2015 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: 32-50)

2015-16 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Andre Drummond

PF: Ersan Ilyasova/^Anthony Tolliver

SF: Cartier Martin

SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/Jodie Meeks/Spencer Dinwiddie

PG: *Reggie Jackson/Brandon Jennings

NBA Free Agents:

PF-Greg Monroe (UFA)

SF-Tayshaun Prince (UFA)

PG-John Lucas III (UFA)

C-Joel Anthony (UFA)

*PG-Reggie Jackson (RFA)

^PF-Anthony Tolliver (TO)

Offseason Moves:

Pistons acquire PF Ersan Ilyasova from Bucks for SF Caron Butler and F Shawne Williams

2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $46.1 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Don’t Let Monroe Walk: An unrestricted free agent, Greg Monroe will be highly coveted on the open market this summer by a number of teams looking to add a skilled big man. The Pistons hold a slight advantage in that they can offer him a longer and larger contract than any other team, but they probably need to open up their wallets with a max contract if they plan on bringing him back. Monroe could be tempted to play in a larger market – Knicks or Lakers? – or head to a team that is in a better position to win right away. If Monroe does leave Detroit, the Pistons’ No. 1 priority becomes finding a power forward to pair inside with Andre Drummond.

Even if Monroe does return, Detroit needs to add depth up front since Anthony Tolliver – assuming his option gets picked up – is the only other frontcourt player on the roster. The Pistons could look to add depth inside when they select ninth in the 2015 Draft. Guys like Myles Turner or Frank Kaminsky could be available, but either way, Detroit will need to find a free agent or two inside.

2. Extend Jackson: The Brandon Jennings era hasn’t exactly panned out in Detroit, which is why the team made a move to acquire Reggie Jackson prior to the trade deadline. Jackson tore it up during his 27 games as a Piston, but he is a restricted free agent this summer. Expect Detroit to try to lock him up to a long-term extension or match any offer another before next offseason, when he would become an unrestricted free agent.

3. Small Forward: At this stage of his career, Caron Butler should not be a starting small forward. There should be plenty of options available for the Pistons on draft night (Stanley Johnson, Kelly Oubre, Sam Dekker, maybe Justise Winslow), or Detroit should actively pursue an immediate starter in free agency to find an upgrade.

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