With the pick of Andre Drummond the Pistons have the potential to be really, really good… in 2013. I tweeted out that Drummond is probably the riskiest pick in the draft as he has been labeled as the next Dwight Howard, or Kwame Brown which is what makes him a real boom-or-bust prospect.
Now in the 2013 season hopefully Drummond will be starting, playing 25-30 minutes a game and averaging around a double-double along with Greg Monroe in the front court. In the back court Brandon Knight will continue to develop at the point guard position next to Rodney Stuckey, or an upgrade at the shooting guard. Tayshaun Prince and Jonas Jerebko could rotate at the small forward position and they would be the only six players under contract going into that season.
Now for that to be the case, Joe D would have to convince Tom Gores to amnesty Charlie V and get him off the roster and the cap. Gores might not want to write Charlie a check to not play for his team, but keeping him on the team he’s still not going to play as he isn’t any good.
If Charlie is gone, the six players under contract would cost the Pistons a total of $15 million, which would leave a lot of space under the cap to do a lot of upgrading. I see the Pistons still being bad this next season which should give them another lottery pick to upgrade either the small forward or shooting guard position.
Looking ahead to next years draft a few players stand out that would fit the Pistons well including James McAdoo, the sophomore from North Carolina, and Shabazz Muhammad, the guard/forward freshman prospect heading to UCLA.
I see the Pistons having a high pick next season but not high enough to get one of the premier prospects so I would like to see them take Adonis Thomas from Memphis. Thomas is 6’6″ with a 7’0″ wingspan and freakish athletic ability. According to Bleacher Report (see their full lottery projections here) Thomas is extremely tough and athletic, but needs to work on his overall polish to his game.
I could see the starting five looking like this in 2013:
This would leave the Pistons with a lot of options to take on money in a trade or make a big push for a huge contract offer for restricted free agents like James Harden and DeMar DeRozen to play shooting guard. Either way Joe has a chance to turn this team around very quickly if they can push Drummond to become the great player he has the potential to be. Otherwise Detroit will end up with a high draft pick and less talent to build around.