What Will Joe Do? Joe Provides Answer

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in , , , , ,

After Flip was fired this past summer and Joe Dumars vowed to shake up the roster in Motown, I got down on my knees outside the Palace and asked a very holy question: What Will Joe Do? Joe gave us an answer by appointing Michael Curry as head coach; and today, he provided us with another 'answer.' THE "Answer."

The "Answer" is Allen Iverson, who was shipped to Detroit in a blockbuster deal for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb. However, the actual answer to our longing question lies much deeper further beneath the actual "Answer" that Allen Iverson is often referred to as.

Surely, most fans are going to look at this trade and feel like there are even more questions now about this team than actual answers. The question will undoubtedly turn from "what will Joe do?" to "What the hell has Joe done?"

Let me tell you the answer to that question, though. It's quite simple: It's business, and Joe Dumars is one of the best at it. The same way Jesus might answer our WWJD question bracelets, Joe Dumars provides us with a very similar, if not the exact same answer: I have a plan.

First of all, let's get something cleared up. The Pistons have had the same make up for about the past five years. They won a championship in 2004, the first year this team was together. In 2005, they lost in the NBA Finals. In 2006, the Eastern Conference Finals. In 2007, the Eastern Conference Finals. In 2008, the Eastern Conference Finals.

While it has been an amazing run, clearly these guys are not getting any younger, nor are they getting any more motivated to make it past that Eastern Conference Finals hump. Certainly, the same result in 2009 would have had fans calling for Joe Dumars head because he didn't make any changes to help generate that push over the hill. Again, while it was an amazing run, getting to the Conference Finals and losing was getting old, just like this core group of players.

Allen Iverson isn't any younger than Billups. In fact, he's a year older. This move wasn't about getting younger. It was made to mix things up a bit and generate excitement. At the same time, Iverson is still an elite NBA basketball player. Iverson is a scorer, whose career average is 13 PPG more than Billups, while still averaging a more than adequate assists per game at 6.3. Again, more than Billups' career average. If having a former NBA MVP and yearly threat to lead the league in scoring on your team doesn't excite you, then I'm presuming you're impotent.

This trade goes even deeper than the players involved, though. Like I said, Joe Dumars has a plan and this is a business.

Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess will make roughly a combined $17.8 million this season. Allen Iverson $20.8 million. Yes, that is more for the time being, but Iverson is a free agent after the season while Chauncey would still have three more years on his contract totalling in excess of $50 million. McDyess would have another year totalling near this year's $6.8 million. According to an ESPN article, this extra cap space, and extensions that are less likely to be given to other aging Pistons, will allow Joe Dumars the chance to go after one, if not two, of the prestigious summer 2010 free agents. Some of those names include, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Joe Johnson.

Now are you excited?

If you're not excited enough, and feel like the Pistons gave up too much for the time being, get this. Antonio McDyess is unhappy with the trade and will most likely receive a buyout from the Nuggets. This would more than likely end in the Pistons resigning him for the veteran's minimum. That means the Piston player who has the deepest hunger for a championship would be back on the team at more than $5 million less than before.

McDyess was the main reason why I was upset with the trade in the first place. However, after looking at the money numbers and realizing that this same team couldn't get it done four years in a row, I understand what Joe Dumars is doing here. He is taking a risk on an NBA superstar that many people may not want on their team, like he did with Rasheed in 2004. We know how that turned out.

If the worst case scenerio plays out and the Pistons fall in the first round of playoffs this year, or don't even make the playoffs, it will be no different than losing in the Conference Finals. The Finals is the ultimate goal and anything less is failure.

If failure occurs again this year, at least the Pistons can say they tried something different and they will be a lot richer; allowing them the ability to go out and make things better through free agency. No matter what though, we should believe in Joe Dumars.

Today, he led us down his path and gave us an Answer.



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