Gores: Struggling Pistons “Have To Assess Everything”

Speaking on Thursday night to reporters, Pistons owner Tom Gores said that winning is still his top priority, but admitted he wants more than a No. 8 seed and acknowledged that taking a step back in the short term could ultimately help Detroit achieve that goal, tweets James Edwards of The Athletic.

“We have to look at everything because we’re not winning, so you’re not winning, to me, you have to assess everything,” Gores said of his 12-23 squad, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News. “I think anybody would want to do that. And probably in the next month or so, we’re going to get together as an organization and just discuss things.”

Although Gores didn’t go so far as to say that the Pistons are seriously considering becoming deadline sellers or blowing up their roster, his comments reflect a change in tone. After the club was eliminated from the playoffs by Milwaukee last April, the Pistons’ owner stressed that he doesn’t believe in tanking and wants to establish a winning culture in Detroit. However, the organization’s win-now efforts have been largely unsuccessful.

The Pistons have made the postseason just twice in the last 10 years, both times as the East’s No. 8 seed. The team didn’t win a single game in either playoff appearance and appears on track to miss the postseason again in 2020, despite the fact that the eighth-seeded Magic are just 15-19 — the 11th-seeded Pistons are already 3.5 games back. Injuries have played a part in Detroit’s struggles this season, but Gores doesn’t want to use them as an excuse, as Beard notes.

“We expected to manage minutes and all of that stuff for our players but we’ve had some bad luck, but other teams had bad luck, too, and you’ve got to work through it,” Gores said. “I just think injuries happen. We’ve had more than our share this year, but we have to build a team that can handle it.”

While it’s probably too early in the season for the Pistons to shift into player-development mode, it was interesting that Gores’ comments came on a night when rookie Sekou Doumbouya – the NBA’s youngest player – received his first career start, as Edwards points out at The Athletic.

If the Pistons do become sellers at the deadline, Derrick Rose, Markieff Morris, and Langston Galloway would be among the team’s trade candidates. Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and Reggie Jackson could be discussed as well, though they’d be trickier to move and the franchise would have to be willing to fully commit to a change in direction.

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18 thoughts on “Gores: Struggling Pistons “Have To Assess Everything”

  1. They need to blow it up. When Reggie and Blake are two thirds of your Big Three you’re in trouble. When Ish Smith and Jon Leuer were your brightest sparks you’re in trouble. When you’ve been considering trading Drummond for the past couple of seasons you’re in denial – he’s the only good player on the team. He’d thrive in a new situation.

      • Michaelchavez22

        I wouldn’t. I would see what you could get for the big guy. I’d call GW and see if they would take Blake and/or a pick or the young shooter they got from the Lakers for Russell. This team needs to be shaken up.

  2. agentx

    Would a trade built around Blake Griffin and Chris Paul make any sense for DET or OKC, either now or in the offseason?

    • phils phanatic

      paul would probably be a better use of funds as opposed to 2 big men who dont shoot particularly well. also with paul and Drummond it could be a potential upgrade on what paul and DeAndre Jordan were able to do in LA. with that said, with Paul’s injury history,cap hit, and age it’d be a pretty big risk for Detroit. not sure how it’d make sense from OKC’s vantage point either unless they feel Blake would be easier to trade and/or got picks as well.

      • agentx

        Sound analysis and very helpful to me understanding the two players’ relative value.

        Thank you, phils phanatic.

      • agentx

        Which would make it all the more interesting if their respective teams decided to trade one for the other.

  3. phillyballers

    I feel like the consensus is that Jackson has been overpaid and underperformed, moving him isnt a change in direction it would have been the right move a few years ago. They hitched their wagon to the wrong horse. They need a better PG, a durable player.

    • Spike4christ

      Jackson was a bad move but drafting has been a Huge problem. We could all do a list of duds.

  4. hoosierhysteria

    The albatross around Pistons neck is Blake griffin contract. Not tradable. He is not a player to build the franchise around. Stan screwed the pooch. Just have to out live that one.

    • phils phanatic

      I think they though that a combo of Jackson-Drummond-Blake could do what Blake-Paul-Jordan did in LA but jackson has been a waste of money since he signed and Drummond and griffin dont really mesh in today’s nba even though Blake has done his best to try to add more shooting to his resume

    • padam

      @hoosier – you pretty much nailed it. They need to reboot. I’m of the belief that Stan made those moves to potentially extend himself without much of a strategy. That didn’t work out, either.

      • phillyballers

        Stan never seemed like a guy with more than a 1 year plan. Every thing he ever did was to try and keep his job the next year.

  5. x%sure

    Forcing Doumbaya into the rotation may send a message to Griffin to rest his knees. They were never ready this year, IDK if that is permanent or not. He is hard to get agreement to shut down though.

    They drafted indulgently, picking up players that need time, or maybe GM Stefanski knows something about Griffin’s knees and they’re just riding him out.

    “… have a talk in a month”… shortly before the trade deadline.

  6. NBA owners (more than owners in other sports) seem to have a hard time with the simple concept that you don’t put a GM (including a HC that’s the GM) on the clock or the hot seat – at least without shutting down their authority to deal future assets.

    This owner, prior to the 2017-18 season, publicly put SVG on the hot seat. At mid-season, the team had a poor record. Yet, he allowed SVG to make the Griffin trade, using mainly future assets (cap space and a 1st). It’s not unique to Detriot, but it’s still bizzare to me.

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