I'm not asking what beer you're going to drink, what you may (or may not) inhale, or who you'll spend "quality" time with. I'm asking, if you were the Pistons management and with the team that is currently assembled, if your team made the playoffs, what would you do?
As we all know, we could have a lot of money this summer to spend on some free agents. We all also know what happened the last time we had money to spend on free agents. Here's where the Pistons are and where they may be (and a better formatted table via HoopsHype):
|Player||2012-13 Salary||2013-14 Salary|
|Charlie Villanueva||$8,060,000||$8,580,000 (PO)|
|Greg Monroe||$3,217,680||$4,086,453 (TO)|
|Brandon Knight||$2,755,560||$2,947,800 (TO)|
|Austin Daye||$2,958,444||$4,315,905 (QO)|
|No Maggette, Villanueva, Maxiell, Bynum, Daye
Now, I was looking at a list of free agents based on HoopsWorld and was trying to think how I would spend the money. Now obviously, the roster could very well change and is more than likely to change by the end of the season, but I like to think of possibilities.
If the Pistons amnestied Villanueva (or he was nice/dumb enough to not take his Player Option), didn't attempt to resign Maggettee, Maxiell, and Bynum and let Daye go to Free Agency, then we now only have 10 players. I would like to think our SF, PF and C positions are quite solidified and maybe even our SG (Stuckey, Knight and English). But now we're even more week at PG. Knight will more than likely be our starter unless we were able to pull away a superstar PG or someone considerably better than Knight (of which that wouldn't be hard). However, Knight, Monroe, Drummond and Stuckey aren't likely to go anywhere because they're young and each one still has potential (if Stuckey doesn't get injured, imagine the season he could have if he mimicked his Feb/Mar stretch). That means we pretty much have our starters set except for SF which would be taken by Singler, English, Jerebko, Prince (if still here) and possibly Middleton. So where do we need to spend money other than PG?
Now, looking at the list of possible available PG for next year (based on the link I provided earlier, here are some names I'd be willing pick up (though some aren't very likely):
- Chris Paul
- Ty Lawson (QO)
- Jrue Holiday (QO)
- Chauncey Billups
- Jose Calderon
- D.J. Augustin
- Eric Maynor (QO)
Now, those salaries range from $2,300,000 to $17,779,458, so it'd be possible, but what would be the right solution. Obviously, this year will have some major impact on what the proper thing would be to do (getting an SF is NOT the proper thing to do). Now, of those that I listed above, they are some I would consider, but not necessarily all of them would fit properly. I know a lot of people wanted us to draft Lawson, so maybe we could still get him (though I think it would cost us). Is it worth it? Maybe. Could we convince, or would we even want to convince Chris Paul to come out this way? I'm not sure honestly. I think we could prove to him that we're up and coming, but would this be more enticing than the Clippers? Doubtful. Calderon, Augustin and Maynor are all possible because they're better facilitators than they are shooters, but some can shoot. Whether their attitude fits, I don't know. Then you have Billups. Yes, he's on his way out, and I'm not sure he'd want to come back, but we could definitely use his voice in the locker room.
We all weren't really happy on how much money was spent on Gordon or Villanueva because they were niche players, so I'm not sure we'd (the fans) really want to get another monster contract just in case it doesn't pan out (though I doubt Chris Paul would fit that bill). We're only likely to have 1 draft pick this coming draft, so if we spent all of our money on one player and only had one draft pick, we only have 12 people on our roster entering next season. So, who do we resign/retain?
Do we pick up the option on Austin Daye? Do we resign Maggette for the vet's minimum? Do we resign Bynum to a shorter/cheaper contract? Now, this is assuming that we've made the playoffs and we have something going with our team. If we've made the playoffs, it is more than likely do to Monroe, Stuckey, Knight and a combination of Jerebko, Drummond/Kravtsov, English, Singler, Prince and maybe even Maxiell. With Maxiell playing more minutes (likely seeing how well he did to finish the season and it being a contract year), how much are we willing to throw at him? He's not really starter quality on many teams, so I wouldn't want to go more than $5,000,000, but he's already making that. Do we throw in Drummond and Kravtsov to take Maxiell's minutes down so we can pay him cheaper? Would he resign if that was done?
I have heard many people talk about how much money we could potentially have after the 2012-13 season, but I don't see many people talking about what we should actually do with it if we made it to the playoffs. If we don't make it to the playoffs, I think it's pretty clear that we clean the books and attempt to buy some draft picks if possible. But if we make the playoffs via having a good season (meaning a season that shows improvement in quite a few areas for quite a few players and the team as a whole) then what do we do when approximately 1/3 of the team may not be on the books the coming year (one of which will likely start at the beginning of this season, another still has "potential", another leaving weakens us more at PG, etc.)? How much of the cap is spent on free agents? Do we save some for the following free agent crop? Do we try to buy some draft picks and stay pretty young?
What would you do?