Photo Credit: WXYZ Detriot
This offseason was a fairly lateral one for the Pistons. Losing Ellington, GR3, and Ish Smith while gaining Markieff Morris, Tony Snell, and Derrick Rose. The draft was solid, but Doumbouya likely will need a year of development before really being a factor in the rotation. Derrick Rose has a chance to be an impact player, but injury concerns will always haunt him. Is Derrick Rose a big enough upgrade over Reggie Jackson to make the difference, I don’t think so. The Pistons have elected to go big, and they need some shooters around the bigs. Rose does not fill this role the same way Ellington did. They also lost Stanley Johnson and GR3 while adding no wing play. That could create a major hole in a team that barely made the playoffs a year ago.
G: Derrick Rose
G: Luke Kennard
F: Tony Snell
F: Blake Griffin
C: Andre Drummond
Bench: Reggie Jackson, Sekou Doumbouya, Svi Mykhailiuk, Markieff Morris, and Thon Maker
Much like Louie wrote earlier this week, big lineups don’t work in the modern NBA. Strong shooting wings do, something the Pistons have none of. Detroit has a gaping hole on the wing now with the loss of GR3. Snell and Kennard both will need to step up a lot on defense otherwise that will be a major flaw with the team. Rose thrives on getting in the lane, which could be hard with Griffin and Drummond clogging the lane. The roster does not fit great together, but Reggie Jackson off the bench should be strong.
Season Prediction: 32-50 (12th in East) / Misses Playoffs
Another team whose fans would be expecting a lot more, but at this point in the countdown, no team is happy. The Pistons return a lot of a 41 win team, and it would be easy to peg them to return to the playoffs, but I believe they overachieved last year and this team will be one of the disappointments of the season. There are too many players with injury concerns and unproven tactics being used by the Pistons. Their ceiling is definitely the highest of the teams so far in terms of this season. If they work out the roster and maybe add a wing during the season via trade, the Pistons will have a real shot at the playoffs. At 32-50 I only have them 6 games out of the playoffs in a weak East. Improvements by Hawks, Cavs, and Bulls have another victim much like the Wizards. Giving some teams wins means giving others losses, and the Pistons are one of the casualties.
The Pistons are pretty much locked into this roster for the 2020 season, already having 102 million locked up for 2020-21. Sekou Doumbouya should improve and help give a more modern look. The Pistons after that must look to move on from Drummond. They are unlikely to find a trade suitor but Drummond could help a contender. Teams like Pelicans or Hawks could use a center and have expiring contracts that could give Pistons more flexibility. This would give the Pistons a top 7 pick in a draft with solid guards that could help the team reset. Cole Anthony and Anthony Edwards both would fit well, as would a guy like Wendell Moore who the Pistons could draft in the 7-10 range if they miss on the lottery. Rose, Kennard, Moore, Doumbouya, and Griffin could be a solid lineup to build on in 2020.