Joe Dumars' 10 Worst Moves as President of the Detroit Pistons
Let me preface this by saying that I really like Joe Dumars. This isn't a case of an atheist bashing Tim Tebow, a Republican bashing Barack Obama or a Democrat bashing George W. Bush. This isn't someone that hates someone bashing that person.
I really do like Dumars and all that he stands for. But I can compartmentalize that emotion in order to adequately critique his tenure as president of the Detroit Pistons.
As many of you know, I break Dumars' tenure into two semesters. The first, he had the Midas touch—the second, he had the dookie touch.
Here is a rundown of the worst moves in Dumars' tenure.
10. Re-Signing Rasheed Wallace over Memo Okur
Okay, so everyone loves the Rasheed Wallace trade that brought the mercurial forward to Detroit. It helped bring us a championship.
But the Pistons then had a choice to either re-sign Wallace or promising forward Memo Okur.
The Pistons ended up re-signing Wallace, and while he did bring us some good moments, he also brought us some bad ones and the marriage ultimately ended badly.
Meanwhile, Okur turned into an All-Star forward with the Utah Jazz and is still a very serviceable player while Wallace is long gone.
Had Detroit re-signed Okur instead of Wallace they certainly would be in a better spot now than had they not.
9. Passing on the Rajon Rondo Deal
According to the reports, the Pistons quickly rejected the idea.
This was in 2009.
Let's take a look at how each of those players have fared.
Rondo is considered one of the best point guards in the league. He has had three straight years of averaging at least 10 assists per game and led the league in steals one year.
Allen, who some people thought would be washed up, is still one of the best pure shooters in the game, and has averaged at least 15 points per game each of the last three years.
Hamilton, Prince and Stuckey, meanwhile, have been inconsistent and overpaid. Stuckey still hasn't realized his vast potential and has largely regressed.
Hamilton is no longer with the team and Prince still is an underachiever.
Overall, this deal would have cleared cap space, plain and simple, and would have given the Pistons their true point guard.
Instead, they are stuck with two contracts that are committed to two players that are far from difference-makers and they still don't know if they have their point guard.
8. Drafting Mateen Cleaves
Again, look at the names that follow: DeShawn Stevenson, Michael Redd, Quentin Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, Desmond Mason, Jamaal Magloire, Morris Peterson.
Not nearly as bad as Rodney White, but still pretty terrible.
7. Drafting Rodney White
Rodney White was an absolute bust; nobody is denying that fact.
To save space on this server, here are a few players drafted after him: Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph, Brendan Haywood, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas.
Any of these players would have made this team better. White has been out of the league for over five years.
6. Traded Arron Afflalo to Denver
Joe Dumars needed to clear cap space a couple years ago, so what should he do?
The obvious choice to him was deal the team's young, former first-round pick to the Denver Nuggets for a second-rounder.
The result? Arron Afflalo has become one of the league's top perimeter defenders and is one of the league's up-and-coming 2-guards.
5. Re-Signing Richard Hamilton
The Detroit Pistons had just traded star point guard Chauncey Billups to Denver in exchange for Allen Iverson. Richard Hamilton was despondent and outwardly pouting over the move.
So what do the Pistons do? They reward him with a huge contract extension.
The move not only doesn't help the situation, but becomes a huge albatross hanging around the franchise's neck.
To make matters even more confusing, the Pistons then go out and sign Ben Gordon, who likely would serve as his replacement. The problem is that Hamilton's contract still looms on the books and even though he isn't playing for them anymore, his contract still is hurting them.
4. Trading Chauncey Billups
We all remember the argument. The Pistons had become old and complacent and needed a shakeup. They also needed to find new ways to win on offense.
So the solution Dumars comes up with? Trade the team leader for a washed-up Allen Iverson.
Pistons fans that were looking for a silver lining pointed to the cap space that would be cleared up by shipping away Chauncey Billups and his big salary.
Sadly, this led to two disappointing signings.
And the Pistons' downward spiral began.
Billups went on to have a number of very successful seasons, although his current season has sadly come to an end following a huge injury to his Achilles tendon.
Iverson, meanwhile, cratered and is no longer in the league.
3. Coaching Mishaps
I could put up slides for each of these, but it would take too long and too much space. So instead, let's compile them together.
He found Rich Carlisle who led his team to the Eastern Conference finals but then sacked him. Obviously there have been rumblings that this move was more of the owner's call, but nonetheless Dumars fired him.
Carlisle last year won the title with the Dallas Mavericks.
Next he brings in the great Larry Brown, who leads the team to the title but was shown the door after flirting with other teams.
That one is not on Dumars.
But the next ones are.
Flip Saunders was a disaster. Michael Curry was even more of a disaster. And John Kuester was a train wreck.
And while it is too early to judge Lawrence Frank, his early record isn't encouraging.
2. Signing Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon
The Pistons had just cleared a bunch of cap space with Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson coming off of their books.
So what do they use it on? An underachieving, soft big man and an undersized shooting guard to "replace" Richard Hamilton, whom they just re-signed.
The Pistons, instead of opting to rebuild with their bread and butter of defense and hustle, decided to pull a 180 and rebuild through soft scorers.
Obviously this did not work. Now Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva's contracts are major impediments to the future of this team, and neither contributes anything to this team.
In fact, both are candidates to be waived via the amnesty clause.
1. Drafting Darko Milicic
Need I say anything here?