Midway through last season, the Detroit Pistons shocked the NBA world when they acquired Blake Griffin in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Despite gaining the services of the perennial All-Star and thus forming one of the league’s most dynamic frontcourts with Andre Drummond on the low block, the Pistons were unable to earn a playoff berth, even in the weak Eastern Conference.
Much to the dismay of Pistons fans everywhere, it wasn’t even close. The eighth-seeded Washington Wizards were 4.0 games over their team by the end of the year. It's safe to say that Detroit didn't decide to bring in Griffin for a ninth-place finish.
With one major exception, next season’s club has the potential to look very similar to last year's squad.
That exception, of course, is the addition of former Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, who took over for the axed Stan Van Gundy. Casey is coming off of a 59-win season at the helm of the Raptors, who earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs. Therefore, it's possible that his fresh perspective could work wonders in his new setting.
But, don't expect any more major changes this summer. According to Rod Beard of the Detroit News, we shouldn’t expect the Pistons to be active at all this summer, neither in free agency nor next week's draft.
“Barring a major trade, the Pistons won’t be very active during the draft or during free agency,” he reported. “They have no first-round selection in the draft on June 21 — their No. 12 pick was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Blake Griffin deal — and they likely won’t find an impact player with their second-round pick (42nd overall). They will pick up the team option on Reggie Bullock for $2.5 million by July 15 and they’ll have to make decisions on whether to fully guarantee the contracts of Eric Moreland ($1.8 million) and Dwight Buycks ($1.6 million).”
Despite those small roster moves, the team will have three more roster spots to fill, including a midlevel exception. Since Detroit already has over $111 million tied up in salaries for next season, there’s not much wiggle room for any major signing to happen right now.
Anthony Tolliver, James Ennis and Jameer Nelson are the only three other players from last year’s team who do not have a guaranteed deal on the books for next season (not including Bullock, Moreland and Buycks, all of whom have team options).
In all, it seems as though the Pistons are confident that a core of Griffin, Drummond and a healthy Reggie Jackson will be enough to contend in the East under the proven leadership of Casey.News Now - Sport News