Projected Starters: PG- Brandon Knight, SG- Rodney Stuckey, SF- Tayshaun Prince, PF- Andre Drummond, C- Greg Monroe
Key Reserves: Corey Maggette, Will Bynum, Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye.
Projected Finish: 38-44
The Detroit Pistons are far from the Bad Boys led by Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars. Their squad is now laced with youth, inexperience, and an NBA champion in Tayshaun Prince who has remained loyal to his franchise when he could be in a better situation competitively. Defensively, the Pistons only allowed 95.7, good for 14th in the league. The effort is evident and Lawrence Franks has his team buying in on that end.
The Pistons came up next to last in the NBA’s Central Division, and they had a tough on the offensive end last season. Sitting at just 27th in points per game, the roster isn’t rounded out with any scorers.
The Pistons did take a step towards getting perimeter help, as they traded Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette. The veteran swingman will hopefully bring shooting and slashing to a young Pistons team. His other backcourt mates include combo guard Rodney Stuckey who has potential.
Stuckey played in 55 of the Pistons’ 66 games last season notching 14.8 points and 3.8 assists per game on 42% shooting. Word around the league is that Stuckey has been putting in major work during this off-season. Brandon Knight is the future of this Detroit franchise. After his first season, Knight impressed and started 60 of 66 games garnishing plenty of NBA experience.
His 12 points per game and three assists will only grow with time. I expect a big season from Knight. Will Bynum will serve as the backup point guard.
The frontcourt was definitely bolstered during this year’s NBA Draft. Greg Monroe looks to be the cornerstone big man for a franchise that needs it. His versatility at the center position is rare in a league lacking dominance at that position. Monroe put up 15.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He is also outstanding defensively.
Veteran small forward Tayshaun Prince brings a lot of veteran leadership to the table for Detroit. His defensive intangibles and playoff experience will hopefully rub off on his counterparts. Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye add more depth to the small forward spot.
Former Connecticut Huskies Andre Drummond was an enigma last season for Jim Calhoun. He has shown flashes of potential, but he must gain consistency and aggressiveness to become the prospect we all seen during his prep days. Paired with Greg Monroe, I think the sky is the limit for Drummond.
Joe Dumars, Pistons President of Basketball Operations, is hoping the franchise adopts a winning mentality as each of his young stars develop. The Pistons should take a leap of improvement with each player putting in work and gaining cohesion. Detroit will look good this year, but the Eastern Conference will not be shaken too much.