New Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has given Pistons President and General Manger Joe Dumars three more years to fix the ship which has completely fallen apart in recent years. On one hand Dumars is a team legend, has rebuilt this team once but on the other he is directly responsible for its current state. At least 80% responsible for the joke that this team has become. Granted he has been in place for 10 years and the team has a 60% winning percentage, a NBA title, and five consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference finals in that time.
However, those numbers do not paint the whole picture. Dumars has committed over 47 million dollars of payroll to a roster that only produced 30 wins in 2010-11. He also has over 47 million dollars committed to current players heading into 2011-12. Not great ways to begin a serious rebuild effort. Tayshaun Prince is a free agent and will likely not return, and this club owes locker room cancer Rip Hamilton 12.5 next year with an option for 12.5 the year after. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva both will get paid nearly 19 million dollars in each of the next two seasons.
Dumars has also fired a coach on average of every two years. Granted the Larry Brown and Rick Carlisle firings were heavily influenced by then owner Bill Davidson, but a bad team with a huge payroll, and a history of coaching instability is not a great draw as Dumars tries to hire his sixth head coach in just over 10 years.
Dumars did rebuild the Pistons into a perennial contender following the dreaded teal and burgundy era, and part of me wishes that one of my childhood heroes should get the chance to rebuild it again. However, three years is a long time for a guy who has not made a lot of great decisions over the past several NBA seasons.