Mike Valenti’s Take On The Ben Gordon Trade
Simple, no frills, here we go…
First off, I hate giving up picks to clean up mistakes. Hate it. The Pistons likely gave up their first rounder two years from now as it’s only Top-8 protected. If they’re that horrible two years from now just take my mic away.
The real issue here is people expecting me to go all lovey dovey over Joe Dumars actually doing something or burying him on the spot. Now I do get the motive and this deal could make sense fully if the Pistons and Joe go the full monty so to speak. What is that you ask? Simple. Amnesty Villanueva and fully clean this teams putrid books and deal Maggette at deadline for an asset. Do those two things and as bitter a pill as it would be to swallow to simply give away a key 1st-round pick two years from now, I’d live with it. But in the here and now, without those moves happening? I’m not going to do a cartwheel. Joe wasn’t cleaning up some other guy’s errors; on the contrary he was cleaning up his own dropped soup.
So to be clear…I don’t hate this…yet. I also don’t love it either. Yet. As with most things we must let it play out and see what follows it. If it’s nothing. If they don’t amnesty or deal CV31. If Maggette isn’t spun into something at deadline. Etc. then I’ll pretty much hate it. But if Joe finishes what he started, there is a chance this could help this team.
Last thing. Scenario time. Also my worst fear. Let’s say Pistons do the expected and take John Henson at No.9. They go on to stink next year but as usual not stink enough and land between 8-12 in draft. Pick is protected so they would select a young guy and have some cap to use in summer. Would anyone want it? Would you want anyone at a premium price? No idea. But here’s the real issue. Pistons go out the next year and stink again, but not stink enough and draft between 9-14, they lose the pick. The next year they don’t make HUGE improvement but are somewhat respectable…pick goes bye-bye. That pick would be another young guy to add to hopefully 3-4 good young assets you already have and maybe a nice veteran you signed. Or it could be traded for a veteran or some asset to help the team move up in that draft. Instead you will have given it away because Joe needed to clean up this Gordon disaster so badly that he needed to butter MJ up. Dumars is gambling this team gets a lot better and fast so that the pick looks like small potatoes. Clearly confidence is something Joe isn’t short on. I can at least respect that.
So that’s it. I wanted action and I got it. Sort of. I can’t totally roast Joe yet but this deal needs finishing. It does save money and dump an awful player on an awful deal on someone else. It also gives Joe less excuses moving forward. He must maintain aggressiveness. Be bold. And make very few errors. Dumars damn well better hit home runs here on out. Nail next two 1st-round picks, use money to get functional veteran human beings to come here and somehow by 2014 not be anywhere near the lottery and it all might work out. Tums please.