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When Demand Exceeds Supply ...Learning from Detroit

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Last July, the Pistons had the most cap room of any team and three picks in the top 39.  They wound up overpaying for Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva --to the tune of $95.7 million, plus incentives, over five years. Their lowest pick, Jonas Jerebko, had a better year than their top two. They won 27 games. Is there a lesson there for a team we know and love?  Oh yeah.

In fact, Art Garcia writes, Mikhail Prokhorov may be the owner most prone to overpaying this summer: "Assume the Nets don't hit on the crème of the free-agent crop. Where is Mikhail Prokhorov going to turn? The Russian billionaire with the championship plan is going to go all out to fill his shopping cart with the next best."  Maybe.  Prokhorov, like Rod Thorn, has said free agency is a two-year opportunity.  Still...

"He'd be a hard guy to talk into doing nothing because he wants to make a big splash, but making that big splash isn't everything," said former Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale. "Some people get really concerned with winning the press conference, but you've got to win games."