Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chris Wilcox has a Shot at Starting for the Pistons

As the Detroit Pistons start training camp this week, there is no clear choice to be their starting center after an off-season roster shake-up. Chris Wilcox (2000-02), who signed a two-year deal with Detroit as a free agent back in July, hopes to have a shot at that starting spot. He's going up against Ben Wallace, who is returning to the Pistons after three years in Chicago and Cleveland, and incumbent starter Kwame Brown. Pistons.com says this about Wilcox:
Wilcox, signed as a free agent after splitting last season between Oklahoma City and New York, offers a different set of skills. At 6-foot-10 and about 240 pounds, Wilcox’s calling card is his athleticism and ability to finish in traffic. Though not a perimeter threat, he’s a threat, unlike Brown, facing the basket from 15 feet and can score over smaller defenders from the post. [Pistons vice president Scott] Perry knows Wilcox well from the season he spent away from the Pistons as assistant general manager with the then-Seattle Sonics.

“Chris is an excellent athlete, very explosive," Perry said. “Going back to my time with Seattle, he was a guy who could get you four to six points in transition with his ability to run the floor and you kick it up ahead to him. He can improve your ability to fast break because once you get the ball, either on a steal or a rebound transitioning to the offensive end, he’s very good at that because he’s got good speed and athleticism. If and when he plays that five position, you can use that to his advantage." [...]

The Pistons are also hoping that being dropped into the first winning environment he’s experienced in his seven-year career – Wilcox has not only never appeared in a playoff game, he’s never begun a season with a team expected to challenge for a playoff berth – will draw out the best in Wilcox.

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