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The Blazers, the Sixers, the Pistons, rebuilding and you

Nov 14, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

iggy

It sits there on your desk, staring at you. Just a big red button. It doesn’t implore you, it doesn’t call out to you, it’s just a button. But you can’t help but glance at it with the first few losses. Then more and more, you stare. Your mind is racing with what to do. Should you?Shouldn’t you? You can’t. You can’t just throw away everything you’ve built, everything you’ve worked towards, just because…it’s not working. Can you? Can you really press it?

The Rebuilding Button.

Any team can be driven towards it at any time by the cruel hands of fate. Everyone has to use it at some point. Boston will have to within a few years, when those gnarled, courageous bodies pass that delicate apex between experienced veterans and aged liabilities. LA may have to, though they do better than most in immediately reloading, relatively speaking. But this year’s candidates are an odd mix.

“The Blazers?!” you ask. How can I possibly put them here? 6-5, big wins over good teams. They’re a contender, not a rebuilding project. And you’re right. It’s entirely possible that they won’t have to push the big red button. That Rich Cho will be able to continue building on the success of Kevin Pritchard and finally deliver on all the promise this Blazers team has held for four years. But then there’s the injuries. Portland’s tired of talking about them. Trust us, we’re tired too. But the reality is you can’t just not look at them. Oden’s knees, his legs, his hips, which may never be 100% again. Przybilla, with two surgeries in a year. Elliot Williams, a rookie, caught the bug. But all of this pales for the Blazers’ hopes compared to Roy. No cartilage. Unable to make it through games. Roy is talking like a 35-year-old worn-out veteran, not the young All-Star of a team headed to contention. Again, maybe he’ll be fine. But if he’s not, Portland may not have an option. Is it worth sifting through year after year of purgatory hoping the Basketball Gods will reverse your fortune and make the unhealthy healthy? We’re a long way from that. But that button is on Rich Cho’s desk. And with each report that comes in, he’s got to glance at it.

The Sixers should be winning. They just should be. Not destroying everyone, but not getting pummeled like they are. If you told me Elton Brand was going to average 17 and 8 ten games in, I’d tell you the Sixers were at least 5-5. No question. But they’re 2-8. And they continue to sit on Andre Iguodala, who has his nice comfy contract and recognition from his work with Team USA. He’d like to win, now, please. And yet they keep hoping this will work out, as Doug Collins storms out of practice and Jrue Holiday is not the savior. This team’s already been blown-up a few times. But they’re still looking for something they can depend on. And Ed Stefanski now has Rod Thorn over his shoulder, and Thorn will not show the same hesitation to press the button that Stefanski has. The Sixers have young assets with trade value. It may be time to use them.

The Pistons? Oh, the Pistons. Ben Gordon wants the ball more. Makes sense. He’s paid like someone who should get the ball more. But Rip Hamilton isn’t the problem. But Rip’s not the l0ng-term guy. So what do you do? How do you make sense of this? The answer is simple. You have Greg Monroe, you have Austin Daye. You have Jonas Jerebko when he gets back. It’s time to push the button. The Pistons waited too long, they could have been halfway down the road had Dumars pressed the button a year ago. Instead, they continue to hold on to Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, paying them money to wish they were somewhere else while they don’t help the Pistons go in the direction they need to. But finally, it may be time. Dumars has to be able to find a good deal out there, or get involved in some three-way deal. He can net the assets he knows he needs. That button has been there for six years. He pushed it with Billups, but only half-way. It’s time to slam the thing.

Three teams, three cores, three losing organizations. And the red button continues to sit on the desk.

  1. zblott - Nov 15, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    With several recent losses, where do the Blazers land in the latest Power Rankings? Find out:

    http://www.hoopskarma.com/hk/2010/11/14/hoops-karma-power-rankings-12.html

  2. sham13ert - Nov 15, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    The Pistons are a bit more complex than a red button, or Dumars waiting too long to push it.

    He pushed it, he let Billups go for expiring money, he let Rasheed and McDyess walk, and he went and got two free agents. Now, here’s where it gets dicey; I believe that he thought there would be a huge market for Hamilton and/or Prince, which would justify his acquisitions that summer, Gordon, Villanueva, and three SF’s, two of which could play multiple positions.

    Also, take into account that Villanueva could be used as either a 4 or 3, but with the glut of minutes at the 2 and the 3, it’s impossible for him to get any time other than at the 4.

    Prince’s market value will peak come February. My guess is that Prince and a combination of Maxiell/Summers/ or Wilcox will be shipped to the Clippers or Grizzlies in return for a big such as Zach Randolph or Chris Kaman, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if a menage popped up between Nuggets and Pistons with Philly, Minnesota, or NJ filling out the third party; I’m not however saying that the Pistons would want or are in the running for Anthony. They would want a 5 from one of those teams.

    Then you can also factor in the franchise being up for sale, which essentially ties Dumars’ hands until they figure out what kind of ownership is going to take over.

    Yep, this is pretty much a cut and dry case of looking at a Red Button…

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