2020-21 NBA SEASON PREVIEW: DETROIT PISTONS
Predicted finish: 15th in the East (5th in the Central, 30th in the power rankings)
Last seasons conference finish: 13th in the East
After a much maligned 2020 offseason, the Detroit Pistons come into this season in a weird place. Moves like paying Jerami Grant $20 million a year say win now however, announcing Killian Hayes as your starting point guard would seem to suggest otherwise. Hayes has a lot to like as a prospect but even his biggest fans will tell you he isn’t ready to be the main ballhandler of a good NBA team. At least they have Grant to carry some of the offensive load? Oh and don’t forget Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose are still on this roster. Why you ask? That’s a great question I don’t have the answer for. This roster is bizarre, has the potential if everything works to be solid I guess. Let’s be honest, I lean to the more widely accepted conclusion that it’s going to be a long year in the motor city.
The big question for the franchise: They took a ton of big swings in the offseason, will any of them hit?
What’s weird about the Pistons is I really liked some of their moves. I also hated others so you know what, lets split this into a chart of good and bad.
|– Drafting Killian Hayes|
– Drafting Saddiq Bey
– Bringing in Delon Wright
– Taking a chance on Josh Jackson
|– Jerami Grant contract|
– Mason Plumlee contract
– Dewayne Dedmon debacle
– Drafting of Isaiah Stewart (why draft a big then over pay two others, none of whom can play together)
– Signing Jahlil Okafor
As you can see there’s a reason for polarization. Their draft I liked overall and bringing in Wright and Jackson makes sense as well. Grant, Plumlee make very little though and Okafor and Stewart make none and don’t get me started on Dedmon. How the heck this all plays out, who works and who doesn’t just has to be the biggest question surrounding this team.
One move I want to see them make: Trade Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose
This team brought in a minimum of two players this offseason each that play the positions Griffin and Rose do. To call their spots on this roster questionable would be an understatement and yet here they still are. Rose should be an easy move since he makes nothing and like half of the contenders need guard help so that trade should’ve happened already quite frankly. Griffin on the other hand is tougher but if he comes back healthy and looks like 2019 Blake, that deal should be done immediately. Find a way to get these two guys in situations that actually make sense please.
Offseason Grade: D+
I like some of the moves more than most but the ridiculous over pays and stacking of positions make it impossible for me to be too excited about what’s going on here.
Young player I’m excited for: Killian Hayes
Listen, I loved Hayes coming out. He has some issues for sure, most notably his lack of a right hand, but I’m excited to see him get a bunch of run in the NBA. He needs time to develop in the NBA and it sounds like the Pistons are going to let him. I promise you he’ll be better this year than some say but he just isn’t ready to lead a good team at this level yet as well. The more touches he gets the worse they’ll probably be in 2021 with Rose still on the roster. However there’s no doubt that it’ll help them 2022 and on which should be the priority for this franchise.
I won’t hide from it, I think this team is going to be terrible. If they keep Rose and Griffin and both are healthy, last in the league is probably aggressive but they certainly aren’t a playoff team, I’ll tell you that much. That is of course unless Jerami Grant is an All-Star, ball dominant forward which he apparently thinks he is. Only time will tell on who’s right (I am).
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