putting up 12 points and grabbing 9 boards a night with a modest defensive presence. Murphy is an expiring contract is the biggest factor. Petro is a salary dump for the Nets. He’s paid bout 3 million a year for this year and next it appears. The deal is reported to save the Pistons about 17 million overall and next year it would provide upwards of 9 million of cap room to work with by my quick calculation.

One part of the deal that is still unclear, the whole thing is still a rumor at this point, is where Devin Harris should land. Denver doesn’t seem thrilled to have him with Ty Lawson already there. From Detroit’s perspective I don’t know why Detroit couldn’t be a possible landing spot. Harris is a former all-star that plays the point. Detroit could certainly use an upgrade at the point. Rodney Stuckey has shown flashes but he still looks to be a shooting guard that can slash more than a point guard.

I would love to see Detroit make a real effort to move Tayshaun Prince in this trade. His salary isn’t ideal but it is close to Devin Harris, Prince makes just slightly over 2 million more per year, and Prince would have a much more significant impact on Denver’s lineup. He would actually take Melo’s spot on the floor and is better than anything they currently have. Detroit could bring over Quentin Ross or Stephen Graham along with Harris to even the financials out some. That would make a 1 million dollar difference in Detroit’s favor for this end of the deal and if I was Denver, I’d be happy to take Prince to be my starter for 1 million dollars versus saving the 1 million and having a really good backup point guard(whether that would be Lawson or Harris).

I hope  this deal happens, I like my scenario above, but I would be cautious about giving up any draft picks on this young and rebuilding team. It appears Joe Dumars isn’t willing to give up picks and hopefully he can swing a pick out of it. Even a 2nd round pick can be worthwhile. Just look at Jonas Jerebko.

 

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Detroit Lions 2011 Off Season Preview and 2011 Draft

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on January 7, 2011

For the purposes of the article I am not going to concern myself with the potential lockout and I’ll assume that money will talk and an agreement will happen in time. That said, the annual Lions super bowl has taken less meaning in some respects, no longer is Detroit the talk of the nation after the #1 and #2 picks. Obviously as a fan, this is a good thing. It means we actually won some games.

There are several common lines of thinking for the Lions draft, most of which I disagree with so let’s address them first. Misconception numero uno: The Lions are targeting a corner or line-backer in the first. Misconception numero dos: The Lions need to get an elite left tackle so Stafford doesn’t get hurt again. Misconception 3: The pass defense was the biggest problem this season. Misconception 4: Millen’s biggest problem was drafting players with no talent. There are more but those are the top ones it seems like.

As far as drafting is concerned, the Lions DO NOT target positions. They may see a player they like and align themselves to get that player ( see Javhid Best) but they will not reach or gamble on a player because of the position they play. They employ an almost strict Best Player Available strategy. There are general rules, they won’t draft a kicker in high rounds and they won’t draft a QB in high rounds, but most standard positions are fair game. The idea in the NFL is to gather talent. A great LG is worth as much on the field as a great safety. The financials aren’t equal but the impact on the game is similar. Point being, an elite RG would have a significant impact just like an elite corner would. In the draft, you have to try to get elite players almost regardless of position. Even though we may be set, in some peoples minds, on the defensive line doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t draft a player you believe will be an elite defensive end because there is a good corner sitting there. We saw this with Pettigrew, many felt Oher should have been the pick but the Lions weren’t sold on him being an elite player and they believed pettigrew was an elite prospect. Oher has played well and was a good pick up for Baltimore but Pettigrew has the makings of a true Pro Bowl caliber tight end. You may want to value a tackle more but the truth is that a tight end like Jason Witten or Dallas Clark have immense values to their teams.

I said all that to say that needs are secondary come draft time, as they should be. Get talent and worry about holes later. The more talent you bring in the less holes you will have down the road. It’s the best long term solution. You can use trades and free agents to plug holes on the roster. If we’ve learned anything this year it should be that you can never have a team that is too deep.

As for Backus, he’s not one of the top left tackles but he had another great year, he was consistent, and he shut down many of the best pass rushers in the game. Just because Peppers made one play doesn’t mean Backus is garbage. Peppers gets paid for a reason too. If that’s your logic than Suh is garbage and it was really just the offensive lines he faced that were no good. Give credit where credit is due. He had a good year and probably has a few more left.

The pass defense graded much higher than expected. This is a team that has statistically ranked at or near the bottom in both run and pass defense the past several years. A testament to how truly awful things were at one time. This year the pass defense was actually better then the run defense and outside of a few big plays earlier in the season, they held together decent. Coverage was tighter and there was an emphasis on keeping plays in front them in the last 6 games.

As for Millen, who admitted recently how horrible a job he did, there was a bigger problem than his drafting blunders. You can find that article over on Detnews.com by the way. Millen’s biggest problem in my mind wasn’t just drafting the wrong guy. I think the lack of development is what destroyed so many draft picks here. Run down the list of guys he brought in and they all had skill, maybe less than he thought they did at times, but they had potential. The obvious choices are Calvin Johnson and Cliff Avril. Avril is a great example. They talked a lot about how they thought he could be a really good DE. You didn’t see it with previous coaching staffs but the jump from last year to this year has been outstanding. Despite being slowed by injuries Cliff has had an outstanding season. Statistically speaking, he had a better season than Julius Peppers, Mario Williams, Brian Orakpo,  and Ray Edwards. 33 tackles and 8.5 sacks while battling an injury mid-season is a solid effort. I think he will be even better next year.

Another example, this one from a different view was my favorite prospect from 2009. Sammie Lee Hill was one of the rawest prospects in the entire draft but he had strength, size, and athletic ability that you can’t teach or coach. When you have players that have the natural ability, those are the players that you have to look at in the draft. The natural abilities are the start, what you are able to get them to do with it, that determines how good they can become. I truly believe SLH is good enough to start on any 4-3 team in the league. He still has significant upside and the way he can collapse the pocket and still get after a QB is impressive. His development throughout the year last year and heading into this year has gone unnoticed by some. He picked up 2.5 sacks and 30 tackles by being a back up the entire season. That’s a quality rotation guy. He could have gone downhill after having some issues in the off season but the coaching staff woke him up and got him heading back in the right direction.

When all is said and done the Lions have the most significant need at LB. The system Detroit runs calls for very versatile guys that can cover the pass just as well as play the run. I think the LB play is the crucial piece to the Lions defense. The run defense was the weakest link on defense based on stats.

What happened late in the season, after Suh’s injury, the Lions went to a 3 man rush with Suh playing like he did at Nebraska. He would read and respond. I think this was a big reason for the improvement in run defense. It also was smart because teams were double teaming Suh and by staying back he allowed for true one on one match ups for his teammates. They were able to keep the pressure on and Suh is amazing in space for a DT. It was a great scheme. It took some pressure of of the backers who could focus on receivers and reading plays more than worrying about a QB stepping up or a run in the middle.

Teams will notice this and adjust by blocking him one on one more next season and the scheme will not be as effective. The Lions really need to target a guy that can move really well in space, has the size to knock the bigger backs backwards, and has the speed to go sideline to sideline. We need a big time player on the strong side. That will make all the difference in the world. For everything Julian Peterson has done in the NFL, this scheme didn’t fit his strengths. It was still a decent trade but Julian is better when blitzing and playing the run. He’s probably best suited in a 3-4 at this point. Less reading and reacting and more going will show his true abilities.

The weak side spot is also a concern, we have several guys that might fit the bill but on a really good defense, they should be relegated to back up duty. I like the potential of Carpenter, he did well in pass coverage which was a big boost down the stretch and he did decent against the run. He wasn’t dominant and he didn’t necessarily stand out but he gave good production. Ashlee Palmer showed some good hitting ability, decent speed, and he made some plays against the run that made you think the potential is there and it very well may be. Landon Johnson was better against the run than the pass but I can’t see him being an everyday starter if the Lions want to take the jump to playoff contender. Dizon looked good to start the pre-season and I think he is a very solid depth player as well.

So looking forward at the draft I see one player in the first round that has the kind of potential that warrants consideration. I’m not sold on a lot of the prospects this year and I’m not sold on this prospect but the raw talent is there. He just looks like an under developed kid who is still growing into his body to me. That man is Akeem Ayers. He has the size/speed combination and is a decent natural athlete. He needs to develop an aggressiveness towards attacking the ball and he needs to work very hard on his ability to function in space. He shows flashes that he can move and change direction but he wasn’t asked to cover screens or backs out of the backfield like he will if he ends up in Detroit. His combine and workouts will be very telling. He’s the top OLB prospect so he fits Detroit’s drafting criteria. The best at his position, and he will grade out high enough to warrant a 1st round pick. The only problem with Ayers is I have to wonder if he can make a difference right away or will we have to wait a year or two? But again, you draft talent, not production, not need. I think he fits a nice combination of need, production, talent, and potential. He’s a good fit.

Some other LB prospects on my radar that aren’t talked about as much would be Nate Irving over at NC State. He had injury problems but has flashed some really good potential, if he’s around in the round 4 I would be very interested in him. He is more of a run stopper but plays a very aggressive, hard hitting, style of football. He has decent size and shows the ability to drive ball carriers back. I like his instincts and speed to the ball. Colin McCarthy, although he doesn’t jump off the screen, he has plenty of potential as well. He is well rounded and has decent size. If he’s in position he seems to make the play. I would look at him later in the draft as well.

As for the secondary concerns, I think they need two pieces to take that leap forward. A nice CB prospect will be available in multiple rounds of the draft. It’s a matter of what you are looking for. Aaron Williams is a really nice round 2 prospect. I like the potential of Devon House and Jimmy Smith as well. They may be available in round 3 or 4. Ras-I-Dowling has potential as a number 2 corner in the league or he could role back to a safety role with his size. Same goes for Jimmy Smith. The thing about Smith is that he is kind of like Sammie Hill. Gifted but very raw. There is lots of potential there but he needs some time to develop his talent.

Another thing I can see this team doing in the middle rounds is going after one of the big raw tackles. Ben Ijalana and Marcus Cannon are the kind of players that can be real road graders on your offensive line. Cannon could be a Phil Loadholt type right tackle but I think Ijalana is the guy that can move into guard and make a difference if coached up right. The potential is definitely there. Both guys have that size and athletic ability that only God can give.

So, as we move into the off season, watch for Mayhew to get to work finding a player or two in Free Agency to plug known holes while using the draft to stock talent, regardless of position.

 

– Dave

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Detroit Pistons Free Agency Recap, Roster, and Rumors

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 6, 2009

The Detroit Pistons were slated to be big players in the free agent market. They were scheduled to have the most cap space available this off season due to terminating contracts. The contracts that expired belonged to Rasheed Wallace, Allen Iverson, Antonio McDyess, and Walter Hermann.

Kwame Brown had a player option worth $4 million this season and wisely decided to take it. His value on the open market would not be anywhere near what he will earn this season.

As it stands, Kwame Brown is the only “bad” contract the Pistons are holding. Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince still hold large contracts, roughly $20 million worth of the payroll belongs to them.

Prior to the draft the Pistons were involved in a three way trade that sent Amir Johnson to the Bucks in exchange for Fabricio Oberto. Oberto was then waved in a cap clearing move.

The Pistons had four draft picks but traded one of them away. The remaining players, Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers, and Jonas Jerebko. Chase Budinger was drafted and traded away for a future second round pick and cash.

All three remaining players are forwards, be it small or power forwards. Daye could turn into a center with some significant weight gain.

After the draft, the Pistons turned their attention to the free agency market. The market was set to open at midnight on July 1, 2009 and talks could begin at that time. Earlier in the day the Pistons made significant headlines when they fired first year coach Michael Curry. The firing was met with mixed reviews and much speculation about candidates for the job. No coach was named immediately and they entered free agency without a coach.

After Milwaukee failed to make a qualifying offer to power forward Charlie Villenueva, which came as a surprise, he became a free agent and quickly moved to the top of the list along with Chicago Bull’s shooting guard Ben Gordon. Both player visited Detroit and walked out with verbal agreements.

The players will be officially signed on July 08, 2009 and the salary for Gordon looks to be in the $11 million per year range with slight raises each year, while the salary for Villenueva is expected to be around $7 million per year with slight raises each year. It is reported that they each agreed to 5 year deals.

The Pistons now have a crowd at the guard position. It is widely anticipated that Joe Dumars will look to move Richard Hamilton in exchange for a center. The Pistons have many options. Trade exceptions would allow the Pistons to trade Hamilton for a larger salary to acquire a top caliber big post presence. Hamilton still has solid value, scoring nearly 19 points per game despite reduced minutes. He is a difficult defensive assignment as well and his movement creates opportunity for other players offensively.

Some of the current rumors include Tyson Chandler, a center for the New Orleans Hornets, and Carlos Boozer, a power forward from the Jazz. Chandler is the more likely candidate to be shopped but the emergence of Paul Millsap, in Boozers’ absence, have made it more possible that his expiring contract is expendable. Amare Stoudemire and David Lee are still options as well. Stoudemire would cause Detroit to go over the cap but the trade exception would allow it. David Lee would have to be part of a sign and trade with the Knicks. It would be a difficult move for the Pistons to pull off because New York is looking for  (CONTINUED FROM BLEACHER REPORT) expiring contracts and cap room in 2010. Richard Hamilton’s contract may be more than the Knicks wish to take on.

A more likely scenario for a trade would involve an expiring contract, in the Pistons case it would be Kwame Brown. One persistent rumor is that the Utah Jazz are looking to trade Carlos Boozer, whose name has been linked with the Pistons all off season, in exchange for Richard Hamilton. This trade is highly unlikely. The trade of Boozer would be to relieve cap space and move Utah out of the luxury tax. The Jazz would need to clear around $9 million, in my estimation, in order to sign Millsap and avoid the luxury tax.

A three way deal is the only way a trade for Boozer seems likely. The Jazz need a solid player with a low salary, the Pistons get Boozer, and another team gets Richard Hamilton. That’s the only realistic scenario that I see fitting.

David Lee is a similar situation. A sign and trade offer may only net the Knicks draft picks or a modest player with a small contract. Jason Maxiell, Arron Aflalo, or Will Bynum are possible offerings as is future draft picks.Kwame Brown’s expiring contract is possible but not likely. He does not fit what the Knicks are trying to do. Jason Maxiell makes the most sense here.

The salary cap affects everyone. The Pistons have some money to work with in a trade. They are most likely to use up the cap space they have by signing a free agent or by making a trade of Richard Hamilton to a comparable or larger contract forward.

Tyson Chandler is probably the most likely candidate. He makes almost the same as Hamilton and is always on the trading block it seems.

The coaching vacancy seems to be Avery Johnson’s to lose. Joe was said to be meeting with him over the weekend and many expect an announcement soon that he is the next coach. If he does not take the job then things get very interesting. The list of available coaches is less than impressive this year.

As it stands the Detroit Pistons opening day roster looks something like this:

PG Rodney Stuckey

SG Ben Gordon

SF Tayshaun Prince

PF Charlie Villenueva

C Kwame Brown

PG Will Bynum

SG Richard Hamilton

SG Arron Aflalo

F Austin Daye

F DaJuan Summers

F Jonas Jerebko

F Jason Maxiell

F Walter Sharpe

One other thing to consider, if the Pistons trade Hamilton for  an expiring contract they should have lots of money available to sign a top free agent next season.

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The Championship Will Likely Go With McDyess This Season

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 2, 2009

Anotonio McDyess: An aged veteran in the latter years of his ability with injury concerns.

-or-

Antonio McDyess: A tough, physical, smart player that is a showcase for effort and desire night in and night out.

Which one do you see?

I see the latter. I see loyalty and heart, desire and skill. He’s not the best remaining free agent, no not even that close.  What he is though is a veteran that will truly do whatever it takes to win a championship. An unassuming guy that is an excellent teammate and generally a joy to be around.

McDyess is being looked at by many teams. Most of them are contenders this year that are looking for that extra piece. Boston, San Antonio, Cleveland, Houston, Orlando, and Detroit are all interested. (There’s probably more than that even.) Boston should end up with Wallace , which leaves Cleveland and San Antonio as the main contenders for McDyess. I believe whichever team he chooses will become instantly better.

San Antonio could look at one more big run at the Championship while Cleveland already has it’s eggs in one basket this year. McDyess would easily make them the favorite in my mind. His ability to defend, score, stretch the floor, and play strong in stressful situations is exactly what they need at the power forward position. McDyess is still instant offense off the bench with his jump shooting, pick and roll ability, and offensive rebounding.

Whomever gets McDyess will get a guy who WILL leave it all on the floor. The beauty of that is that he still has a lot to leave out there.

Watch where he goes, you will probably be looking at an NBA Finals team.

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Ben Gordon and Charlie Villenueva are Unofficially Detroit Pistons

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 2, 2009

Reports are out that both Villenueva and Gordon will sign with the Pistons. Gordon’s deal is reportedly a 5 year $55 million contract, while Villenueva will receive a 5 year $35 million contract.

This is more than I had hoped they would spend on the two. I was thinking something along the lines of 6 years and $54 million for Gordon and 6 years $39 million for Villenueva. This would have left them a few million dollars to work with. Money that could be used to sign a role player or as part of a trade to bring another front court player.

Ben GordonThe Pistons will be very good this season whether they make another move or not. They won’t be top three in the Eastern Conference though. Boston, CLeveland, and Orlando are still likely to be the top three. Orlando could fall of with the loss of Hedo Turkoglu and Martin Gortat. The addition of Vince Carter may help, but I think Orlando has gotten slightly worse, not better.

Boston may make moves this off season that take them down a notch as well. The addition of Rasheed Wallace is a real possibility. I believe that would really change the team chemistry and they will be less productive because of it. Stephan Marbury and Wallace on the same team could make for a volatile situation. The leadership of Kevin Garnett will be crucial. They may also lose Glenn Davis.

Cleveland will add another forward. A guy like Antonio McDyess may become a solid option. They may be involved in a sign and trade deal. They only have mid-level exception money available right now, roughly $5.6 million. Their year to win has become right now. They need to make a deal and bring in another post player. I strongly feel Antonio McDyess is a great fit there. They may also do a sign and trade for a forward like Brandon Bass or pay a forward like Glenn Davis. They have options and need front court depth that can contribute.

If the Pistons find the right coach, it will be up to team chemistry to take them past the above teams. They just added close to 40 points of offense to the roster and they will be competitive. The front court is still missing one piece, in my opinion.

The coaching search seems to be narrowing, Doug Collins is reportedly out of the running. This leaves Avery Johnson and John Kuester as the most likely candidates. I am still expecting Avery Johnson to be here. An important thing to consider, Johnson has the strength of person and intelligence to manage a back court with three starters playing two spots. He knows the positions and would be a good teacher for Stuckey and Afflalo.

If the Pistons decide to keep Richard Hamilton here, Avery Johnson is the best candidate for the job.

He represents Detroit basketball in many ways, he was able to make the Dallas Mavericks a top defensive team, that should be all the resume you need.

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Let’s put one rumor to rest and maybe look at a new one (or two)…..

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 1, 2009

The Pistons will not, for any reason, combine Rip and Tay in a deal for Chris Bosh.

The combined contracts are much more than Bosh’s and would be too much to take on if your Toronto unless you throw in additional players.

On the Pistons end, the deal doesn’t make sense because Bosh would have to sign an extension, something that isn’t guaranteed. Giving up two quality players for one year with a another quality guy, just isn’t equal.

On an interesting note, the Pistons could move Rip and a draft pick and make a deal work. They would have to bring back Bosh and a bench player with a slightly high contract, that would free Toronto up with a little over $5 million in cap space.

Toronto would get some stability on the offensive end with Rip, a mid-level free agent, and a draft pick for Bosh’s one year deal.

The Pistons would be better this year and have Bosh’s expiring contract for next year’s free agency class.

If I’m Joe Dumars, I would be more than happy to give away my draft picks. If Toronto is willing, I would give them all of my picks next year. It is the closest thing to a win-win deal I can see.

David Lee and the Knicks could also be a part of deal like this. It depends largely on the contract he signs with New York. If he makes a moderate contract anywhere south of $10 million then the Pistons could look at him as a long term option. This deal is not ideal though. New York will be looking for expiring contracts and/or selling points for Lebron James. If they don’t grab Jason Kidd, then Rip could be a good selling point but they will have less finances to pursue Lebron or other top free agents. It would be a much more difficult move to make.

Interestingly though, the Knicks may move him for very little. Draft picks even, just to keep cap space. Kwame Brown and a draft pick may be all it takes. Leaving Detroit with Rip. This type of sign and trade deal could also be explored if Villanueva gets a higher offer to go elsewhere.

If I’m the Pistons and I make the deal for Villanueva, then both Bosh and Lee become solid trade options. Both options make the team better right now and have solid long term positives as well.

On a sidew note: I was listening to Pat Caputo refer to Joe Dumars as being Matt Millen, thanks to his poor drafting, last night on 97.1 The Ticket. If you throw out the Eastern Conference Finals trips and a Championship Ring, and the positive trades and Free Agency Acquisitions, and the financial management that created this year’s cap space, and okay, they aren’t the same, but the drafting hasn’t been a strong point.

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Pistons Free Agency and Coaching Update: July 1, 2009

Posted by detroitsportsandmore on July 1, 2009

Some reports are saying the current coaching vacancy is Doug Collins to lose. That may be a stretch, he had a semi-rocky past with the Pistons, but is certainly possible. Avery Johnson seems to be rumored as the second choice on the list with a log jam behind them including names such as John Kuersten, Sam Mitchell, Bill Laimbeer, I heard Rudy Tomjonavich, Jeff Van Gundy, and more.

As far as the free agency period goes, the Pistons and Ben Gordon still tops the rumor chart. David Lee appears to be a strong option at the power forward spot as does Charlie Villanueva. Villanueva is likely to be a much better deal financially and I expect a run at him. With Gordon and Villanueva the Pistons will have enough money to sign a deal around the mid-level exception or slightly lower. They could save this money and make a trade of Richard Hamilton, allowing them to bring back a center with a slightly larger contract (Chris Bosch anyone? sign and trade with Lee?) or they could take the money and spend it on some role players and depth. A center would add much more value to the roster in a trade but the depth would be suspect at that point.

The Pistons need help up front, Joe Dumars knows this and his attempt to address it in the draft needs to be noted. The front court is key. He will need to bring in at least two new front court players that can play the forward and center positions.

From a financial perspective, Gordon and Villanueva make sense, I think that opens the Pistons to trading Rip and picking up another big man. They could throw Fabricio Oberto in the deal to make it work.

I’d like to see this scenario most at this point. Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Villanueva, and (Bosch, Jefferson, Lee, etc.)give the Pistons one of the better starting fives in the league. It’s a very balanced attack that would be very difficult to defend.

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