Joe Dumars is gambling again and frankly it’s good to see. The Pistons have missed it the fans have missed it. Pretty much everyone missed it as the team slid into irrelevance. This is one way to climb out. If you gamble you gamble on talent and you gamble with a plan that worked before. You trade for Brandon Jennings and sign Josh Smith two gifted and enigmatic players. You monitor the market for the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo who could be available in trade by December. In one eventful offseason the Pistons have advanced from irrelevant to thoroughly intriguing. A playoff berth must follow and with this roster I think it will. Maybe Dumars is being pushed by his own job uncertainty or simply adjusting. But he’s aggressively doing what he did before seeking potential in unpolished pieces. It’s been a productive proactive stretch for Dumars who introduced new point guard Jennings Tuesday. He re-made his roster without surrendering either of his pillars Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. If he’d landed Rondo I’d call it superb. (For the record Dumars said his big moves are done unless something “came out of the clear blue.”) For now I’ll call the offseason very good and very necessary. Dumars is betting on immediate impact and it sure looks like playoffs-or-bust. “At some point you gotta go all in” Dumars said. “Sometimes you have to push the envelope as hard as you can and this summer with our cap space was a big push. Sometimes you can’t take the baby steps and you gotta take the big steps.” In other words he couldn’t wait to see if Brandon Knight 21 can grasp the point guard role so he traded him for Jennings 23 who shows dazzling flashes and wild inconsistencies. Dumars also doled out $54 million for the talented Smith who carries questions about attitude and effort. And he brought back two original hard-edge guys Chauncey Billups as a player and Rasheed Wallace as a (noisy) assistant. Dumars has done this before with great success with second-chance guys like Billups Richard Hamilton Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace. That doesn’t mean it’ll work again because that group was uniquely motivated. But after four brutal seasons with The Palace echoing apathy and the owner wanting more these are the types of moves Dumars had to make. His contract is up after this season and with Tom Gores saying little publicly patience no longer is a wise strategy.
Finally, this is a Pistons team that should be fun to watch
Detroit News | Aug 7