2009 Free Agents (unrestricted)

It is a bit difficult to think about the present right now if you are a Pistons fan, so let’s do the only reasonable thing: Think about the up-coming off season (including some wishful thinking, of course).

As we all know, Allen Iverson’s contract (20.8 mil) will expire and the same goes for Rasheed Wallace (13.9 mil). Will Joe D try to keep this team together? Hard to tell right now, because there are still another 30 games to be played, but the way it looks right now: Hell no, he’ll tear ’em apart.

Detroit will be a major player this (or next) off season. We are in a very good position to try and lure some free agents away from their former team.

Before we take a look at what we need, we should see what we’ve got: Stuckey, Hamilton, Prince, Maxiell, Johnson. Those five guys are locks to stay next season (at least for me). So, what we need most is a big post presence, but we can improve in more way than one. Losing 17 of the last 21 games is enough prove for that.

We’ll do this by categories, starting with the (more famous) unrestricted free agents of 2009:

2009 Big Name Free Agents (unrestricted)

Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers) – early termination option – he’ll stay in LA, no matter what

Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers) – the more realistic Laker

Shawn Marion (Toronto Raptors) – Shawn who?

Carlos Boozer (Utah Jazz) – has a player option, so maybe he will be a 2010 free agent

Mehmet Okur (Utah Jazz) – early termination option

Mike Bibby (Atlanta Hawks) – thanks, but no thanks

Ben Gordon (Chicago Bulls)

Jamal Crawford (Golden State Warriors) – if he chooses to use his early termination option

Ron Artest (Houston Rockets) – yeah…right…

There are some more like Stephon Marbury, Jermaine O’Neal,…but we are only talking about the guys we wouldn’t mind seeing on our roster.

We have Rodney Stuckey and Rip Hamilton so we don’t need another big name guard. Didn’t work this year, won’t work next year. I guess Ben Gordon and Jamal Crawford won’t like the 6th man role so…

Ron Artest, Lamar Odom or Shawn Marion would be nice additions, but they can’t give us much we can’t get from Tayshaun Prince for a lower price. Artest is a no-go because of what happened back in the day and Shawn Marion just isn’t as good without the right point guard.

Lamar Odom? He would be awesome, in my humble opinion. Lamar is the total package and we really could need a skilled big man. He can score in multiple ways, he knows when to pass the ball and he isn’t allergic to playing defense. My favorite out of this group.

Getting one of the Jazz’ two guys would be good too, but neither is a sure thing in free agency, because they have player options / ETOs. A real center is what this team could use. Even tho Okur isn’t your typical in the post playing center, he has some shooting skills comparable to Sheeds. Not sure if we want a second coming, tho…

Getting Okur would be a nice option this off season. A starting five of Stuckey, Rip, Tay, Maxiell (or McDyess if he still wants to resign with a banged up team) and Okur would be nice…not great by all means. Maybe a 5th seed in the east.

Getting Odom would be better but only if we can get our hands on a center as well.

Steals of the 2009 Free Agency (unrestricted)

Big names aren’t more than big names if you don’t surround them with the right players. Iverson never worked out in Detroit, because his playing style was too different.

Francisco Elson (Bucks) – I would definitely go after this guy. Most of you will probably remember him when he was on the Spurs roster a while ago. He knows how to defend under the basket and he is quick for a guy his size.

Chris Wilcox (Knicks) – would be my other favorite addition (next to Elson). Wilcox isn’t a superstar for obvious reasons, but he is the kind of guy Detroit loves. A hard worker, hustling for loose balls and giving you an amazing play or two per game like sick blocks or breath-taking dunks.

Andre Miller (76ers) – going after him would be the same like saying we made a mistake when we traded Chauncey. Not good.

Bobby Jackson (Kings) – one of my favorite underrated guards. I’d love to see him coming from the bench for 10-15 minutes a night.

Anthony Parker (Raptors) – great shooter for a low price.

Chris Andersen (Nuggets) – will be a great steal for another team, because we have enough high energy big men on our roster. Don’t expect the Nuggets to let him go just like this…they know how valueable he is.

Brandon Bass (Mavericks) – is more or less a Maxiell clone. He will be a great player for another team…

Marcus Williams (Warriors) – still has the potential to be a starting point guard or at least a great back-up for most teams in the league. The Warriors aren’t too high on him – too bad we don’t really need him.

Trevor Ariza (Lakers) – is a top talent, but don’t get your hopes up too high: The Lakers will keep him.


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