Rumors, speculations, salary cap, the draft and trade rumors is what Pistons fans have been hearing since the Pistons unexpected exit from the NBA playoffs. I can’t believe some of the things the fans have been saying lately. There are the rumors of a Garnett trade, the calls to fire Flip, to trade Sheed, the sign and trade deal for Ben Wallace everyone thinks will happen and the desperate fans who actually think Larry Brown is going to be a part of the team whether it be head coach or an assistant coach. The future is uncertain as far as the team is concerned.
The first thing Joe Dumars has to deal with is Ben Wallace. As of this Saturday Ben Wallace becomes an unrestricted free agent. Ben has hired a high profile agent and is looking for the most lucrative contract of his career. Now all year long I had the feeling that Ben was going to stay a Piston no matter what. Things change, Ben’s comments and body language say that he’s looking for the big money and that he isn’t happy with his role on the team. I can’t see the Pistons giving Ben a max contract but I do see them doing right by him, making him the highest paid player on the team but nothing more than a four year deal. Between the incident in Orlando and the comments he’s made about staying with the team, we just have to wait and see how this whole thing plays out.
The deal or no deal with Ben holds the future to the Pistons future. Joe can’t really work on anything else until he knows how things will pan out with Ben. We know the Pistons need a reliable point guard to back up Chauncey. They also are in need of a bench that can put up points consistently. They don’t have too many choices in the free agent market, Bonzi Wells, Flip Murray, Jason Terry, Mike James, Sam Cassell and Speedy Claxton are the biggest names other than Ben Wallace in the free agent class this year. There is also talks of moving up in this year’s draft. The Pistons hold the last pick and could be looking to buy their way to a higher pick.
What does this year have in store for Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson and Carlos Delfino? I think that all depends on Flip. I know I am not the only one who thought that Flip did a lousy job of developing our bench last season. I still think Delfino can be a huge asset for the team, I can’t remember how many DNP he racked up during the season. How can the bench be blamed when they never really got any playing time. Do we work with the obvious talent we have or do we go with players who already have the experience?
I look at it this way, even though The Pistons didn’t win the Championship they are still working with the best starting five in the league. Why break that up? The players say they want Ben back and staying with the team is the closest he’s going to get to another ring before his career ends. He’s got to decide what’s best for him, but a few more years being the face of the Pistons franchise isn’t all that bad if you ask me. As for the major hiccup the team had during the playoffs, that’s something they have to learn from and put behind them. Nobody is perfect, we all take our lumps and move on.
I am ready for next season and hopefully we will see the same cast of characters shoot for something that eluded them. Next season they will be the underdogs and they like it that way. As for major changes, everyone deserves a second chance. Let them be.