AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons have no plans to
fire coach Flip Saunders despite disappointing endings the past two seasons.
"Just because we haven't gotten to the [NBA] Finals, it doesn't mean
Flip has done a bad job," Joe Dumars, president of basketball
operations Dumars said Monday.
Dumars added that the team doesn't plan drastic changes this offseason.
"We don't have a fire sale going on," Dumars said.
With four of the same starters, the Pistons have lost in the
Eastern Conference finals as the top-seeded team the past two
seasons after winning a title in 2004 and falling just short of
repeating the following year.
Dumars said his No. 1 priority is re-signing point guard
Chauncey Billups when he becomes a free agent next month. He plans
to bring back most of his key players.
"You're talking about the guy that was our best and most
consistent player in the playoffs," Dumars said. "He's probably
also the guy that is the most volatile and crosses the line at
times, but I have to balance that."
Wallace and Saunders have struggled to coexist the past two
seasons. If that persists, Dumars insists he will not let that lead
to the unraveling of the team.
"If we can't get it done, I'll make changes," Dumars said. "I
wouldn't blink an eye about it."
The Pistons have received calls from other teams looking to make
moves with major players, but Dumars said it's easier to talk about
blockbuster trades than to pull them off.
"This is not fantasy basketball," he said.
While Dumars intends to bring back many familiar faces, he
doesn't plan on begging his players to work hard or to allow them
to casually prepare for games.
"If you come back with the same corps, the only difference is
this would be the first time that they're coming back with this
mandate," he said. "Complacency is the worst thing you can have
in sports, and that's not going to be the calling card of our team
going forward. I know that's been the tag labeled on us, and
deservedly so a lot of times, but it won't be going forward."