Before we begin talking about the NBA off season for the Detroit Pistons, we have to first understand what happened in the 2014-2015 season.
It was a rough start for Mo Town as they held a 3-14 record at the end of November. During that time, the team had traded for Joel Anthony and Anthony Tolliver in an attempt to strengthen their frontcourt but it wasn’t until late December, when they waived PF Josh Smith despite the fact that by doing so they’d be basically paying the guy 14 million for the next two seasons to not play for them, that the Pistons began to turn it around. Following the release, the Pistons won 9 out of the next 10 games and began fighting their way into playoff contention. Unfortunately, the Pistons leading scorer and playmaker, Brandon Jennings, ruptured his Achilles Tendon on January 25th and the Pistons limped their way through the rest of the season to a disappointing 32-50 record.
During the playoffs, the Pistons traded Shawne Williams and Caron Butler to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ersan Ilyasova in hopes of acquiring a stretch forward, which is basically a power forward who spreads the floor by shooting deep two’s or three’s.
This brings us to right now. Let’s take a look at where the Pistons stand as they head into the NBA Offseason:
Draft Picks: #8, #38
PG: Brandon Jennings, Spencer Dinwiddie
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jodie Meeks
SF: Quincy Miller
PF: Ersan Ilyasova, Anthony Tolliver
C: Andre Drummond
Unrestricted Free Agents: Joel Anthony, John Lucas, Greg Monroe, Tayshaun Prince
Restricted Free Agents: Reggie Jackson
Player Option: Cartier Martin
Team Salary: $49,150,517
Estimated Salary Cap: $67,100,000
The Pistons are actually in a very good position heading in. They have a lot of cap space to work with, good draft pick position and a quality roster to build off. Some assumptions that can be made are 1. Greg Monroe probably won’t be returning next season. This has been a long time coming, since last offseason actually when negotiations between the team and Monroe became tense and Monroe opted to accept the 1 year qualifying offer. Head Coach Stan Van Gundy prefers the stretch forward and Monroe is just not that. Not to mention the acquisition of Ersan Ilyasova. Basically the writing on the wall is that Monroe is gone. And 2. The Pistons need an upgrade at Small Forward. Currently Quincy Miller is the only Small Forward on roster and to put it nicely…he’s not the answer. This will most likely be addressed through the draft, with prospects such as Justice Winslow from Duke, Stanley Johnson from Arizona or Mario Herzonja from Croatia who currently plays for Barcelona in the ACB league overseas.
Now that we’ve covered the current status of the Detroit Pistons, we can wait and see if they act on these needs and build a team that can compete for a playoff spot in the 2015-2016 season.