The Pistons have signed the former No.1 pick Kwame Brown to a two year $8 million deal. Joe Dumars was talking about making BIG moves at the end of last season. Is this supposed to be it?
In high school Kwame was a stud and Michael Jordan, who was selecting for the Wizards, made Brown the first high school player to go No.1. Kwame did tell the Wizards in 2001 "If you draft me, you'll never regret it." This gave David Stern a reason to put an age limit on the draft.
After being unsuccessful in DC, Kwame was traded to the Lakers. This was supposed to be his coming out party. Phil Jackson could fix him up.
Kwame did not perform too poorly in 2006 when he got the starting job. He averaged 12 points and nine boards.
After that Andrew Bynum developed into the man he is today, and Kwame was left on the bench with injuries. This was supposed to be his place to grow into the star he was supposed to be. Well, that did not work out.
Kwame was booed by the Laker fans as he lost all his confidence. One could tell how he was thinking too much when he was playing. He turned into a turnover machine.
Last season he was traded to a struggling Memphis Grizzlies team. Third time's the charm, right? The Grizzlies were a bad team without a big man. Kwame was supposed come in and be a force to show that the Wizards and Lakers made a mistake letting him go.
Well, that did not go as planned, again. He rarely played, and when he did the Grizzlies fans booed him as he turned over the ball and made poor plays.
Now the free agent is looking for another shot. The Detroit Pistons may be the place where he comes in to show his promise. It has been seven years. Maybe he just needed some time to grow.
Dumars wanted a powerful center to go along side Jason Maxiell, and Kwame may actually be the answer. He did show promise as a rebounder and defender for the Lakers in 2006 and 2007.
He may never live up to expectations as a scorer in the NBA, but with the team the Pistons have, assuming Dumars does not split up the team, he can fit right in and come off the bench.
Kwame would have no big pressure to perform to his old potential. Kwame can just be Kwame. He can get in and take minutes off Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace.
He can give the Pistons a physical player who would not need to score, but just get boards and block shots. Rip, Bullups, Prince, and Sheed will fair well with him.
Billups and Hamilton were not "studs" before they came to Detroit. Dumars gave them a shot and look how well that decision played out. Maybe the same might go for Kwame.
I look forward to seeing Kwame beoome a solid player for the rest of his career, posting 10 points, 8 boards, and 2 blocks a game. That is nowhere close to the expectations of him earlier being a 20 and 12 player, but both he and the fans need to accept that he is a bust.
Dumars is making a smart decision. Who knows maybe Kwame will explode with the Pistons? Worst case scenario they end up cutting him and he goes overseas to join the parade of NBA players going there.