Hope you all had an enjoyable Labor Day holiday. Let’s look at some news and notes on our Detroit Pistons from around the web the past several days or so. If there’s anything else you readers have found and would like to add, let us know in the comments!
Pistons are included in NBA's Seven Saddest Rebuilding Situations
Right before the holiday weekend kicked off, the Sports Illustrated staff clumped Detroit in with six other unsurprising rebuilding schmucks, such as the Orlando Magic, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, just to name a few. (Okay, surprise surprise, the other two schmuck teams are the Pacers and Nets)
Before I had a chance to read the SI article, I seriously wondered if the writer forgot that the Pistons acquired Avery Bradley, a well known two-way guard who would likely be the team’s best player from the get-go. Fortunately the writer did not forget, as he gave credit and wrote that Bradley to Detroit was likely to be a “meaningful move”.
However, not all was accurate with the rest of the article. The writer compared Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer as both solid players. Don’t get me wrong, Leuer has a solid player in him somewhere. Using “solid” to describe both these players is quite a liberal use of the word: Tobias Harris is much closer to being a needle-mover than Jon Leuer is.
THE BAD: The saddest thing about the Pistons is that they once appeared to have the pieces to build a playoff squad. They drafted Andre Drummond, brought in Stan Van Gundy and signed Reggie Jackson. The climb, however, halted there. As great as Van Gundy is, no funny quip or quick fix can change the trajectory of his team. Drummond is still a historically bad free throw shooter and Jackson still dribbles the air out of the ball. And Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer are solid players, but don't exactly move the needle.
Say, should the Pistons even be considered as one of the saddest rebuilding situations? It’s not insane to think that the Pistons have just a little more talent and hope than those other six schmuck teams? If all goes right this season, the Pistons could have a winning season and have something worthy on their hands, right? If that happened then it would seem to mean that Drummond wasn’t such a lost cause and that Jackson, at the very least, played well enough for a period of time that he was involved in a trade that made the team better (or it was just merely addition by subtraction).
Anyway, the surprisingly low expectations and tough road ahead (when grouped in with those special undesirables) for this team seem a bit too harsh and careless. It almost makes me want to defend Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson more now. Almost.
Avery Bradley to Pistons considered one of top under-the-radar moves of the summer
Brad Botkin of CBS Sports rightly calls Avery Bradley to Detroit a very good under-the-radar move. No surprise there at all. Here’s a good reminder:
In a contract year and playing for a potential max deal, don't rule out Bradley as an All-Star in the East. Plus, he makes half of what Reggie Jackson makes. Hell, he barely makes more than Detroit is paying Langston Galloway. Add it all up, and this is a great get for the Pistons -- a major upgrade from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at a bargain price.
Does NBA scout exaggerate or instead speak the truth about Drummond in present day NBA game?
An NBA scout looks at the Cleveland Cavaliers new additions and young talent, and while highlighting backup 7-foot-3 center Edy Tavares (who was on Cavs’ playoff roster last season), slips in the following about Drummond (bold again my emphasis):
"He (Edy) can't play against [the Warriors]. They're just too fast getting up and down the court. He's going to be too slow getting up the court, getting to rebounds, getting to shooters.
"There can be some random regular-season games he can eat some minutes up just to save minutes on Kevin Love or Tristan Thompson. With the NBA going to small ball and fast pace, it's tough to play guys like him or even an Andre Drummond, who's still young and has promise.
Back to the initial question - is the scout exaggerating a bit or does he have a point?
I tend to lean towards the scout having a point, mostly because the scout admits that Drummond does have promise. It’s true, Drummond does have some amount of promise, it’s just that many fans don’t expect him to ever realize that promise (or “get” it), for whatever reason.
The answer to the question probably lies in the middle. Although Drummond might not fit in very well with the current style of the NBA, there’s still promise and hope to his game. That promise, if realized, could perhaps turn things around for him.
Peculiar thing, all this wouldn’t have come up if it weren’t for this scout lumping Andre in with, of all players, Edy Tavares (who has played a grand total of 13 games in his NBA career).
Is Andre Drummond the most overrated player in the NBA?
Yep, Joel Brigham at Basketball Insiders thinks so. Venture to it if you must.