Sources do not expect Dumars to stay in the position much longer—either he’ll step down or owner Tom Gores will go in a new direction. Dumars, one source said, is weary of the criticism he has received in trying to rebuild the Pistons after constructing a franchise that went to the Eastern Conference Finals six years in a row (2003-2008). The criticism, the source said, fails to account for a dismal Detroit economy and restraints placed on Dumars while the franchise was up for sale and ultimately changed ownership hands.

Hey, memo to Joe Dumars, if you’re tired of people criticizing you after you make shitty move on top of shitty move, maybe you should stop making said shitty moves.

I can only roll my eyes so many times at GMs who, with amazing methods of measuring a player’s talent, value, and statistical contribution at their disposal, still manage to make god-awful deals for their franchise.

Am I supposed to feel sorry for Joe Dumars? The dude signed Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon to deals worth a combined 95.7 million dollars over five years, then doubled down by signing Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings for a combined 74 million dollars. Joe Dumars should not have done either of these things, and worse yet, there were plenty of people on the planet who were telling Joe Dumars to not do these things.

Even if all Joe Dumars had to judge players on was game footage, judging players by the eye test alone, he should have known better. Both Smith and Jennings are ball hogs, and two of the most ill-advised shot-takers ever. I’m positive that under “personality” on their NBA 2K14 profiles, both these guys are listed as “unpredictable”. Both players have shown the potential to be good, even very good, but both require a disciplined coach to utilize only their strengths, and coach the weaknesses out of them. Even if Mo Cheeks had been that man, why even tempt fate like this? What the hell was Joe Dumars thinking?

In the fourteen years Dumars has been the President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Detroit Pistons, ten head coaches have come, and nine have gone. In the past six years alone, counting current interim head coach John Loyer, the Pistons have had five head coaches. That is absurd. That is absolutely absurd, and it shows that Joe Dumars no longer has any idea what he’s doing, and everybody hates him because of it.

Dumars does not have the right to be frustrated with the criticism of his decisions. The only person Joe Dumars should be frustrated with is Joe Dumars.

I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Not because Luol Deng was traded after, oh, four years of seeing his name in rumors.
I was shocked because he’s only 29 years old.
Luol entered this league the same player he is today: tough defender, secondary-to-tertiary scoring option, and above all else, an anchor. Somebody Bulls fans could love unconditionally, because there was nothing to dislike. From the get-go, his numbers were what they are now: double-digit points, 5+ rebounds, probably too many minutes. You could describe a lot of players, particularly forwards, with those vague numbers, but how many get those numbers when nothing else is expected of them?
Deng was never the star of this team, and everybody was fine with that. We had Ben Gordon, or Kirk Hinrich, or Derrick Rose, or Joakim Noah. Even Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson grabbed more headlines than Deng last season. He’s a high-level constant, a very, very good player who functions best as part of a three-headed monster. Was he important to the Bulls? Some would say so. I would say the fact that he’s getting replaced by Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, and/or whoever the tanking Bulls draft as a prime example that he wasn’t important. He was a nice asset, a very good player. A two-time All-Star, after having to play 40 minutes per game two seasons in a row. But not important, because noobody is going to look back on the past 9 years as the “Luol Deng” era. There were so many eras Luol played a part in, and that he was a contributor for. But that’s all he was, just a part. A very good supporting actor.
Make no mistake, Luol Deng could’ve been the star of the Bulls. There’s no box on the form he couldn’t check off. Scoring, rebounding, defense, charisma, toughness, etc., they can all be brought to the table by Luol. But he wasn’t that guy, on or off the court. He was quiet, sometimes expressionless, but still warm. He didn’t attract media personalities that derided him, nor vigorously defended him. Well, unless you count what happened last summer. Last summer, the lines were drawn.
To get you caught up, here’s mah dude @SBN_Ricky on what went down:

Deng was issued a spinal tap when doctors suspected meningitis during last season’s playoff run, an injection that had severe repercussions on Deng’s body and glued him to a hospital bed. Once he was there, the Bulls showed little concern for him. Deng didn’t even have a private hospital room, much less visits from team personnel. Tom Thibodeau had the gall to say Deng had “flu-like symptoms, whatever" when asked about Deng’s illness. It set the stage for another contentious negotiation process.

Read the whole article (please) and you’ll learn this was not the first mistreatment of Luol by the increasingly-hated Bulls front office, but it was certainly the death knell, particularly after the cash-strapped team offered the “hometown discount” extension. I knew from the second the news came out about that lowball contract that Deng wasn’t going to come back, and I’m glad. Not in a “good riddance” way, but in a “so long, and thanks for all the fish” way. He was a very good player who did a lot of things for the community, but with his injuries and likely diminishing returns, what was there left for him to do here? All parties involved, including many fans, were ready to turn the page, papercuts be damned. 
Good luck Lu. Nothing but love.

I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Not because Luol Deng was traded after, oh, four years of seeing his name in rumors.

I was shocked because he’s only 29 years old.

Luol entered this league the same player he is today: tough defender, secondary-to-tertiary scoring option, and above all else, an anchor. Somebody Bulls fans could love unconditionally, because there was nothing to dislike. From the get-go, his numbers were what they are now: double-digit points, 5+ rebounds, probably too many minutes. You could describe a lot of players, particularly forwards, with those vague numbers, but how many get those numbers when nothing else is expected of them?

Deng was never the star of this team, and everybody was fine with that. We had Ben Gordon, or Kirk Hinrich, or Derrick Rose, or Joakim Noah. Even Marco Belinelli and Nate Robinson grabbed more headlines than Deng last season. He’s a high-level constant, a very, very good player who functions best as part of a three-headed monster. Was he important to the Bulls? Some would say so. I would say the fact that he’s getting replaced by Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic, and/or whoever the tanking Bulls draft as a prime example that he wasn’t important. He was a nice asset, a very good player. A two-time All-Star, after having to play 40 minutes per game two seasons in a row. But not important, because noobody is going to look back on the past 9 years as the “Luol Deng” era. There were so many eras Luol played a part in, and that he was a contributor for. But that’s all he was, just a part. A very good supporting actor.

Make no mistake, Luol Deng could’ve been the star of the Bulls. There’s no box on the form he couldn’t check off. Scoring, rebounding, defense, charisma, toughness, etc., they can all be brought to the table by Luol. But he wasn’t that guy, on or off the court. He was quiet, sometimes expressionless, but still warm. He didn’t attract media personalities that derided him, nor vigorously defended him. Well, unless you count what happened last summer. Last summer, the lines were drawn.

To get you caught up, here’s mah dude @SBN_Ricky on what went down:

Deng was issued a spinal tap when doctors suspected meningitis during last season’s playoff run, an injection that had severe repercussions on Deng’s body and glued him to a hospital bed. Once he was there, the Bulls showed little concern for him. Deng didn’t even have a private hospital room, much less visits from team personnel. Tom Thibodeau had the gall to say Deng had “flu-like symptoms, whatever" when asked about Deng’s illness. It set the stage for another contentious negotiation process.

Read the whole article (please) and you’ll learn this was not the first mistreatment of Luol by the increasingly-hated Bulls front office, but it was certainly the death knell, particularly after the cash-strapped team offered the “hometown discount” extension. I knew from the second the news came out about that lowball contract that Deng wasn’t going to come back, and I’m glad. Not in a “good riddance” way, but in a “so long, and thanks for all the fish” way. He was a very good player who did a lot of things for the community, but with his injuries and likely diminishing returns, what was there left for him to do here? All parties involved, including many fans, were ready to turn the page, papercuts be damned. 

Good luck Lu. Nothing but love.

I forgot about the Magic and Pacers because I’m a big dumb baby idiot.

What both of these teams have in common is a need to take a leap, and to strike hard this season. For the Pacers, it means becoming a legit top-3 team in the East, and top-5 in the league. Before, the words used to describe them were “pesky” and “tough,” and teams were warned not to underestimate them. This year? They have the players, the staff, and (just as important) the front office to make a major impact, and perhaps appear in the Finals, if not win it. No more chasing the Bulls or Heat, the Pacers have their own mark to make, and expect it to be made with authority by Paul George, Roy Hibbert, David West, and (finally) some bench depth.

The only player who MIGHT be a cause for concern is Danny Granger (well, and maybe David West’s health). A lot of experts seem to believe Granger will fill a slot as an athletic shooter, but it’s hard to picture him in a starting position, and that may cause friction in the locker room. Granger definitely seemed to be in a “gotta get mine” mode in the brief test run the Pacers ran with him, only for his health to fail him again. Now with him being out the first month of the regular season, who knows where his head will be when he has to get put back in the rotation. For how much they’re paying him, Danny Granger might find himself on the block.

As for the Magic, they need to move on from stage one of the rebuilding process, and start putting their future into motion. The problem is, do they want that future to be built on the backs of Tobias Harris, Arron Afflalo, Victor Oladipo, Andrew Nicholson, and Nikola Vucevic? That’s a real tough sell, especially when they have veterans who might start making a stink if they don’t get their minutes. The Magic are made up of guys who would make for a great-to-capable 6th or 7th man (Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, Al Harrington, Hedo Turkoglu, Mo Harkless), but there doesn’t seem to be any leader on this team. Oladipo could become that player, but he needs to prove he can play to begin with. Look for the Magic to try and move nickels and dimes for a half-dollar, as they slide into a top-7 lottery pick.