All good (and bad) things must come to an end. Most of us are still trying to figure out which kind of thing Joe Dumars' stint with the Detroit Pistons has been. Either way, he's on his way out according to The Detroit News' Vincent Goodwill—and apparently on a voluntary basis:
Dumars has told multiple sources within the NBA that he plans to resign — possibly as soon as this week — after a busy offseason that included the signings of high-priced free agents Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings and led to an underachieving 2013-14 season. The Pistons, who many experts picked to return to the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, are 28-49 and out of playoff contention.
After a storied 14-year career playing for the Pistons, Dumars became its president of basketball operations 14 years ago. During that span his team won a championship, but Dumars may be more remembered for his subsequent underachievement (e.g., drafting Darko Milicic).
CBSSports' Zach Harper breaks down the downturn:
From 2003-2008, the Pistons made it to six straight Eastern Conference finals. But it was after their impressive run of consecutive conference finals appearances in which Dumars seemed to lose his touch. He made a bad trade for Allen Iverson that broke up the core led by Chauncey Billups. Once he had cap space to make free agent moves, Dumars signed free agents Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva to big contracts, which helped destroy the momentum of the organization and turned them into one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.
And that's where we stand today. Signing Smith could prove to be his last bad move, but only time will tell. Smith isn't a bad player, but he's now stuck playing most of his minutes at the small-forward position on account of the team already having Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond at the 4 and 5, respectively.
In a league that's trending toward small ball (and in which Smith has been much more successful at power forward), moves like this one register as head-scratchers at the very least.
It would be unfortunate for Dumars' legacy to be entirely marred by a few ill-fated decisions, but this is a league that asks what you've done for me lately. And, lately, Dumars hasn't done much that's especially praiseworthy.
There's still time to turn this ship around, but the question is who's up for the task. The organization will have plenty of options.