Pistons president Joe Dumars open to making a deal
Pistons president Joe Dumars spoke with Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit
News on Sunday about the upcoming season. Though he could not address
the sale of the franchise because of ongoing negotiations, Dumars
touched on a number of subjects, including trades, expectations and
Goodwill: At the end of last season, you said you intended to be busy
with the trade market. That didn’t happen, so how satisfied are you with
where your roster stands now?
Dumars: My wording was, "We’d really like to be active," but it also takes more than one (team). You have to have some-thing there that allows you to be active. There was never anything that came across the table that we felt strong enough about to say, "Man, this is really going to make our team better." There were deals that were lateral moves, so instead of making lateral moves, we’re going to be patient and wait for the right deal to come along.
I’m comfortable with the roster right now, but I wouldn’t say I’m content. I think we’re ready to go out and compete right now, but if we can add some help along the way, I’d feel even better. So we’re still in the mode of being able to add help, especially in the frontcourt with some size.
Q: Rodney Stuckey is in his fourth year. This is the first time he’s had the same coach two years in a row. How do you not only evaluate his progress but also the expectations? Do they change because you’re expecting him to be more of a vocal leader?
A: Our expectations don’t change. Once we get these guys in here, we push them. We expect them to play to their potential. From the first day we got him in here until now, we push him. He’s 24 years old and averaged 16 (16.6 points) and five (assists) last season, so I can’t worry about the outside expectations or being compared to Chauncey (Billups, the former Pistons point guard) or anybody else. The only difference now is that we’re asking him to take on more of a leadership role, to take on more responsibility as the starting point guard. Other than that, we push him and we expect him to play and make plays for us.
Q: You were here when Lindsey Hunter replaced Isiah Thomas and he struggled with the expectations of replacing a legend. Is there some similarity with Stuckey replacing Chauncey Billups?