Detroit Pistons Are Huge Winners in Jose Calderon Deal
This afternoon, ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Pistons were the third team involved in the Rudy Gay deal, sending Austin Daye and Tayshaun Prince to Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jose Calderon.
Okay, let this news wash over you. If you are in fact now jumping up and down and crying tears of joy, you are not alone. I just got done doing the same thing.
But first, let's take a moment to remember all the good that Prince gave us. He was an integral part of the 2004 championship team and has provided some amazing plays for this team. The image of him blocking Reggie Miller's layup during that year's playoffs is an iconic Michigan sports moment.
However, things have changed. Prince no longer fits this team.
The Pistons are trying to define themselves as one of two types of teams. Either they are a half-court offense that flows through the post, or they are an up-tempo unit that gets out on the break.
Either way, Prince is not a fit. His offense has essentially become one-dimensional, relying on a jump fake in order to get off his shot in most instances. He still has that baby hook in the post, but in recent years we have seen that move less and less due to his diminished athleticism and the strain it puts on his body.
In the full court, Prince often acted as the wet blanket for the break. Brandon Knight and the rest of the team would be slanting down the court, only to be held up by Prince's anchor of caution. Prince had become the place where fast-breaks go to die.
However, Memphis is a great fit for him. He'll be able to focus primarily on defense and will be a nice complimentary fourth option on offense. It also gets him on a title-contending team, something that is sure to make him discover the fountain of youth like Jason Kidd and Grant Hill did before him.
It also is fantastic news that the Pistons have rid themselves of Daye as well.
Daye has been an utter disappointment in Detroit. He still doesn't have a solid position on the floor and he never did add the bulk and strength needed to play up front. At this point, he is a situational stretch 4 that won't give you defense or rebounding. He might be the softest 6'11" player in the league.
But in Memphis, he is a low-risk, high-reward player. They don't have to re-sign him after the year, so if he disappoints, they can just cut ties after the season.
For Detroit, this is a major coup. They finally have a true point guard in Calderon, someone that will allow Knight to play off the ball and focus on scoring.
We are sure to see some fantastic play over the next few months, not the least of which will involve highlight-reel dunks by Andre Drummond.
Calderon is also an excellent shooter, so this will open up the post even more. It also should push Kyle Singler either to the small forward spot or back to the bench. He is ill-suited for the shooting guard position, something that is becoming more and more obvious by the day.
Additionally, the trading of Daye may bring Jonas Jerebko back into the mix. Jerebko should compete for minutes with Charlie Villanueva as a stretch 4, or he could be in the mix at the small forward spot.
In my opinion, Jerebko should be immediately inserted into the starting lineup at small forward, but that may be just wishful thinking; I love the energy the guy plays with as well as the viking horn that the Pistons blare whenever he does something good!
Overall, this was an excellent move by team president Joe Dumars.
He gets rid of two players that no longer fit this team, brought in a player that fills a need and cleared out a logjam in the process.
Finally, a deal that signals competence from the Pistons' front office.
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