The Future of the Detroit Pistons (3/7/2013)
BY: Joey Abro
OU Sports Reporting
The future of the Pistons will depend on two factors – the offseason and the development of their youth.
This season has had many ups and downs ranging from defeating top teams in the league, including the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, to seeing an eight-game losing streak and continuous injuries.
Not only does it free up additional cap money for the team at the end of the season, but it also brought the team its first true point guard since the Chauncey Billups era
Billups was the one of the first starters from the championship team to be traded, back in 2008.
With the foundation of their last three first -round draft picks, the team is building through youth.
“Joe Dumars will have approximately $20 million in cap money available this summer,” said Mark Champion, radio play-by-play for the Pistons, regarding the expiring contracts from Corey Maggette, Will Bynum, Jason Maxiell, and Jose Calderon as well.
Joe Dumars, president of basketball operations for the Pistons, has already made it obvious the team would like to re-sign the veteran, Calderon.
Although the market will have the likes for Josh Smith and O.J. Mayo, there’s no guarantee Detroit is a destination on any free agents mind.
The team will turn to the draft where they’ll more than likely be cashing in on a lottery pick this year with their current record of 23-40.
With Drummond at center, Monroe as one forward, and Knight as a guard, the best move for the team might be to look for an athletic wing-player or a pure shooter.
“I think the team’s biggest need is to get more athletic,” Champion said.
Although the draft doesn’t look to compare in high talent as previous years, there’s always a good opportunity to find a reliable rotational player.
“The team would currently pick ninth, which means a guy like McLemore at Kansas would not likely be there, but remember, Dumars didn’t think Knight or Monroe would be at number eight and seven (respectively) in their draft class, Champion said. “The team also got a heck of a pick with Drummond at number nine this year.
For a team that has blown numerous double-digit leads it’s not hard to see the potential is there.
The trouble of closing out games and the injuries from key players has hindered this teams potential playoff push.
If the team can come away with a solid draft pick that can come in and contribute right away, along with re-signing the pass-happy Calderon, it’s not far-fetched to say they can reach the playoffs sooner than expected.
“The additional pieces and continued maturity of Drummond and Knight will eventually return the team to the playoff hunt,” Champion said. “This will be an extremely important offseason.”