The old saying goes, as one door closes another door opens. Such is life in the NBA. As one player leaves a team, an opportunity for someone to take his place presents itself.
He was traded days before the draft in a move that Joe Dumars had to make. The Pistons owed him $25 million over the next two years and there was little return on the investment. Needless to say, it was a deal they desperately wanted out of.
So Dumars pulled off a shrewd move. He unloaded Gordon and his bloated contract on Charlotte and landed veteran Corey Maggette who can add depth, physicality and scoring to the young Pistons team.
More importantly, he's only there for one year. He offers the financial freedom that Gordon did not.
Yet, Maggette is a completely different player than Gordon. He might take the open roster spot, but he doesn't replace Gordon's role on the team.
Gordon was brought in to be a prolific scorer and a sharpshooter from three-point range. He averaged 20 points a game between 2006-2009 with the Chicago Bulls, while shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc. Unfortunately, he never matched that production in Detroit.
So what player can step in to fill the role originally intended for Gordon? Early indications are that Kim English could fit the bill.
The Pistons drafted him because of the shooting prowess he demonstrated during his four years at Missouri University and he hasn't disappointed so far.
In Orlando, during summer league play, English was one of the best players in the league—recognized with an Honorable Mention award. He averaged 11.4 points and 3.8 rebounds a game in 30 minutes of action. The most impressive stat was 45 percent shooting from three-point range, though.
He even led the Pistons to victory in their league finale against Philadelphia scoring 17 points and going 4-7 from behind the arc.
More importantly, English is an NBA-ready player. Sure, there will be a transition period, and he'll have to work on his game and his strength to get better, but all rookies have to do that. He was a four-year college player—he's 24 years old—and he brings with him a level of intelligence and maturity that other rookie players don't have.
He's no project like the Pistons first round selection, Andre Drummond.
From day one, English can step on the floor and help the Pistons. The pressure will be minimal on him. There's no first-round expectations or giant contract he needs to live up to. He's not going to be the face of the franchise and he won't be a starter.
He'll come off the bench and do what he does best. Spot up and knock down threes.
People might consider him to be one-dimensional. Truth be told, that was the knock against him before he shot 46 percent from behind the arc his senior year and wowed scouts at his individual workout (ESPN.com: Insiders only).
While his stock may have risen, it doesn't change the fact that his game still is one-dimensional, but that's okay. The Pistons don't need him to be Lebron James (although if he was they would not complain).
They simply need him to be what Gordon was supposed to be: a consistent scorer and three-point shooter who can excel off the bench.
He can handle that.
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