2009 NBA Offseason: Detroit Pistons

Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Detroit Pistons (Last Year: 39-43)

Live 2009 NBA Draft Grades:

15. Austin Daye, F, Gonzaga
6-11, 190 pounds. He will enjoy some solid time in the D-League where he will need to add about 30 pounds if he is ever going to be effective in the league. Yes, he is skilled, but is soft as can be. (Pick Grade: Don’t Get It)

35. DeJuan Summers, F, Georgetown
Summers has first-round talent, but fell to Detroit. Summers should add some slashing ability and toughness to a Piston team looking to get younger. He’ll be a bigger contributor next season than Daye will. Believe that. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)

39. Jonas Jerebko, F, Sweden
I know Detroit was in a best-available-player type of situation, but another combo forward? Jerebko will remain overseas for a year or two and maybe contributes down the line. (Pick Grade: Don’t Get It)

44. Chase Budinger, G/F, Arizona
I would have liked this pick if Detroit didn’t deal it to Houston for a future second-round pick and cash. The Pistons don’t have a backup to Richard Hamilton and could have used Budinger as a backup, unless they are confident they can land Ben Gordon. (Pick Grade: Don’t Get It)

2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
  • Grizzlies sign G Allen Iverson
  • Spanish Team signs PF Walter Herrmann
  • Pistons sign C/F Ben Wallace
  • Bullets sign C Fabricio Oberto
  • Pistons sign PF Chris Wilcox
  • Nuggets acqure PF Walter Sharpe, SG Arron Afflalo and cash from Pistons for 2nd-round pick
  • Spurs sign C Antonio McDyess
  • Pistons hire HC John Kuester
  • Celtics sign PF Rasheed Wallace
  • Pistons sign SG Ben Gordon
  • Pistons sign PF Charlie Villanueva
  • Pistons fire HC Michael Curry
  • Pistons cut C Fabrico Oberto
  • Rockets acquire G/F Chase Budinger from Pistons for cash and a future second-rounder
  • Pistons acquire C Fabricio Oberto from Bucks for PF Amir Johnson

    2008-09 Season Summary:
    In Detroit, both the automotive industry and the professional basketball team headquartered there are in need of aggressive rebuilding options. Both have also seen better days. Despite trading Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess (who was waived and later re-signed) for superstar Allen Iverson, the Pistons regressed during the regular season, partly due to the controversial moves of first year head coach Michael Curry. The former players union representative made questionable choices that disrupted team chemistry, including playing Iverson and Richard Hamilton as sixth men. �08-�09 was the first time since the 2000-01 season that the Pistons failed to reach 50 wins and finished with a losing mark. Detroit also saw their sellout streak at The Palace of Auburn Hills end on February 4. The streak began on January 19, 2004, the year the Pistons won their third NBA title, and was the franchise’s longest sellout streak at 259.

    Still, the Pistons were able to earn the eight seed in the Eastern Conference, but were quickly swept out of the first round of the Playoffs by LeBron’s Cavs. It was the first time the Pistons have been eliminated in round one since 2000. In the previous season, Detroit advanced to the NBA Conference Finals for the sixth straight time, where they lost to the NBA Champion Boston Celtics. Today however, the window seems to be closed on the Pistons tremendous run this decade.

    2009-10 Projected Depth Chart:

    C: Ben Wallace/Kwame Brown/Jason Maxiell

    PF: Charlie Villanueva/Chris Wilcox/Austin Daye

    SF: Tayshaun Prince/DaJuan Summers

    SG: Richard Hamilton/Ben Gordon

    PG: Rodney Stuckey/Will Bynum

    NBA Free Agents:

    Kwame Brown(PO) – Took Player Option ($4.1 million)

    2009-10 Team Salary: Approximately $33.9 million

    2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million

    NBA Offseason Needs:

    1. A major rebuilding plan – While President Barack Obama urges Detroit to restructure, Pistons President/GM Joe Dumars will be doing likewise with his roster. With Wallace, A.I. and McDyess set to depart, this team might revitalize itself around the franchise’s emerging star in Stuckey, whose growth will be aided by established stars Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. The Pistons will have more available cap space than any other team in the league and could make a major splash in free agency if they choose to spend the money (both Carlos Boozer and Ben Gordon have been rumored possibilities.) But it could get worse before it gets better, so Detroit sports fans might have to live off the glory of hockey’s Red Wings and the fact that Michigan State just reached a Final Four hosted by the city… or whatever it takes to get through the lean times ahead.

    2. Scoring and Rebounding – At 94.2 ppg, (28th out of 30 NBA teams) the Pistons’ offense misfired badly in 2008-09. The departure of A.I. and �Sheed will not exactly help this either. Detroit will likely also find themselves in need of rebounding too, as McDyess’s departure means their leading returning rebounder is Prince who averaged less than 6 boards a game.

    3. Outside shooting – The Pistons finished just 26th in the league in perimeter shooting (35%), so their offense is in desperate need for someone who can step up and knock down the three-ball. They do have four picks in this draft, more than any team except Portland or Minnesota, so they’ll get their opportunities to fill some of the major holes they have on their roster.

    Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
    Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
    All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]


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