Does Joe D. need to address the front court?

by | Jul 19, 2010 | 38 comments

Ok so a couple of moves have been made recently by other teams who were left scrambling after LeClown’s decision to re-sign in Cleveland to take his “talents” to South Beach, but none of the moves have hurt the Pistons in the free agent market.  Outside of maybe Brendan Haywood (re-signed in Dallas 5 yrs, $55 million), there were no real big men that were free agents that Detroit really should’ve honestly showed interest in, considering their financial position with the cap.

Here are some notable big man names that are left, that I wouldn’t mind Joe D. throwing some cash at:

Craig Smith, PF – L.A. Clippers – at 6’7 250lbs he’s a wider version of Jason Maxiell.  He averaged 10 points and 4 rebounds in 08-09 for the Minnesota Timberwolves before the Clippers acquired him last offseason.  He averages about 16 points per game and about 8 rebounds per 36, and has been productive in the paint when given a chance.  He is not tall but he is a wide body and he has the weight to be able to force taller men off the block.  He reminds me of Danny Fortson.

Josh Boone, PF/C – New Jersey Nets – Josh is going into his 5th year in the league out of UConn.  In just his second season, he averaged 8 points per game and 7 rebounds.  He’s not going to lock down his man 100% of the time, but he has the length to block shots and is averaging nearly 2 blocks per 36 minutes.  He’s got the body of a center (6’10, 250lbs), but he’s limited to just put backs offensively.  He lacks effective “back to the basket” moves like some of the better big men in the league.

Etan Thomas, PF/C – OKC Thunder – Etan is a couple of seasons removed from career threatening surgery to repair a heart condition.  Etan has always been a tenacious post defender, and a very strong rebounder for someone who is listed at 6’10 but is more realistically 6’8.  At 32 years old, he’s not an ideal choice for the Pistons and most likely he wouldn’t want to go to the Pistons who are in rebuilding mode.  Having spent most of his career with the lowly Wizards, he has a chance to either stay in OKC to mentor the young up and coming Thunder, or sign on with a team like the Miami Heat to make a championship run.  He’s like a taller, younger, Ben Wallace.  He will be a good mentor to any team that has young big men who are willing to work.

Now that doesn’t look like much but let’s be honest, there’s not really that many roster spots left to be had anyway (barring any trades).  If Kwame Brown does not come back, and with him being in Coach Kuester’s doghouse last season why would he, then we’re thin up front when it comes to frontcourt muscle.  Ben Wallace is the only legitimate frontcourt beef right now, and since Greg Monroe’s abilities defensively (or offensively) are unknown at this point, we as Pistons fans are looking at another year of undersized and underweight power forwards playing out of position fighting for rebounds and putbacks.

The 3 guys I listed above are just some of the guys that can be had, without making trades, that I think would sure up the front line defensively.  What do you think?  Obviously we all have wild, hair-brained trade ideas.  I have some trade ideas of my own that I’d be more than happy to discuss so long as we all have a general understanding of how trades work.  For information on NBA salaries and how players are able to move, check out this link.  It’s been helpful to me in understanding what teams can and can not do during Free Agency periods and at the trading deadline.


  1. N1ck

    Not sure the guys above are the ones we need…

    We need a center cause we only have Ben to play that position right and he’s never been a scorer really and he’s gettin’ kinda old for 30 mins…

    The PF’s and wannabe centers are… Maxiell, Villanueva, WIlcox & Monroe (some day maybe)…
    And if Jonas plays this position (and he will), then it’s packed…

    The only way we can get what we need is via trade.
    Trade a couple of PF’s and Rip/Prince for a center who can score some & defend.
    That would have to be a priority for Joe cause this is not good.

    Andris Biedriņš is the man I like. Stop the illusions and trade down, don’t sacrifice one more season cause this is actually a good team! The rotation is not gonna work. Too many players need minuters on some positions (PF; SF & SG). We have no real center besides Ben and our PG’s are trying to be D Wade.

    BTW, thanks for the info Danny. Keep up the good work.

  2. Rashit Flawless (Russia)

    I think with a man who can shoot from 17 feet we need a solid man who can be a defencive presence.
    Like Okafor.
    Emeka such a strange player whose first season was the strongest, and then he had no progress …
    If we take the summary and combine the maximum and minimum results for the career (6 years, not taking into account the second season, where he played 26 games due to injury), we obtain:
    the best stats of 15.1 points (1st season), 11.3 rebs (3rd season), 2.6 blocks (third season, in which he played 67 games)
    the worst: 10.4 points (last season), 9 rebounds (last season), 1.6 blocks (last season)
    And I don’t think it’s about 3 mins less per game only.
    And the worst thing that at the end of the day, he will be huge sharp bone in the throat of any team.
    Just look at his contract:
    $ 11,540,375
    $ 12,541,812
    $ 13,543,250
    $ 14,544,687 (2013/2014)
    So that is not Okafor we need)
    But a guy like that.

    I’d like Roy Hibbert, but who’s gonna trade him to us?
    I’d like this old scheme where we get Kaman, but nope, they’ve got Aminu now.
    I like Gortat a lot, I remember he was not very happy that Orlando matched his contract with Dallas
    I think Ibaka is in 2-3 seasons from a huge breakthrough, but OKC won’t trade him, I bet.

    Every time I saw Josh Boone it was a huge posterize dunk on him or something like this. Maybe I’m wrong, but he’s like Shawn Bradley in my eyes. Not a starter in any NBA team, period

    How do you think, can we get a guy like Thabeet and is this make any sense if we could get him?

    Honestly, I don’t see much of guys who’d prefer our team, or who we can trade now

    • Danny Bohnlein

      Okafor is too expensive.

      I doubt we’d give up Tay, an expiring contract, for Emeka and his albatross deal. at least I hope not..

      Josh Boone is only a guy I listed as part of 3 big men who are still available. Craig Smith is probably looking for Jason Maxiell money which should put him out of the running even though we have the MLE to spend.

  3. Rashit Flawless (Russia)

    Andris is too skinny, I think, and with his size of 6’10 + Monroe with 6’10 more like 6’9 than 6’11 and 240lbs we’ll have a lot of problems inside where other teams can push our bigs into the foul trouble.
    And having CV on the bench for situations like this is not what would work right

    • Danny Bohnlein

      Biedrins would be a solid option. He’s just kind of expensive. So we’d be giving up talent for a lesser talent.

      He’s a solid rebounder though, so it’s a start.

  4. N1ck

    I guess I agree…

    Hell, the list just gets smaller and smaller by the minute…

    Guess Maxiell can fill the spot… 🙂


    • Danny Bohnlein

      I was simply offering my thoughts on the men still available in the free agent market.

      I would take Boone or Smith and split the MLE for them. Obviously giving them the full MLE is not something I’m “for”.

  5. N1ck

    We have to give talent for a lesser talent if we don’t wanna have another 25 wins season…

    Sorry to say that but that’s the way it is. A lesser talent but if it has the thing we need so much now…

    Prince & Rips positions are packed anyways now…

  6. edt

    anyone see the heat roster?

    Joel Anthony 6-9 245
    Z Ilgauskas 7-3 260
    Jamaal Magloire 6-11 255
    Dexter Pittman 6-10, 290

    I think all those bigs together cost 5 million. I guess the theory is if you throw enough bigs on a team, something will work.

    The lakers bigs by contrast have quality over quantity

    andrew bynum 7-0 285
    Pau Gasol 7-0 250

    I have to believe Greg Monroe is closer to 6-8 than 6-10, and his 250 listed weight is closer to Jerebko’s 230 than to Jaxon Maxiell’s legitimate 260 pounds. Charlie V is listed at 6-11 230, austin daye is 6-11 200.

    Ben Wallace is going to play a lot of minutes.

    Cousins is an absolute beast. Hot tempered, at times unmotivated, but a beast. I sure wish we had him instead of Monroe.

    Joakim Noah is listed at 6-11 232, but he’s a big 6-11

    Noah will be playing major minutes he’s the only player with that much size for the bulls but he’s only 25, so it’s all good.

    I was really excited to have Greg Monroe but then I saw him play in the summer league and he is not very strong, he kept on getting pushed around.

  7. Franz

    Thanks man really helpful stuff.

  8. Casper411Det

    Sam Dalenbert could be one way to go come the trade deadline. Sac-town is loaded with bigs after last seasons trades and the recent draft.

  9. Drew

    Never heard of Craig Smith. Josh Boone is absolutely terrible.

  10. Marcos

    Despite the fact Joel Przybilla’s returning from an injury season, I’d roll the dice on a trade. Maybe we could trade Tay and, to make it work under the salary cap, the Pistons could also get Jerryd Bayless, a legitimate backup point guard. I think this would give us another big who can rebound and block shots.

  11. Rashit Flawless (Russia)

    A few seasons ago, Joe would turn over in his grave if he knew that he will trade an all-star Tyshaun Prince who’s in the All-Defensive team, for Pryzbilla who injured himself when felt in a bathroom…dang, this reality sounds very (i mean VERY) disgusting…
    Just saying…I kno that there are no better trades we can do now…

  12. Trevor

    There was a time when I remember thinking that had we adverted the worst draft pick ever and drafted Bosh, a guy at a position we really needed, we would have still had a problem finding PT for the guy. Say we still traded for Sheed, Bosh would have played behind Sheed and Big Ben for two years, not getting his big break until year 3.

    We step to the now, and find ourselves playing for an identity and chemistry, undermanned on the front line, when in steps in a starry-eyed 6’10” 250-pounder with loads of potential and all the PT he could ever want to develop it. What do we do? Develop it! We’ve been handed some disgustingly bitter lemons, let’s make some damn lemonade, not go and overpay for some scraps that will do nothing to change our ability to make the playoffs or win a series!

  13. Tycoon

    How about bringing back either Dale Davis or Elden Campbell or Shawn Kemp instead of those options? =)

    • Danny Bohnlein

      yeah figures I list him at #1 and he’s gone a few hours after I post this.

  14. Bugs

    Hi all. I was on mlive and i mentioned on there that we should trade Hamilton to New Orleans for Okafor & Collison. Hamilton has $12.5m over 3 years owing = $37.5m while Okafor has $11.5m over 4 years = $46m owing. Obviously the carrot for detriot in this trade is getting a young and up and coming PG in Collison who could end up being a Chauncey Billups like acquisition. Okafor’s and Hamilton’s contract almost cancel each others out. Detroit would take on $8.5m due to the length of Okafor’s contract but it would be worth it to get Collison. This trade would kill 2 birds with one stone because it solves our PG & Center issues in one hit. Finally by the trade deadline we could unload Prince for a 1st round pick or maybe even more.

    2010-2011 Roster

    *Trade Prince for 1st round pick



  15. Bugs

    I forgot to mention the perks for New Orleans would be that they save $8.5m in unloading Rip. If the lockout is to happen like predicted then Hamilton’s 3rd year is only partially guarunteed so he could be traded after playing just one year. I really think the only way Rip will bring the pistons a big man in return is for one that has a bad contract (hence Okafor). Okafor is no chump but he is not worth the money he is on. Barring the free agent signings this year Hamiltons contract looked pretty bad too. If i was Joe Dumars and New Orleans said ‘we will trade you Okafor/Collison for Hamilton/2nd rounder’ then i would be signing it off in a heart beat!

  16. Zkranc

    If I was New Orleans I wouldn’t get rid of Okafor (their only big besides West and Songaila) and Collison just to save $8.5m, think about it does it really make sense

  17. Diogenes

    I heard Bison Dele sailed in recently after being lost at sea for years. He is still sporting the teal jersey but he is our best option right now. He will play for a forty and a pack of Newports.

  18. Diogenes

    Where the hell is my pic?!

  19. Joe

    Not too excited about any of those three. Boone just isn’t good enough, and the others are too short to play center.

    Maybe we can go after DJ Mbenga?

    Did I really just say that? God, we’re desparate…

  20. edt

    we have only one option: Ben Wallace Stay Healthy!

    reading a list of top big men free agents in the nba, Ben Wallace is listed as #11 right after udonis haslem and right before Kenyon Martin.

    It’s a miracle that the Heat got Z but not Ben Wallace. You have to think that Lebron wanted both Z & our big Ben. Ben Wallace turned down adding a ring to his finger so he could retire in Detroit.

  21. edt

    ps I sure wish we had resigned Antonio McDyess with our midlevel exemption. He must know by now he’s never gonna get a ring with the spurs.

  22. Jesse

    I don’t see a point in wasting money on Smith, Boone or Thomas… The Pistons aren’t contending with or without them, and already have bigmen in Maxiell, Wallace and Wilcox that don’t have any real offensive skills; more of them are not necessary.

    They need to sign a guy with a legit back-to-the basket game… nothing else helps. Signing any these guys will just go down as a mistake, like the Nazr, Kwame & Wilcox MLE signings.

    I say sign White, and then forget about free agency all together… move forward with the 13-man roster of: Rip, Tay, Ben, Stuckey, JJ, Daye, Monroe, BG, CV, Wilcox, Maxiell, Summers and White…. Let Bynum walk (even though Piston nation will have a collect conniption), and just explore the trade market with a little roster flexibility.

  23. edt

    jesse we got to trade rip & tay how will daye, summers, jerebko, BG get playing time otherwise?

    What kind of progress can we make with a team where we start Ben Wallace, Prince, Rip, Greg Monroe and Stuckey?

    We got a pileup like a 50 car collision on i-75 and it’s got to get unplugged.

    I want to see an 10-man roster of big ben, stuckey, JJ, Daye, Monroe, BG, CV, Wilcox, Maxiell and Bynum.

    Neither Summers nor White is ready for the NBA, we should get rid of them and let them go to the d-league for 3 years

    Bynum is a quality player. We can’t afford to overpay him, so if another team decides to take him, we shouldn’t stop him, but that doesn’t mean we want him to walk.

    Unless you figure we are going to keep Rip & Prince and put them on the bench so we can start our young players? that’s just not fair to them.

  24. Jesse

    I agree Rip and Tay need to be moved; those are the trades I was eluding to, and I am sure Joe is exploring those, but something needs to happen already. I just don’t think there is any way to improve via free agency. The progress you’re talking about (which I would also like to see) should have started over a year ago…. Rip and Tay should have been dealt for expiring deals to create pt for the young guys. I’m still waiting for the rebuilding process to actually kick off, because this franchise has just been fluttering around aimlessly since dealing Chauncey.

  25. Trevor

    What can I say, I had some time on my hands. I base this entirely on the assumption that Chicago, New York, and New Jersey are looking for consolation prizes now that they lost the LeBron sweepstakes. Furthermore, playing in bigger media markets, none of these teams is really strapped for cash.


    Rip or Ben Gordon and Austin Daye for Taj Gibson and Luol Deng

    Reasoning: Chicago gets a backcourt teammate for Rose. Let’s face it, they offered BG 10 mil a year and then pulled it off the table. Why? To free room to make a bid for LeBron. It failed, so why not go back in time and do what you should have done originally!? Obviously, acquiring Deng puts a bigger need to trade Prince. However, breaking up the log jam in the backcourt and adding another talented big man is well worth the price.

    New York:

    Eddy Curry for Rip Hamilton

    This one is easy. Amare and Rip in the Big Apple and they still have money to spend next summer to add a third stud. I think Rip would play nice with Raymond Felton as well. We would have to deal with Eddy Curry for a year, and then see ya, out from under a bad contract. Curry would also be a very valuable trading chip later in the year.

    New Jersey:

    Stuckey and Hamilton for Devin Harris and Terrance Williams

    I don’t like this one either, but there is logic. We have three outstanding two-guards, and two of them have bad contracts. We give up more talent for a true point guard and a more reasonable/functional roster. Not to mention, Williams can play a little as well.

  26. Jesse

    I am all for the Rip/Curry swap; I’ve heard it kicked around other websites for a while now…. maybe NY will get desperate and just do it. You hit the nail right on the head though… If Curry is in shape give him a shot, if not just send him home. Dumars could either sit on the contract and wait for cap space or deal him at the deadline (maybe with Tay for franchise/elite player). No real risk involved either way. And I agree completely that Rip would thrive in D’Antoni’s uptempo system alongside Amare.

  27. Rashit Flawless (Russia)

    “The Mavericks have abandoned the idea of a Shaq signing completely — “He is out,” according to one team source — since they have four centers currently on the roster until they can move the very available Alexis Ajinca”

    Why not? Ajinca could be something we can add to our frontcourt

  28. Rashit Flawless (Russia)

    Smth from Piston Powered:
    Pistons receive:

    * Jose Calderon (10.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
    * Reggie Evans (3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.5 steals)

    Raptors receive:

    * Rip Hamilton (18.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
    * Chris Wilcox (4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)

    Calderon $9,000,000/$9,780,992/ $10,561,983
    RIP $12,500,000/$12,500,000/$12,500,000

    Evans $5,080,000
    Wilcox $3,000,000

  29. Friggins

    Right off the bat, these names are a few rungs lower on the ladder than names like Haywood and Chandler. That being said, I like Josh Boone and the Etan Thomas as pickups. Of course, these guys together shouldn’t split the full MLE, Boone maybe $1.7mm area and a bit more for the veteran Thomas.

    Knowing Joe D, he only fills 14 roster spots to leave open the possibilty of a 2-1 for 3-2 trade down the road. To sign both of these guys and still leave a roster spot open, we need to buyout a player or cut a 2nd round draft pick that won’t get PT anyhow. Seems unfair but because the player I’m thinking of works hard, has promise, and could provide some value to our 1st round pick this season (they both went to Georgetown). I don’t think DaJuan Summers will make it through training camp.

    Lastly, the Rip for Eddy Curry trade is a salary dump. I guess I’m for it, but not until we’ve exhausted several other avenues. In other words, lets not do something just to do something. If the Knicks are willing to do this now, they’re willing to do this in late September and early October.

  30. Sandi12

    Take Josh Boone just look at his defensive stats and rebounding as good or better than anyone and he is young still learning played as a starter for Calhoun as a freshman all the way to a national Championship all on defense Voted top defensive player in the big east needs to shoot free throws but can work on that

  31. edt

    addition through subtraction. We can’t get the talented bigs we need.

    So forget it. Just deal rip & prince to give our young players more time on court.

    Anyway you look at it, we are not getting decent for what we have to trade. But do we really want yet another year of Prince, Rip, and Ben Wallace?

    Addition through subtraction is the name of the game.

    We have to keep Stuckey. I think we in detroit now how good he is. We’ll never get a fair price for him, because we stuck the last 2 years.

    We can’t deal Ben Gordon it isn’t fair to him. Especially after AI came to detroit for his career die, do we want to be known as the team where players go to ruin their careers?

  32. Ziggy45

    Take Boone he had a so so year with the Nets but tiger is having a bad year now he will come back. Has a good record over the years


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Rasheed Wallace
  • Greg Monroe
  • Andre Drummond
  • Josh Smith
  • Brandon Jennings
  • Caron Butler
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Jodie Meeks
  • D.J. Augustin
  • Gigi Datome
  • Spencer Dinwiddie
  • Jonas Jerebko
  • Kyle Singler
  • Tony Mitchell
  • Stan Van Gundy
  • Arnie Kander
  • Mike Abdenour
  • Tom Gores
  • Greg Kelser
  • George Blaha
  • John Mason

Pistons Past

  • Chauncey Billups
  • Rodney Stuckey
  • Brandon Knight
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Richard Hamilton
  • Jason Maxiell
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Will Bynum
  • Austin Daye
  • Chris Wilcox
  • Dajuan Summers
  • Peyton Siva
  • Kim English
  • Terrico White
  • Josh Harrellson
  • Charlie Villanueva
  • Vernon Macklin
  • Viacheslav Kravtsov
  • Ben Gordon
  • Ben Wallace
  • Isiah Thomas
  • Maurice Cheeks
  • Lawrence Frank
  • John Kuester
  • Chuck Daly
  • Bill Laimbeer
  • Joe Dumars