2013 NBA Off Season Preview, Depth Charts, Trades and Transactions: Detroit Pistons

Current Depth Chart (Updated 5/2/2013)

C - Andre Drummond, Vlacheslav Kravtsov
PF - Greg Monroe, Jonas Jerebko, Charlie Villanueva (PO)
SF - Kyle Singler, Khris Middleton
SG - Rodney Stuckey, Kim English
PG - Brandon Knight

Unrestricted Free Agents: G Jose Calderon. GF Corey Maggette. F Jason Maxiell. G Will Bynum


Off Season Preview (5/2/2013)

The Good: Few teams in the NBA have a young big man duo as good as Detroit has with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. It will be interesting to see how the new coach plays the two together, but there is little doubt that they are two of the most talented big men in the NBA. Brandon Knight improved after the arrival of Jose Calderon and he was able to move to shooting guard. Kyle Singler started 74 games for Detroit after spending last year overseas.

Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe represent the
hopefully bright future of the Detroit Pistons.
The Bad: The big free agent signings of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon were disastrous almost as soon as ink was put to the page. Gordon was traded for salary cap relief, but Villanueva continues to steal money from Detroit's owners. Rodney Stuckey continued his inconsistent play. He has the talent to be a 20 point per game scorer in the NBA but wasn't used properly last season. Jonas Jerebko has failed to build on a solid rookie season. His production has decreased every year.

Rookie Report: The Pistons had five rookies on the roster last season. Andre Drummond fell to 9th in the draft over concerns that he was too raw and could take years to develop. He ended up playing 20 minutes per game and averaged 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He is still needs to develop, but you could see where the Dwight Howard comparisons came from. Pistons fans have to be very excited about his future. Kyle Singler started 74 games but was the clear weak spot in Detroit's starting five. He would make a better role player off the bench. Kim English, Viacheslav Kravtsov and Khris Middleton were all buried on the bench, but as Detroit rids itself of overpriced veterans, the three should see increased minutes.

Free Agents: Three of the Pistons four upcoming free agents were a key part of the rotation. Jose Calderon was a nice addition after coming to Detroit mid season, but he could want to move on to a contender. Jason Maxiell is the longest tenured Piston, and provided rebounding and toughness off the bench. Will Bynum has proven to be a very capable backup point guard who is prone to big scoring outputs from time to time.

Cap Situation: Projected Cap Space: $34,827,280. The Pistons will shed over 30 million dollars in contracts, and will have plenty of room to spend this off season. That may be a scary proposition for Pistons fans, because last time Joe Dumars had room he completely wasted it. Detroit could try to resign Calderon and Maxiell, but might stay put for a year, continue to develop Monroe, Knight, Singler and Drummond. The summer of 2014 should be what Detroit is aiming for. They could have another high pick in a loaded draft, Villanueva's contract will come off the books and Detroit will have only 5 million dollars of guaranteed salaries. Even with resigning Greg Monroe, the Pistons could go after two max guys.

Free Agent Possibilities: The Pistons have a big need at point guard, but there are not that many options out there. Dumars has the money to go after Chris Paul or Brandon Jennings, but a more realistic option would be to resign Calderon or go after a one year stop gap like Devin Harris, Jarrett Jack or Beno Udrih. Small forward is probably the second biggest need. Andre Iguodala and Paul Pierce are the big names there, but how much would either help a rebuilding team that needs to take things slow? The Pistons might be better off signing a big man like DeJuan Blair or Josh McRoberts to provide depth.

Draft Possibilities: The Pistons pick 7th overall, and should have their pick of a couple of intriguing point guards. It is unlikely that Michigan hero Trey Burke will be available, but Michael Carter-Williams and CJ McCollum should be. Carter-Williams is not much of a scorer but his size and ball handling ability would be a nice contrast to the undersized Brandon Knight at the two and would give Detroit three ball handlers with size. McCollum is more of a scoring guard, but with the success that a similar player, Damian Lillard, had in 2012-2013, he should be a lottery pick. If the Pistons choose to fill their small forward hole, Shabazz Muhammad could be a great pick. He is likely to slip a bit, but Detroit could pounce and reap the benefits later like they did with Drummond. Muhammad has 20 point per game potential.

2013-2014 Outlook: The Pistons had already hit rock bottom, and are now beginning the process of slowly climbing out of the hole. Gone are several bad contracts, and Villanueva's runs out after this season. Few teams have two talented big men like Drummond and Monroe, and Knight and Stuckey form a pretty talented scoring back court. If Detroit can find a head coach to lead these guys, they should start winning more games. The Pistons should have more seasons in the lottery, but if they draft well in 2013 and 2014, playoffs should start to be a possibility once again.

Jonathan Carrano

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