Joe Dumars has made some excellent moves as Detroit Pistons team president in past seasons. But for Dumars and the Pistons, that’s the problem; his best moves have been in the past.
This is the most critical offseason of Dumars’ career as Pistons general manager.
He has to choose a coach, although apparently he’ll be getting some help from Phil Jackson. He has to bring in another rookie whom the Pistons hope will be able to be a starter within two or three years, if not sooner. Then he has $25 million in cap space to work with, but Dumars hasn’t done a very good job with free agents in past seasons, which is rather obvious with the likes of Ben Gordon and Charles Villanueva to explain.
Dumars will have to make the right decisions on which players to sign and which ones to say goodbye to as they leave for other teams. His record on this the past few years has not been very good.
The Pistons haven’t had a winning record in the past five NBA seasons and have not made the playoffs for four straight. Whether or not they can shake any of those dubious streaks this spring remains to be seen, but a new coach will be critical. How Andre Drummond, Kyle Singler and Brandon Knight can mature while still in the infancy of their NBA careers will be critical.
Eventually, if the struggles continue, Dumars can’t hide behind the 2004 world championship banner forever. Otherwise, like the many coaches he has fired, he himself will eventually see the door.