With the offseason complete and the NBA regular season rapidly approaching, it is time to preview each team and set our expectations. Next up, we take a look at the Detroit Pistons.
Regular Season: 20-46
Eastern Conference: 13th
- Killian Hayes (7th Overall Pick)
- Isaiah Stewart (16th Overall Pick)
- Saddiq Bey (19th Overall Pick)
- Delon Wright (Mavericks)
- Dzanan Musa (Nets)
- Jerami Grant
- Mason Plumlee
- Jahlil Okafor
- Luke Kennard (Clippers)
- Bruce Brown (Nets)
- Tony Snell (Hawks)
- Christian Wood
Three Key Questions
How will Blake Griffin play?
Last season, we saw a shadow of Blake Griffin’s former self, coming off two knee surgeries. We know from past seasons that Griffin is, at best, capable of dragging a sub-par Eastern Conference team to the bottom of the playoffs and it has been clear the last two seasons that the Pistons need a prime Blake Griffin in order to make the playoffs. Griffin’s contract is crippling over the next two seasons so the Pistons will be relying on him being healthy and playing at his best in order to either compete for the play-in tournament or increase his trade value.
How will Killian Hayes impact the team?
There is a lot of pressure on Killian Hayes in his rookie season, being the Pistons’ first top seven pick in a decade. The French point guard may be able to come and make an instant impact in the NBA have three years of professional experience in Europe. His size and athleticism give him the potential to become a great two-way positionless guard in the future and with veterans like Rose and Ellington there to mentor him, there is no reason why Hayes cannot become a quality NBA starter.
What is the rebuilding plan?
The Pistons were on track for a successful start to their rebuild with the draft, signing three young rookies with upside and trading for other future picks. From there is where it all went wrong. The Pistons traded three of their best young players in order to sign older players with extremely low potential in Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor. They also signed Grant to a hefty multi-year contract to seemingly be their lead guy which made little sense for a team that should be developing their youth and heading back to the lottery. It was a concerning start for the Pistons’ rebuild and time will tell if this offseason was a successful piece of their plan.
It is all about the future for Detroit and this season should reflect that. Pistons’ fans are in for a tough season, with most of their roster projecting as rotational players on a normal team. If their stars can remain healthy, the Pistons could be a fun team to watch but ultimately, I do not expect them to get any higher than the bottom few teams in the East. Look for the Pistons to potentially move on from some veterans in return for youth by the trade deadline.
Regular Season Record: 20-52
Eastern Conference: 14th