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News » Detroit Pistons Getting Inside 2009-06-30

Detroit Pistons Getting Inside 2009-06-30

Detroit Pistons Getting Inside 2009-06-30
The Allen Iverson experiment taught the Pistons a valuable lesson: Better to have a roster filled with high-character guys than big talents with oversized egos.

After going through the Iverson circus, among other in-house issues -- players coming in late for practices and staying out late before day games -- president of basketball operations Joe Dumars is re-emphasizing integrity in his talent acquisitions. That's one of the big reasons why he chose spindly 6-foot-11 forward Austin Daye of Gonzaga with the No. 15 overall pick in the annual draft.

"Over the last nine years, this was probably the toughest year in dealing with issues," he said. "As you know, I put a premium on character, on guys who will represent us the right way. Going through the issues this year, I sat back and watched and said, 'Never again will I allow us to be in position where we're dealing with issues, where we're dealing with drama.'"

Daye sold the Pistons on his skills and versatility as well as his character. The big issue with him is physical strength.

Daye draws natural comparisons to the player he'll likely back up, Tayshaun Prince, because of his willowy build. He's just 193 pounds -- "skinnier than Tayshaun," according to Dumars -- but the Pistons are confident he'll fill out with the assistance of strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander.

The Pistons believe Daye, whose father, Darren, played five NBA seasons during the 1980s, can play both forward spots once he develops his body. They felt the same way about a stronger, more polished player in Louisville's Earl Clark but Phoenix snatched him one spot ahead of them.

"What we see is a versatile player," Dumars said. "Whenever I draft a guy, I'd like him to be able to play more than one position. We feel like he's going to be able to play the 'three' or the 'four.' We just think Austin is a forward."

The Pistons were determined to get a frontcourt player with their top pick and targeted Clark. They had to settle for Plan B when the Suns fell for Clark's skills.

"We had both of those guys right there," Dumars said. "We knew we were going to get one of those guys, a 6-10, 6-11 skilled big man, and that's what we were looking for. We were looking for someone who could come in and fill a frontcourt position."

The first two of Detroit's three second-round picks, Georgetown 6-8 forward DaJuan Summers, and Swedish 6-9 forward Jonas Jerebko, will play on the summer-league team and compete for roster spots in training camp. Detroit's other second-round pick, Arizona forward Chase Budinger, was dealt to Houston for a future second-rounder.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 30, 2009


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