Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Plan 9 from Auburn Hills

So Nazr Mohammed was Joe Dumars' "Plan 9," after Plans 1 thru 8 flamed out. Good Lord, what would have happened if Nazr had turned down the Pistons? Would have they placed a call to Chuck Nevitt? Shawn Bradley? Eric Montross? William Bedford? Chris Wahsburn? Actually, I think they were Plans 3 thru 7.

As you can tell, I'm not all than enthused by the recent turn of events. When Joel Pryzbilla believes he has a better situation in Portland than Detroit, it makes you wonder. As for Mohammed, be honest with yourself. When you saw him play with the Spurs, you didn't give him a second thought. Just another big stiff. Sure, he's cheaper and younger than Ben Wallace, but he's half the player as well.

There's an old saying, "You never want to be the guy that replaces "The Guy." You'd rather be the be the guy that replaces the guy that replaced "The Guy." Obviously Nazr Mohammed isn't familar with that old platitude. Good luck Nazr, as you are going to need it the first time Pistons fans see you blow a defensive assignment.

What bothers me about the whole Wallace situation is not the fact that he left. Chicago gave Big Ben a contract that may be a cap killer in 2 years. Detroit gave Wallace a fair offer, but Chicago gave him a far too generous offer, in effect paying Wallace for his best years in Detroit. So be it.

What does bother me is that there didn't seem to be any contingency plan. The Pistons are capped out and unable to pick up an impact free agent, have no real trade bait other than Dale Davis' expiring contract and 2 1st round picks I'd hope they don't touch, no high draft picks on the roster ready to step in (I'm not counting Maxiell, as I don't consider the 26th overall a high pick), and a bench thinner than the gold plating on a knockoff Rolex.

So that leaves us with "Plan 9," which is 5 years of Nazr Mohammed's 5 pt/5 rb/1 bk stat lines, and 2 more years of Lindsey Hunter's rim clanging. The only money the Pistons have left is the LLE, and all that will get you is a used ball rack in the current market.

The Pistons need everything to go their way to soften the loss of Wallace, along with their inability to bolster the bench. Dale Davis and Lindsey Hunter have to turn back the clock. Carlos Delfino has to be a poor man's Manu Ginobli. Jason Maxiell has to be a poor man's Ben Wallace. Nazr Mohammed has to be more than just poor.

What's left is still a playoff team. But thinking the Pistons are of championship caliber is being delusional. Nazr Mohammed is not the answer to the playoff question. If he was, why didn't the Spurs play him during their 2006 playoff run? The Spurs are just as competent an organiztion as the Pistons. What did they see in Nazr that soured them to the point of letting him walk, and why don't the Pistons see it?

I've continually shown my faith in the Pistons by saying, "In Joe I Trust." But that faith has been shaken. I'd really like to know what the long term plans are for the Pistons roster. I don't want to be having this same discussion when Chauncey Billups becomes a free agent after next season. After the Wallace debacle, I don't want to be talking about "Plan 10" if Billups bolts...

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