By: Jay Patel
Success: Making the playoffs
Failure: Lack of depth
MVP: Blake Griffin
Breakout: Thon Maker
O/U Wins: 38
Key Additions: Derrick Rose, Tony Snell, Sekou Doumbouya, Jordan Bone, Deividas Sirvydis, Markieff Morris, Joe Johnson
Key Subtractions: Jon Leuer, Ish Smith, Jose Calderon, Glenn Robinson III, Wayne Ellington
Biggest Question: Have the Pistons built enough depth to make a playoff run?
Under Dwane Casey’s first year as head coach, the Pistons made the playoffs. They clinched the 8th seed. The Milwaukee Bucks swept them out of the playoffs in the first round. It was a disappointing outcome, but it wasn’t expected of the Pistons to make it far last season. They spent the majority of the offseason shuffling their roster. Many veterans signed elsewhere in free agency. The Pistons got a little younger, and got some upgrades. PG Derrick Rose is coming off a great comeback season in which he had a 50-point game. He will be a great backup to Reggie Jackson, and could sometimes share the floor. 15th overall pick F Sekou Doumbouya brings a shot of youth and potential this Pistons team has lacked. He and Thon Maker make for interesting projects to work with. If they can figure it out at the NBA level, the Pistons have themselves some very nice young players. It was an overall solid offseason for the Pistons who were able to address roster needs with minimal cap space.
As mentioned before, the Pistons are restricted with cap space. With Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, and Reggie Jackson on the roster, the Pistons just need to bring along complementary pieces. They might have succeeded this offseason. With Tony Snell and Joe Johnson, the Pistons infuse some 3-point shooting. Add them with Luke Kennard and the Pistons have themselves some sharp shooters. They also added depth behind their stars. Doumbouya, Maker, and Markieff Morris are more than capable of filling in for Griffin and Drummond when they need breaks. Derrick Rose and Langston Galloway are solid veterans to back up Jackson and Bruce Brown.
It was a very productive offseason for Dwane Casey and the Pistons. They may not be in the tier of the East’s elites, but they quietly made some very solid moves. With an infusion of youth, veterans, and reclamation projects, the Pistons have it all on their roster. There might be some growing pains with the youngsters, but that’s part of learning the game at a high level. A 5th or 6th seed is in the cards for the Pistons this season.
The Pistons could surprise some people this season. They have a great head coach, and a number of great players on the team. If all goes well, they can win a lot of games. Which is why the over can be a realistic expectation.