Pistons' GM Joe Dumars with first round pick Andre Drummond and coach Lawrence Frank at the 2012 NBA Draft.
Eight years ago, Pistons’ GM Joe Dumars could have run for Mayor of Detroit and Governor of Michigan at the same and won in a landslide. The former All-Star shooting guard was the man that delivered our basketball franchise from the doldrums of the NBA to a championship is less than four years. Delivering a champion that quickly was an amazing accomplishment for a rookie GM who might have simply been brought in to keep fans from completely giving up on the team — ala Alan Trammell with the early 2000s Tigers.
However, with that NBA title Dumars set the standard high for his performance after the shine of the trophy wore off. 2004 bought him a lot of time, but it also magnified his future failures — and there have been many. His missteps started during the Pistons’ heyday with the drafting of Darko Milicic, then continued to stumble along with the trade of Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, before exploding into full pie-in-the-face territory with the awful signings of Charlie Villanueava and the now departed Ben Gordon. Throw in the trade of Aaron Afflalo and the drafting of Austin Daye, and Joe Dumars has a Millenesque GM resume from the mid to late 2000s.
Dumars, however, is showing signs that might be learning. After the Daye pick, Dumars has drafted solid contributors in Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, the enigmatic Rodney Stuckey is showing more good than bad and he took a first step in correcting his Gruesome Twosome free agent signings by shipping Ben Gordon and his ludicrous contract to the Charlotte Hornets for Corey Magette and his merely ridiculous contract — which is also expiring after next season.
If fate can smile on Dumars one more time and the newly drafted ultra-big and ultra-athletic Andre Drummond develops into a star or if Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe morph from solid pros to All-Stars, Dumars might be back on his road to redemption and continue to be Pistons’ GM for years to come. Here’s hoping that it happens as it would be a shame if his tremendous legacy with this organization ends up being tainted by poor front office decisions.