Detroit — With just over a week until the NBA trade deadline, Pistons owner Tom Gores still is committed to trying to get the Pistons into the playoffs and isn’t interested in tanking or giving away the season.
Gores, who spoke at halftime of Tuesday’s game against the Bucks, indicated that he’s pleased with Blake Griffin’s play, but he’s not happy with the Pistons' performance so far this season and that he’s still looking at some options before the Feb. 7 deadline.
“As much as I’m disappointed in how many wins we have, I still think we have good players and Blake has been incredible,” Gores said. “The front office is working on (potential trades) and we’re always looking to improve. We don’t have any plans; there’s nothing there right now for us. We’re not winning enough, so we have to do something.”
The Pistons fell to 21-28 after Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Little Caesars Arena and with a widening margin of 3½ games behind Charlotte for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference, they look to be fading from playoff contention.
When asked about the potential of trading cornerstones such as Andre Drummond or Griffin, Gores indicated that they’re having to consider myriad options and have to keep an open mind about what the options are.
“We have to look at all possibilities — that’s just the way it is. Not specifically with those guys, but in general,” he said. “Our responsibility, in general, is to move this team forward; we have to look at everything.
“I have not lost faith in this team. There is something there; we just need some time.”
Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the trade for Griffin but there doesn’t appear to be a similar move in the works, with just a short time left until this year’s deadline. Gores seemed to indicate that he hasn’t decided whether the Pistons might be buyers or sellers — and with the expiring contracts of Reggie Bullock and Ish Smith, they could look to move them for assets.
He said if a worthwhile deal comes along, they’d likely be aggressive, but what that move would be is unclear. What is clear is that Gores doesn’t look to be ready to tank and lose games on purpose, strictly for the sake of getting a better draft pick.
“We want to win. Nothing’s changed; we want to make the playoffs,” Gores said. “To me, the future is a little bit about now. Everybody can decide what they want but we have enough here. We do really have two All-Stars with Andre and Blake. Dwane (Casey) just got here; he just started.
“I have a buyer’s mentality, although I’m open to anything. We’ll just see what happens.”