The Detroit Pistons Need A Coach & Lawrence Frank Is The Right Choice

~ The word at the rumor mill is that the Detroit Pistons are very close to naming Lawrence Frank as their next head coach. If this is indeed the case, the Pistons can then close the revolving door that has become their head coaching position. Frank would bring the one thing that has been missing from Detroit since their playoff-team days and that is stability.

Frank is coming off a successful one year stop in Boston as Doc Rivers lead assistant coach. I’ve followed Frank’s progression since his time in New Jersey as Byron Scott’s assistant and eventual successor as head coach when Scott was fired. Frank isn’t a high profile name, that isn’t what has secured him the respect of his coaching peers. What Frank brings to the table is a work ethic that would fit right in with the blue collar mentality of the city of Detroit. He is a defense-first coach who pays very close attention to detail.

 When the Pistons won the 2004 NBA Championship, they were a scrappy team that played as a unit. They worked hard for everything they accomplished on the court. The Pistons were about defense, work ethic, and team chemistry. Joe Dumars has struggled since then as general manager to maintain the formula that helped Detroit be a dominate team in the Eastern Conference.

 The Pistons went from Larry Brown to Flip Sanders and then from Michael Curry to John Kuester in hopes of keeping their team in the winning direction. However the idenity of the team was lost and now that the team is in a rebuilding phase, it strongly needs a coach who can provide stability on the court and in the locker room. Frank can be that guy.

 The New Jersey Nets didn’t win big with Frank as their head coach. His consistent work ethic was well respected by his players and the fans. Frank didn’t inherit the Jason Kidd who led the Nets to back to back Finals appearances under Scott. Kidd was banged up and had one foot out the door by the time Frank took over the job.

 Frank pulled the most he could out of a Nets team that much like the Pistons after their championship season in 04′, struggled to maintain a consistent roster.

 Yes, the Nets did go 0-16 in Frank’s final stretch with the Nets. The Nets by then though were not really any good and were barely watchable on television. Frank was the fall guy for that record and it should actually be viewed as a favor by the team for letting him get away from that mess.

How many coaches would go from being fired from a team that opened a season with 16 straight losses to eventually a lead assistant coach spot on a big time team like the Celtics?  It only goes to show the respect that Frank has gained throughout the league. He deserves another coaching spot to prove himself.

 The Pistons are in need of a coach that help them take the next step back to respectability. They tried the new face route with Curry and then tried to give a chance to Kuester that almost imploded their team. Lawrence Frank is not going to lose the locker room.

 Detroit also will have a revamped roster heading into their next season. They have 5 free agents and it’s safe to assume that 4 of them most likely will be elsewhere. Dumars will have to decide what to do with the 5th free agent, Tayshawn Prince. Rip Hamilton is still a prime canidate to be moved. Hamilton and Prince are the last remaining pieces from that 04′ championship team along with Ben Wallace who is on the backend of his career.

 It’s a great deal of decisions that need to be made and the Pistons have to start with the head coach. They must avoid a repeat of what happened with Kuester. Hiring Lawrence Frank would be a step in the right direction.

New Jersey Continue To Pursue Carmelo & This Time Maybe Billiups

 

~ The Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes continues to be one of the storylines of the 2010-2011 NBA season. When Anthony left  a $65 milion dollar extension deal from his Denver Nuggets on the table last summer, it set the wheels in motion for a season full of trade rumors and possibilities. The latest rumor reportedly involves a three-team deal involving the Nuggets, the New Jersey Nets, and the Detroit Pistons.

According to a report from ESPN the 3 team deal proposed would be:

  • Anthony & Chauncey Billiups of Denver goes to New Jersey along with Rip Hamilton of Detroit.
  • Johan Petro & Troy Murphy (& his expiring contract) of New Jersey would go to Detroit.
  • Detroit would also surrender a 1st round pick in the deal.
  • New Jersey would send Rookie Derrick Favors, Former All Star Devin Harris & at least 2 1st round picks to Denver.

The deal as most like most proposed deals involving Anthony looks alright on paper, however it has a few kinks in it. Billiups has made it known through his agent that he does not want to play in New Jersey and would request a buyout of his contract. The other kink is a big one … the Pistons are up for sale and are currently working under restrictions as far as roster changes.  Then of course is the obvious kink, the deal (or any other deal proposed) does not work unless Anthony agrees to sign the $65 million extension for three years with the team he is traded too, which in this case would be New Jersey. Anthony has reportedly told Denver the only team he will sign an extension with if traded is the New York Knicks. Apparently, the Nets either didn’t get the memo or they know something nobody else knows. They really are the one team that can offer Denver the most in a deal and they do have a Billionaire owner with a lot of money he’s itching to invest. It also helps that Jay-Z is a minority owner and he would obviously play a large role in selling Anthony on the idea of playing in New Jersey and then long term in Brooklyn when the Nets make there move.

Until Anthony comes out and says exactly what he wants to do, the rumors will continue, the Nets will continue looking for a third team to fit into a trade for him, and the team that might benefit the most from this is the Knicks. New York is playing it’s best basketball in years and even though they’d love to have Anthony on it’s team, the panic button does not have to be pressed right now. The two biggest trade pieces the Knicks have are Wilson Chandler & Danilo Gallinari, both are playing well and New York isn’t exactly in a hurry to move them. Best case scenario right now is the Knicks continue to play well and Anthony becomes a free agent this summer. That’s of course unless Anthony knows something that we all don’t know.

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