There might be close to a zero percent possibility that Isiah Thomas is tapped as the new GM of the Detroit Pistons after the season, but it is looking more and more certain that Joe Dumars is on the way out. And based on a report from Ric Bucher indicates Dumars might not be interested in taking a different, ceremonial post with the organization and may instead leave it all behind.
While reports dismiss the possibility of the Detroit Pistons supplanting their current GM, Joe Dumars, with his former championship backcourt mate, Isiah Thomas, sources do not expect Dumars to stay in the position much longer-either he'll step down or owner Tom Gores will go in a new direction. Dumars, one source said, is weary of the criticism he has received in trying to rebuild the Pistons after constructing a franchise that went to the Eastern Conference Finals six years in a row (2003-2008). The criticism, the source said, fails to account for a dismal Detroit economy and restraints placed on Dumars while the franchise was up for sale and ultimately changed ownership hands. Dumars could not be reached for comment.
I can understand Dumars being weary of criticism, it's just about all he's received since the moment he traded franchise favorite Chauncey Billups. And I personally am sympathetic to the constraints he allegedly had to deal with following the death of longtime owner Bill Davidson as the franchise was in transition.
But, look. In his position as the lead executive of the Pistons, Dumars has handed out $270 million to the likes of Richard Hamilton, Jonas Jerebko, Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. And to make room for those disastrous decisions, Dumars dealt away Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo and a future first-round pick.
So Dumars was due a hefty amount of criticism.
When he's been financially constrained, Dumars has made horrible decisions. When he's been financially liberated, Dumars has made even worse decision. And it doesn't matter if he was motivated to spend before Karen Davidson came into town and turned off the money spigot or that Tom Gores mandated a playoff appearance and signings that would put butts in the seats. It's on Dumars to spend that money, and spend it wisely.
Just look at how Mike Illitch has mandated a lot of moves to his GM Dave Dombrowski. The only difference is that Dombrowski is able to target quality players and not turn any new salary obligations into instant albatrosses. There were myriad ways Dumars could have spent $78 million this past offseason and gotten much better return on his investment than he's received so far in Smith and Jennings. It was Dumars decision to meet Josh Smith at midnight at the dawn of free agency.
I don't begrudge Dumars being weary of criticism. I just hope he understands that Pistons fans are even wearier of their favorite team's mismanagement.