According to league sources and reported by former Detroit News columnist and current ESPN writer Rob Parker, the New Jersey Nets are interested in Detroit Pistons President of Operations Joe Dumars.
Dumars has stated that he has not interviewed with the Nets for their vacant general manager position. However, you could hardly blame the Pistons' front man for looking into the situation and maybe even flirting with it a bit.
Dumars is in a very tough situation in Detroit. First, his boss and biggest supporter, owner William Davidson, passed away last year. His widow, Karen, stepped in as owner and almost immediately placed the team up for sale.
Secondly, Dumars' right hand man, Tom Wilson, recently left the team and has been peeling off Pistons' employees left and right and has set up quite a rivalry with his former boss.
Thirdly, the Pistons are heading in the wrong direction. After building one of the most successful franchises of the last decade, Dumars has made quite a few missteps and is no longer the fan favorite he once was. Also, some of Dumars' moves have handcuffed this franchise, leaving the Pistons with very little wiggle room to operate.
Lastly, a new owner may view Dumars as an overrated asset, and may look to move the team in a new direction. In that case, Dumars would probably have to look for another job anyways, and one that might not be as attractive.
The Nets job would be a very intriguing one for Dumars. First, they have a ton of cap space. This would allow Dumars to essentially build a team from scratch. That being said, the cupboard is not exactly bare, as big man Robin Lopez had a tremendous year and point guard Devin Harris is a nice asset.
Secondly, billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov has already shown a desire to win right away, and he would surely open up his wallet to Dumars and give him carte blanche to work his magic.
Thirdly, free-agent superstar LeBron James is still a top target of the Nets, and perhaps the signing of Dumars could help sway the King or vice versa. Regardless, the chance to put together a team around James has to be very appealing to Dumars.
So what are the chances this actually comes to fruition? Actually, the chances are a lot better than you might think. While Dumars is very much a Detroit institution through his charity work and many business ventures in Michigan, he could always run those ventures from New Jersey. Newark isn't exactly Seattle, and Dumars could easily trek back and forth.
While Dumars has always stated his preference for Detroit, especially during ex-coach Larry Brown's flirtations with New York (upon hearing that Brown felt New York was a dream job, he said that he felt Detroit was a dream job), many things have changed and not all of them are good.
Sure, Dumars likely views the rebuilding of his Pistons team as a challenge that he is up for, but the idea of moving to an up and coming franchise may just prove too much for him.
So should Detroit fans be running for a roof? Not exactly. Were Dumars to bolt, Detroit would still have plenty of options.
Tops amongst those options would have to be former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard. Pritchard is incredibly well respected among basketball people and his recent ugly ousting from Portland left him as the only good guy in the situation.
Pritchard's seemingly only bad move over the course of his career in Portland was drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant.
Of course Dumars would be the first to sympathize with Pritchard as he has whiffed more than once on a lottery pick.
Beyond Pritchard, there are a handful of other GMs currently looking for work, including former Suns front man Steve Kerr, former Cavs president Danny Ferry, and of course Larry Brown is angling for a general manager gig.
Bottom line, Dumars has definitely done more good than bad during his time in Detroit and he will always be revered for his work for this franchise. However, over the past five years his Midas touch has been revealed as being more copper than gold, and a change may be best for all involved.