Joe Dumars Has Rebuilt Detroit Pistons Into Contenders For Playoffs, But Not NBA Title

By John Raffel


Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars would probably like to think there are more things he can still do to make the team better going into the 2013-14 season.

An evaluation of his offseason work would give Dumars a favorable rating. He has made the Pistons a better team, one that should contend for a winning record and playoff spot. He is still an impact player or two away from contending for an NBA title.

His best move was obviously the signing of Josh Smith, who should give the team a constant threat every night and makes the Pistons 10 wins better all by himself. Many are wondering if Smith might bring back the days of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva whom they signed in 2009. No way. Smith comes to a team with less egos and with more younger players willing to work with a person of his stature to make them a better performer.

His second best move was the hiring of Maurice Cheeks. The Pistons haven’t had a coach the players can look up to and respect in more than five years. Cheeks isn’t going to take some of the baloney previous coaches put up with and as a result, this is a team that will mean business.

The third best move was to unofficially declare Andre Drummond as the franchise’s cornerstone and moving him to center while Greg Monroe will switch to power forward. Actually, this move came late in the regular season, but the Pistons are committing themselves to it for 2013-14. Dumars isn’t the coach, but he certainly had a say on how these two guys should be used.

The fourth best move was the drafting of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Based on what he’s done during the summer, it’s easy to see why the Pistons thought he would be a better fit than Trey Burke. Caldwell-Pope won’t be the Rookie of the Year, but he’s going to surprise a lot of people.

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