COMMENTARY| Either you like, maybe even love, the Detroit Pistons' trading of Ben Gordon and a protected future first-round draft pick to the Charlotte Bobcats for Corey Maggette -- or you dislike, even hate the deal.
The same can be said about Pistons president Joe Dumars. Either you like the guy or you don't.
For me, the Pistons' dealing of Gordon wasn't some horrible, misguided attempt to give a vet playing time or a poor move, courtesy of Dumars, that will bite the team in the end. Granted, Maggette isn't a great player, but he could be serviceable. Maybe, just maybe, those 12 years he's spent in the NBA endowed him with a little bit of leadership, too. The jury is out on that one. It was basically a salary dump, a chance to clean the slate.
Pistons fans want to see Dumars make strides forward and clear room for new players, right? Isn't that what he did Tuesday?
Pistons fans are longing for something big to happen. It's been eight years since Detroit won a title. Will it be eight more? Well, it depends on who you ask. Dumars hasn't dazzled on draft day. He could make up for a few shortcomings Thursday during the 2012 NBA Draft by making a wise choice with the ninth overall pick.
I'm part of the camp, if there is one, that believes trading the 39th pick, along with a player like Austin Daye, and moving up to get a late first-round pick would constitute as something "big" -- or notable, at the very least -- happening for Detroit. I have my opinion on Dumars; it's not the most flattering. I don't dislike the guy. I do think he has a genuine interest in the well-being of the team, contrary to popular belief, which says that he's intent on running it into the ground.
If this is truly a new era of Pistons basketball, let the past be the past. It's difficult, I'm sure. But so many Pistons fans feel as if the team is moving in the right direction. The "right direction" is winning -- and often. And filling the Palace and putting an exciting team on the floor.
Well, one part of that is happening: There are two or three young and exciting players to follow in Detroit (Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, even Jonas Jerebko, if you're into that sort of thing).
With new ownership, Flint-area native Tom Gores and his firm, there is at least a little hope that Detroit will once again contend. Lawrence Frank looks to be the right guy for the coaching job, too. It's too early to call that one. But he helped the team move forward. That's a start.
After the Maggette-Gordon trade, I braced myself for the fallout from fans. Some loved the trade. What's not to like about dumping $26 million? Of course, Maggette is due for about $11 million, but the Pistons still came out winners in this deal -- even if it was for the "corpse" of Maggette, as some said (Thanks to Twitter reaction on Piston Powered for providing that). I laughed at the joke. It's true, to an extent.
However, even the ardent Pistons fans are ready for something positive -- even the ones who follow the team only because it satisfies their need to bicker about every wrong move the franchise makes. Give Dumars a chance, starting Thursday, to change your mind, Mr./Ms. Angry Pistons fan. I'm as ready as the next guy/girl for a breakthrough. But I don't think it serves a real purpose to harp on the wrongs of the past.
Forgive and forget? There isn't necessarily a need for that, but maybe a little patience is in order. If you have any left.
Adam Biggers has followed the NBA for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Pistons. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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