Tom Gores has made it pretty clear that he sees no reason why we can't make the playoffs next year. He expects it.
I'm a huge fan of Joe Dumars, as a player and GM. Yes, he's made a few mistakes as a GM, some of them were valid reaches of faith that didn't work out, but overall he's been at the very least an average GM (but on average, most GMs don't put together a championship winning team). However, there is one area that Joe has always concerned me...choosing his coaches. I like Lawrence Frank, his story, his attitude, and how it seemed like he really clicked with the players last year, and that was in a shortened lockout season where we played the most games in the shortest amount of time to begin the season. Because of all of that, I'm hopeful. But it hasn't just been Joe's choices in coaches, but his tolerance of them.
Now, I don't know everything that happens behind the scenes and I don't remember everything that's happened with all of our past coaches since Joe became GM. But here's my thoughts on it.
- Rick Carlisle (2 years) - Good choice, was let go too early in my opinion. Wikipedia cites issues between him and the brass, and Larry Brown was available, but I liked him as a coach.
- Larry Brown (2 years) - Thank you for the championship, but I really don't like you. He is one of the reasons why I hate answering my phone for people offering me jobs when I already have a job I like.
- Flip Saunders (3 years) - Eh, he had us winning some, but I could see the issues between him and the incumbent players.
- Michael Curry (1 year) - Do I really need to say it?
- John Kuester (2 years) - Understood the choice, but hindsight is 20/20. The dude just sucked.
So for over 10 years, we haven't had a coach stay with us for more than 3 years. Lawrence Franks contract (from what I read on here) is for 3 years with a team option (did anyone expect Joe not to put a team option in there?) for a fourth. As I stated earlier about what he did last season, I'm happy with him being our coach. The question is, can he go further?
For all intensive purposes, Andre Drummond is a project. Everyone acknowledges that. He was more than likely the right choice based on potential at the #9 pick. I didn't see anything in my two minute search, but my assumption is that it's for 3 years, maybe 2 at the least. Well, that would put the end of his contract either a year after or at the same time as the end of Coach Frank's contract.
Best Case Scenario
Coach Frank finally gets to get the players fully into his playbook and we continue to improve as we did to end the season last year. Andre Drummond gets mentoring from Ben Wallace (on the court or off) and/or competition from Vyacheslov Kravtsov, making him realize and utilize his potential. And either next year or the year after, we're at least a playoff team, even if it's only the 8th seed.
Worst Case Scenario
Coach Frank becomes stagnant with his players as what seemed to happen in New Jersey. Andre Drummond gets no mentoring from Ben Wallace and Vyacheslov Kravtsov turns out to be garbage (not even a good backup center) and Drummond is thrown into the mix too early to develop his potential. We don't make the playoffs in the next two years. Coach Frank is fired (meaning having to find another new coach, one willing to come to Detroit), Joe D is fired (I know some here would be more than ok with that, but I'd be upset a little), Monroe and/or Knight decide not to extend because of the turmoil (people willing to pay them a lot of money), and the Pistons end up in Purgatory for another 3-5 years.
Ugh, after writing this post, I need me a cup of kool-aid. I'm wavering on the line of depression.
How do you forsee it unfolding?