2010 NBA Offseason: Detroit Pistons

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Detroit Pistons (Last Year: 27-55)

Live 2010 NBA Draft Grades:

Pistons Overall Team Grade
Joe Dumars and company should be thrilled Monroe fell to them at 7 as he will provide an immediate up-grade in the post. He was the best option for them at that point and fills a massive need. White is a good value in the second round, but barring injury, I don?t see him being much of a contributor right away. (Grade: A-)

7. Greg Monroe, PF, Georgetown
This is the ideal fit for Detroit. They desperately need a young big man and Monroe has a wide range of skills and should step in right away and play. If he can develop a killer instinct which he lacked at Georgetown, watch out. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)

36. Terrico White, SG, Ole Miss
Is it too late for White to announce his intentions to return to Ole Miss for his junior season? He is extremely talented but just never put things together in his two years in college. I am not sure how he fits in with the Pistons who already have a plethora of guards, but need some more size inside. (Pick Grade: Don't Get It)

2009-10 Season Summary:
When Joe Dumars made the first splash in free agency last summer by throwing $90 million at Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, I called it a massive mistake. And well, I was right. The revamped Pistons finished with their worst record since the 1993-94 season and failed to make the postseason for the first time in nine years. They completely lost the once proud identity of their team as a physical, hard-nosed, defense-oriented squad. In the process, Dumars made himself out to be an even dumber general manager than the times he drafted Darko second overall and traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson.

Gordon was a flop in his first season in the Motor City (possibly because of bone spurs in his left ankle), averaging a career-low in points thanks in part to an abysmal 32 percent from downtown when his career average is 40.4 percent from three. Villanueva never found his groove, even being benched at one point by first year head coach John Kuester. Injuries to veterans Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince certainly did not help the cause as the Pistons finished second to last in the league in scoring. Detroit also lacked any sort of an inside presence as they relied on a washed-up Ben Wallace, undersized Jason Maxiell, and typically worthless Kwame Brown to patrol the paint.

One of the few bright spots was the emergence of second-round pick Jonas Jerebko. His hustle and energy resembled the old-school Pistons style and he will be a valuable piece for their future. However, with all the money Dumars spent last offseason, the future is not especially bright. Detroit will be in a holding pattern this offseason due to limited cap space unless they can pull off a possible trade, maybe dangling Prince's expiring contract as bait.

2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Ben Wallace/Jason Maxiell/Chris Wilcox

PF: Jonas Jerebko/Charlie Villanueva/Greg Monroe

SF: Tayshaun Prince/Tracy McGrady/Austin Daye/DaJuan Summers

SG: Richard Hamilton/Ben Gordon/Terrico White

PG: Rodney Stuckey/Will Bynum

NBA Free Agents:

C Kwame Brown (UFA)

PG Chucky Atkins (UFA)

2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $62.2 million

2010-11 League Salary Cap: $58 million

Offseason Moves:
  • Pistons sign G/F Tracy McGrady to 1-year, $1.35 million deal
  • Pistons re-sign PG Will Bynum to 3-year, $10.5 million deal
  • Pistons re-sign C Ben Wallace to 2-year, $3.8 million deal

    NBA Offseason Needs:

    1. An inside presence- While Wallace was still a solid rebounder at 35 years old, the frontcourt of he, Maxiell, Brown and Chris Wilcox is far from the answer. The Pistons must bring in a true center somehow, especially if Big Ben retires. Even if he is back, Brown is a free agent, Wilcox has a player option on his contract, and Wallace should not be playing starter minutes at this point of his career. Detroit will have a top 10 pick in a draft loaded with low post prospects and MUST address this need. If not, Dumars is begging to be fired.

    2. Three-point threats- If Ben Gordon can return to his old form than this need sort of takes care of itself. But still, the Pistons need to add another threat from downtown since they finished with the worst three-point percentage in the league this past season. Look at their backcourt's three-point percentages: Rodney Stuckey (22.8%), Will Bynum (21.8%), Richard Hamilton (29.7%). That just doesn't cut it. Adding some sort of inside presence will help take the pressure off their perimeter players and also open up easier shot opportunities, so the two needs sort of go hand-in-hand.

    3. A creator- There is a lot of debate as to whether Rodney Stuckey is the long-term point guard solution in Detroit. He and Will Bynum have combined to be serviceable at the point, but I am not sold on their ability to create for their teammates. In Gordon and Hamilton, the Pistons have a pair of shooters who are great moving without the ball, and have historically been outstanding catch and shooters. However, neither guy can really break a defender down off the dribble and that is neither Stuckey nor Bynum's strength either. I would like to see Detroit acquire somebody who is not necessarily a scorer, but can use his quickness to get into the lane, draw defenders, and find the open man, similar to what Rajon Rando has been able to do for the Celtics.

    NFL Picks - Sept. 19

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