What About Chris Webber?

Webber    

     Now that the Pistons hopefully are done negotiating with Chauncey Billups, they need to look at their other players who need to be re-signed. One of these players is Chris Webber, who came to Detroit last season and signed just a one-year deal.

     My question is, should the Pistons even bother bringing Webber back? Sure, he is a home-grown player, and fans like him, but he isn’t getting any younger. His legs are just getting older and with one more year added on to Webber’s age he will more than likely just become more of a liability than an asset. I do realize that Webber averaged about 11 points per game and about 7 rebounds per game last season, but I don’t think he will be able to do the same next season. Even though Webber did help out on the offensive end for the Pistons, he just weighed them down in transition defense. Chris can’t run like he used to be able to, which left Detroit a man short many times when the possession changed.

     If I were Joe Dumars, I wouldn’t bring Webber back for next season. There are some decent unrestricted free agent centers on the market right now. Here are the guys that I would go after to replace C-Webb.

     Chris Mihm

     Chris Mihm did not play in the 2006-2007 season, but he had been a very decent big man up to that point. In 2005-2006, Mihm averaged 10.2 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 1.2 blocks per game. At seven-foot tall, Mihm is a giant, something that the Pistons haven’t had at the center position in a while. Although Mihm is coming off right ankle surgery last year, I still think he can be effective down low. I think that the Lakers are done with Mihm, so the Pistons should have a good shot at signing him if needed. If Detroit does not re-sign Webber, Mihm would be my first choice to replace him.

     If Mihm could not be acquired by the Pistons, Jamaal Magloire would be the second option I would look at. Over his seven years in the NBA, Magloire has been a stable big man. He is coming off his worst season since his rookie year, averaging just 6.5 points per game snd 6.1 boards per game. However, for his career Magloire has averaged about 9 points per game and 6 rebounds per game. Last season, the Trail Blazers were a very bad team. If Magloire was brought onto a better team, such as the Pistons, he might start playing like he did in his younger days. Portland probably has more salary cap room than Detroit does, so stealing him away from the Blazers could be difficult.

     If all else failed, there is one more guy who I would look at to sign in place of Chris Webber. And that guy is P.J. Brown. Brown is a very veteran guy, with 14 NBA seasons under his belt. But P.J. can still be effective. Last season with the Bulls, Brown averaged 6.1 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game. Since Brown is as old as he is, giving him the bulk of the minutes may be out of the question. If Brown was signed, P.J. and McDyess would more than likely have to split minutes playing center. I’m not so sure how willing Brown would be to go play for the Pistons, after giving them a run for their money in the Playoffs with Chicago last season. Then there is also the fact that Detroit wouldn’t be able to offer Brown a big contract, which might not be enough to lure him away from the windy city.

     If Webber is re-signed or if one of these players is signed in his place, Detroit’s solution at the center position is only temporary. Some time in the near future, Detroit needs to draft a promising, young big man to play as their starting center. Until then, the Pistons will continue to struggle with their play in the middle.

Pistons win Summer League Opener, 91-89 in OT

Sammy Mejia during Summer League    

     Earlier tonight, Detroit won it’s first Summer League game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The final score of the contest was 91-89. Four quarters wasn’t enough to settle this game, so it went into over time. Here’s a recap of the action.

     The story in this game was Jason Maxiell. Being the only Pistons who has actually played in an NBA regular season game on the floor tonight, Maxiell scored 22 points. Arron Afflalo and Rodney Stuckey started off their NBA carriers well also, scoring 14 points each. Sammy Mejia, the Pistons second-round draft choice, scored 12 points, as well as the game winning three-pointer at the buzzer.

     This game really means nothing, since there was no one extremely talented on either side of the floor. You can see this by looking at Jason Maxiell, who isn’t the most offensively talented guy in the world, dropping 22 on the Sixers. However, this was a good time for the Pistons to gauge how well their draft picks can play. Although Afflalo and Stuckey have already signed contracts with the Pistons, Mejia has not. This game and the rest of the Summer League games may be how Sammy earns his way onto the team.

     The next time the Pistons play is on Monday, against the Memphis Grizzlies. I’ll have a recap of that game for you on Monday.

Billups’ Contract is now “Unoffically Offical”

Billups Shooting a Jumper    

     According to the Detroit Free Press, Chauncey Billups and the Pistons have agreed to a deal. The new contract will keep Billups on the team for five years (with the fifth year being a team option). Billups will make 60.5 million dollars with this contract.

     Hopefully this is the last of the negotiations between Billups and the Pistons. Chauncey can officially sign a contract next Wednesday, which I hope he does with Detroit. This new contract is only slightly more than what was reported to the media a few days ago. Billups’ agent hasn’t renounced this agreement yet, which may be a good sign.

     Be sure to check back here on the 11th to see if Billups does in fact re-sign with the Pistons.

Carlos Delfino No Longer a Piston

Carlos Delfino    

     This is not anywhere close to being “news”, because it happened on June 15th, but I thought I’d let you know anyways. Detroit’s former small forward from last season, Carlos Delfino, has been traded to the Toronto Raptors. In return, the Pistons receive two second-round draft picks from Toronto, one in the 2009 NBA Draft and the other in the 2011 NBA Draft. Personally, I really didn’t like Carlos Delfino anyways. He’s defense was weak and he was never really all that consistent. Although he came off the bench in all 82 games this past season, I don’t think he will be missed with the drafting of Aaron Afflalo. Also, look for Amir Johnson to be on the roster full-time next season, instead of playing in the D-League. Overall, I think two second-round picks is all anyone would have offered Detroit for Delfino.

More Updates on Billups

     Although it looks like Billups is going to be resigned, I just wanted to follow up on one of those players who I said trading Billups for would be great. Yesterday I said if Detroit could get Rashard Lewis for Billups I would be happy. Well, it looks like that wouldn’t have happened anyways. Lewis agreed to the biggest deal Orlando could give him under their salary cap limits, and he should be signing soon. That’s good for Orlando, bad for Detroit. Now the Pistons just have one more high scoring, high-energy forward to deal with in the Conference.

Looks Like Joe D and I Have Different Opinions

Money    

     From what I have been reading around the NBA Blogosphere, Chauncey Billups has agreed to resign with the Pistons. Nothing is official yet, but it looks like the deal will be about $60 million over five years. Maybe this is for the best, but I wouldn’t have done it. That sure is a lot of cash that would have been freed up in the salary cap.

Should Billups Come Back to the Pistons?

Chauncey Billups    

     Recently, Detroit’s starting point guard Chauncey Billups decided to opt out of the final year of his contract. What that means is that once it is July 11th, Chauncey will be a full-fledged free agent, and can leave the Pistons. Most Pistons fans I have talked to think this is a terrible tragedy. However, I myself, do not think it would be such a bad idea to get rid of Chauncey Billups. Let me explain my reasoning for this.

     This year during the Playoffs, Billups didn’t display his normal clutch ability that he has for the past few years. He didn’t knock down the big shots he needed to knock down. Many times when he was trying to set up the offense in the post-season this year he would get trapped by the opposing defense and turn the ball over. Also, Chauncey isn’t the greatest scorer in the world. Sure, he’s good for 10 or 15 night in and night out, but if his jump shot isn’t hitting then he’s not doing much for his team on the offensive end. Billups isn’t the kind of point guard who slashes to the basket and shoots lay-ups like Tony Parker or a tremendous passer like Steve Nash. Chauncey is the sort of point guard who is more like a “body” guard. He uses his stockier size to over power other, smaller point guards from around the league. And I don’t mean to sound like I think Billups is a terrible point guard and isn’t worth keeping around. I know that Billups is the reason Detroit won many of the games they did in the 2006-2007 season. But I think that the way the Pistons play basketball is on it’s way out. A team can’t just slow down their offense and shoot jumpers all day long. Because one thing I am certain about is that if you live by the jumper you will die by the jumper as well. And that is exactly what the Pistons did in many games this past season.

     Like I said before, the style of basketball the Pistons won a Championship with is rapidly starting to die out. The pace of the NBA is picking up and the Pistons are slowing down. Our big men aren’t getting any younger. I hate to say it, but Chris Webber was just a liability on defense every since the Pistons picked him up. And something that I have noticed from watching the Pistons is that they don’t have a guy who they can give the ball to any time they need a basket. They don’t have any pick-and-roll plays that lead to easy baskets. All they have is a bunch of guys who run around and shoot an open jumper if they get it. And most of the time they miss.

     An NBA team can’t score 80 or 90 points in a game and hope to win unless you are playing tremendous defense (or unless if your playing Boston or Memphis or a team like that). And since Ben Wallace left last season, the Pistons’ defense has lost much of it’s intensity. So, unless you are going to invest in a great scorer, you really don’t have much hope of becoming an NBA power.

     My point in all of this is still whether or not Chauncey Billups should come back. And if I was Joe Dumars, my answer to this matter would be no. I would try and deal Billups before July 11th for a great scorer. It would probably have to be a package deal with someone else like Jason Maxiell or Antonio McDyess. Also, it would have to be a deal where the Pistons would get someone who is an established scorer on a consistent basis. If the Pistons could get Baron Davis, Rashard Lewis, or Elton Brand for Billups and Maxiell I would be very happy.

     Even if the Pistons cannot trade Billups in time, I wouldn’t resign him. Billups makes a lot of money, and all that salary cap room he takes up would be freed up if he was gone. That would make more room for anyone that the Pistons would trade for or pick up during this off-season.

     Overall, the Pistons need to do something or I am afraid they will fall out of the Eastern Conference contention completely. As for Chauncey Billups, my choice would be not to resign him.