Nerd of Batman, sports, logic, objectivity, Star Trek, personal enlightenment, Lincoln, the Rays, psychology, mic dropping. Kind've in that order.
KCP - Kentavious Caldwell Pope
WAR - Wins Above Replacement
FIP - Fielding Independent Pitching
LD% - Line Drive Percentage.
LOOGY - Left Handed One Out Guy
B/S - Batman/Superman
Chauncey Billups, not Mr. Big Shot is back. Pistons fans need to realize that and limit their expectations.
I'm very cautious about any excitement surrounding the Pistons latest addition.
I feel the same way I feel about the return, at least to the bench, of Rasheed Wallace.
This is all too soon. The close proximity to a title team - even though it's been 9 years it feels like less - is going to intensify the microscope of analysis on this current group of Palace dwellers.
If this were 2016, I'd be much more in favor of Billups and Wallace returning to the Pistons family. Not now though.
The young core of the Pistons (oh, BTW, with Billups in, the pipe dream of Rondo has rusted away. Not happening.) with Drummond as the untouchable, along with Monroe, Knight, and KCP and other recent draftees, and Josh Smith needed to create their own identities, and certainly not in the shadow of two parochial NBA champions.
Instead, I'm almost certain everything this hopefully emerging group of Pistons does will be compared to and measured against that core group in the beginning and middle of the last decade.
You know, the Bulls are probably going to exile Rip Hamilton, want him back too?
That's an immense amount of internal pressure, especially for Knight. He either learns the court sense, awareness and responsibility needed to excel as an NBA point guard, or he likely loses playing time to the icon most will dissect him against.
That's a mighty stressful crucible in my candid opinion.
It's one thing for fans to say 'we wish he was Chauncey.' Knight will like he's in a an inescapable vice when fans say 'we WANT Chauncey (assuming he's healthy),' which they can have because he'll be a teammate of Knight's.
I think for me this is most analogous to the most popular player in the football.
The backup quarterback. When your starter is dreary and miserable, it's the backup (hellllloooo, there's a reason he's that!) fans clamor for.
The Pistons have brought in one of their three, four or five most popular players in history...and I'm just not sure if that's the optimal strategy to help Brandon Knight meet what's expected of him.
Another thing before we move on; I know you can point to how a healthy Chauncey MAY be able to viably contribute on the court, but we all realize his mentorship possibilities as well. Are the Pistons that intensely invested in Brandon Knight that they need TWO(!!!!!!) NBA champion point guards to help him realize what potential he may have within him.
Sorry, I'm not into the Chauncey can play have dual roles perspective. To me, you're jamming up a roster spot for a legitimate starting point guard (I was down with the Rondo stuff) - while they postpone what I still believe Knight's inevitable role should be; 40% 3 assassin off the bench.
And don't these two additions this week - 'Sheed, Billups - possibly undermine Mo Cheeks too? If Billups is unable to play at some point and Mo's struggling, it won't take long before the torchers and pitch forkers start calling for Billups to be a player/coach. Ugh.
We also need to be satisfied that Josh Smith will be a happy Detroiter as well. This all COULD work, but call me a cynic and doubter until I see it doesn't turn into a nuclear disaster.
With all that out of the way, can we try to project the Pistons roster?
Luigi Datome (I'm captivated by what the Italian League MVP at 6'9" can provide. A better shooting version of Jerebko?)
Khris Middleton. Money is guaranteed in '13-'14.
Those are all the guarantees. 13 of them.
Rodney Stuckey. Traded?
Charlie Villanueva. Amnestied? We'll find out soon enough.
Peyton Siva. D League fodder?
Kim English. His fate decided soon as well.
For references, here's the Pistons' summer league roster in Orlando.
And salaries for '13-'14.
My Jeff Teague wish will not come true - and that 4/32 million offer sheet the Bucks gave him is less than I expected him to get - but don't the Pistons need a veteran banger to replace the sometimes productive Jason Maxiell.
I think the answer to that, if there's money and there should be because he's cheap, is Elton Brand.
My way-too-early-rotation is.
Drummond, Monroe, Smith, Billups, Knight.
Bynum, KCP, Singler, Brand.
Alsom I'm intrigued by some amalgamation of the small ball lineup with Smith at C. Or perhaps...
Drummond, Smith, Singler, KCP, Knight. That would be a freakishly athletic lineup.
We'll find out soon enough!