You can take it for what it’s worth but… As reported by Detroit Free Press writer, Drew Sharp, new Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has said Joe Dumars is not going anywhere for “as long as he desires”. And here’s the quote:
“More good news: Joe Dumars isn’t going anywhere. It’s believed Gores has told him that he can remain president for as long as he desires.”
Now brings the question from the fans – “Does Joe deserve to stay?”. To me, the answer is yes. Joe has made mistakes, he dumped the franchise player for cap space which was used on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. He drafted Darko Milicic #2 in a draft that featured 60% of the Miami Heat starting lineup. He also turned over the reigns to the team to Rodney Stuckey, but he did it in the middle of 3 coaches in 3 years. All of the coaches, he hired. All of the turmoil in the media with regard to the players not getting along with coaches, and vice versa, his doing.
I’ve seen all sides of the argument. I’ve read 20,000 word blog posts where the writer completely shreds Dumars apart, I’ve also read posts where the writer absolutely falls all over himself praising Dumars. I say, Dumars has done more harm to the team than good BUT, I think he’ll get a second wind now that there’s stability in the front office. Sure, hiring and firing coaches will not be the best way to continue Dumars’ career in the Pistons front office but, I think Dumars deserves to have one more shot at it.
During last night’s game, while I was thinking of how to write this post, I watched 2 teams put together by the front office who put together the 2004 NBA Finals Championship team. As we all know, John Hammond is the General Manager of the Milwaukee Bucks, and he was Joe’s assistant before leaving a few years ago. The Bucks, a perennial NBA Eastern Conference Central Division bottom feeder, have been completely re-tooled from top to bottom since Hammond has taken over, except for Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut.
The Bucks were a surprise team in last year’s regular season, which lead a lot of people to list the Bucks as a sleeper in this year’s Eastern Conference. Hammond has constructed this Bucks team in a similar fashion that the 2004 Pistons were constructed, a team that is the sum of its parts and not based around how a superstar performs. The team has a defensive minded coach, just like the Pistons had Larry Brown. This past offseason, Hammond had his offseason of spending just like Dumars had the previous offseason and look what he brought in:
- Traded for Corey Maggette with his 3 years and $30 million left on his deal – he plays 21 minutes a night, off the bench.
- Signed Drew Gooden to a 5 year $32 million contract
- Signed John Salmons to a 5 year $39 million contract
We criticize Joe D for not trading Tayshaun Prince and Chris Wilcox because of their expiring contracts, yet Hammond had an even more valuable expiring contract ($18.3m) in Michael Redd and he’s still on the team. Redd, a career Milwaukee Buck, likely would’ve accepted a trade to another team if it meant improving the Bucks this season.
Both Dumars and Hammond have made mistakes, but how come Pistons fans still argue that Hammond is a better GM than Dumars? Detroit and Milwaukee’s cap situation are similar (Detroit is $1m-$2m higher cap the next 2 seasons), but Detroit has some assets to deal whereas Milwaukee is paying more mediocre players more. There are only a handful of NBA GMs that make the right moves year in and year out. San Antonio and Oklahoma City are 2 teams that have an excellent track record of solid draft picks (although as I mentioned in the podcast, Cole Aldrich is a bit of a bust right now), while all other teams hit or miss though most miss more than Dumars does. Dumars’ misses are magnified by the fact this team has had the recent success it has, in my opinion.
I’ll get off my soapbox now.
So… it looks like Dumars will be back, at least for 1 more coaching search. A new coach, new owner and new president would be a lot for the team to go through next season, so I applaud Gores decision to keep Dumars.