Wanted: One prodigal son

Best Athlete to Bring to a Detroit Team
Chris Webber

Thanks to fire-sale trades that have brought in some interesting talent and also left the team with a horrible player balance (three point guards, three power forwards, zero centers), the Pistons are almost $16 million under the salary cap for next season. It’s mostly for one big reason, the possibility that Chris Webber — former U-M player, keystone of the illustrious Fab Five and now a member of the very talented Sacramento Kings — could become a Piston next season through free agency. That’s what team President Joe Dumars, the management, players and fans up at the Palace are hoping and praying for anyway.

Webber was run out of Golden State and Washington following a series of personality conflicts and sketchy incidents. In Sacramento, he has become one of NBA’s premier players. He’s an all-star, a real power in the paint, and, most importantly, a consistent and solid team leader. Having begun his career at Detroit Country Day High School, Webber would be welcomed back as a real prodigal son for the Detroit metro area.

We know the Pistons want him. We know they have the money to bring him here. We know the fans would be beside themselves. The only real question is whether or not Webber wants to play for the Pistons. But since players must worry about this season before the next one (the Kings, unlike the Pistons, are expected to be a real contender in the playoffs), we’ll have to wait until the summer before we know what the big guy is going to do. In the meantime, let’s start planning the welcoming parade.