Of the nearly 15,000 observers who weren't sure if Wizards forward Trevor Ariza's 3-pointer went in or merely swished the net while coming up short, at least one courtside ticket-holder had no doubt of the outcome: agent David Falk.

Falk, the agent for Pistons forward Greg Monroe, is a longtime season-ticket holder.

When Monroe was drafted in June 2010, Falk said Detroit wasn't a great place to be, but he now believes the Pistons are headed in the right direction, despite their 23-37 mark.

"My theory about teams if I owned it, I'd want to be in one of two places: one player away from being a serious title contender, like (Pau) Gasol or (Kevin) Garnett, to put you over the top," Falk said. "Or you're in a rebuilding situation. The worst thing is being in the middle, where you can't get a high enough draft pick to make an impact. (Salary cap) flexibility is very important."

Although the Pistons haven't had a pick higher than Monroe, who went seventh, Falk said he likes the direction the Pistons are going, with the drafting of Brandon Knight, Andre Drummond and Kyle Singler, along with the acquisition of Jose Calderon.

"When Greg came to Detroit, Joe (Dumars) made the decision that they weren't constituted to be a contender," Falk said. "It's an intelligent way to respond. He went from a veteran team that didn't have a chance to win to a young team that's on the way up."

How the Pistons act this summer, with more than $20 million in cap space, will be a great factor in whether their curve for contending speeds up or regresses. Falk, having represented a who's who of the biggest names (Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning), isn't sure about the perception about Detroit not being an attractive destination for free agents.

"In my career, when Juwan Howard was a free agent (in 1996), we had serious talks with Detroit. Same with (Dikembe) Mutombo (in 1996)," Falk said. "You go to play, it's your job. You have a finite amount of time to win. When Detroit was good, it was a very attractive place to play, guys wanted to go there.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130301/SPORTS0102/303010350#ixzz2MIfVpJ00