Almost one year in, it appears that Detroit's Jarvis Hayes project has come to an end. Late Thursday evening, Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Pistons free agent Jarvis Hayes has agreed to a two-year deal with the New Jersey Nets. This move will likely surprise very few Pistons fans, as Hayes' name came up blank in nearly every rumor that involved Detroit's ambition at the backup small forward position.
While this guest blogger has openly shared his own opinions on Jarvis Hayes, this is as good a time as any to reflect on the better part of Hayes' tenure in Detroit, and to wish him the best of luck with the Nets of New Jersey. With Hayes out, speculation can begin en force: who should replace Jarvis Hayes as Detroit's backup small forward? With Corey Maggette, James Jones and Mikael Pietrus off the block, that leaves us with a few options...
Starting with the lowest hanging fruit, current restricted agent Walter Herrmann has the potential to be a solid backup small forward behind Tayshaun Prince. The greatest data set available for Herrmann is his dynamite closeout of the 2006-07 NBA season in Charlotte. As a starter, Herrmann provided the dead-accurate three point shooting and to-the-basket slashing that, ideally, Detroit would kill to have off the bench. If Herrmann doesn't return to back up Tayshaun Prince, it is likely that either a) the Euro League has offered him more than we can afford, or B) Joe knows something we don't.
DBB favorite Carlos Delfino might just be wearing the Pistons red and blue again next season. While a restricted free agent, Delfino is the odd man out in Toronto, and may find an unmatched deal from Detroit in his future. The question for DBBers, who are long-time fans of Delfino-- is Carlos an improvement on our bench behind Tayshaun and Rip?
C. J. Miles
I don't pretend to know a lot about C. J. Miles, other than his unreal improvement when given consistent playing time. Should a player like Miles be available to Detroit, in comparison to those listed above, this might be a no-brainer. The kid shot 48% from the field when given consistent, game-by-game minutes as a small forward. He's having a tough time finding a niche in Utah, and while Detroit is no solution to that problem-- he might be the rare player that fits like a glove.
While James Posey is still available, I hope that there are many other DBBers that cringe a little bit when they hear that name. The two-toned mouthpiece, the dirty fouls, those relentless threes... It sure would be nice to have that kind of annoyance on our team. The money will likely not work out, as Posey is probably due a MLE+ contract from another team. While I may not agree Posey is worth the full MLE, he is a pesk at every level, and has tipped a few teams into championship territory in his day.
With Hayes likely gone, Delfino unlikely to return and Miles/Posey a tough sell based on our available budget, we may find a change at the backup three coming along with a blockbuster trade. I'd much rather leave the speculating to the professionals, the DBB readers who are way more qualified and informed than I am. Yet many more options remain. Should Detroit decide to tango with Denver, we could wind up with Linas Kleiza behind Tayshaun. If the Josh Smith rumors are true, we may need to find a player behind Smith instead. The point is, aside from the top four (plus one) shown above, there may be other and better options available to our team after this freak agency calms down a bit...
Until then, I have two questions for you:
- In an ideal world, what three available small forwards in the league would you love to backup Tayshaun Prince? (by free agent signing or small-scale trade)
- Should Detroit go the blockbuster route, is Tayshaun your first option as a trade piece?
Notice I made it through this whole post without mentioning any Tracy McGrady rumors? (I totally just failed that...)
(thanks to DBB reader LawyerBoy for the tip)