DETROIT (97.1 The Ticket) With the trade deadline in the NBA on Thursday, the Detroit Pistons have slowly and methodically snuck back into the playoff picture. The Pistons are three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. That is a remarkable turnaround given the Pistons awful start.
It’s encouraging. Most encouraging is a team that looked un-coachable under John Cuester looks imminently more coachable under Lawrence Frank. Frank appears to be a solid choice by Joe Dumars for getting this team back on track. Second year big man, Greg Monroe and rookie point guard Brandon Knight are proving to be solid young cornerstones to build around.
But what’s next? I will tell you what shouldn’t be next — adding at the trade deadline to make a playoff push. It is important that Joe Dumars not lose focus and try to go for it now. For what? Being first round playoff fodder for Miami?
More than likely the Pistons will ship out a player in the rotation to add a lower draft pick. Ben Gordon played 28 minutes on Monday night at Utah. The most in three games and only once in the last four weeks has Gordon played more than that. Is he being showcased?
Let’s hope so.
If the Pistons could find a taker for a low draft pick just to unload Gordon’s hefty salary — he’s owed $12.4M next year and $13.2M on a player option in two years — that would be a huge win for the Pistons. Gordon’s reputation as a playoff performer might make him more attractive to a team looking for a scorer.
If Dumars can pull that off — he takes another small step in the right direction — toward this Pistons rebuild.