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Community Shootaround: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons took a low-key approach to the offseason. Content with the young pieces assembled over the past two seasons, head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy opted to improve his bench.

Detroit did pursue one top-level free agent, Al Horford, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. So, Van Gundy made some under-the-radar signings, essentially splitting up the salary-cap room available to ink three reserves — point guard Ish Smith, power forward Jon Leuer and center Boban Marjanovic.

Smith should be a major upgrade as the backup to Reggie Jackson. The Pistons had aging Steve Blake at that spot during the second half of last season. Leuer is also expected to play a major role and gives the club more versatility up front compared to the player he’s replacing, Anthony Tolliver.

Van Gundy is banking on improvements from within as his young core grows together. Jackson just finished his first season as a full-time starter. Combo forward Tobias Harris, acquired at the trade deadline, will now have a full season to blend in with the starting unit.

The Pistons are also expecting big things from second-year swingman Stanley Johnson, who jumped right into the rotation as a rookie and flashed some star potential.

The whole roster revolves around center Andre Drummond, who led the league in rebounding despite free throw shooting woes that often kept him on the bench during crunch time.

The Pistons will have very little cap space next summer unless they dump some salary, so the players on the current roster need to build on the franchise’s first playoff appearance in seven seasons.

This leads us to our question of the day: Did the Pistons do enough this offseason to become serious contenders in the Eastern Conference?

Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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8 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Detroit Pistons

  1. They did what they could. There is no such thing as serious contenders in the East. It’s the Cavs’ conference. They should be able to get a 4 seed, and have home court in round 1. That in itself would be a huge improvement.

  2. Austin

    I think the Pistons did a good job at securing backups at a low price considering the massive contracts other free agents received this summer. This season will be a pivotal one for the team and I hope we make the playoffs at a decent seed.

  3. Connorsoxfan

    Nobody outside of Cleveland is a serious contender. I guess I’d say they have an outside shot of making the conference finals if they don’t draw Cleveland. I’d put Boston, Toronto, Cleveland, and Indiana over Detroit for sure. I think the Knicks have a small chance as well, but there’d need to be a lot to roll in their favor for them to become relevant.

  4. Schwein

    Pistons are contenders, given the current lineup, the day Stanley Johnson earns the right to initiate the offense as much as Reggie does. Until Stanley is better than Reggie, given the personnel we have our this team, we are a team others hate playing, but not yet a true contender. Could be mudseadon, could be I 2 years, might not happen, but I’m looking forward to the run.

  5. I don’t think it’s fair to ask the Pistons to challenge for a spot in the NBA Finals even if they had landed Horford. What they did do, in my opinion, is put themselves in the best position they could to be contenders 2-3 years from now. Last year they had a top 10 starting 5 with the oldest of them being 25 years old. They then added 3 key backups this summer at affordable contracts who are either in their prime or just entering it. With the improvements they showed last year, and not a single player in their 30’s on the roster, Pistons fans should be noting but optimistic about the future of this team.

  6. All that we need now is time -waiting for a core to blossom and Stanley to be a star

  7. Hunter

    The pistons did all they could to transform themselves into a darn good team, but as long as that no. 23 is playing PG, SF, PF, or C for the defending champs, good luck. As a diehard fan, I’d consider success for this season to be a home court team for the playoffs (in a much more competitive East, I should mention). For next season, making that home court jump to perhaps advancing to the final stage of the LeBron Invitational (ECF) would be huge. For ’19, LeBron and co. will be aged (hopefully) and so much of our core will be in their primes, so I believe true contention lies three years away.

  8. yeever

    Pistons should be able to be in the 4-6 position come playoffs. East improved a lot while teams like heat, Bulls, Knicks, bucks, and hornets are questionable for the 6-8 seed

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