Pistons owner Tom Gores stood in a crowded corridor, flanked by reporters when he uttered the words heard around the world.

"We are prepared to spend," he said. "And we are prepared to do what we have to do to get this franchise moving forward. And yes, you can tell the world, we're ready to spend."

The fans heard his words. The agents heard his words and Gores walked out of the building a popular man with Piston fans.

The problem is the phrase, "spend it and they shall come," does not apply to the Pistons. Gores can make all the proclamations he wants, the problem is the Pistons are not a free-agent destination. High-end NBA players would rather flock to Los Angeles, New York, Miami or Chicago. They might come here if the funding dries up elsewhere or if other teams do not want them. So the Pistons are left with your old, tired and leftover.

Coach Lawrence Frank disagreed before being fired by the team last week. He said players weigh factors such as money, lifestyle, playing time and area.

"This franchise has money to spend," Frank said. "This is an attractive place for people."

Unproductive spending

That hasn't been the case. I've compiled a list of the best free agents ever to come to Detroit. It is strictly based on what these players contributed to the team once they got here. Players who played here, left and returned do not count.

It's led by guard Chauncey Billups followed by forwards Antonio McDyess and Terry Mills. Two of the All-Stars, believe it or not, were on the Pistons roster last season. They are Will Bynum and Charlie Villanueva.