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Corey Maggette Ready to Mentor Young Pistons
Posted By Stephen Brotherston On July 21, 2012 @ 6:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
The much traveled 32-year-old veteran Corey Maggette was traded to Detroit this offseason in a move that will save the Pistons close to $15 million over the next two years, but Maggette has taken the move in stride and is ready to help mentor a very young Pistons squad.
“I am very happy to be there,” Maggette said. “I have been following the team for a long time going back to the Detroit Pistons with the ‘Bad Boys’ and Joe Dumars, who is the president right now. This is a great opportunity.”
Maggette knows his new team well and has nothing but praise for how his new organization is rebuilding and how they handled his arrival on the scene. After talking with Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank, Maggette wasn’t given the impression that he was brought to Detroit to save the team some cash.
“I talked to (Coach Frank),” said Maggette. “We had a great conversation. It is more about just giving my all on the court, attacking the basket as usual, being a veteran leader to the younger guys that we have on the team, defensively playing hard. Like every coach, he wants you to go out there and give 100 percent and stay healthy. I think that number one with Lawrence is playing 82 games with this team because if I am not out on the floor, I can’t help.
“Overall, just play hard. Just to give them what they need. That’s the biggest thing now. Coming in, this is my fourteenth year and (I will) definitely (be providing) veteran leadership for the young guys on my team with Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and (Andre) Drummond coming in. Just try to be a veteran leader and try to help the guys out.”
Frank has good reason to be concerned about keeping Maggette on the floor. In 13 NBA seasons, Maggette has never played a full 82 games and averages 20 missed games a season due to injury. Last year in Charlotte, he missed 34 games to Achilles and hamstring issues and then had offseason knee surgery. When Maggette is on the court, however, he is a big-time producer, averaging over 16 points and almost five rebounds in his career. When he gets starter minutes, Maggette can still put up 20 points and over five rebounds a game.
Maggette is expected to start the season on time and is excited about his new teammates. He sees a lot of positives on the Pistons.
“We have a great opportunity with the young guys that we have,” said Maggette. “We have some key pieces with (Tayshaun) Prince, Rodney Stuckey and then you bring in the young talent that can only make this team better.
“Brandon Knight is an up-and-coming point guard and he can really shoot the ball well. Also, Greg Monroe is much improved from last year with his low-post presence and averaged about 15.5 points and eight rebounds last year. Then, you have Drummond, who is kind of like a wild card. He is very young and has a lot of upside. He is 18 or 19 years of age, can block shots, the sky is the limit for this kid and we still have a few other guys who are coming in. I think Lawrence Frank and the Detroit organization are going to do a great job of getting these guys ready.”
The Pistons have averaged 27.3 wins over the past three seasons and have looked like an organization in disarray more often than not. It is refreshing to get the outside perspective Maggette brings to the table about the team and the young players Detroit has accumulated. Perhaps the addition of Maggette is a catalyst that helps gets things back on the right track for this storied franchise and maybe this is the season he finally plays a full 82 games.
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